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Dark Souls

Developer / Publisher: FromSoftware
22 September 2011
Dark Souls - cover art
Glitchwave rating
4.38 / 5.0
0.5
5.0
 
 
3,879 Ratings / 21 Reviews
#6 All-time
#1 for 2011
Centuries ago, Gwyn discovered the power of the First Flame. With it, he and his companions defeated the dragons which once ruled the land of Lordran. Now, with the flame dwindling, the Chosen Undead, cursed with undying, must travel the blighted land, overcome the most formidable of foes, and preserve the Age of Fire...or bring about a new Age of Dark.
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Dark Souls Limited Edition
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Dark Souls Limited Edition
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Title
There's not a lot to say about Dark Souls that hasn't already been said. It's a fantastic all round experience, from sound design, art direction, gameplay, story and lore, and its the way they all tie together that makes Dark Souls stand out as one of the greatest games ever made. No game has ever made me experience a theme or a feeling like Dark Souls has made me feel its atrophic decay.
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Diiny 2016-04-06T16:27:10Z
2016-04-06T16:27:10Z
4.5
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on behalf of a friend
As an ardent fan of the King's Field series (excluding 4/The Ancient City), I've always been wary of touching From Software's new games, partly because the fanboys of the Souls games are very annoying online, especially when they cite the King's Field series as "The Granddaddy of Dark Souls" when the games seriously have nothing in common. I know that especially now that I've tried this game.

After fumbling through the controls, dying several times not knowing where to go, attacking an NPC (and miraculously not soft-locking myself, because apparently if you attack them, they stay mad, but the one I attacked was not that tough so I was able to kill him), and even conversing with friends asking for advice, I made it through at least a good maybe 5% of the game. I figured out that killing the enemies was tedious due to them respawning after you save or die, so I assumed that it was intended for you to "speedrun" through them to the next area. Apparently that wasn't the case, as having more than 1 enemy run up next to you is a death sentence. Extremely bad game design in my opinion.

Anyway, I made it to the gargoyle boss, and I thought it wasn't that bad until I learned a second one shows up in the middle of the fight. That turned maybe a half an hour of trying to beat it into 2 hours. And that's where I dropped the game. Looking online for tips on the boss, most people are saying to either summon some guy to distract one of the gargoyles (I had no idea you could do this) or use the "Gold Resin" item which makes your sword shoot lightning or something (which I also had no idea you could do). Oh, and I forgot to mention the fact that every time you die to the boss, you have to run through the church place to get back there, and actually getting past all the zombie enemies without dying is like rolling a die. Whether you try to fight them or not.

Now I know what people are going to say to me. They're going to say "The game is hard", or "You just need to get good". The thing is, I actually love hard games. I've beaten games that are harder than any game a Souls fanboy will ever play. Kamilia 2, Boshy, other IWBTG fangames, really hard Roblox Obbies, 1cc'd some Touhou games, some arcade games, other indie freeware games that probably weren't even meant to be beaten (Kubus games for example). Dark Souls is not a hard game. It's a bad game. You can't just do a boss or level over and over again and learn it from muscle memory, because sometimes what the enemies choose to do is completely random. Every single weapon has too many complicated attacks that knowing what to do against an enemy—when you don't even know what the enemy is going to do—is completely impossible.

When you need guides and/or friends to tell you exactly what to do in a game, and they actually disagree with each other, and when you try all the options most of them don't even work half of the time, I don't think your game is good. Sorry From Software. I shouldn't have touched this game because now I feel like a dick. You've been going downhill since King's Field 4, and people just eat this stuff up. Guess it's back to retro games for me.
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tanasinn 2021-07-01T20:06:03Z
2021-07-01T20:06:03Z
0.5
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An ode to great game design and world building.
Dark Souls astounded me with it's masterful level design, it manages to pull so much depth from simple concepts - it's level design isn't revolutionary or particularly massive but it accomplishes an interconnected world with various paths of progression that urge exploration.

Each subsequent encounter you experience trains you for what to expect with FromSoftware, at the beginning of the game I would constantly be startled by the hidden enemies and foreboding and ambiguous signs people would leave, but once I had been grandfathered into the process I began to expect the unexpected and that's when the developers would often perform their double bluff.

Levels are designed with a plethora of shortcuts and hidden passages to open and explore which keep repeated visits of areas fresh and without the monotony of having to trudge through miles of re-counted steps. It also provides for many combat opportunities due to the ability to knock enemies from ledges and the plunging attack being particularly useful.

The multiplayer aspect of this game surrounds the experience in a gothic, post-death, gritty RPG world with a joyful, idealized communitarian journey. The summoning and messaging encourages the community to create the game inside the game, this is one of the many avenues through which the game earns character. It's many NPCs are brief and remain mostly in the background, but are memorable with their little dialogue and often can assuage the heart that this game rarely shows (Solaire in particular).

Combat, for the time it was released (an even now) is impressive - the standard RPG stats married with Poise and the critical hit mechanic, staggering, magic, weapon type, one-handed/two-handed stances - this combination of simple rules creating a complex system works very well to ensure that there are many viable weapons and weapon types to use, enemies are varied enough to where each one must be learned before they can be defeated comfortably.

I had previously not attempted this game as it's reputation professed it as stressful, overly-difficult boss grind. This could not be further from the truth, the bosses have their strengths and weaknesses and are there to be learned, once you delve further into the game, you begin to understand that deaths will teach you lessons and learning an enemies move set before you engage is necessary for knowing how to capitalize on opportunities and avoid unnecessary damage.

This was my first FromSoftware game, which I only began this year after a decade of avoiding it for the pointless headache I had been promised it would provide. Thankfully this was not the case, it's really hard not to give this game full marks - I left this experience thinking "Why can't more RPG's be like this?".
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Masterpiece
Thank god i persisted with this game after initially given it up at the gargoyles. Its a game that really needs to click with the player to start being enjoyable, and more than a matter of time its a matter of understanding how its mechanics affect your enjoyment of the game.

Its such an incredible game. I love its medieval and grim themes, but also how it allows itself to be silly at times (the design of some characters is hilarious, like the mushroom man and the talking cat). The game has a really amazing art direction, particularly the way the lightning, and how they make it a gameplay element. The story doesnt get in the way, but is good but those looking to find out more about it.

The gameplay is where it shines brightest. It manages to be challenging almost all the way through yet its never unfair. The hitbox detection is close to perfect and the sucess is all left up to the player. Its a game that feels a bit clunky initiatly, given that you really need to commit to your attacks, but once you grasp that the combat becomes much more enjoyable. It really did set a new standard for action rpgs at the time, which would be improved upon with Dark Souls 3 and Bloodborne. Boss fights are creative and effectively barriers that test the players skill, and they are very memorable.

The game is incredibly gripping, both due to the way its rpg progression system work as well as you uncover more of the levels and due to the way these are designed. Its the sort of game that grips you the moment your return to it, similar to the way Resident Evil 4 and Doom. And its so so telling that a game still makes me sigh of relief after i have beaten a boss for the 5th time. Death has meaning once again, and it reenforces the bleak atmosphere of the game.

It does have a few flaws. The level design is excellent for the great majority of the game, but its clear that the later levels needed a bit more work on, or at least dont feel nearly as good when exploring them (lost izalith, crystal caves). The size of the levels to get to the boss gets shorter and shorter the more you progress through the game, and in this way it feels that it was unfortunatly rushed for those last few levels. The music is mostly passable, except for the odd track. I guess because you get so focused on the action you cant really listen to much, but for instance the song that plays on Ash Lake makes that one of the most beautiful levels i have seen in a game. Though its a weak level by itself, the combination between music and visuals of Ash Lake make it one of my most treasured gaming moments of all time.

Dark souls is really one of those games that is much more than that sums of its parts. Though the combat, the music, the visuals, the level design and rpg progression are great on their own, its really how they compliment and add on to each other that makes this game a masterpiece in my eyes. Its bleak atmosphere, intense combat and challenge and suberb art direction all add up to one of the best games of all time.
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Threntall 2016-11-23T00:25:53Z
2016-11-23T00:25:53Z
5.0
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Wow, what a fucking game. I played this game originally on PS3 while my obsession for Demon's Souls was still on-going and I was always convinced this game was inferior. I felt there was a lot of cheap shit in the game like "how would I know that without dying to it?" etc. and it frustrated me a lot, even compared to the even harder Demon's Souls. I beat Demon's Souls and pretty much gave up interest in Dark Souls completely. Fast forward to the Steam Summer Sale of 2013, I bought Dark Souls on PC due to it being 75% off, a deal I couldn't resist. I installed it, and started over again.

As I started playing, memories of originally playing it were flying through my head. Quickly falling in love with it, I started playing non-stop. The opinion that this game was merely "decent" had been diminished. Demon's Souls is much different than Dark Souls considering it's linear level design, the complete opposite of the seamless open world feel of DaS. DaS is only a "spiritual successor" to DeS but the gameplay is pretty much the exact same. If you like one, you'll like the other, I guarantee it. The bosses are just as amazing, the npcs are unique and intriguing, and of course, the difficulty is very satisfying.

My favorite part of this series is how you can interact with other players: messages which give warnings or hints, black phantoms which come to your world to wreak havoc, and white phantoms that come to aid you in your journey. The lore is deep and the world is immersive, there's just a LOT to love in this game. I've beaten the game, but I probably know about 40% of what the game has to offer. The replay value is very high as there is so much more to discover. I'm sure I'll have much more to say as I get more familiar with the material, but for now, the review ends here. Try this game anyway you can and give it an honest try before you give up completely, this won't be an easy journey.

Update: beaten all bosses explored all areas, gonna stay a 10/10 probably forever
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Obviously excellent, but held back by a second half that mostly pales in comparison to the first half. A lot of the issues with this game could really be fixed with just slight tweaks to certain enemy attacks and areas. Also mid rolling is horrifically bad and discourages me from messing with certain armour sets. That being said, this game is a ton of fun for people who love character building in RPGs and for people who love deep lore.

The crown jewel of the game for me is the final boss though. Gwyn is built up the entire game as this king of kings lord of lords type character. This man with insurmountable power and mystique. Throughout the game you fight boss after boss of giant proportions soundtracked by huge orchestral pieces. When you finally reach Gwyn though, all he is, is a man. No huge aoe, no giant slam, just a man in armour with a flaming sword. Soundtracked by a single melancholic piano. He has nothing left to lose, like you, who had nothing to lose in the first place. The final boss of the game, brought right down to your level. Finally, a fair fight.
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petreemc 2022-06-10T23:30:43Z
2022-06-10T23:30:43Z
4.0
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Catalog

Naplaff Dark Souls 2022-09-28T01:37:42Z
Windows
2022-09-28T01:37:42Z
3.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Naplaff Dark Souls 2022-09-28T01:37:26Z
Windows • XEU
2022-09-28T01:37:26Z
4.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
JuiceSlush Dark Souls 2022-09-27T20:47:22Z
2022-09-27T20:47:22Z
4.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
var_Emreis Dark Souls 2022-09-27T20:40:06Z
2022-09-27T20:40:06Z
1
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
handcannon Dark Souls 2022-09-27T03:39:39Z
2022-09-27T03:39:39Z
4.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Jazqa Dark Souls 2022-09-26T09:57:26Z
2022-09-26T09:57:26Z
4.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
seren1ty1 Dark Souls 2022-09-26T06:56:32Z
2022-09-26T06:56:32Z
4.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Trexx Dark Souls 2022-09-26T02:53:38Z
2022-09-26T02:53:38Z
3.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
bup02 Dark Souls 2022-09-25T23:25:21Z
2022-09-25T23:25:21Z
3.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Ca_Game Dark Souls 2022-09-25T17:41:50Z
Windows
2022-09-25T17:41:50Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
High Fantasy
Rosa__ Dark Souls 2022-09-25T09:03:18Z
2022-09-25T09:03:18Z
4.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
yuck Dark Souls 2022-09-25T06:49:38Z
2022-09-25T06:49:38Z
4.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Content rating
CERO: D
Media
1x Blu-ray
Multiplayer modes
Cooperative , Deathmatch / FFA
Multiplayer options
Online
Franchises
In collections

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  • Max200404 2022-07-05 05:45:29.189175+00
    hide Flagged by users
    This conversation gets brought up again and again but I still don’t understand why the genre soulslike exists. Using the name of a game while naming a genre is dumb to begin with but at least for example “metroidvania” actually describes a pretty distinctive type of game. Soulslikes are action rpgs that are hard and have currency that you lose when dying? And the genre page here on glitchwave says they have metroidvania elements while even FromSoftware ditched that in their later games. Nobody says Watch Dogs and Saints Row belong in the genre GTAlike and while I usually am not against making up new genres to describe more specific types of games I feel like here it’s fucking useless.
    This post was flagged by users for potentially violating community rules. It will be reviewed by a community moderator soon.
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  • phoenix5511 2022-07-08 11:41:47.067085+00
    As a kid I would get so immersed in single player games. I would remember every little detail of every level and wouldn't get tired of playing the same game dozens of times.

    As I grew older I was only really interested in the thrill and immediacy of online competitive games (COD, Halo). That is until I played Dark Souls. I play the shit out of this game.

    It forces you to play it OVER and OVER again until you learn the intricacies of the level design and enemy attack patterns. It forced me to immerse and enjoy games like a kid again and for that reason it's a 10/10
    reply
    • jake7 2022-07-09 03:40:31.925987+00
      Nicely put
    • greeze 2022-09-13 12:38:50.936746+00
      Similar experience on my end.
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  • Max200404 2022-07-10 23:01:37.22742+00
    Just to clarify my comment wasn’t about the genre soulslike existing here on glitchwave but the term being coined by journalists in general. Idk why i got flagged.
    reply
    • moonisharp 2022-07-17 03:17:34.035141+00
      Some people on here like to flag comments they disagree with even though that’s obviously not what it’s for.
    • pensiero97 2022-07-30 14:32:11.90978+00
      it works more as a label than a genre, it's just a way to say "this game has been an important blueprint for the industry"
    • ThrashingFairy 2022-08-09 00:18:52.948727+00
      Idk whether I agree with that or not, @pensiero97. I see Souls-like as no different to past labels such as Doom-clone or even Metroidvania. It's taking elements of pre-existing genres and concocting them in specific ways, and sometimes including new mechanics, that make it identify more with that particular game's style. It's more like a subgenre IMO.
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  • Mailto 2022-08-01 02:42:15.131436+00
    Beat this game for the first time today and just fucking sobbed after finishing the final boss. I didn't even realize I was that engaged in the story. This was my first fromsoft game and I can def say it's not just nostalgia making people love it
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  • blokrenblossbroms 2022-08-06 20:36:37.327716+00
    my older brother’s friend traded this to me in exchange for Lego Batman at school in 2013, saying it was “too hard” .. little did i know as i booted up the console that evening that i would be in for one of the greatest video experiences of all time.
    reply
    • blokrenblossbroms 2022-08-12 20:04:32.840221+00
      video game* ;)
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  • GaryDoesStuff 2022-08-08 00:08:47.372866+00
    this game definitely feels like it's barely holding itself together half the time but that sorta adds to the experience in a strange way, makes it feel like a genuine passion project. it ages in both ways
    reply
    • cryo 2022-08-09 18:15:14.64538+00
      2nd half in particular lol it does add to it for sure
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  • CircoBondi 2022-08-13 19:37:59.238123+00
    I legit can't think of a better secret level than the painted world in any other video game
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  • Convalescence 2022-08-29 18:47:59.01422+00
    Even though I prefer the overall feel, atmosphere, and bosses of DS3, I can't get away from the feeling that this is still the best overall Dark Souls game (not FromSoft game). The first half especially is just so good that it basically carries the rest of the experience for me, and resolves a lot of the disappointments I have with other its other lesser parts.
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