Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Mentally Preparing for Dark Souls - Remembering Demon's Souls

The day has finally come, the follow up to what I consider one of the hardest, most intense gaming experiences I have ever had. 

About two years ago, I was told about this game Demon's Souls, and how awesome it is.  I watched videos and read reviews on it, all stating that "you will die.. a lot".  This really peaked my interest (in a "challenge" accepted" sort of way).  So I went out and bought it.  This game was only available on the PS3, so it was a rare oppertunity for my PS3 to be used.

Most reviews, if not all, talks about how you'll end up playing the first area of the game over and over again to level up your character, which I did.  I must have played about 10 hours on the first level alone, just grinding away, collecting souls to trade in at the nexus to level up.  Once I was powerful enough, I was able to progress through the game and the rest of the world. 

There were a lot of parts of the game where I died, the frequency of my in-game deaths would slowly go down as the game progressed.  As I got used to the controls, and timing of my character, the only real danger was plain lapse in concentration, which would normally lead me to fall to my death.  There are so many paths and ridges to walk on, with nothing to stop you from falling to your death.  Narrow passages meant I had to be extra careful, a simple task of walking around required my full attention.  I had to be mindful of which direction I rolled away from an enemy attack, or how far I could lunge forward with my sword. 

But conquering each individual enemy, level and boss was a huge triumph in itself, thus driving me to push myself further.  On the surface, the game seems fairly straight forward, kill enemies, collect loot and souls, level up.  However, after reading up online for help in the later stages, I realized there was a whole different side to the game.  How you played the game would also change things in the level, opening up hidden areas with special enemies/bosses.  I unfortunately never got the time to fully explore that side of the game, but it was quite fascinating, especially given the amount of effort needed to activate these changes.

In the end, I was about 40-50 hours into the game, made it to the final boss of my first playthrough, but then Modern Warefare 2 came out and that was the end of that.  Hopefully with the new game, and the "off-season" time I have now between BlackOps and MW3, I can get deep into Dark Souls. 

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