Nope. I can’t do it. Dark Souls just isn’t my cup of RPG. I had decided to pick it back up and try it, having played only a little bit when it first came out. The big difference this time was playing with a strategy guide, which I was hoping would help.
So I read up on combat. On stats an options. I picked the class I wanted, a Pyromancer for fire spells and good combat potential. I read up on dodging and blocking, and on all the important defensive elements of the game.
It’s a game where basically any enemy can kill you, where you’re always at risk. And where there are potential consequences to dying; you have one try to get back your lost Souls (a combination of currency and experience points) and Humanity (used variously in-game, and passively a bonus to your item-find rate).
I reached the first merchant in the game, read up on what he had. I ground out the enemies in the area, getting the Souls to buy everything he had that I could need – starting with a good shield. But the other thing I read was he dropped a katana when killed, and so once I had bought everything, I killed him, and then I ground out the Souls to get the levels needed to equip the katana.
Okay, so good class? Check. Good defensive equipment? Check. Getting some practice on defense as well. Good weapon? Check, and it was working for my playstyle as well – good for multiple fast attacks. I had used the strategy guide to good effect, I felt. It was time to move on.
And not far past there, as I learned the enemies ahead and worked through, a mini-boss guarding a magic ring. Exciting! Time to fight my way through.
Nope, died. Time to collect my corpse. Okay, try again. Nope. Okay, again. Nope. Nope, nope. Read up on the enemy, found that indeed, he’s hard. Thanks for that, guide.
And at some point, exactly what this game is going for kicked in: I wanted to beat this challenge, I wanted to make it through. But it was just so many steps to repeat to get back to the fight each time, I eventually decided it was time to just move on and come back for this later.
But that’s when it happened, the dreaded double-death. Stupid random enemies I had killed a few dozen times before got me, one group then another. I lost my Souls, I lost my Humanity. And it’s just, it so wasn’t worth it. All this work, and I had accomplished nothing of consequence.
There’s supposed to be this great feeling of accomplishment when you finally make it through the challenges, and that’s great, but honestly – every enemy is a challenge. Every one is a threat you have to watch out for. You never get to relax. You’re always on edge. Accomplishment might be an eventual result, but “fun” isn’t a part of it throughout. Not for me.
And so, I am done with my Dark Souls playthrough. I had been considering buying the third game – I’m now glad I haven’t! But how about you? Any experience with the series? What did you think? Let me know in the comments below!