Metascore
89

Generally favorable reviews - based on 66 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.4

Generally favorable reviews- based on 770 Ratings

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  • Summary: Project Dark (Working Title) is a brand new dark fantasy RPG designed to completely embrace the concepts of tension in dungeon exploration, fear in encountering enemies, the joy of new discoveries, and a high sense of achievement in progressing. The game is set in a dark fantasy world filled with decadent atmosphere, with a heavy emphasis on player freedom in discovering various tactics and strategies to use in weapon based combat. Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 64 out of 66
  2. Negative: 0 out of 66
  1. Nov 5, 2011
    100
    Dark Souls is a neat, die-hard and time-consuming game – aside from its predecessor the only one of its kind. This game is not for everyone – that's not a flaw, but a virtue.
  2. Oct 3, 2011
    100
    No video game released this Christmas runs contrary to prevailing fashion as hard or fast as Dark Souls. And no video game is quite so exciting or exhilarating.
  3. Oct 11, 2011
    93
    It is not a game for everyone, but From Software can again be proud of producing an instant classic in the action-RPG genre, which will be talked about for years. It is not as surprising as the original Demon's Souls, as we had great expectations for this spiritual sequel, but it improves on it and becomes one of the greatest games of the year.
  4. Oct 3, 2011
    90
    A gem of sublime darkness. In the same way that an infamous ring did poison the soul of the one wearing it, this game becomes both the burden and the treasure of the one playing it. Cruel, even more so than its predecessor from which it keeps almost everything, Dark Souls offers a singular atmosphere, one where the player is prey, gambles its life with each step he dares to take, and its sanity every time he makes progress towards more evil that can kill him in a single strike. If you feel crazy enough to dive in, though, Dark Souls will possess you like very few can: it's a drug, and it's in the poison it exudes that lies its virtue.
  5. Oct 17, 2011
    90
    I expect Dark Souls will sell more copies than its predecessor, but I'm sure many won't know what to make of this curious title. It harkens back to the days when our parents bought us a game and we played it all summer.
  6. Oct 3, 2011
    88
    Despite my complaints, I can't help but feel a rush of adrenaline just thinking about Dark Souls. I spent around 60 hours playing it over the last month and died nearly 100 times while doing so. I screamed, I cursed, and I threw down my controller in defeat more times than I'm proud of. I can't wait to get back in and do it all over again. Dark Souls probably won't be the biggest or best game released this year, but I'm already sure it's the one I'm going to spend the most time playing.
  7. 70
    Hard is hard. Though greatly satisfying at times, Dark Souls consists of many hours of pure frustration.

See all 66 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 29 out of 289
  1. Oct 4, 2011
    10
    Back in 2009, I spent 120+ hours of my life on Demon's Souls, and since then, I have not found its equal. As dark, challenging, and repressive as the game was, Demon's Souls still managed to feel like a breath of fresh air in the staling game market, throwing back to classic mechanics that were left in the 80s and early 90s with 8-bit, 16-bit, and arcade games. I find it interesting that Demon's Souls was far better received in North America than in its native Japan (790,000 copies in NA to Japan's 300,000, many of which were sold after the game's subsequest success overseas), as the game reflects more western RPG conventions and D&D-esque styling than the increasingly common anime-styled games that get labeled as "JRPGs." Dark Souls is a spiritual successor in the purest sense of the over-used phrase. Its controls are identical to Demon's Souls, yet they are even more precise than before. The artistic style, starting classes, soundtrack, and multiplayer options are all quite similar as well, but again, they have been tweaked to be a bit superior to that of Demon's Souls. The graphics are more detailed and crisp than ever. But the biggest change here is the open-world structure. Unlike Demon's Souls, which had the Nexus serve as a hub between several more fragmented worlds, Dark Souls has interconnected areas that form one gigantic, seemless world. It's also at least three times the size of all of Demon's Souls' areas combined, and the zones are still diverse and well-conceived. The linking of various zones works kind of like classic Metroid or Castlevania maps, where shortcuts to previous areas can be unlocked, making exploration valuable and rewarding to the overall mission. Instead of the Nexus hub zone, players can rest at bonfires, where they can also upgrade weapons and armor, among other things. Combat is also enjoyable and very deep, and enemy mobs are more varied than in Demon's Souls. In short, Dark Souls improves on every aspect of its predecessor, and with the new open-world structure, Dark Souls can easily stand up to the industry's western-developed heavy hitters (like Dragon Age and Elder Scrolls). In fact, I can honestly say that Dark Souls could steal some serious thunder from Skyrim by offering a more fresh yet hardcore approach to the genre. I also think that it's astounding that developer From Software could make lightning strike twice - it would have been far too easy for some developers to misinterpret Demon's Souls overwhelming success in North America and try too hard to tweak the subsequent formula to cater to American tastes. Instead, From Software stayed true to its original form, even deciding to increase the challenge for Dark Souls. And as one final point, let me also say this: Anyone who has not tried Demon's Souls or Dark Souls should not let the now-legendary difficulty of the series discourage them. The challenge that these games offers is not the same kind of hard-for-the-sake-of-hard frustration that some games fall victim to. Even if you are normally frustrated by difficult games, it's usually because of cheap mechanics and the feeling of having to fight the controls or poor design, and none of that is an issue with the Souls games. They just demand a little more observation, a bit of strategy and thought. From Software trusts that its gamers are intelligent, diligent, and skilled enough to handle that challenge, and that's what makes every victory in Dark Souls feel like a real achievement. The game may not be for everyone, but I would at least encourage every PS3 or XBox360 owner to try it. Expand
  2. Nov 4, 2011
    10
    Difficult to master, extremely punishing, rage educing & infuriating at times.

    You will need to do your own research, scout the wiki's and
    plan ahead.

    But when it all comes together, when you finally understand the concepts and the basics, its extremely rewarding.
    Expand
  3. Nov 14, 2011
    10
    If you like progression, open worlds, mystical environments, little talk and a lot of hardcore action, there is NO OTHER game comparable to this one. I play games since the 80´s and have been a hardcore FPS gamer most of the time, but this game takes the cake. Bethesda have great RPG´s when it comes to soft play, nice worlds etc...., mass effect? soooooo overrated it´s sad ( I love KOTOR and Dragon Age, don´t get me wrong). In Dark Souls you end up memorizing the WHOLE game, because you have to be a PRO to go through. Very original multiplayer and a overall unforgetable experience. Few games stay with you like this one. I could not recomend it more. EASY 10/10 Expand
  4. Oct 28, 2012
    10
    I picked up this game with the mindset that I'd beat it for the sake of beating a hard game. Then Dark Souls ended up being one of my top 3 games. I almost stopped playing about 1/5 of the way through, its true that in one section frame rate becomes and issue and its true that the game can feel brutally hard but at the end its all worth it. Never have I felt so immersed in a game: someone commented below that they didn't like the 'no-pause' menu, I ended up loving it! It makes it feel less like a game and more like an experience. I can't remember another game that lets you play for 20 hours and then opens up a path for you that ends up right back where you were 10 minutes in the game, the level design is beyond superb and really makes it feel like your stuck in the world, with all the complexities and mazes you would expect in a castle and city the size Dark Souls is. The sparse collection of NPCs really make the world feel as bleak and the director intended. Music is fantastic. The plot is controversial, I personally love how they went with it. There is actually a huge amount of information under the surface: in item descriptions and character dialogue. You could easily completely miss what's happening for example the truth about princess Gwenevere, and you could never meet certain people integral to the plot such as primordial serpent kaathe and Gwendolyn, just like you can miss my favourite area in the game: Ash Lake. Overall don't expect this to be like other games, think of it as an experience, but one that's very much worth the effort when you finally overcome the challenges involved. Expand
  5. Nov 10, 2011
    9
    This game is great for those who like a challenge and dont mind dying....A LOT. Jumping into Dark Souls is unlike any game your used to, it does not hold your hand and give you tutorials. You literally fight a huge boss minuets after you start the game. The world and enemies in Dark souls are vast, this is on game where buying a strategy guide is highly recommended! You always need to be on your toes in this game. Very trial and error based. Being able to summon other players into your world to help fight a boss is great, it makes things alot easier and enjoyable. Expand
  6. Oct 5, 2012
    9
    If you are a gamer that wants some challenge, get this game yeah it´s hard as hell but its totally worth it, the boss battles are epic and all the adventure you go trough, the combat works well, the atmosphere is really cool and also discovering the secrets of this game. Expand
  7. Feb 26, 2014
    0
    Honestly? I'm open minded about any game I play. I actually LIKED Demon's Souls. But this? God, what a boring game. People praise the difficulty, but honestly, the game isn't super difficult- just cheap. The battles (including bosses) aren't hard; it's just a clunky combat system. And once you have that system down, it's not difficult; just boring. Very, very tedious. The cheapness comes from the fact that the game just decides to inst-kill you with no way of you knowing it would ever happen besides trial-and-error and have already died there before. This wouldn't be a problem if this game didn't make you replay sometimes MASSIVE amounts of an area to get back to the spot you died to recover your souls. Again, with it's constant repeating, it just gets insurmountably boring. From a gameplay and level-design standpoint, this game wouldn't have surprised me if it came out on the N64. It tries to be challenging and rewarding, but ultimately ends up being boring and cheap. I never got a single minute of fun out of this game. Expand

See all 289 User Reviews

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