Dark Souls remains a gaming staple since its release back in 2011, and it remains a compelling title to this day. In this age of journalists and reviewers complaining about the excessive difficulty of certain games, some might consider the popularity of Dark Souls 1 a wonder. After all, it’s reached quite a position of esteem within the gaming community.
In this #WAGPlays piece, gamers Chad and Ade revisit the first Dark Souls for the Nintendo Switch. What’s A Geek! pays respect (actually maybe disrespect) to this amazing game by giving the Dark Souls: Remastered a whirl on the Switch.
Chad is quite familiar with the Soulsborne series, having finished the Dark Souls trilogy and Bloodborne. On the other hand, Ade, hasn’t finished the first Dark Souls yet. Our dynamic duo is ready to deliver some Dark Souls Let’s Play shenanigans.
Prepare to die.
Dark Souls 1: The Appeal In Difficulty
Dark Souls 1 earned its fame (maybe infamy) not in spite of its difficulty but because of it. Players who flock towards the Soulsborne series yearn to feel that rush of defeating a boss through sheer hard work, perseverance, and willpower.
To the unfamiliar, Dark Souls 1 has become infamous because of its staggering difficulty. It’s an open game where you have to learn the game’s mechanics on your own, and you have to figure out everything for yourself. That’s where the appeal lies – because not only do you have to be patient, but you have to be careful, observant, and quick on your feet.
It’s much easier playing the game today, given all the walkthroughs out there. But even then, the sheer difficulty in defeating bosses, mini-bosses, and sometimes even minions can put a lot of playthroughs to shame.
After all, some bosses – sometimes, even the first ones – can take a ton of tries to finish. Seeing “You Died” the first time can be bearable, but seeing it the next hundred times can be downright annoying. And being able to accomplish such a feat can be extremely exhilarating. However, being able to finish in itself is on another level entirely.
Even today, players of all skill levels come back to these games just to experience the game in a lot of ways. This can be done through New Game+, which increases the difficulty every time you beat the game. One can also create a new character or try a new build/playstyle.
There’s A Story Behind All The Death
It’s not just the gameplay that captured the hearts of the Souls community, and the gaming world, though. Dark Souls‘ subtle storytelling tickled the fancy of theorycrafters and loremasters everywhere. In a way, the fact that even the story isn’t spoonfed to the player reflects the gameplay’s refusal to hand-hold the player.
This also means that if you want to learn more about the lore and story of Dark Souls, you need to read item descriptions, pay attention to the environment, and weave your own lore through what sparse in-game dialogue you encounter.
It’s Not Perfect
Any game isn’t without its faults, and Dark Souls has had a fair share of its own. If you’re the eagle-eyed gamer, you’ll likely encounter some of these elements that can be a bit frustrating to deal with.
- In this game, some hitboxes tend to be hit-or-miss (heh).
- And sadly, online play is perhaps the jankiest part of the game, with 1-versus-1 being extremely frustrating. Imagine, if either party lags, it likely results in people being teleported everywhere. Someone can suddenly appear behind you, akin to edgy bois appearing behind you quipping “Nothing personnel, kid.”
- The PC port of Dark Souls has been highly regarded as badly-optimized.
It’s thanks to fan modders that a lot of people can play a “fixed” version of the game. And folks from From Software were quick to address these mistakes, making sure the subsequent Dark Souls PC ports were much more appealing to gamers.
All Tied In A Neat Package
Dark Souls is indeed entertaining, and sometimes in an annoying manner. For us, this means the game tries to tell us to try all sorts of plans, strategies, and tactics to dominate its mechanics and show it who’s the boss. And the thrill in proving such is out of this world.
That being said, Dark Souls has made its mark on fans and video game history alike. It brought amazing gameplay and world-building in its own unique packaging.
And if there’s anything Dark Souls proves, it’s that different titles appeal to everyone in different ways. A game doesn’t have to be liked by everyone in order to be “good,” and not all games should cater to all audiences. Some might argue Dark Souls being in its own niche is a disadvantage, and others might say Dark Souls is the kind of material that “isn’t for everyone.”
Voicing our point on the matter will take a huge chunk of time for discussion. And we think that’s what makes Dark Souls amazing – its approach to difficulty has opened dialogue for all sorts of gamers to voice their opinions on the medium.
See Us Die, err Play!
Don’t get us wrong – we’re not putting Dark Souls on a pedestal. When someone finishes Dark Souls, that’s an accomplishment. However, so too is finishing any other game that you’ve grown to love. If you’re the kind of gamer who loves a good challenge, then Dark Souls is definitely a title you should try. And if you’re the kind of gamer who wants to try something new, then Dark Souls might keep you entertained.
And while the Dark Souls story has concluded with the third installation, many will still be looking forward to FromSoft’s new games as evidenced with recently released Sekiro and upcoming game with George R. R. Martin, Elden Rings.
We can agree that gamers do have different sentiments to Dark Souls. However, we can also all agree that Dark Souls is a completely different beast on its own. And while a lot of games – both from FromSoft and from other publishers – have started to rely on the so-called “Souls formula,” we can’t deny the kind of impact Dark Souls has given to the gaming community.
But if you’re really here to see us stop ourselves from rage-quitting, then you really should watch our #WAGPlays.