Dark Souls is coming to the PC next month. I’m… excited isn’t the right word. Tense? Fearful? Giddy? I adore the game, but something about it doesn’t feel right on consoles. I’ve migrated to the PC for gaming this past year and would prefer it in my native tongue.
Why do I love Dark Souls? It feels like the single player MMO I’ve always wanted. It has the precise mechanics of Demons Souls, but in an open world which I greatly prefer. It has a ton of interesting lore that you have to work to find. Its vistas are unparalled, its rotten core unmatched. Sometimes it feels like a roguelike in terms of weapons and armor.
And, of course, it’s very very hard.
Or, that’s how it seems. I tend to shy away from hard games. E.Y.E.: Divine Cybermancy is hard to understand. Mega Man 9 is hard to navigate. Mario Galaxy 2’s secret stages are hard to unlock. Dwarf Fortress is hard to manage. But Dark Souls isn’t like any of those.
It doesn’t require exact timing. Parries and ripostes can be hard to accomplish, but they’re not necessary. There are few timing puzzles (or rather, there is one fortress that’s a giant timing puzzle and then nothing for the rest of the game). The bosses have a lot of hit points and you don’t do that much damage, but every one of them has a strategy that will result in victory. And there are entire areas that you might not discover until someone tells you about them, but their splendor is undiminished by spoilers.
There are also wonderful secrets that reward multiple playthroughs. Weapons you’ll never be able to upgrade on one run, items you can only collect once, covenants to join and experiment with. There’s no monthly fee and no chastisement for playing solo. August 24th can’t come soon enough.
Praise the sun!