My Feelings on Dark Souls

Oh boy this is gonna be a difficult one…

So I’ve finally done it, I’ve finally beaten Dark Souls. It took a while of playing this past week but I can now confidently say that not only have I beaten the game but I also beat the DLC. And it was… mixed.

Now that’s not to say I didn’t enjoy myself. I loved the world, the vistas and the lore behind it. I even loved the characters I met, and with all the monster designs and the wide variety of gameplay styles it was a fun experience. However I had my issues, and while I am indeed interested in trying out the other games in the series I hope these issues are addressed.

Firstly, people have said I haven’t ‘truly’ beaten the game as I decided to play as a mage. Using almost exclusively spells and wearing robes, which according to a lot of players I have talked to means I haven’t actually beaten the game as I played the ‘noob’ way, whatever that means. This elitist mentality and the diminishment of my efforts is very disheartening and I actually intend to keep playing this way in the other games so it greatly dissapoints me that apparently I won’t be seen as a true player of the game unless I exclusively play as a melee knight, which makes me wonder why bother having the other playstyles in the first place. Personally I’ve just elected to ignore these issues but it’s sad that they are a problem in the first place.

Second, I had to use a guide on multiple occasions for this game. Dark Souls is a very cryptic game that doesn’t explain various systems or even what to do at multiple occasions. For example, in order to actually play as a magic-using wizard without running out of spells, I had to go to an area that’s underneath the starting zone that is way too high level for me, go to a hidden area beside a sheer cliff, talk to a random person in prison and THEN will I be able to use spells. None of this is even hinted at and if I had gone into the starting zones without knowing this then I would have run out of spells and died very quickly, which defeats the point of allowing alternative playstyles. Alongside this various quests, NPC’s and even the DLC were completely missable without having the guide to assist me, not even hints as to how I could find this stuff.

Finally I hated the run-back to boss arenas after I died. I didn’t mind the difficult bosses, but having to run from a checkpoint all the way back to the boss arena and not even being able to shut my brain off due to dangerous enemies being in the way was a source of incredible frustration. Just having a bonfire outside of the boss arena would have gone a long way to alleviate some of the grievances I had here and would have led to an overall more positive experience.

Still, like I said, I did ultimately enjoy my time with the game, though I didn’t really understand the hype surrounding it all. Perhaps the sequels will work to make the game experience better for me, but I’ll just have to wait until the next Steam Sale for that! That’s all for now, and as always. It’s not just a game, It’s a Life.

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