Where’s the best place to start if you’ve never played a Souls game?

The two recent entries

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Here’s a question that I’ve gotten a lot of in the past 24 hours — “where do you recommend picking up the Souls series?” Due to quite a bit of buzz behind Bloodborne (which, thankfully, is actually good), people have started to give in to a craze that they have otherwise avoided up until now. But with four games under From Software’s belt, it can be tough to figure out where to start.

After much deliberation, I’ve narrowed it down to two games. If you have a penchant for more action and flaunt less tactical prowess, Bloodborne is a great way to acclimate to the series. If you have an affinity for RPGs, stats, and tactical combat, Dark Souls II has one of the best possible starting areas to help ease you in.

I liken the shift from Dark to Bloodborne as the contrast between Mass Effect 1 and 2. While a lot of time was spent in menus in the first game, pining over various numbers, Mass Effect 2 was mostly rebuilt as an action game, streamlining a lot of technical information. With a lack of a “Weight” stat in Bloodborne you can roll around at will, unfettered by numbers, with less statistical distractions to worry about.

Having said that, the “penchant for action” remark wasn’t an offhanded statement, as the intro for Bloodborne is much less forgiving than Dark Souls II. You will have to have prior experience with twitch action to prevent yourself from giving up in frustration — either that, or an indomitable spirit and willingness to learn.

If you think Dark Souls II sounds more desirable, you’re in luck, as the Scholar of the First Sin remake is on the way in early April for the Xbox One and PS4, with all the DLC in tow. I’ll have thoughts up on the remaster as soon as I can get my hands on it.

Of course, every Souls game is worth playing, and I highly recommend playing Demon‘s at some point (it also happens to be the most dense), which is still my favorite to this day.


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Chris Carter
Managing Editor - Chris has been enjoying Destructoid avidly since 2008. He finally decided to take the next step in January of 2009 blogging on the site. Now, he's staff!