Why we love Dark Souls

On the occasion of the anniversary of the original Dark Souls, we recall the main advantages of one of the most important games of our time

Ten years ago, on September 22, 2011, the very first Dark Souls was released in Japan. It was highly praised by journalists (the average rating of the PS3 version on Metacritic was 89 points out of 100) and was highly praised by ordinary gamers, calling it one of the most hardcore action-RPGs in history. However, high complexity is far from its main feature. The anniversary is a great occasion to remember other, much more important advantages of “Dark Souls”, thanks to which the game has won the hearts of millions of players.

We published the first version of this text back in May 2018, when Dark Souls Remastered was released, an improved version of the original Dark Souls, and in three years the reasons why we continue to love Dark Souls have not changed. In addition, here you will find detailed material on the history of From Software (and find out how the head of Sony Worldwide Studios appreciated the predecessor of Dark Souls, Demon’s Souls), as well as a selection of cosplay based on the studio’s games .

Atmosphere and thoughtful setting

At first glance, Dark Souls is a typical Western game: with medieval castles, knights, dragons and the undead. Everything is serious, no cute monsters and girls in school skirts. The Japanese origin of Dark Souls makes itself felt differently: for example, there are references to Buddhism with its theme of the cyclical nature of the universe and the rebirth of human souls.

Traveling around this world, you quickly become imbued with its mesmerizing and at the same time depressing atmosphere. The player has one goal – to reignite the flame, which will breathe new life into the dying universe. He is opposed by powerful enemies, but most of them are not villains, but simply victims of circumstances. Even victory leaves ambiguous emotions: Dark Souls makes it clear that the player’s actions have little effect, since the cycle of a dying and reborn universe will continue indefinitely.

Dark Souls pleases with a detailed backstory that needs to be collected bit by bit – mainly from the descriptions of numerous items. It’s easy to feel like a detective here trying to build a complete chronology from scraps of information. To do this, oddly enough, is incredibly interesting, especially when you realize that some moments can be interpreted in different ways. Today on YouTube you can find a dozen channels dedicated exclusively to theories about the world of Dark Souls. By the way, our own interpretation can be read here .

Complex level design

The design of the world and locations in Dark Souls is considered one of the best in the gaming industry. This is not quite an open world in the usual sense of the word, as, for example, in some Far Cry, but rather a web of numerous levels connected to each other. The player can move freely between them, and often secret passages are hidden on the levels, allowing you to short the path to the destination. For example, in one of the castles you can find a secret elevator and take it to the very beginning of the game. It’s a pleasure to discover such loopholes for yourself: sometimes it’s hard to believe how well the locations are connected. A detailed illustration of how the world of Dark Souls looks from the outside can be found here.

Dark Souls respects the player’s intelligence

Dark Souls does not try to patronize the player: minor characters give only vague hints where to move on. Moreover, there is no quest journal, mini-map, or large arrow to indicate the path. That is why the game is perceived as a real adventure – an opportunity to independently explore an unusual world and discover its secrets. In the 90s, there were quite a few such RPGs, but today such projects are very rare.

Exciting battles

Many action RPGs like The Witcher or Skyrim don’t really have really interesting sword fights. In Dark Souls, things are different. You cannot relax here, even if you are fighting with the weakest opponents. To survive, it is important to be able to dodge enemy attacks, parry enemy blows with a shield, block attacks and at the same time constantly monitor your character’s stamina. The gameplay varies greatly depending on the chosen armor and weapons: the bastard sword and flamberg have completely different combos, which must be kept in mind. Dark Souls battles have a depth that is difficult to find in other games of the same genre.

Innovative online

Dark Souls, like Demon’s Souls, mixes single player and multiplayer in an unusual way. During the passage, hostile phantoms – characters of other users who open a hunt for him – can invade the player at the most inopportune moment. But the matter is not limited to PvP alone: ​​you can also join someone else’s game out of good intentions. For example, to help in a boss fight or an evil phantom. Even loyal adherents of solo play are constantly reminded of other adventurers: messages are allowed on the floor in Dark Souls (they are offered to be collected from a ready-made list of words and phrases), which will be visible to all players in their own worlds. Sometimes such notes are useful – for example, warning of enemies or a secret treasure. Sometimes they are left for the sake of trolling: say,

Dark Souls is often featured on various lists of the best games of all time, both by gamers and game critics alike. She has long acquired sequels, ideological heirs and numerous imitators. If for some reason you haven’t gotten to it yet, then Dark Souls Remastered is the best way to catch up. And for the veterans of the series, the remaster is an excellent reason to once again return to their beloved Lordran.

 

by Abdullah Sam
I’m a teacher, researcher and writer. I write about study subjects to improve the learning of college and university students. I write top Quality study notes Mostly, Tech, Games, Education, And Solutions/Tips and Tricks. I am a person who helps students to acquire knowledge, competence or virtue.

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