Much has ben said already about Dark Souls, and I am aware. But that won't stop me from officially announcing my love for Dark Souls, and explaing why I am so absorbed in this game that I'd rather spend my time writing about it instead of just playing the damn game.
On a serious note though, this blog is only for fellow DkS-lovers who like to indulge in anything related and for people who have never heard of that game or don't bother learning more about it. For anyone who is saturated, please don't let me make you hate me and spend your time doing something else than reading on :)
So instead of writing this like I would a beginners review, I'm going to focus on the development of the relation between myself and the game (we have been together for short of a year now).
I first heard about Dark Souls from a friend, after spotting news of it here and there, without caring much about it, since it didn't ring a bell and was a PS3 exclusive. He told me how awesome that game was and how much I, a wannabe 24/7 player (alas real life won't see that happening) and RPG lover, would enjoy it. It kills you alot, he said, and still, you will want to keep on going. From that moment onward I sinned, because I coveted the game of my neighbor - luckily, I'm not catholic anymore.
Can you imagine how thrilled I was when word reached me about a petition, begging From Software to port the title to PC? I signed immediatly and hoped that our masochistic wishes would not fade away unheard by the developers. Of course, we all know how it ended. From Software took pity with PC gamers, obviously of the opinion that a lack of Dark Souls is more cruel than the amount of potential for frustration inherent to the game. It was ported (badly), released, and I died.
But I was prepared to die. Deep down, many of us want to die (in a game). It's what makes living worthwhile, what creates contrast. Just like light and shadow, two of the main motives in the story of the game, life and death are salt and pepper to the experience of Dark Souls. Would Jim Sterling not have changed my opinion that every game needs to kill you in order to be positively challenging, I would have said so now. What I'm thinking instead is of a more general nature. A game needs to make you feel what you can lose, in order to bestow a proper amount of value to what you can gain, or at the very least resist to lose.
In Dark Souls, there are so many hindrances, so many obstacles, traps and challenging situations, that I know very well what I have not lost
should I remain unharmed in the end. Because for every time that happens, I got pushed off a narrow walkway, butchered, hammered into the ground or toasted several times before. Dark Souls is a great game in many ways, but to me, this is the essence which allows it to be the behemoth of awesome it is. The value that lies in every feeble or giant triumph, be it killing off a sniper with being intoxicated or finally beating Smough and Ornstein, even on the 6th playthrough.
Sure, the longer I play, the less likely it gets for me to fail at a challenge. While this being so provides a certain amount of pride and confidence, it does not get overwhelming. I still die occasionally if I am not careful, and sometimes I die several times in a row because I forgot how to treat Smough and Ornstein to a proper round-the-pillar in order to make sure Mr. Lion sinks his lightnings into a marble column instead of my spine.
Additionally, I discover more and more the joys of online interaction with other players. This is the ultimate challenge that will never become uninteresting, at least that is what I am most certain of right now. First of all, I am rather new to playing vs. human enemies, and second, including the delay inherent to online battles is a challenge in itself. Nothing like bowing to an enemy, coating your weapon with a lightning enchantment like a poser and summoning five homing crystal spheres, just for them to be avoided nimbly and getting ob-lit-er-at-ed in a matter of seconds. The bowing and coating took the double amount of time it took to finish me off. *sob* Stop it, before I shove "well, what is it?" up your arse.
That's it for today, folks! I have officially announced that Dark Souls be my game for now and forever, and I do not hesitate from sharing (not filesharing though) it with you, dirty me! Feedback about my writing, comments about the awesomeness of Dark Souls and humanity would be appreciated.
See you in Darkroot forest.