Dark Souls is an Action-RPG developed by Japan's From Software last year. You play as the "Chosen Undead", breaking out of an asylum housing the undead, you escape to the land of Lordran, where you are tasked to ring the Bells of Awakening and defeat powerful creatures to gather their souls
Story Introduction and Premise
The game does not go into a massive amount of detail regarding it's setting and plot, but a lot is implied through character interactions and item descriptions. The game's minimal use of cutscenes immerses you in the game as it allows the character to take part in important parts of the game instead of sitting and watching it happen with loads of cutscenes. The head of the development team has stated in interviews that the setting of the game was inspired by British fantasy literature, and it shows. The dark, atmospheric fantasy setting of this game stands in stark contrast to your stereotypical JRPG. Regarding the games premise, it could be considered a generic "save the world" plot, but it is more interesting than that and out of the two endings the game has, none of them can be considered a "good" or "bad" ending (that's about as much as I can say about them without giving spoilers)
The gameplay really shines in this game. combat can be fast-paced or slow and steady depending on your play style. The game does not favor people who let their guard down easily, as when a group of weak enemies can devastate you if you're not prepared. The multiplayer component is unique, as you can summon online players into your game to face off against a boss, or you yourself can be summoned. You can even invade a players game (or vice versa) and face off against the player in some PvP action. Also, you can leave messages on the ground to help or deceive fellow online players, and can read the messages left by other players. The RPG element of this game allows for a large amount of character customization. Choosing a certain class for your player does not limit what they can or cannot use, as the Classes in this game only affects what starting equipment or stats you start with, your character can use anything if certain stat requirements are met. weapon and armor customization also allows for a quite wide range of customization, suiting your play style. The game has an almost Metroid-like mentality to exploration, the game world is truly open, you can go where you please and the game does not hold your hand. If you find an area too hard you can explore areas suiting your character level more, then return and wreak vengeance against the enemies who caused you trouble. Dying is an important part of this game, you will probably die frequently in this game, while for some people it may get frustrating but failure aids in the learning process, if a certain strategy fails you can try another one to great success, or return when you have a higher level or better equipment.
Graphics and Sound--Production Values
A significant amount of resources has been poured into this game, and it shows. the environments are huge and quite often breathtaking. The orchestral soundtrack is fantastic and plays at key moments. The game features some really imaginative boss creatures, and even the non-boss enemies can amaze and disgust with their designs, even some creatures that can be considered "generic" (like re-animated skeletons, dragons) can impress. The only real problem I have with this game is that in some areas there is a noticeable frame-rate drop.
Dark Souls is available for the PS3 and X360, with a PC version with additional content coming this August.
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