Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Dark Souls // The Masochistic Gamer


Dark Souls, the successor and legacy of Demon Soul's, is defined by its extreme difficulty. It's arguably one of the most distinguished role-playing games ever conceived. 

You will be frustrated, infuriated and perhaps even 'rage quit'. Dark Souls even fetches a catchy slogan: 'Prepare to Die' which gives players a clue on how the game's dynamics take fold. Indeed you will die-- quite often. 

It's okay, he's just a black smith.
  • They will kill you in their tutorials
The game's harshness can also be construed as brilliance. Contrary to showing you the ropes in the tutorial, the game will just let experience become a dependence. Dark Souls isn't known to take you in kindly or hold anyone's hand. This feature ensures that  the player will digest information at a faster rate and learn to think for themselves and possibly slowly break them down. 

They will pit you against impossible odds even at the very beginning and merrily display messages left on the floor from other players that share the same struggles as you.
Currency in the game is called 'souls' and can be obtained by killing enemies and occasionally finding corpses that carry them. 

Comfort and safety comes with a price.

There are checkpoints in the game called 'bon fires' which enables you to recover-- but at a price all enemies other than bosses will also recover. 
Another price to pay--  players will find that once you die all of these 'souls' that you have worked for will be placed where you last died and it's up to you to retrieve them again (if you die trying they're gone forever)-- having to cut through the same enemies of once again . . .

  • Why so much pain?

New players will likely be confused as to why this sort of grueling difficulty is applied to this world, while veterans will understand perfectly.
One of the most important lessons from the tutorial is that death does not equate to complete failure. It's evident that the main character is actually in purgatory and death is just part of this experience.

Dark Souls demonstrates a good clean fair fight

They will kill you in the tutorial as a demonstration to learn to let it go, because later in the game the player will soon understand that souls are everything here. 
You will be desperately searching for them, scavenging for it like how a man searches for air in a drowning pool.
  • Loss

The psychological effect with the concept of losing everything is stunning. While hoarding the souls you've collected and carefully tiptoeing through the environment terrified even of the smallest threat. Not only are these souls the currency-- they're the representation of the effort and time put into the game itself
thus turning into the most valuable thing in the game. 
Like I said souls are everything here.

The game's haunting cinematic  beauty is unmistakable

  • Freedom

On the other hand if you end up losing your souls or spending them completely death is no longer a punishment. You have nothing to lose and you can be as reckless as you wish, even tackle bosses you were too scarred to fight before or just roam and explore the unknown. 

The enigmatic and haunting world of Dark Souls

Later on the amount of souls required to level up will be so immense that only bosses would yield the souls that enable you to upgrade, you simply won't care about the ridiculous amounts of souls you  just lost. This is when you become free.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, the last pic is stunning. I love Dark Souls for its atmosphere. It makes me cry out loud sometimes, but in any case it's awesome!

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