Dark Souls is the sequel to the Playstation 3 exclusive game Demon’s Souls that was well known for its difficulty. Dark Souls however is not a console exclusive and is available on the Xbox 360 giving Xbox players a chance to experience the amazing gameplay.
Since sony holds the rights to Demon’s Souls, the developer From Software made Dark Souls have no connection to the previous game story wise (I don’t think I heard the phrase “Demon Soul” during my entire playthrough.) This allows new players that never played Demon’s Souls to join the series without feeling lost. The story however is minimal and just there to tie all the gameplay together.
There are several significant changes from Demon’s Souls:
- Open World: Almost the entire game now takes place in one large open world with no loading screens between areas
- Bonfires: Instead of respawning back at a central hub, a player can now rest at a bonfire and respawn from that point everytime they die. Resting at a bonfire restores your spells, flasks, heals, and resets all monsters.
- No Grass: Instead of farming for grass to consume to heal your health, you now are always given a limited number of healing flasks everytime you rest at a bonfire.
- No Mana: Instead of Mana, players now have limited number of times they can cast a particular spell. Resting at a bonfire resets the charges.
- No Inventory Weight: Stuff you carry no longer weighs your character down, only the things they wear. It is possible to carry all your stuff with you at once.
- Human/Hollow Forms: Instead of soul form which cut your health in half, players are now stuck in Hollow form when they die. Hollow form no longer has a health penalty but you don’t have the benefots of Human form. In human form, a player can summon allies (co-op), get invaded by other players (pvp), kindle bonfires to give more flasks when you rest, and have a higher resistance to curses.
- Blocking: All shields are now capable of blocking 100% of physical damage (even from bosses) making blocking a very strong and often needed strategy.
One thing that is still in place is the tough difficulty. In fact, Dark Souls is often much harder than the previous game. The greater the challenge, the greater the reward is Dark Soul’s mantra. From the moment the game begins, Dark Souls has a higher difficulty than most any role playing game out there. The player must learn to adapt and be aware at all times or they will never get very far. By keeping this challenge so high throughout the game, each creature killed, every new location reached, and every boss that dies feels like a major victory that isn’t felt as strongly in other games.
Dark Souls in my opinion is the perfect sequel. It improves on all the apsects that made the previous game less than flawless and adds enough new features to keep the series fresh and entertaining. Although the game was tough and I died often, I couldn’t get enough of the gameplay and just wanted more and more. The game is addicting and highly rewarding and so far my favorite game of the year. Dark Souls is an instant buy recommendation from me for those that want a serious challenge in their game.