My original plan was to wait until I finished the game before posting a full review of Dark Souls. Plans have changed… read on to find out why.
So if you read my Dark Souls 8-hr review, it was absolutely positive. And that opinion still holds.
The controls of Dark Souls are fun to play with – even if they suffer from some minor responsiveness issues. The challenge is refreshing and intriguing to play with. The online system is brilliantly well done. The graphics are solid, and the environments are fantastic. Some of the character models are a bit awkward, and the female hollowed model for your character is really really weird. But all told the graphics are quite good. The audio design is amazing, what voice acting there is is intriguing and suitable – not that there’re a lot of conversations happening.
Sounds like I should be loving every minute right? Here’s where we get to my problem with the game. There’s no motivation. The game gives you a vague ‘regain your humanity if you ring the bells’ at the start, and nothing to push you through the rest of the game. The game feels like the entire purpose is to grind up enough souls so you don’t die horribly to the next boss – but why are you killing that boss?
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not averse to grinding – I’ve spent hundreds of days of /played time grinding in World of Warcraft, I’ve played every final fantasy prettymuch and dozens of other grind-heavy games. The point is that those games make it feel like you’re grinding for a reason. They give you a motivation. World of Warcraft dangles enticing rewards at the end of a rope, Final Fantasy games use fantastically written stories, Diablo used thousands of items, etc. Dark Souls dropped the ball for me in that it doesn’t do anything to give me a reason to step BACK into the game. And thus, I predict that I will never finish it.
Don’t take this as me bashing the game – I recognize that this is the type of game they decided to make. If you don’t care why you’re doing things in a game, if you’re just looking for a place to get a challenging, fun game experience – and you really don’t care about motivations, story, or guidance – Dark Souls will absolutely give you your money’s worth and more. And you will love every minute. But it didn’t work for me – and didn’t keep me coming back.
So to anyone who was eagerly awaiting a full review of Dark Souls from me – I’m sorry to disappoint you. I won’t review a game I haven’t finished, and I won’t be finishing this one anytime soon – if at all. But above are my thoughts – and hopefully they’ll be enough to give you a sense of what you’d be getting yourself into and help you make your decision.
Written by: Sean