It was back in October 2011 when Dark Souls first hit the shelves, following on from the ever popular Demon’s Souls which won all kinds of awards in 2009. Dark Souls did very well and managed to clean up a few awards itself and Dark Souls actually went multiplatform unlike Demon’s Souls. Well in August 2012 Dark Souls hit the shelves yet again with the ‘Prepare to die edition’ which has an additional 4 bosses and all the familiar anger you felt before.
Unlike the original game, Dark Souls: Prepare to Die Edition was released on the PC which was really exciting for me. Just before it was released I was bombarded with rumours about frame rate and screen resolution problems but I just chose to ignore it. I got a slight mod that helped me fix the screen resolution and it looked great in the end.
When I first booted up the game I had a real problem with the controls, not only was the game just ported from the Xbox but the buttons it said to press for tips etc, didn’t actually work! It was just the ported Xbox controls. Luckily enough my PlayStation 3 controller worked perfectly and I had absolutely no problems after I started using that.
It is at this point that the addiction sets in, the very start. From the moment you make your character you are just thrown into this world, you have no idea what is going on or what you should be doing. But as you push through the different worlds you soon realize it is all about survival. You just want to be able to kill the boss that is blocking your path to the next zone. If you don’t know anything about Dark Souls, well there is a very steep learning curve. The bosses and even the mobs are all incredibly intelligent and are more often than not are very challenging.
I think the one thing that is more addictive in Dark Souls than any other game is just the sense of achievement and the rewards you get. After you have been stuck on a boss for days and days, and you finally kill them, that sense of accomplishment is unbeatable. The best thing is when you actually kill a boss you are rewarded, you not only get souls which are used to level up but you get a Boss souls which can used to make awesome weapons. I mean I have so many boss weapons that I don’t even use but I really wanted to collect all the different weapons and armor sets available so that way you are prepared to take on anything.
As I mentioned before the story for Dark Souls is very hit and miss, you don’t really understand what is going no but you play along anyway. A lot of people will look at Dark Souls, especially people that have never played it and just say it looks generic and boring. They couldn’t be more wrong, it is not just about being a super tough game but it is about making you learn, learning from your mistakes and learning boss and AI movements and actions. The addiction lies in the raw drive in every gamer, no one wants to lose and no one likes to die and that is what Dark Souls does to you more than any other game. It forces you to play well and when you do start learning the ropes and how to play it is the best experience.
Even after everything is set and done and you have beaten every boss in the game, it’s not over. You are thrown right back to the start of the game with your level from the past playthrough and any gear and items you will have (with a few exceptions). This again might just seem stupid to people, but it gives you the ability to replay the game with an uplift in difficulty and also an uplift in how many souls drops from enemies. For the most part you should breeze through the second playthrough but chances are you will land on a few bosses that cause you problems.
With Dark Souls there is just so much to do in such a simple game that you can’t help but want to play on. The principles are the same for PVP and PVE, you have to level up and you have to work hard to learn the game and its very strict learning curb. Dark Souls is all about being the best, being able to take on every boss and continually progress through the game. Even when you have beaten every boss in the game, you want to progress and fight them again.
About the Author: Alex Sodhi is an avid gamer across all platforms, when he isn’t playing games you can be sure he will be writing about them. For more from Alex be sure to check out Casually Addicted.