Dark Souls PC Review

“Amazing Game, very challenging, and yet so rewarding”

Dark souls is a fantastic blend between an action game, and an RPG. It
does both well, not sacrificing straits from either genre’s to give the best of both. On one hand, you have a wide list of stats, which of
course affect combat and what gear you can use. On the other hand, you
have a deeply engrossing, fluid, combat system; I found myself trying to
beat bosses or extremely difficult enemies simply because I knew that
if I memorized their attack patterns I could win, and perhaps gain
fantastic loot early. But I’d like to get a bit more in depth rather
than ramble on.

{Cons}
Games for Windows Live: this is
probably one of my biggest issues with the PC port, the registration
process kept bugging until I made a new account, and ANYTIME my internet
connection even hiccuped I was sent back to the start screen. Once or
twice is irritated, twenty-seven is down right infuriating.

Video
Options: The options for the PC port are lacking, which can be a big
problem if you’re on a lower-end machine, although it still ran pretty
smoothly without needing to change anything.

Controls: The
controls for the keyboard and mouse are very difficult to use, and I
would definitely advise against trying it. Use a xbox 360 controller or
equivalent to get the best experience.

Framerate: Perhaps I
missed some steps to improve it, but my frame-rate overall was very
sporadic. At most times it was perfectly smoothly, and occasionally it
would drop. Now I know it wasn’t my hardware, as my PC is pretty
powerful, and testing it on a lower-end PC revealed that the frame-rate
drops happened in the same spots as well. It’s not game breaking, but a
bit irritating.

{Pros}
Combat: The combat is pretty basic,
providing blocks, parries, kicks and of course basic attacks. These are
all relatively smooth, and allow for some interesting combinations. You
can’t button-smash your way through this game though, you’ll need to
use those basic attacks carefully, with the correct gear (or whatever
you like) to succeed.

RPG Stats: This is what I love about
how they made the game an action / rpg. They didn’t take away RPG
elements to make way for combat, or take away combat elements to make
way for the RPG experience. They just gave you both. The stats can be a
bit overwhelming at first, but an ‘explanation’ button will briefly
explain what each stat affects. Your stats will heavily influence your
combat, as playing a character with high-dexterity, but trying to use a
giant hammer will probably result in less than satisfactory results. If
you think ahead however, you can specialize in the stats that will let
you play how you want.

Linear and Open: The world is mostly
open, or so it seems, soon you’ll realize there is always something
blocking you from not taking the linear path. Sometimes that is simply a
locked door, other times it’s skeletons that easily kill a low-level
player. I’m not picky when it comes to this kind of stuff, but I at
least appreciate that I was allowed to look around before simply heading
in the same direction. Exploring is still worth it, as even if you
don’t find a secret path, you might find some good loot or even a
shortcut to make backtracking easier.

The Challenge: I don’t
think dark souls is the hardest game I’ve ever played, but does rank
high. If you’ve been properly preparing, you shouldn’t have too much
trouble with most enemies, bosses however you might get stuck. One of
the first boss fights, it seems you’re intended to summon a NPC to help
with the fight, as I tried fighting the boss on my own for two hours
without his help. It only took about 30 seconds to beat it with the NPC
by my side. Before fighting a boss, or entering an unfamiliar area, be
prepared to die at least once, and think about WHY you died when it does
happen.

{Overall}
This game is being added to my favorites
list, right next to all the old-classics. Even though the PC port wasn’t
fantastic, for it being software’s first PC port, it was pretty decent.
And ignoring the downsides of the port, the game is amazing. My first
play through was about 100 hours, much of that was spent exploring. The
smooth combat and RPG blend gives me a variety of choices and ways to
play the game, which WILL result in multiple play-throughs. The game’s
length, options, variety, and interesting setting create a well-rounded
game, I feel like there isn’t much that I can complain about. So if you
just like the sounds of an action-rpg, or your a regular gamer looking
for a decent game, I’d recommend getting Dark Souls.

Verdict: 80/100

Details:
Genre: Action role-playing, open world
Developer: From Software
Publisher: Namco Bandai Games
Release Date: August 23, 2012

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