Saturday, 3 January 2015

A Revisit: Dark Souls

Oh how I absolutely love the smell of death. "Dark Souls" is one of those games you can simply play forever, with the same replay-ability as games like "Demon's Souls". I can just end the entire post and say that this game deserves a 10/10 in terms of replay value, but that would be a waste, wouldn't it? I'm sure many people have already played "Dark Souls", much more so than the amount of people played "Demon's Souls", simply because "Dark Souls" is multi-platform. But it doesn't anyway, I'm going to share my experience (again) anyway, because having to die is all part of the cycle of life in "Dark Souls".

When stepping into Lordran, you know that you're going to have a hard time, even if you're a veteran. Why? Because there's so much that can kill you. There's going to be that one thing that will get you no matter what, even if you know it's coming from a mile away. That Greatsword Black Knight in Undead Parish? The freaking basilisks that curse you if you take even 1 step towards them? What about the horrors of Blighttown? Of course, Anor Londo by itself has tons of shit that can kill you. The dual silver knight archers? The deadly duo Ornstein and Smough? I've played this game quite a fair bit many times before, and up to date, I can still die to these things if I don't be REAAAL careful.

Since "Dark Souls" is a game about experimentation, you can be playing this game as many times as there are weapon combinations. Strength weapons, dexterity weapons...or even intelligence/faith weapons like staffs and talismans. You can go a wide array of builds with different characters, and then again, within each build revolving around a certain stat type, there are many variations surrounding it. You can be a melee intelligence swordsman with a staff as a secondary weapon, or a hybrid dex katana wielder with a staff just to cast great crystal weapon. You can really play around with the builds, and that is a ton of fun, there's never anything that isn't too stupid or far fetched for you to fool around with.

This is a game that can be played over and over again, even if you expect what's to come. With the insane variation of builds, you'll be tackling things from a different perspective at all times as long as you wield a different weapon. Playing  a bow/staff user is a lot different than playing a warrior wielding a great sword, and you'll find that a lot of things that you used to know have changed. Some enemies or bosses that used to be a piece of cake are a lot tougher suddenly, and bosses that used to kick your ass become a cakewalk. Take the Moonlight Butterfly for example. Fight that thing as a warrior and you'll struggle, fight it as a mage/pyromancer/archer and this thing suddenly becomes a walk in the park.

Artorias is another one. Fight him like a man with your melee weapon for a rough, satisfying duel to the death. Swing magic at him and watch as your bolts do close to no magic. There are penalties and rewards for your playstyle depending on what boss you fight, and this difference in the game is what makes it so fantastic to play. Even the world itself is glorious. After playing the game multiple times many years ago, Lordran is still a joy to explore, from the dark, flaming hells of lost Izalith to the sophisticated Duke's Archives. The wide variety of areas and enemies keep me from growing bored when I should be. PVP is also always a pleasure (provided that the ping is okay) but there are obviously a lot less competition these days in "Dark Souls", since most of them moved to the sequel.

I could keep on going, but we all know "Dark Souls" is a huge game, and I'd just be repeating myself. The landscapes of Lordran are always a joy to explore, and the enemies that inhabit it are always enjoyable to take down. The bosses always greet you with menace and provide good challenge (especially the tough ones), there is little reason for you to be bored. With so many builds and character possibilities, you can pretty much play this for as long as you want.

Replay value: 10/10 (Easy full score)