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    Dark Souls Review

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    Talon Albatross
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    Posts : 2
    Join date : 2011-06-22
    Age : 26
    Location : Pennsauken

    Dark Souls Review

    Post  Talon Albatross on Tue Nov 08, 2011 3:41 pm

    Alright, since I'm sure you're all playing MW3 and don't care about this at this point (and I have nothing better to do at 6:30am) I give you my review of Dark Souls!


    Overview
    Graphics: 9
    Gameplay: 9
    Multiplayer: 7
    Story: 7
    Music: 9.5



    Replay value: HIGH
    Worth 60 bucks? Definite.


    The Breakdown
    This series is absolutely one of a kind. This is the exact thing people expect from a dungeon crawler with extra bells and whistles all over it. Dark Souls is one game that actually provides a challenge no matter how much you grind or what strategies you use, and doesn't induce ragequitting. You can easily put 100 hours into this game without seeing everything it has to offer. I highly recommend it to any hardcore gamer.


    Graphics
    The game is absolutely gorgeous, and this is coming from someone with a standard definition tv. The art style is stunning. Every piece of gear in the game from the starting armor to the final weapons is detailed down to every scratch. The enemies in the game are breathtaking. There were moments in this game where I wound up just staring at a boss for a second going "How the hell am I supposed to fight that?" And every time I said that, a battle worth remembering ensued.
    The environments are incredible. From ruins surrounded in lava, to castle keeps with dragons flying into the sunset, the visuals are definitely something to stop and take in. My only complaints about the graphics are the forest, and the characters skins. There are trees that are just 2 or 3 flat planes criss-crossed which is annoying because the forest itself really engulfs you and things like that tend to pull away from the realism. Also, the characters faces and hair aren't anything special, however, you rarely ever see them due to the fact that you're going to want to pile on as much armor as possible. So, not big issues, they just stop the game from having perfect visuals.


    Gameplay
    The gameplay experience in Dark Souls is something that everyone should experience firsthand. The game is entirely free roam in a generally large environment, the combat is dead on, and it constantly keeps you on your toes weather it's challenging you with a boss fight or a decision to kill an NPC.
    The entire game is based around your decisions, you determine your entire character build, you decide where to go, and you decide the fate of every single person you meet. If a blacksmith talks to you in the wrong tone you can stab him in the face (just be prepared for a fight, the NPCs do not back down.) Every decision you make regarding other characters eventually effects you in the game, weather the person teaches spells later on or tries to kill you when you turn your back, you need to use your best judgement with everyone you meet. The game offers New Game + once it is beaten, allowing you to restart the game with all your acquired items and levels and replay the game against even stronger enemies and adds a few special things to the game. You can continue to select New Game + every time you beat the game and it always gets harder, making the replay value incredible.
    Combat-
    The combat is the most solid I've ever seen for a game like this. There's no pressing the attack button and watching your character go off and do the attack. You have two attack buttons for each hand, the right hand being light and heavy, and the left varying depending on if you're dual-wielding or holding a shield. If you're holding a shield you can either block or parry, and if you are holding a weapon you can block or attack. Your right hand weapon cannot block, it's strictly attacking. The attacks you perform and how many times you can swing depends entirely on the type of weapon. You can wield anything from bare fists, to a halberd, to a greatsword, it's entirely preference but it may require leveling differently depending on character type. You can equip up to 2 weapons in each hand which are easily switched out just by pressing the D-pad. However, your maximum equipment load is affected by each weapon equipped, so if you want that giant shield AND another sword on your left hand don't expect to run anywhere. The attacks for each weapon can be stringed together given your personal skill and your characters stamina which separates button-mashers from skillful players.
    Healing-
    One thing that makes the game especially difficult is the healing system. There are bonfires spread throughout the game and they serve as rest areas. They fully heal you, and fill your "Estus flask" which is your only healing item. When you fill your flask you get 5 uses. Early game the flask only restores about a third of your health gauge. You can level it up once you meet someone that has the ability to and you provide them the right items. The bonfires are usually far away from where you need to be so you'll find yourself running back to them often, the problem with that is that when you rest at a bonfire ALL THE AREAS ENEMIES RESPAWN, so you have to decide if healing for the boss fight is worth running the gauntlet again.
    Currency-
    The currency in the game is Souls. Souls are awarded by killing enemies or discovering them on bodies. Souls are not only used to buy and repair items, they are also the only form of exp in the game, so you have to decide between leveling up or buying that shiny new sword. (Or repairing your not-so-shiny sword.) When you die you lose all the souls and humanity you were carrying (I'll explain humanity in multiplayer) and you are returned to the last bonfire you rested at. The only way to get your lost items back is to go to the spot you died and touch your bloodstain. However, if you are killed on your way back to your bloodstain it VANISHES AND YOUR ITEMS ARE GONE FOREVER.
    Character development-
    When you start the game you decide your characters gender and construct their face. Along with that, you decide your character type, a few being sorcerer, knight, pyromancer, and thief. Each character type has it's strong suits weather it be strength or the ability to use magic, but every character can learn the same things later in the game depending on how they're leveled and who you decide to keep alive. When you're done building your character you are rewarded a gift item. The gift items aren't explained very well so choosing is really personal preference. The only gift item that is not obtainable in the game is the Master Key which opens all BASIC locks. The thief starts with the master key PLUS a gift item and is the only character that can get it without selecting it.
    Leveling is done by spending souls at a bonfire. When you level up you select a single start to increase by 1. When you level up the soul cost for the next level increases. (My character is level 112 and costs around 80,000 souls to level.) Equipment, spells, and miracles, are all effected by separate stats, so it's good to think about what you want your character to do before you start leveling too high and the levels get costly. There are no items in the game that increase stats, the only way is to level up.


    Multiplayer
    The multiplayer aspect of the game is very unique and has never been done before. Multiplayer is determined by weather the player is human or not. To become human in the game you must earn humanity. Humanity is used to become human, kindle bonfires to fill estus flasks more, or as offerings to covenants. When you die you lose human form and drop all humanity you have stored. Humanity can be found, purchased, or earned through out the game. when you are not human you are considering hollowing.
    Communication-
    The game itself blocks all voice communication and goes offline immediately if it senses an xboxlive party, so contacting players is difficult. You have the ability to use a series of gestures accessed by pressing the back(or select) button. Aside from playing with people players are given the option to write messages on the ground anywhere in the world to assist other players or lead them astray. The messages are premade and very vague, so don't expect to learn everything you need from a helpful player.
    Co-op-
    Like messages, you also have the option to place a summon sign on the ground almost anywhere in the world. You can only place a summon sign if you are hollowing. Once you place a summon sign, other players within 10% of your level range my summon you, but they must be human to do so. If players are not within 10% of each others levels they will not be able to see the summon sign on the ground. One player can summon up to two players to assist them in the game. There is no way to select who you summon except by checking a summon sign and reading the person's name, making co-op with friends very difficult. Once summoned, the player's objective is to help the summoner defeat a boss. All players are rewarded souls from their kills as they would in their own game, but does not lose them when killed. When a summoned player dies they are returned to their own game. If the players manage to defeat a boss, the summoned players are rewarded humanity and returned to their worlds.
    PvP-
    Possibly the most fascinating part of Dark Souls is the PvP system. Through various items, players are able to invade other players worlds at random and defeat them for humanity and souls. Only humans can invade other players games, and once an invader enters a game the area is sealed off and PvP begins. If a player defeats an invader they are awarded humanity, and the invader is returned to their own world. The invader does not lose human form if defeated this way. If an invader defeats a player, they are awarded humanity, and all the souls that player was carrying. If a player is invaded and killed they lose human form, all acquired souls, and all humanities, the same as they would if killed normally. This makes surprise PvP fights exciting and sometimes very aggravating.


    Story
    The story for Dark Souls isn't anything too exciting. At the beginning of the game it explains the story, then it's pretty much "do the main quest, beat the game, the end." But, the lore in the game is incredible. Every character has an extensive backstory that they will tell you if you pester them enough, and you can find out the history of most bosses if you ask the right people. That's essentially it though, I feel they could have done a lot more with the story.


    Music
    The soundtrack for this game is phenomenal. It stays dark and eerie while still giving an epic feeling during major fights. The only thing bad about it is it might not appeal to everyone due to it's very classical feel.


    Overall
    The game is endless fun. It gives a sense of accomplishment that you can't get from anywhere else and it will constantly leave you with a smile on your face, weather you die to the same boss 10 times, or backstab an invader into oblivion. I highly recommend this game for anyone who's a fan of action, rpgs, or dungeon crawlers.

      Current date/time is Thu Jul 20, 2017 8:46 pm