Dark Souls Review

Ask and ye shall receive, Dark Souls has arrived on PC. Praised for its design and challenge, Dark Souls harkens back to the days when getting hurt couldn't be cured by cowering behind a wall and enemies weren't as disposable as the game's packaging. Dark Souls punishes the weak, but if you are up for it, the payoff is one of the best gaming experiences in recent memory.

It has to be said that Dark Souls is a straight port of the console version of the game . Don't expect to find many of the features you are used to seeing in a PC options menu. Fortunately, an enterprising chap has already found a work around to the limited resolution. The fix provides the depth of customization that will make Dark Souls a great looking game. It is also advisable to play with a controller as the keyboard and mouse support is poorly implemented.

This lack of optimization is a shame, however if you can get past it, you are in for a stellar experience.

And by stellar I mean brutal. You are going to die, a lot. This is a game that never holds your hand.

Dark Souls' combat requires patience and tenacity. More akin to a fighting game than a hack and slash RPG, you must learn the intricacies of your weapon and the beasts you hope to slay to be successful.  Unique and powerful weapons can be found, but with enough practice and upgrades, even the lowliest long-sword can become a formidable instrument of death. Your bond with your weapon grows as the game progresses, giving you the confidence to face the deadly beasts that inhabit the world. Don't be too cocky, you can never let your guard down.

The difficulty can feel overwhelming, but never unfair. You will experience deaths aplenty, however you will learn from your mistakes and try again. The satisfaction you feel after vanquishing a seemingly unbeatable foe is tremendous

The world of Lordran is a stunning backdrop for your battles. Imposing medieval fortresses tower above you with deep, dark caverns sprawling beneath them. Lordran is both foreboding and  beautiful. It is easy to find yourself lost - in both senses of the word - but the game rewards careful exploration with items, characters and shortcuts. Emerging from the depths of Blightown or the darkness of Sen's Fortress for a brief glimpse of the sun will keep you putting one foot in front of the other.

And keep going you should. Dark Souls is one of the most fulfilling gaming experience to be had this year. Challenging, frustrating and occasionally terrifying, once it has its claws into you, Dark Souls is nearly impossible to put down. A reward awaits the resilient player, but not until after you've died a few hundred times.  

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