Note: iOS 9 + Facebook users w/ trouble scrolling: #super sorry# we hope to fix it asap. In the meantime Chrome Mobile is a reach around
hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

Dark Souls

Preview: Dark Souls

6:30 PM on 08.31.2011 // Wesley Ruscher

While many gamers’ attention this fall may be on a certain open-world action-RPG -- which is awesome according to Jim Sterling because it has "f*cking dragons" in it -- I myself can't be more excited for From Software's punishing medieval romp, Dark Souls, for the same reason and much, much more.

I got the chance to check out the most recent gamescom build this week at Namco Bandai's San Jose offices. After walking by some kickass Tekken statues and the most Pac-Man swag I'd ever seen in one place, I hunkered down with a hands-off preview of the soul-crushing game.

Dark Souls (Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 [Previewed])
Developer: From Software
Publisher: Namco Bandai Games
To Be Released: October, 4 2011

My demonstration began with our protagonist slaying a sinister looking snake-man through the bars of a gate.  As the body fell to the ground, the next step was to see what loot could be scavenged from his body. With luck (well, I'm sure it was designed this way), a key was found and the gate opened.

As the gate swung forth, we stepped out and found ourselves in -- what I was told -- was a location that many may never see in the game, Duke's Archive. Walking in to this massive Harry Potter-esque library, the sense of scale was intimidating. As I watched our hero slay more snake-like creatures who were equipped with sword and shield, an alarm sounded to alert more foes. 

With the alarm tripped, the hero proceeded farther along the spiraling path to the top of the archive. At this point the snake-men were no longer interested in fighting our hero as they were too busy making a run for it. Even more menacing monsters soon appeared -- something the snake-men apparently wanted nothing to with -- large squid-like medusas.

These slithering blue nightmares were just as punishing as you would expect, but then again this is the spiritual successor to Demon's Souls. As our hero fought fearlessly against the medusas, he quickly learned why the snake-men had been hightailing it out of the Duke's Archive. In one nimble lunge, the medusa-esque monster swooped up the hero and impaled him with a spike created from its body, before turning and hurling the valiant warrior off the staircase to his would-be death.



Luckily for us, this demonstration was more of a showcase for one of the game’s mysterious locations that demonstrates how punishing Dark Souls can be to the untrained and impatient. As our hero fell to his death -- thanks to the power of a debug console -- he landed steadily on his feet to make the trek back up to the top of the archive.

True to Dark Souls’ predecessor, Demon's Souls, never once did the game try to reach out and hold the player’s hand. The fact that we were searching this massive library was all the motivation needed to push forward, exploring wherever mystery and adventure lurked.

As our hero made his way back up the spiraling pathway onscreen, I began discussing with the people at Namco Bandai about how Dark Souls is going to take the addictive passive multiplayer experience of its predecessor to the next level. Players can come to expect similar online systems from Demon's Souls still in place, but what has been added sounds truly astounding.



Dark Souls incorporates what they call the "covenant system," a sort of guild-like structure that has players swearing allegiance by oath to God-like bosses they find in their travels. With allegiance sworn, the player will be bestowed with certain powers and/or attributes that will help them overcome the game's many perils.

How this covenant system plays into multiplayer really depends on whom you've sworn allegiance to. When playing the game in its online state, players of the same allegiance will benefit from each other with what was only described as something truly sensational, the Miracle Resonance.

How the Miracle Resonance works or what it actually does still remains a secret, as does much of Dark Souls, but isn't half the fun of the game discovering every last detail for yourself?



Returning our focus back to the game, the hero finally made it to his destination -- the top of the archive -- where he was able to shut off the alarm. With the more imminent threat of the medusa creatures handled, the pursuit of exploration resumed. A key to a large gate had been discovered while in the Duke's Archive and our hero proceeded onward to unlock the mysteries behind it.

With the large gate opened, more stairs paved the way ahead. Crystal stalactites could be seen covering the walls and ceilings as the hero pressed on, but unfortunately this is where the presentation ended -- well at least what I'm allowed to actually talk about. Let's just say that what I saw was pretty freaking awesome, though something I kind of wish I would have discovered on my own.

Dark Souls looks to truly up the ante in every way from its spiritual predecessor. Bigger, more devious enemies and a true, living open world to explore -- which I was told was three times as large as Demon's Souls level-based world structures -- has me foaming at the mouth to get my hands on the final release.

Oh, did I mention that I got to see the standard-price Collector's Edition of the game too? Anyone who picks the game up during its initial printing on both PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360 will be treated to a steel case that contains the game, a special redemption code for some extra goodies, and a lavish art book.

October 4 has never felt so far away...

Photo Gallery: (14 images)
Click to zoom - browse by swipe, or use arrow keys



Wesley Ruscher, Former Contributor
 Follow Blog + disclosure Tips
Former Dtoid Weekend News Editor & Mash Tactics Host.  more   |   staff directory



 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our community fisters, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding *.disqus.com to your whitelists.

destructoid's previous coverage:
Dark Souls


  Jul 01

Play Dark Souls like a boss...literally

Get your own back with this new mod


View all:powered by:  MM.Elephant

Ads on destructoid may be purchased from:



Please contact Crave Online, thanks!


Music Notes: "Tied Down" by Forever Still

Desert Golfing - The Model Mobile Game

Review: Pony Island

The meaning of The Witness (Part 1 of 3)

Do you even Bebop?

Cblogs of 02/04/16 + Bayonetta and some other one I suppose

Waifu Wars: Your Cruel Device, Your Blood Like Ice..

Best Kickstarter implosion EVER as dev money is spent on booze and strippers

Video Gaming Bits -- Dungeons& Dragons: Tower of Doom

Is Planet Earth more than Blue, such as An?

 Add your impressions

 Quickposts
Status updates from C-bloggers

TheKodu avatarTheKodu
Still better than Aliens Colonial Marines.
BaronVonSnakPak avatarBaronVonSnakPak
The good news: XCOM 2 is installed on my pc. The bad news: It runs about as well as a fat kid on ice.
Fuzunga avatarFuzunga
Get your Devil's Third, here! Hot, fresh Devil's third! [url]http://www.gamestop.com/wii-u/games/devils-third/118963[/url]
EAPidgeon avatarEAPidgeon
Glad I can support the site again with HUGE since my life is mostly back in order. Curious though if anyone knows what happened to the Merch Shop for the site.
TheBlondeBass avatarTheBlondeBass
Give me an open-world game and I'll find a way to mistreat children and the elderly.
MeanderBot avatarMeanderBot
What do you think guys? Text or no text?
Agent9 avatarAgent9
I'm dying of laughter, these are too good XD super Zangeif OP
Parismio avatarParismio
How dare they price her so low...
Fuzunga avatarFuzunga
Fire Emblem Fates special edition is confirmed to have all three versions on one cartridge, so you DO get Revelation early.
CJ Andriessen avatarCJ Andriessen
Frinkiac.com: Search Simpsons quotes, get the image from the episode where the quote is from and easily make a meme.
CoilWhine avatarCoilWhine
I ended up buying Yakuza 3 on Amazon and nabbing Gravity Rush Remastered on the PS Store. Both have trophies so I'm pretty hyped to play em.
Virtua Kazama avatarVirtua Kazama
Just finished a blog just in time for the 25th Anniversary of Street Fighter II, which is in a few minutes...
Parismio avatarParismio
Jesus Pacland in smash looks like something someone made in MSPaint. I love it.
Fuzunga avatarFuzunga
Looks like Nintendo was selling a North America exclusive 3DS cover plate. At least, I've never seen this particular one before. It's out of stock now, though.
Sir Shenanigans avatarSir Shenanigans
So Helldivers is pretty fucking great.
LinkSlayer64 avatarLinkSlayer64
Since I thanked Niero and Paladin on the site update article, might as we thank the rest of you staff, contributors, mods, volunteers, tippers, former workers, commenters, bloggers, quickshitposters, lurkers, trol-nevermind them, anyway XCOM2 calls!
RadicalYoseph avatarRadicalYoseph
I've got an even better picture! I'll post it in the comments.
Steel Squirrel avatarSteel Squirrel
I just have to post this pic because it's one of the best things ever. Gotta post it in the comments though.
Nathan D avatarNathan D
Hits Save in blog editor.Your post currently has a publish date of 2016-01-23 11:44 PM.
Samsneeze avatarSamsneeze
Maurice White, Earth, Wind and Fire founder died yesterday and 2016 continues to make it clear that it gives no shits about your favorite musicians and people.
more quickposts


Contest!


Seriously

Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme


Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo



Back to Top


We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -