Dark Souls (PS3) Impressions

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 – evenĀ 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

4 Responses to “Dark Souls (PS3) Impressions”

  1. I agree with you.

    I still have yet to complete most of the game.

    I guess the pull for me is attempting to beat one of the hardest rpg style games to date. (at least in my opinion) , just to say I did.

    Now I can’t agree with you about the online play. For XBOX (though it may be different for PS3 but as far as I am aware it is not) you cannot group up with your friend because the developer decided it’d be a great idea to put everyone on different servers. So, in essence, you could drop your soapstone right in front of where your friend is standing and they may never see it cause chances are, you’re not on the same server.

    THAT killed the game for me. I bought it mostly to do online play with a friend or two, and upon finding out that I could not group up specifically with a friend, I stopped playing for a little while. There are a great number of bosses that having an extra hand on board would make them manageable.

    I’m sorry you didn’t get to finish the game. Maybe I’ll review it for you when I do finish it…though that may be a while from now. :)

  2. by PCHAN! on November 9, 2011 at 2:31 PM
  3. There is still a chance someday I might – but I don’t see it as likely.

    As to the multiplayer aspect – I wasn’t aware of that, although given the specific style of multiplayer I suppose it makes sense – even if I can definitely see it kind of sucking.

  4. by Sean on November 9, 2011 at 2:57 PM
  5. Well, in Demon Souls, everyone was on one server. So you could tell a friend, “I dropped my soul at X” and they could go right to X and pick it up.

    In Dark Souls (I only know cause I did test it) you can say I dropped my soul by the tower before the 4 guards and your friend could run to that exact spot and nothing.

    I’m not a fan, but as far as I know the developer has apologized and has spoken of a patch to remedy this issue. It set a lot of Demons Souls veterans’ tempers a flare. People were unhappy.

  6. by PCHAN! on November 9, 2011 at 3:01 PM
  7. I didn’t actually try to play with anyone specifically… so I guess I never ran into that. lol

  8. by Sean on November 9, 2011 at 9:05 PM