Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Dark Souls

GENRE: Action Role-Playing
PLATFORM: PS3/XBox360/Microsoft Windows
CREDITS: 2011 FromSoftware/Namco Bandai Games
DIRECTOR: Hidetaka Miyazaki
COMPOSER: Motoi Sakuraba

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Amazon.com Description:
Live Through A Million Deaths & Earn Your Legacy
Enter a dark world filled with despair and threaded by hope where your ability to creatively strategize, learn and overcome unpredictable and unique challenges determines your fate. Dark Souls will demand your absolute concentration, unflinchingly punish your mistakes, but reward your ability to learn from death. Each challenge is a mind game met with endless combinations that will test your ability to creatively strategize a way to conquer unimaginable monsters and progress deeper into this bleak and forbidding environment filled with the un-dead.

Game Key Features
  • Extremely Deep, Dark & Difficult
  • Fully Seamless World
  • Mastery Earns Progression
  • Network Play
  • Flexible Character Development & Role Play
  • Community
  • Symbolic of Life & Hope

A masterpiece for a new generation of games. >>> by John Paul Mateo

Dark Souls is the spiritual successor to the PS3 game Demon Souls. The game is characterized by its extreme difficulty and demanding nature. It difficulty stands out from most AAA games of its time as most AAA games were ones that held the hand of the players with a lot of UI information that can guide the player to his next destination. Dark Souls on the other hand handle giving direction to the player via framing and emphasis on the target destination. An elaborate example would be in its tutorial level. You will clearly see the door that is colored differently; The way it is also positioned when you exit from the previous section will also point you towards it. The game also lets the player have freedom whilst restricting the amount of decisions he can make. There are many different ways for a player to overcome a boss or a level. If a player thinks creatively enough and has enough information on how the game mechanics work, he can solve problems easier than how it seems.

The designers were effective in employing their understanding of player pattern perception into use. The game conditions us to recognize similar patterns so that we may learn the game and how to progress, the game is also not afraid of breaking the built pattern to bring in more frightening experience to the player. A good example of breaking the usual symbol is the mimic. For the first half of the game you will encounter chests that contain loot. In Sen’s Fortress you can encounter your first mimic. It looks like a chest but if you try to open it, it will grab and munch your character. It reminds you that the world the game is set in is dark and treacherous.

Its aesthetics are also top notch. My favourite phrase from an Honest Game Trailer of Dark Souls is: “Get lost in scenery that you’ll get lost in.” Since the game provides little to no information on where you’re supposed to go next, you will inevitably explore areas and be amazed at how gorgeous/terrifying the other places to explore look. My favourite area is the final area, Kiln of the First Flame, it gives off a deteriorating feeling that even the final boss and his BGM will give.

Dark Souls giving little to no information is also a way to get players search in the internet for solutions. In the earlier days of gaming where the internet was a scarce resource, finding for the right information was from word of mouth from friends or you’d need to buy a walkthrough. The game utilizes its player community sharing the answers to the in game dilemmas of other players. Another way to convey information is through the bloodstain. When you die, a bloodstain is left and other people can see your bloodstain and see how you died. This is yet another unique way to use mechanics to bring information to the player.

The game’s difficulty also serves a way for players to stop and think about they need to do or what they have done wrong. The game being demanding demands you as the player to observe the little details that may help you in the future. Ambushes can be seen from different angles that you can notice if you did observe the area while walking.

In conclusion, Dark Souls is a masterpiece for the new generation of games and will continue to influence numerous games in the future.

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