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89

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

User Score
8.4

Generally favorable reviews- based on 879 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: 36 out of 314
  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 24, 2014
    10
    This game is all about gameplay. And Its rock solid. I havent played other game with this good combat system. I know its hard, the boss life bars are ridiculously big. But i get the feeling that its just like it should be. If Id get there in my real life i would die just as many times as the mc of this game does.
    Strongly recommend, best RPG gameplay wise.
    Expand
  3. Nov 9, 2011
    10
    Beautifully done rpg with its own distinct flavour. Challenging but not as ridiculous as most make out but enough to feel like a divine being after every boss kill made after its 23rd attempt. Best played online tho, hints left by other players with orange soapstones have saved me having to die and restart on countless occassions and the summons left by players white soapstones have been seemingly necessary for some boss fights. Speaking of bosses every enemy is eye candy to look at, not so much graphically but impecably designed. The soundtracks nothing special neither is the story but they are not what this games about but they are fine enough. A brilliant game for those who like a challenging rpg, but prepare to suffer in your psyche greatly. Sound: 7. Gameplay: 10. Graphics: 8. Longevity: 10. Flavour: distinctly tangy Expand
  4. Mar 7, 2012
    10
    There are a lot of complaints about how easy games have gotten these days. Dark Souls is the answer to the contemporary gamer's need for a difficult experience. There are little to no tutorials. The game slaps you smack dab in the middle of whatever the hell is going on and does absolutely no hand holding. For the first time since the SNES days, I've really felt a sense of achievement with completing whatever horrors this game throws at me. Expand
  5. Dec 27, 2011
    9
    great game and prepare to die.... ive had quite a few rage quits over the brief time ive played the game and a great change to the genre of rpgs although online play could be a little better Expand
  6. Dec 19, 2012
    8
    TL;DR A great RPG that'll have you raging one moment and cheering the next.

    Dark Souls is a highly debated game with one side crying of
    "artificial difficulty" and the other being fanboys defending it. However, if you're in the middle (hopefully), you'll realize that its a great game that still has its flaws. Addressing one of the most argued point(s), pertaining to the "artificial difficulty", learning curve, or anything in between, I can say that there are legitimate and also illegitimate complaints. For one, those mainly complaining of the difficulty either tried to A) Blow through the game and got their **** promptly slapped, then complained. or B) Don't understand how to fight or address the different enemies/situations in the game, and would rather not go through the "trial and error" process. Don't be fooled, there is a LOT of trial and error at times. Outside of that highly debated topic, the game is interesting. The beginning and end cutscenes are the only story related scenes, the rest of the story is to be figured out through the player's exploration (another unpopular feature among the modern gamer). The world feels vast, being that you can actually see a lot of the zones from within each other, and they seem so large in view. The characters, while eccentric, aren't exactly memorable, but they aren't very bad either. The game has a depressing atmosphere to it, and it can be felt at times. The art design is great, and really fits the theme, along with the enemies of the world.

    The combat is another learning curve that definitely takes some getting used to. Parrying is an interesting mechanic that isn't reliable to the average player, but getting better at it makes dealing with small minions a breeze, but unfortunately it ruins one very important fight in the game. All the classes seem rather balanced although mage/ranger are play styles that seem better suited to the more experienced player, but being proficient at 2 is a big plus. The stats system holds true to any traditional RPG, and while gear doesn't make a world of difference (unless you're worried about your roll...), there is still a lot of customization.

    The PVP, while being a very large part of the game, still has its flaws. Summoning is unreliable at best, and doing Co-op with friends isn't exactly easy. Another problem arises with twinks (experienced, very low levels who have beaten the game and NG+ and have their best possible setup) will easily make any newcomer confused and angry at their first online invasion experiences. Lag turns any fight into a "who gets the lucky backstab" duel, and gankers can get very annoying.

    I'm not really sure how in-between you can be with Dark Souls, its either something you love, hate, or your friends are making you play to torture yourself with. Despite what many naysayers will complain about, the game still has its strong points, and I would argue that these will outweigh the complaints of "artificial difficulty" and other excuses.
    Expand
  7. May 6, 2012
    0
    Story sucks. Too difficult. Don't waist your time with this game. Takes hours upon hours to do anything. Don't wait your time!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Expand

See all 314 User Reviews

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