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4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Platform: Xbox 360|Change
Price:£17.84 - £49.99
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on 24 May 2013
I've only played a few hours of this game and all the review reading, video watching and deliberating hasn't proven me wrong. Dark Souls, I believe, is a brilliant game. However don't expect any coddling or anything like that, the brutality of this game will be like a punch in the face for you. As soon I entered the game I could feel a chill running down my spine and my tension levels shooting upwards, that's the sort of game it is. Danger lurking around the corner, surprise attacks killing you with a few hits; you constantly have to be on your guard. Although this can be sometimes bothersome, you eventually get used to the world of Dark Souls and it sort of becomes second nature to you.
Killing is satisfying, especially when it's one of those damn things that you never could defeat your first time. (Ahem - bosses) I find the concepts behind the combat in Dark Souls fascinating and realistic - with health being easily knocked down and stamina being depleted. Although these things seem to be annoying, I think it adds to your experience because... well reality doesn't allow you to run miles without taking a break. The graphics are nice, and I have yet to encounter any problems with them,all the environments are dark and caked with horror.
And finally the plot. Although Dark Souls lacks in the 'plot' area, I don't even mind. And this is very, very surprising to me because normally I am a sucker for a good plot. However Dark Souls is just so darn good, I don't even care. I'm even deliberating getting Xbox Live because playing by myself is making me spiral deeper and deeper into insanity- just that tiny touch of human contact will make me feel so much better. (You can call me a wuss - I don't mind >.<)
To those who wish to buy this game, you must ask yourself these questions:
Do you have a good amount of patience?
Do you like a challenge?
Do you like a game that won't easily give you your way, but will reluctantly bow down to you if you continue with humongous persistence?
Do you not care about spending hours and hours on ONE game?
If the answer to all these questions is 'YES', I strongly advise you to buy this game. I doubt you will look back.
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on 18 September 2013
I just want to say before I start properly that I LOVE this game, it has drained hours out of my life and there have been times of frustration but nothing can compare to the elation of defeating a boss that has robbed you of multiple souls and humanity.
The prepare to die version shows people how DLC should be made, it fits seamlessly into the dark souls game as if it had been there all along. As other reviews state, this game is hard, but not I don't think too hard. It is a game that doesn't hold your hand and doesn't tell you what you need to do. It is up-to you to use your brain and there arent many games out there that do this nowadays.
I have not played a game since Monkey Island that has had me talking about it as much with my friends in the pub, sharing tips of how to get passed a point that has had me stuck. Granted its not exactly the same ( no using a fish to bait a bird in order to obtain a collectible) however the premise is the same. You need to explore and you need to use your brain in order to progress. If you are the sort of person that needs an arrow pointing you to the next checkpoint, and a glowing arrow over the person you need to speak to then look at one of the other many games that are out there because this isn't for you. However if you are willing to invest time, to ignore your children and your partner, and to fall into a bi-polar spin of depression, frustration and manic elation running around the room and cheering when you have managed to defeat that boss, then this wonderfully made game is just for you.
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on 3 December 2012
I'm only just over 30 hours into this 100+ hour game and I think I've barely scratched the surface of what it has to offer. If you're tired of typical JRPGs, with their increasingly linear and often obtuse storylines, repetitive battles and ceaseless grinding, then this is for you, provided that you like a challenge.

This game has many defining qualities that give it greatness - the story is very slim, and you are left to figure it out for yourself. This also applies to many of the game mechanics, such as the fact that you are "hollow" when you start the game and you need to acquire "humanity" to reverse your hollowing. In the beginning this means nothing, and is not explained anywhere (not even the manual) and so you are challenged to get your head around it. Despite initial frustration, you get into it, and the fact that you've had to work it out for yourself means that it stays in your head.

One neat feature I didn't realise the game had when I bought it was multiplayer. Now I'm a multiplayer skeptic - more often than not, it's only added into ostensibly single-player games to increase sales, but in this game it's done extremely well. You can write a "summon sign" on the ground which appears in other people's games, and they can summon you for a short period until the area boss has been defeated, working as a team. After that, you're back to your own game where you left off. Other players can also leave messages on the ground to serve as hints for progressing. This is no mere glib addition of multiplayer - it has an important purpose.

Another much talked-about attribute of the game that makes it great is the punishing difficulty within. This is certainly not a game for casual, Nintendo Wii players - there is little to no hand-holding, the very first area houses a massive boss that is quite difficult to beat on first playthrough, and it only goes upwards from there. Many of the game's mechanics have been purposefully manipulated to challenge, for example as you play and dispatch enemies you collect "souls" which are used as currency for items and to level up. If you die somewhere, all the souls you collect will be dropped at that point, and you respawn at the last respawn point you visited (bonfires in this case) which could be miles away. So, you're faced with a choice - go elsewhere in the massive open world, or travel back to the place you died to retrieve your souls, but if you die on the way that's them gone forever. To add insult to injury, when you respawn so do all the enemies in the world, save for the bosses and larger enemies, so you have to hack your way through them all again.

But you will keep coming back to it.

A tough game with a massive open world you can immerse yourself in, deep gameplay with hundreds of items and weapons, a fully customisable character, a huge mystery surrounding the story, immense bosses and a huge difficulty level - what's not to like?

Don't miss this game.
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on 7 May 2013
Now, I consider myself to be a pretty competant and patient gamer, willing to invest time and effort in a game- no just in for the quick hit, nosiree, not I. However, it's pretty fair to say that Dark Souls has BROKEN me, and I'm really not sure if this makes for a good game or not.
Plus points- the game looks terrific and more to the point really pushes a unique look and atmosphere- art design in the game is wonderful, and creates an immersive and melancholic feel. Dark Souls feels like a bad dream in many ways- very little is explained (don't get me wrong, I mean this in the most positive way)and you get a real sense of exploration. Environments are beautiful (at least as beautiful as deathtrap fantasy worlds go) and monster design is really special- from the lowliest zombie footsoldiers to the many unique boss monsters.
So why the long face?
Well, as I mentioned in the review title, all the rumours about this game are true. This will bring back some early gaming memories for people in terms of punishing boss battles - seemingly endless replays just to make relatvely small amount of progress. Playing the game, you can almost hear the demented cackles of the sadists who created this piece of twisted genius.
And I really am in two minds about this aspect of the game. Sure a challenge is fine...but honestly, I gradually began to feel as though I was on the recieving end of a big practical joke Hidetaka Miyazaki played on me. How far can towards total frustration can I push players?
And this is what ultimately killed the game for me- frustration, extreme, p*ssed off frustration. And maybe this says more about me as a player than the game- but BE WARNED.Yes, a unique experience, and we need more uncompromising games which offer a pure, take it or leave it experiance, but when I found myself swearing like a docker in my living room after my thirty-seventh deal (not in total- just one part of the game ha! ha! ha!-twitch ), only to go alllll the way back to that bloody bonfire... that was enough for me. Maybe you'll fare better.
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on 3 December 2012
If you have the patience to get to grips with this game and don't mind a challenge, you will love it. It ruined all other modern RPGs for me. Don't listen to people saying its too hard, its punishing, but once you get the hang of the incredibly well made combat system it is not too hard at all. There is plenty to do on this game, and although it may seem that the story is lacking if you start scratching the surface you will find a wealth of information in a fascinating story line. The special thing about this game is the idea that your character is nothing special to the world around you, everything is aimed towards this, the music is brilliant in this respect. Anything can and will kill you, you are not superior to your enemies. Easily the best RPG for a very long time - do not miss it.
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on 6 May 2014
Dark souls puts the player in the shoes of a undead, freshly escaped from prison in the typical fantasy RPG fashion and sent on an epic quest. Unfortunately for said undead, there is an army of everything nasty imaginable standing between himself and his unclear goals, and just about every single individual within said army wants to eat him alive, skewer him and roast him over a spit, curse him or smash him to pieces with a large hammer/club/axe. The game scores a lot of points for its inventive enemy design, and particularly for the fact that each enemy has a unique feel and style of fighting, a particularly excellent example being the constantly self reassembling skeletons, that often fall apart after a particularly aggressive attack, or after being impaled and reassemble right behind the player, or even better, when hit with a strong attack, the legs often remain standing as the scattered bones fly into place. The enemy design is excellent in most cases, and every single enemy can punish the player very quickly for seemingly simple mistakes.
And that's the regular bad guys, The boss fights are completely unforgiving, punishing every mistake with a smug "you died" and the reward of having to fight through a legion of undead every single time you want to give it a try, which, going by the fact that your souls/experience stays in the area where you died, meaning that you often will have to slog back to that area and fight all the same enemies again. and again. and again. and again.
The extreme difficulty of dark souls is actually one of it's better points however. It's no artistic flourish that it's called the prepare to die edition. As you will. A lot. It has the distinctly old school feeling towards it's treatment of the player, in that the player will constantly be bashed around like a rag doll until they develop the reflexes and learn the strategies that they need to fight their way through, and slowly grind their way through the bad guys, levelling up and upgrading equipment until they become the fantasy equivalent of a ninja, and even then the game is wildly difficult. But this is all the more reason to play it, as there are few things more uplifting than actually killing the fire breathing gargoyle monster that has killed you twenty times in a row in the past hour, and it becomes a very cathartic experience, and actually a better way to relax than some of the easier games.
But it does fall short of five stars, as there are control issues, the primary issue being that the controls can be clunky at times, the rolling can only be described asschizophrenic, and in most cases blocking doesn't actually seem to have much effect. The controls are buggy, and sometimes even can be completely unresponsive, with thte player freezing right before the giant boss swings his hammer into him. The game systems seems to inexplicably favour some enemies, such as the faceless demons, which always insta-kill the player on approach, or the gold/silver nights, whom can take away three quarters of the players health in a single hit, and always chain multiple attacks, and seem to exist purely to frustrate the player. And it can be very difficult to actually know where you are supposed to be going, E.g. I spent a considerable amount of time fighting my way into a ghost infested ruin looking for a bell, only to find it was in a completely different location. The game has no map, and little in the way of actual given goals, and the amount of time spent grinding means that said goals are likely to be forgotten. Although this does justify the system in which players can send messages to each other (although for someone without a live account, this is useless and I am forced to rely on reading the first few lines of wiki articles for directions), enter other player's games to help them, or even invade and attack other players games to kill them at the worst possible moment.
So, in conclusion, an excellent game marred by terrible controls, a general lack of help for the player in any area and sometimes obnoxious design choices that make an already difficult game outright frustrating. But not enough to ruin this well made game, which unlike the majority of games produced over recent years, is actually challenging.
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on 21 February 2016
This game.....what can I say? It's hard!!!!! I have never died so much in any game. It's good, it's addictive but it gets four stars because in the end I couldn't finish it as frustration eventually won. My husband and I are veteran gamers but Dark Souls beat us! I think the endless corpse runs can be quite monotonous but if you're up for a challenge this is your game,
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on 7 January 2013
The game offers a great setting with challenging game-play, which both together give a great feeling of the dangerous and dreary environment Dark Souls puts you in. The boss battles in Dark Souls will push your adrenaline levels up while you fight them, and if you manage to beat them, you'll be left with a great feeling of satisfaction and success.
The game does suffer from some horrendous optimisation, meaning that the Xbox 360 can't handle some areas and the frame rate (FPS) drops noticeably, this is especially annoying during some 'platforming' on narrow pathways in a place called Blighttown. I do however enjoy this more than 4 stars, but due to the poor optimisation, I hesitate a little to give it 5 stars.
It's worth noting that I've only been playing this for a month now, and I have had to look things up on the internet (especially Youtube) to find full enjoyment of this game. Things I looked up were for example how to kill certain bosses and how to find certain things, but also how to do other things in the game, when I had issues with progressing further in the game.
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on 30 January 2014
This is a five star game. Yes it will make you pull your hair out. Yes it will make you break 2 controller. But there is fun in that. This was the most challenging game i ever bought. Hell, it took like an hour to get out of the tutorial! Now im killing Snorlax and Pikachu in like 1 minute! This is the only game were you have to learn from your mistakes, even if that means learning to parry a hollow for an hour. People complain it takes too long and granted it does, but unlike other games associated with it like skyrim you can't just prance through (unless your a GiantDad, the legend never dies). It's rewarding getting gear at random and having to take an hour to kill a doggy with a sword your first time. You have to play this game a lot to understand it, just take a break once in a while so you don't hate it. I get really disappointed when i see reviews for one star from noobs who haven't even finished the game.

Buy it.
Play the hell out of it.
Cry a few times.

Then you will love it :)
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on 7 January 2013
Would recommend this game to anyone who enjoys a thorough and true to the genre RPG game. I won't go into the game in any more depth, online reviews are more candid and thorough than I and will paint a better overall impression of the game.
Be warned though, this game is no walk in he park, the enemies are very tough. Even the minor ones will punish you for mistakes or over confidence and this is where the appeal lies. If you enjoy RPG games you should enjoy this title but head my advice.... Get used to using your shield..... A lot!

One complaint (not product related) is the dire service provided for the Amazon Prime premium account. This is not the first time this has happened to me whilst paying for amazon prime but I now feel I should comment on it.
Prior to paying the premium for this 'service', when I would pay individually for a guaranteed next day delivery, products were delivered punctually because amazon would have to refund the postage if the product was late. Once I payed for their prime service however, when next day delivery guarantee is included on many products (including this one), the service fails me. Regularly. Not at all happy with the Amazon Prime service, especially as lots of companies on the net deliver next day anyway if ordered in time and this is one at no additional cost. One in particular has a 5 minute dispatch in which they email a photo of your parcel ready to go a few minutes after you order it. I love Amazon as a company due to the sheer variety of product they sell and the excellent prices at which they sell them but am seriously considering dropping the prime membership (not Amazon just the prime service).
I am a regular and loyal customer and I hope Amazon hierarchy read this and work to change the Prime guarantees (and perhaps one of their carriers) as I would prefer not to stop using the Prime service but will be left with little option at renewal time if things don't get better!
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