Dark Souls

Dark Souls
Platforms:PlayStation, Xbox 360, PC

Prepare to Die edition

When you wake up one morning and you are dead, but you can still walk and hold a sword, you have only one thing left to do. Get up and find the reason why you are not counting flowers in heaven as you should be doing as a dead person.

Dark Souls is a representative of a very special gaming genre. Some people don't even call it role playing game, they call it "masochist simulator" and to be honest this description is not that far from the truth. Because this game will hurt you. A lot. But you will keep it playing no matter how many times you end up with head in your hands and almost crying. It will hurt you over and over and over and you just won't stop her because this game is simply too sexy to be dumped and you know you would never get anyone like it again. Yeah, this game feels pretty much like dating a girl which is slightly out of your league.

After some character customization and tutorial (where you already can and will die!) you appear at small bonfire with one of the basic presets of equipment and a flask to restore your health. There is some old knight who tells you to ring two bells located somewhere around the map and that's it. You see several paths leading from the bonfire but no one tells you which one you should took first or why and you are completely on your own. So you set off to a graveyard, you meet a skeleton after few steps and he kills you with one strike leaving only very surprised look on your face.

Important feature of Dark Souls is that enemies doesn't scale with your own level and you will meet many of the strong ones very early in the game. Their HP, attack power and stats remains the same through entire playthrough (although there are exceptions even to this rule) and you will have to think back and when strong enough return to areas you visited hours ago. You will be regularly meeting enemies who will literally kick your ass when encountered for the first time, but later on, when you get stronger, you will mop the floor with them.

And meanwhile you will die. Die after a zombie with broken sword attacks you. Die when trying to kill a guy with a torch. Die when falling of a cliff. Die when jumping down from a cliff after reading a message saying "Try jumping". Die from poisoning. Die from toxins. Die when you set off a trap you didn't notice. Die from bleeding. You will die when reading item descriptions in menu. When trying to kill a boss for a first time. When trying to kill the same boss for the second time. When trying to kill the same boss after one hundred and fifty tries...

However when you manage NOT to die, you will feel an intoxicating sensation burning down in your stomach and you will know that you did it! And that is the reason for playing Dark Souls. To overcome something that looked impossible and absurdly hard at the first sight.

Honestly, Dark Souls isn't that bad. Especially Dark Souls 1 is more than fair to the player (Dark Souls 2 and 3 kinda fall behind on that). It let's you truly learn from your mistakes, it makes you think forward and use your brain during fights and that's why people love it. In a world where 'action RPG' means killing hundreds of enemies per minute and dying only when you run out of mana or healing potions, Dark Souls makes every single encounter fun again and every single enemy interesting. You want to know what he does, you want to know how he behaves and you want to be sure you won't loose your souls until you can level up at next bonfire.

Dark Souls simply never gets boring. It keeps you on your toes, prepared to die (literally). This makes the whole series one of the best RPG games ever made and Dark Souls: Prepare to Die edition one of the best RPG of year 2012.

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