Obviously if Demon’s Souls is going to be here, Dark Souls has to be. This was a very different game than the first, but nearly the same as well. One great thing this game had was a single, seamless world. If you never played this game, or the one that came before it, you must go get it. I’ll try not to spoil anything here. This game is currently my all-time, number-one favorite game I have ever played. The feeling of death waiting around every corner is chilling. As you play the game, you repetitively run each area over and over, dying less and less, and learn it. Now the really interesting thing to me is, I HATE games that use death as a mechanic to learn levels. It is one of my arguments against most games that “surprise you” with death waiting around the corner. However in this game, it works. That is because they incorporated player death into the experience of the game. Dying is a part of the fun. It isn’t a load screen; it is literally an element of gameplay. And it works. As you become comfortable in an area and can run it flawlessly over and over, you feel really good about yourself. You feel in command. Then, you open that fog or step through that threshold into an unfamiliar level and the terror takes hold again. You have no idea what to expect!
I remember vividly the sense of utter despair I had when I was heading to the swamp. I had just made that first campfire in rickety Blighttown. That was such a cruel area. All of those tight bridges you had to fight on in the dark. I wanted out. I wanted to be back at the safety of Firelink Shrine so I could go anywhere I wanted. I wanted OUT! But there was no way. Going back? Damn. I had no idea how to get back. I mean, I felt I knew it coming in. After all, it took me about 6 tries to get here. But what the hell was it going to be like facing those enemies in reverse? No, that meant a ton of backtracking as well. The only way was forward into the unknown. More bridges, more death, then the swamp. And it looked huge. I had no idea how long it was going to take. It felt like it would be hours – and it was. I recall, quite vividly, standing there, by that campfire, about to head into the dark maw of death for my 6th time, and for some reason I looked up. Way up there, I saw sunlight. As I stared, I saw the bridge I’d fought on what seemed like years ago. I recalled those days, fighting Black Knights and hollows. I used to think that was hard. I used to think that was scary. But no, now I know. Now I’m in the belly of the beast and I can’t get out. There are people up there. If only they could hear me. If only they could know that I needed someone to come save me. It was chilling. Then, determined, I donned my mantle of a true hero and I set out to conquer the impossible.
You know what? I have a ton more games I could talk about. However, next week I want to talk a little about Lichdom. Yes, next week I am going to tell you a little bit about my game…