Forums » General Gaming

Why I Believe Dark Souls Are The Best Games

    • 274 posts
    April 25, 2016 3:19 AM EDT
    I have recently started playing Dark Souls 2 and out of my large collection of games it is my favorite. If you don't play a Souls game you probably heard the same thing I did: "Dark Souls is hard". Indeed, it is difficult, much more than others but I will tell you why I think this stomps any other game.

    1. The large learning curve is a big part. You have to act differently than you would in other games. I'll compare this to Skyrim for example. In Skyrim, when you died you would safely reload and do it again, in Dark Souls when you died you lost all of your souls (the currency and XP of these games) and would respawn at a bonfire while the souls were hanging out where you died and if you died again you would lose those souls permanently. This encourages careful play and paying attention to your surrounding as well as your opposition while in Skyrim you just needed to go back in and start hacking away with no consequences.

    2. I have no idea why but Dark Souls turns some people off because there is nearly no hints for anything, all you know is the controls and then you are thrown out into the world while in Skyrim and many other games you used a marker. These games don't tell you where to go, it allows you to figure that out on your own.

    3. The combat is much more sophisticated than many other games. In most other games (90%) combat consists of seeing a foe and just mashing attack and blocking when they wish to attack, sometimes, you can't die unless you stand there doing nothing. In Dark Souls anyone can kill you, you have to focus on the enemy's attacks and style much more, this is especially true with bosses where one or maybe two mistakes can do lethal damage. You have to pay major focus to attack patterns and exploit them.

    4. In a Souls game many of the bosses will kill you on the first try and if they don't then congrats. Each time you die your knowledge of that boss heightens, giving you more insight into how to fight them. After the tenth time fighting a boss and studying a boss you finally kill it and you feel awesome, like you just overcame an impossible challenge. This gives you much enjoyment in the long run.

    5. In Dark Souls you get huge freedom of equipment. In other games certain armors and weapons were obviously better than others. In Dark Souls each armor and weapon is made for certain players and no piece of equipment is completely useless.

    6. The lore is great and fascinating but you can choose if you want to know it or not. The lore is difficult to find if you aren't looking and if you don't look then you don't know the lore. It's pretty well designed in my eyes, someone should actually search to learn something, not just find a book in the hometown. If you skip dialogue you will have to listen.

    7. What is really nice is how you know yourself or someone is good at the game or not. You know when you improve. Levels mean little in these games, a few extra points in vigor will increase your health but you will only survive one or two more hits. A few extra points in endurance nets you some stamina but only for another swing with that ultra great sword swung over your shoulder. These games rely on the skill of the player, not their level. In some games a noob player can murder a veteran who's been playing for years with ease if they are a higher level but in Dark Souls a naked soul level 1 veteran player can beat a level 200 Havel monster noob if they put their mind to it and fought hard enough.

    I hope I can get at least one person to think differently about FROM SOFTWARE's great games.
  • Tom
    • 624 posts
    April 25, 2016 4:36 AM EDT
    1. It's boring.
    2. The storyline is boring.
    3. The art style is ugly and dumb.
    4. The Elder Scroll games are better.
    5. F*ck lists for good measure.
    • 274 posts
    April 25, 2016 4:50 AM EDT
    If Dark Souls is boring then Oblivion, Morrowind and Skyrim never won game of the year.

    The gameplay is much better than anything Bethesda could come up with.
  • Tom
    • 624 posts
    April 25, 2016 5:20 AM EDT

    Mkay.

    • 17 posts
    April 25, 2016 6:10 AM EDT
    Not the most constructive or thought provoking answers I've seen Tom. To be honest they have about as meaning as empty space does unless you actually try to expand it and give more room for debate other than "I Disagree".
    • 622 posts
    April 25, 2016 6:15 AM EDT

    I disagree. I do like the DS series, but I play them for the lore, the feeling of success and the diverse equipment. Do I want to fight a boss ten times in a row to beat them? Hell no, I want to do it sooner rather then later? Do I want to get my ass-handed to me by skeletons and zombies every time? NO. The community itself is also a huge turn off, which is a 'Hur n00b' circlejerk from what I've seen.

    I do have to agree with Tom to some extent. I will play the games for something different but I wouldn't call them the best for their difficulty. For gameplay and player reward? Sure. But being killed over and over again is not my cup of tea.

    • 17 posts
    April 25, 2016 6:17 AM EDT
    Was thinking myself of mentioning the tumor that is the pvp community.
    • 1463 posts
    April 25, 2016 6:54 AM EDT

    To be fair it's about standard for most PvP communities, possibly a bit better since from experience it's closer to trolling rather than the more toxic communities you can get out there.

    Anyway, I'm actually a fan of the games, it's more the feel of the games, I don't play enough to have played with all the weapons (or even more than a dozen put together), I haven't fought many bosses, or put more than maybe 24 hours all up into the series (if that) but the world development, while not as deep as other games is that excellent combination between depressingly comedic and just plain dark and brutal. The gameplay isn't generally my preferred style, I find the ranged combat in DS 1 and Bloodborne to be, well limited at best (That could just be me not having played enough) and I'm always a fan of that. I'm not a fan of the whole lock on and move type of combat, it isn't really fluid enough for me, but anyway, it is a fun series that I enjoy putting a couple hours into here and there.

    • 268 posts
    April 25, 2016 11:41 AM EDT
    A convert!

    Glad to hear you're enjoying the games, easily the best game series ever. I'd advise picking up the other two as well, Dark Souls 1 undisputedly has the best world design ever, and Dark Souls 3 is just the perfect combination of everything From Software have learned from making souls games. It's the perfect conclusion.

    Agreed with every point here. In this day and age, where gaming is all about holding the player's hand and making them feel like a god, it's nice to experience an actual challenge and feel like you're making something of yourself. It's no fun in games like Skyrim when you can trivialise even the hardest difficulty setting without even glitching the game at all.

    What's sad is that most people just don't seem to understand Dark Souls - they're so used to being spoon fed that having to fight their way through hordes of demons to the spoon themselves just doesn't feel right to them.

    You haven't mentioned PVP, which I also believe is a major part of the Souls games. It's where the combat style shines - could you achieve similar PVP in something like Skyrim? Never, and that's where From Software have struck gold. They've created a form of combat that allows players to kill each other with a wide variety of weapons with a ton of mind games, footsies, tricks, tactics, etc.

    The lore and storytelling is unique - you've got to decipher things for yourself, and not have the whole story fed to you through cutscenes. ES sort of does this right, but not to the extent of Dark Souls.

    Also, the PVP community ain't all that bad. It's the same as basically every other PVP game's community, there's always going to be good and bad apples.
    • 297 posts
    April 25, 2016 11:42 AM EDT

    Well i have quite a few souls games , enough to know that they rarely 'hold' my attention for too  long, though i do like to dig one out to do drinking games with my mate occasionally.

    as for it being the best game...that is a hugely subjective thing but i can tell you why i disagree, the story and narrative of the games is almost non existent 'ingame' , if you weren't to look up a wiki or something you would be completely lost and that for a narrative obsessed gamer is just no bueno, The artstyle, while a compelling japanese neo-gothic experience is a deeply subjective part of souls games.

    gameplay while challenging actually suffers from to many overhauls game to game, for instance my knight character in ds3 can parry almost anything..but the same character in ds2 barely gets a parry out .

    They have a huge fan base and i certainly don't hate them , i can appreciate what people like in them but the lack of compelling story experience ingame is just not enough for me personally anyway.

    • 4 posts
    April 25, 2016 11:52 AM EDT

    I wouldn't say the "Best", but its probably one of them.

    The lore is pretty good although its not presented well in game,but its really interesting.

    The game is pretty much trail and error. Difficult? Probably. Especially when you treat is as a hack and slash.
    In my opinion, the reason why the souls games have an outstanding combat is because of its enemy AI. Some have different attack patterns, that if you underestimate can lead to your death. The boss designs are mostly unique aswell and paired up with amazing orchestral music.

    Dark Souls and TES are way too different from each other. It's not a surprise people doesn't appreciate it. DarkSouls is much more combat and action oriented while most TES games are focused on roleplaying and immersion. So jumping from TES into Dark Souls would caught anyone off guard.

    Learning from your mistakes is part of dark souls, especially dying. and alot of it. lots of dying. and tears. People would find it frustrating. Its understandable, who wants to get frustrated while playing a game? why punish yourself? I play videogames to have fun dammit! Some people like the challenge thats why DarkSouls is one of the best games out there.

    ps.
    Bethesda tried to develop a more action oriented game and neglecting what their fans really wanted. Look how it turned out(cough Fallout4 cough).

  • April 25, 2016 1:53 PM EDT

    Hi guys, as a relative new comer to DS games, I started with DS 3, and this is what I experienced, it's very difficult indeed, the thought of loosing all the XP and all the souls I collect is harsh for dying more than once i think, however it does make you think, think, think about, what you are doing, if you loose concentration just a little you are history along with your souls and XP, combat needs to be conducted with extreme care with general minions, as for the bosses well that's a different matter.

    • 268 posts
    April 25, 2016 2:15 PM EDT

    Well said Bonelord.

    It is difficult, but unfairly so? I personally say Dark Souls is one of the most fair games out there. It doesn't treat you like a god, and forces you to think about what you're going to do. Should I leave here with my souls, forfeiting my progress? Or should I push on, risk my souls, knowing that death could be around the corner? It really makes the game a risk-reward scenario, which leaves you feeling incredibly rewarded when you pull off a risk.

    • 274 posts
    April 25, 2016 3:10 PM EDT
    I don't do PVP a lot. I've only PVP'd maybe 8 times and I usually whooped ass, just goes to show how OP Pyromancy and the Drangleic shield are together.

    I agree that the PVP community is very good, after a 5-10 minute fight and I won I am often messaged by the opposition saying that was a great fight. If I do lose like the time I was first introduced to Pyromancy by a guy who knew the most powerful spells like flame tempest he completely destroyed me. After which I inquired about his magic and he pointed me to a few Pyromancies like flame weapon.
  • Tom
    • 624 posts
    April 25, 2016 6:47 PM EDT

    I responded with the level of thought I believe was appropriate.

    • 274 posts
    April 25, 2016 6:51 PM EDT
    Have you ever played a Souls game!
    • 273 posts
    April 25, 2016 7:01 PM EDT

    Sounds to me

    like

    you

    just

    couldn't

    Honestly though, you're entitled to your opinion, but at the end of the day, you CAN have a wrong opinion.

    • 623 posts
    April 25, 2016 7:15 PM EDT

    When talking about video games you CAN'T have a wrong opinion.

    I like darks souls just as much as the next guy but I wouldn't try to compare it to TES since they're very different games which I play for very different reasons.

  • April 25, 2016 7:40 PM EDT

    Yeah, they're pretty great, at least DS1 is. Not a fan of DS2 since it's got a really shitty hitbox and the lame enemy and world/level design.

    But yeah, DS1 has got tight and responsive controls, a really fun combat system, interesting and well-crafted world/level design, good bosses, a pretty decent 'show, don't tell' way of storytelling, etc. I'd say it's in my top 5 games.

    • 273 posts
    April 25, 2016 7:50 PM EDT

    Amazing combat system, almost perfect AI, challenging gameplay, AMAZING music, ingenious invading mechanics, memorable bosses, incredible lore...

    It's just a remarkable game series with the greatest feeling of achievement you can get from a game, you feel like a God when you finally topple the final boss.

    .

    .

    .

    Then lose your shit when you have to do it all again with a difficulty boost.

    • 274 posts
    April 25, 2016 8:21 PM EDT
    I disagree with what you said about the hitbox. Look at number 4 of this video. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=nfQ5abWCYP4
  • Tom
    • 624 posts
    April 25, 2016 8:23 PM EDT

    That is a statement, not a question. I gave you my impressions of these games.

  • Tom
    • 624 posts
    April 25, 2016 8:25 PM EDT

    • 274 posts
    April 25, 2016 8:59 PM EDT
    Sorry, just realized 2 hours later I used an exclamation point instead of a question mark.
    • 697 posts
    April 25, 2016 9:18 PM EDT

    I've put about 100 hours into the Dark Souls series between games 1 and 2, having never beaten either of them, and I can say that they are at least decent games. Not the best, but decent.

    The problem with DS is that it’s just the other end of the spectrum from hand-holding games. It needlessly punishes and frustrates the player, but dresses it up as being "challenging”. Put simply, a lot of Dark Souls is straight bullshit, intended to frustrate and deceive.

    there is nearly no hints for anything, all you know is the controls and then you are thrown out into the world

    This is a huge drawback with the game! No game should put players in a position where they are forced to spend more time online learning how the game works than actually playing the game. DS relies on the ignorance of the player, and it relies on people making the wrong choices over and over until they discover the correct option. Critical thinking only gets you so far in a game built around trial and error that gives no insight into how anything actually works, or what the stats that make up your character even do.

    In broad strokes, DS is a game based purely around memorization and timing. It is only skillful insofar as the player’s willingness to learn these things.

    The combat is much more sophisticated than many other games.

    Until you learn how to backstab, and it becomes a game of circle strafing and ass-slashing.  

    After the tenth time fighting a boss and studying a boss you finally kill it and you feel awesome, like you just overcame an impossible challenge. This gives you much enjoyment in the long run.

    I wouldn’t disagree with this point so strongly if the game offered a bonfire before each boss fight. But when bosses are put at the end of areas that take ten minutes to get through because you have to stay alive long enough to actually get to the fight, then by the tenth time, you’ve  already wasted almost two hours fighting the same things over and over again. Not to mention the loss of souls and humanity.

    The lore is difficult to find if you aren't looking and if you don't look then yo don't know the lore.

    This is just bad design in my opinion. Exploring in Dark Souls is actively punished by design, and if I have to explore just to find out what the hell is going on, then I’m simply never going to learn. A more explicit delivery of lore and story would have been appreciated. Honestly, it might have kept me playing. But being in a world where I have no idea who anyone is or what is going on at any given time removes the meaning from my actions, the impact from events, and again, is frustrating.

    This is especially problematic when trying to advance the story. There are so many threads and guides online dedicated to telling people where to go, because people keep asking. I don’t need a floating map marker, but I would at least like a road sign or some sort of hint!

    HOWEVER. All that said, I do still get warm feelings when I think about my time in DS. Mostly, anyway. There are some parts I really enjoyed, and are the same parts I know pretty much by heart because at one point, I really did try to learn the game inside and out. I wanted to learn it and I wanted to beat it. But it’s important to be honest about what DS actually is. It’s not the best game or game series there is – it’s a game meant for the hardcore audience that cares to spend the time and energy learning a game so thoroughly that they can beat it and gain some sense of pride for being better or more skilled than other gamers.

    Where other games spoon-feed gamers, Dark Souls gives the player a couple dozen nondescript utensils and says, “You figure it out”. I enjoy a challenge, I do. But when the challenge is to remain patient long enough to perform rote memorization of every detail in the game, it feels less like fun and more like work.

    Now if you've read this far and don't yet hate me for my extra-critical look at DS, let me say that I've actually bought DS2: Scholar of the First Sin today and intend to give it an honest shot. There are good things about the game, great things even! It's just buried under a ton of muck. I really think Dark Souls as it is now would have made an excellent mode at the top tier of difficulty, rather than the standard difficulty across the board. 

    So despite everything I just said, I'm giving it another chance.