Reviews for Dark Souls: Prepare to Die Edition (NA)

70

Rigid and uncomfortable.

Jericho417 | July 30, 2014 | See all Jericho417's reviews »

Dark Souls takes the approach of old school games, being unforgiving and difficult. The main appeal seems to be finally overcoming a challenge after several failures. That sense of satisfaction is supposed to push you to the next obstacle. Many people praise this, I don't. The combat feels good and the story is interesting, but I find the lack of manual saving to be irritating. If you kill a merchant, they do not respawn. The game will auto-save and you'll be stuck without their service for the rest of the game. On top of that, the PC port was... disappointing. It's pretty much required to apply community made patches and such to make it the game it should have been.

90

Pain was never so Rewarding & Satisfying!

khawaja07 | July 20, 2014 | See all khawaja07's reviews »

Dark Souls may not be a perfect PC port but it is a satisfying and rewarding experience if one succeeds. The whole world design caught me by surprise how fluent & interconnected it is. It feels like an adventure through and through, one that never ceases to amaze. Don't judge it for its low-res textures and other low quality graphical features, the plus points of the Souls series were never in these but in the Artistic representation of the seamless world created in which the player faces extremely challenging enemies and bosses to overcome.

As an R.P.G, the decisions in Dark Souls are yours but remember the consequences are also yours, which you would have to live with for the rest of your playthrough, they can be either really good or bad depending on what choice you make. Dark Souls focuses mostly on your combat skills & how you proceed with it with little emphasis on dialogues as you progress through the game. At the start, you'll die a lot or less depending on your learning curve, slowly but surely you will start adapting to the combat and soon would possibly master it! Its an addicting experience which can seem as either extremely satisfying or very punishing based on your combat skills.

It also has an 'addicting' Multiplayer component which is mingled with its Single-player component and both entwine to each other to work seamlessly! as a whole it felt like a real life adventure where all of us player's worlds are interconnected to each other and that we have be careful at each step we take further in order to proceed. I suffered a lot at first but step-by-step i kept learning to keep my wits up and be vigilant always and the result would be in my favor. Every area feels like it serves a purpose.

The game has a very deep story hidden in the lore which can only be found if you observe closely, Dark Souls doesn't hold your hand and drag you through the story but you yourself need to venture out in the areas and discover it yourself. Nearly every gameplay element is connected to the Lore and must be understood to flesh out the story in your mind. The game itself is near perfect when it comes to the exquisite combat and artistic direction but as a PC port, it unfortunately seems really rushed and unoptimized. For an optimal Dark Souls experience, Mods such as DSFix, DSCFix are highly recommended otherwise as a PC game, Dark souls seems clunky, lackluster plus the addition of Games For Windows Live in it further makes the matters worse where there is a small chance that your saves can even get possibly corrupted although i didn't share the same fate thankfully. It can also interfere with the multiplayer which can seem as not so seamless as it Should be.

Conclusion:

Even with its Cons, its Pro's overcome them and you can Still get a satisfying experience in the end if you take my recommendations. As a PC game however, proper attention should've been given to it in optimizing it for an optimal PC gaming experience which sadly it lacks! A Controller is highly recommended for a game like this as playing with a keyboard and mouse can make fully experiencing Dark Souls a lot harder.

One thing is for sure, its the most rewarding game i have ever played for my time invested in it and it keeps on giving!

84

Great game with a mod

jepherz | July 15, 2014 | See all jepherz's reviews »

I know a lot of people say this is a bad port and it is, but there is a mod that does a great job making the game bearable to play. I don't have any complaints with the graphics or controls with the mod installed.

In terms of game play it's a fun but difficult game. There are tons of different weapons and spells your character can attain. The best ones are either well hidden or takes some farming and luck for it to drop. Some of the bosses are actually really hard and I have to admit I never tried too hard to defeat them alone. You can actually call on friends or other random players to come and help you out which I did. When you do this it does make the game a whole lot easier, but going alone is way too hard sometimes. It made me want to have a difficulty somewhere in between.

PVP is also great in this game, my only downside here though is that there are longs of very strong people due to 2 things: The game has been out a long time so there naturally will be very geared characters, and it's probably easy to cheat and mod a character on the PC edition which I hope changes in the Dark souls 2.

72

A Really Hard Game to Beat.

alanmaz567 | July 12, 2014 | See all alanmaz567's reviews »

The graphics look OK, but the game doesn't play smoothly because of the capped 20 frames per second. The Requirements are low for an average PC bought in 2014. The gameplay is fun but hard (If you screw up you almost immediately die). The storyline is nothing amazing. The multiplayer suck, because player can just join your game and kill you for no reason at all, which makes you respawn to the nearest checkpoint. (usually checkpoints aren't that near). Overall the game is kind of fun to play depending if you like dying a lot.

54

Great Game, AWFUL Port

884okeoJ | July 1, 2014 | See all 884okeoJ's reviews »

Dark Souls on consoles is a great game with good controls and graphics. PC, on the other hand, is a completely different story. It is nearly impossible to play Dark Souls without a controller, which means extra hassle for people who enjoy using keyboard and mouse. Dark Souls also has its resolution permanently set at 1024x720, even for monitors larger than that. The whole game is a mess without multiple mods and patches to help straighten things out. While it helps, you shouldn't have to rely on mods to make a game work.

However, once the stars align in your favor and the game is actually playable, you are greeted with a tough but fair RPG that is one of the best in recent memory. The gameplay is great, the bosses are impressive, and the atmosphere is unmatched. However, if you're really wanting to play Dark Souls, get it on consoles if you can.

100

Believe the Hype

Miss_fortune | June 10, 2014 | See all Miss_fortune's reviews »

Seriously this game is amazing. Yes, this game does require you to learn patterns and 'git gud' but if you pay your dues to learn how the mechanics work it rapidly becomes the most satisfying gaming experience you will have in years. The story and lore of the world all gives it amazing depth and i highly recommend this game.

Just remember, there is no cheesing in this game. everything is a legitimate strategy.

87

Great with a controller

peshmi | May 29, 2014 | See all peshmi's reviews »

I'd like to emphasize the "with a controller" part. It's still certainly playable with a keyboard and mods like DSFix definitely help, but it is ideally played with a controller. That being said, just about every part of the game is definitely good.

The story and lore can be ambiguous, but the core of it is clear and there is a lot of room for interpretation and many side notes that you will not notice at first. The setting has a certain feel to it that is unique and immersive. Story serves it purpose and gives some interesting tidbits to those who want them, but the game revolves primarily around gameplay.

The gameplay is fairly challenging. You will definitely die a lot and you might rage quit a few times, but never give up. It gives you everything you need and it's a learning experience.

81

Good upgrade and some fixes

nightassassin1 | May 21, 2014 | See all nightassassin1's reviews »

This is a noticeable upgrade from the original. You have new bosses, some new areas, and even some bug fixes. Interestingly enough it is even harder than the original. The game is however, a bad port. The controls can be a little hard to manipulate at times and all the menus list the Xbox controls. It is not that hard to change these for translation to the PC, but the developers were lazy and didn't care. If you want the game, I strongly suggest getting it for console.

Despite the few new features, bug fixes, and increased difficulty there is not too much more to this game than the original. If you have the original do not buy this because it would be a waste, but if you don't have the original then I suggest considering this version over the other.

For those who don't know. This is simply a very hard RPG that plays similar to the Elder Scrolls series with a better parry/block system. The game uses Souls as a currency that is used for repairs, purchases, and level ups. This makes it increasingly hard because you have to decide between new equipment and levelling up in many cases. The worst part is that if you die, your souls are left where you died and if you don't claim them before you die again, they are lost forever. Best use them while you have them and never enter a boss battle without spending as many as possible.

In all reality the graphics are pretty good and resemble that of the Elder Scrolls series and the game plays wells. It is entirely worth the money and will bring hours of stressful gameplay and hundreds of deaths. Enjoy.

90

Prepare to die, many, many times!

bull21 | May 11, 2014 | See all bull21's reviews »

Dark Souls is one of the best (if not the best) RPGs that ever made. Even though PC users do get their fair share of problems* with the game even before they set their foot in Lordan, the game itself never really disappoints. One must keep in his mind that Dark Souls was ported to PC after petition so all the things (such as controls that are not well adjusted for PC users or not-so-good graphics) that one might find problematic and unsatisfying with other games, Dark Souls gets away with. After all it was one of the rare game developers (Rockstar, I'm looking at you!) that actually listened to the community. While there are some problems with the game, the most important thing - gameplay - proves that nothing really can get in a way of the great game. Dark Souls' gameplay is riveting, demanding the player to be on a constant alert as it throws player (in a move that is quite unusuall) into the world where one equals (also one frequently finds himself to be inferior) to his enemy and in such way, Dark Souls proves to be one of the most entertaining and rewarding games and in my opinion, is well worth the 20$! *(optimizing and "fixing" it might prove challenging to some)

93

PREPARE TO DIE!

missionary4jc | April 23, 2014 | See all missionary4jc's reviews »

if you want a new challenge, its time to try this one. It's not impossible, but it will take you a few times (deaths) to get use to it, i had to retards 6 times with 6hrs+ in each play through until i finally had it like i want it, cuz i lose a lot of xp and i like perfection. In short, you will not regret this purchase, BUT! if you want everything go look for something else. NOTE i have a friend that even with "invincibility" cheat he kept dying, just imagine the challenge lol

79

Rekt like a skrub

GamerPouty | April 22, 2014 | See all GamerPouty's reviews »

Great game love it m8, but the port is not that good, and by "not that good" i mean a outrageous pile of crud" But if you can handle it and are capable of running it than you will have a really aggressive but hectic time.

10/10 would play again.

90

PREPARE TO REVIEW

ncubed | April 22, 2014 | See all ncubed's reviews »

Not impossible to beat. High learning curve that requires you to think before you engage. One of the most meaty combat systems of any ARPG released. Requires modding to play on PC. GFWL is tedious and a pain in the ass to work around. Overall, great experience. With DS2 around the corner, you could do hell of a lot worse.

90

Failure is an option

Dreceratops | April 11, 2014 | See all Dreceratops's reviews »

Though it has "Prepare to Die" as a sub-title, Dark Soul's difficulty is overstated by many. But compared to many other modern titles, it is pretty tough. And that difficulty is what makes it refreshing. This is a game that not only allows you to, but expects you to fail.

Upon death, you drop all of your souls, the in-game currency used for everything. If you die again, those souls are lost forever. This teaches the player that learning the levels is very important, but also that souls are disposable. The quicker you learn that, the less stress will be had.

This game is mostly combat based. Melee combat has most of the polish, and while magic is powerful, it does seem as fleshed out as melee, and ranged weapons like bows are both weak and clunky. Every move you and your enemies make has a long wind-up. You can either make the option to block it, which is normally safe, dodge it, which takes a bit more skill, or to attack first, which may stop their attack. Because every move is slow and deliberate, it is up to you to make the most out of every advantage.

The atmosphere is very cold and empty feeling. When an enemy kills you, it just goes back on patrol, because it's killed people like you every day. The story is pretty cryptic, and many parts of the lore are told via item descriptions and the level design itself. Some people may prefer a more "direct: approach, but I love it.

All in all, this was one of my favorite games of the last generation, and I recommend it to everyone seeking an atmosphere filled game.

95

One of my favourite games of all time.

ipowers9000 | March 25, 2014 | See all ipowers9000's reviews »

This game is amazingly challenging, but equally rewarding. After beating the game normally, I put it on the shelf for a while and came back to it a couple months after. Now I have a little over a hundred hours logged with four different characters, and have been working my way through new game plus. Once the game hooks you it really doesn't let go. The combat is the most solid I've ever felt in a game, very weighty and timing-based. If you like action RPGs you can't miss this game!

90

A Great Game, That's Not For Everyone

icedmetal57 | March 24, 2014 | See all icedmetal57's reviews »

Many people will be turned off by this game's difficulty, atmosphere, or story-telling approach. Personally, I love all of it. While this game has been continually described as difficult, I personally would describe it as more challenging, than difficult. It's a game that's slower paced than your typical third-person action game, but it's a much more tense experience. The combat in this game is simple, but weighty, where every attack counts, there's no button mashing or combos its very precise and impactful. Every attack counts. The game can certainly be mastered through practice, and many people have, an example being SL1 playthroughs, which are playthroughs where the player beats the whole game without leveling their character, a challenging, yet possible feat.

The game has a lot of ways to customize your character with dozens of weapons and armor types to the different types of spells and magic. If you wanted to, you could play the game entirely in PVE, or you can focus entirely on PVP. That being said, there are 9 player covenants that focus on different aspects on the game, a few of them focus on co-op gameplay, while a few focus on different aspects of PVP. The multi-player is both part of the single-player game, yet still separate, in a weird way. When you want to fight another player, you invade their world and fight in their game's world in whatever level they are in at the time, which could be beneficial to either side, an example being Sen's Fortress, a level full of deadly traps.

That being said, since this game is From Software's first attempt at a PC port, it is a fairly poor port, fortunately there's some great fixes out there to make the game playable, DSFix being one of the major ones, though I'd recommend using a controller, like a wired Xbox 360 controller. There's also issues with the multi-player aspect with Games For Windows Live being the problem. You'll often times have trouble invading or summoning other players for PVP and co-op, if your persistent, you'll eventually get through and be able to enjoy them, though there may be some lag as this game uses Peer-to-Peer networking.

Overall a great game, that I highly recommend giving a try if you are in anyway interested. Don't worry, it's completely normal if you quit after playing for a short while. What typically happens is people will start playing the game, then get frustrated and quit, then days, weeks or even months later they'll come back to it, and it'll click and they'll fall in love with the game. Trust me, it's a common experience for those new to Dark Souls. Just remember, dying isn't the worst thing ever, you'll get used to it, improve, and then it won't occur as often because you've gotten much better at surviving. Just take your time and be patient.

91

Here's a little death, then a little more

Fazbott | March 23, 2014 | See all Fazbott's reviews »

This game is freaking hard but is definitely worth buying. The enemies are very powerful and will likely kill you faster than you expect, but you learn how to defeat them and this makes the game play even better. Would highly recommend for anyone looking for a challenge that's bored of normal third person RPGs.

90

This Game is NOT Impossible

tw2point0 | March 17, 2014 | See all tw2point0's reviews »

The reason this game is so fun (in my opinion) is because of the gameplay. It is simple enough that anyone can grasp it, but if you really delve into the lore of the game you will find so much to do and improve on as far as combat goes. And that's just the combat. The story is nearly nonexistent, so don't play this game if you like a really good, in-depth story. Play this game because you will curse your screen for the hundreds of times you will die and you will revel in the joy of victory. There is no game that has made my heart beat like Dark Souls. There is no other game I am truly proud of having finished. This is a gaming experience not to be missed.

71

really.... prepare...

damienjameswebb | Feb. 22, 2014 | See all damienjameswebb's reviews »

this is the most unforgiving and extremely difficult rouge-like to try and master. the enemies can just come out of no-where, or you can play for hours and make it really far, to simply be pushed off the edge of a cliff by accident....

however, this game is soooooo addicting in the sense that when you die you get angry, throw the mouse across the room... and then walk over, pick it back up, and start all over again in anticipation to be able to try and get farther the next time around.

the environment is nice and spooky, makes you really play on the edge of you seat, and the graphics can run pretty low and works well on my laptop even (after some tweaking).

good game but not for those who get angry very easily.

92

Unforgiving

bahjaniga | Feb. 13, 2014 | See all bahjaniga's reviews »

This RPG is unique and extremely difficult. Instead of relying on mega weapons and armor to make you invincible, there is always the risk of death around every corner. Because of that factor, boredom is replaced by anticipation and excitement. This game is not for those of you that are easily frustrated when you cannot progress through a game without issue. Believe me though, this is an RPG that is worth your patience.

95

The Ultimate Third Person Dungeon Rogue Crawler

Ebo | Feb. 4, 2014 | See all Ebo's reviews »

Where do I even start with a game like Dark Souls? How about that amazing feeling you get after finally conquering an area you've been trying to beat for the last 3 hours? The message YOU DIED becomes engraved in your retinas, but then it happens. Yes, the boss finally at your feet, VICTORY ACHIEVED. Oh yeah Ornstein and Smaugh, who's the big guy now, aye?

Jokes aside, Dark Souls is one of those games you have to play at least once, I mean at least try it, you don't have to actually finish it (although you should). Well, that is if you can get past the many issues this lousy port offers.

But install a few mods (DSfix is your friend and if you have actual friends then DSCfix is too) and you are good to go with the best version of Dark Souls out there.

Are YOU prepared to die?

98

Prepare To DIE!!!

chataolauj | Jan. 22, 2014 | See all chataolauj's reviews »

This game is one my favorite all time games, but it's difficult. Every fight, even with normal skeletons, you have to prepare to die because it's that HARD! I feel like this game doesn't get enough credit compared to those big name RPGs (e.g. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Dragon Age Origins, etc.). It has all the elements an RPG should have; probably more. You do have to take your time with this game though. If you try to rush all the fights, you'll take forever to complete the game, if you even want to complete the game after dying so many times by mere (or so you think) skeletons. I was very lucky to get this game on sale for $9.99 on Amazon during the month of December 2013, but this game is still worth $29.99 because once you buy it, you probably won't buy another game for 2 months; that's not me exaggerating either. Definitely buy it if you love RPGs and if you're PREPARED TO DIEEEEEEEEEEE.

100

Very hard at first, but a worthwile experience

drebin8 | Jan. 20, 2014 | See all drebin8's reviews »

This may just be the best game I've ever played. Several years ago I bought Demon's Souls, thinking it had cool art and people seemed to like it. I was planning on just beating it and returning it. In the end though, I had an incredible time with it and kept it. So, when Dark Souls was announced, I preordered it as soon as I could. Then, I bought it for PC when I could, and then I bought it for two friends as well. It's brutal, but fair. If you die, it's your fault, and you will learn from every death and become better. Leveling up your character isn't as important as just becoming better. The combat is some of the best I've ever seen, since all the weapons have weight to them and feel like you're actually striking the enemy. Anyway, just get it. If you haven't played it, you're missing out.

94

Difficult but Fantastic

Percyro | Jan. 7, 2014 | See all Percyro's reviews »

First of all, the game is not playable by itself. If you want an enjoyable experience then I HIGHLY recommend using either an Xbox or PS3 controller with this game. Otherwise you will have an even more difficult time. Also if you want unlocked frames and high definition graphics look into a mod known as "dsfix." Now onto the game itself. It is very difficult. The controls take some getting used to, but once you play for an hour or so it isn't so bad. The enemies however are still unforgiving. You will find yourself dying all the time, but don't give up. All the deaths pay off, as progression into the game is very rewarding. The soundtrack is astounding, the boss battles are epic, and the overall game is fantastic. If you are looking for a game that will challenge your skill and provide some epic gameplay, buy this game.

95

Hair-pulling, controller throwing yet AMAZING experience

WraithFluX | Dec. 27, 2013 | See all WraithFluX's reviews »

Dark souls, this is an art in the form of a game. It makes you cry, it makes you laugh, it makes you swear in frustration, it makes you proud and it makes you throw your controller away, and it can make you go through all of that in just 10 minutes. Dark souls was the first PROPER RPG game that i got into, and man am I glad to play this game.

To tell you about the game, its a fairly long, rewarding experience. The dark lore, the elegant gameplay mechanics and the world around you, all look simple on first look, but are deep and well thought out.

You start off as a man or woman with a broken weapon and some clothes, and are thrown into a boss fight mere minutes after the start of the game, but by the end you become a god. And the progression is so smooth, you don't even realize it.

Gameplay-wise, its standard RPG affair of kill enemies to earn souls (the currency of dark souls), that can be used to level-up or buy things from merchants. The twist here is that everytime you die (which you do, A LOT) you lose all the souls that you have collected, and the only way to get them back is to go to the location where you died and pick them up. This simple concept adds the much-talked about "punishing" aspect of the game, since death is very common. Add to that the aggressive, sometimes horrifying enemies, with every area ending with a fight against gigantic boss, and you have a difficult game.

The weapons are some of the best I've seen in RPGs. They are believable yet unique and each weapon has its own quality that differentiates it from other weapons. On top of that you have shields (which IS A MUST FOR NEW PLAYERS), magic spells, miracles and pyromancy. Too many things to choose from, and you constantly keep switching them since different situations demand different equipments.

Graphically, game looks okay-ish. Textures are bad at some points, and its a sore to the eyes if you do not use DSfix mod, but nothing that will put you off from playing the game.

Multiplayer in this game is unlike anything I've ever seen. It is proper sword-to-sword dueling over the internet, which is hard to find in today's games.

I would've given it a perfect score, had it not been for the very poor and lazy port that the devs decided to release on PC. It uses GFWL, so prepare yourself for some very frustrating disconnections and other internet issues.

And if you are buying this game (which I hope you do), good luck, and prepare to die!

90

Changed my views on the RPG

ROKET | Dec. 26, 2013 | See all ROKET's reviews »

This beautiful game had be in withdrawal for weeks after I finished. Its beautiful, its ominous, its terrifying and oh so satisfying. There are plenty of long reviews here so Ill try to be brief.

Story:

People may say there is no story but they would be dead wrong. There is a story and its amazing and utterly tragic at the same time. The key to the story is finding it and seeing it in the world around you. There is SOO much backstory and once you find it...it blows you away. At times you almost feel sorry for taking down some of the bosses.

Gameplay:

I have never experienced a game is swordplay and weight like this game. Not only is it satisfying but its also methodical and rewards those who have patience. Sword swings have weight, shielding is key, and armor makes a huge difference. I loved every bit of the gameplay and Im not kidding when I say some parts of the game, including getting invaded, are utterly terrifying.

Presentation:

With the DSFix and DSCFix mods in junction with a few texture mods...this game is BEAUTIFUL. It also runs very well (after the mods) and really contributes well to its atmosphere. The music also great and sounds really keep you on edge as you progress the world. Damn I loved it. lol.

Final note - dont be afraid to use a guide. No need to get frustrated. Dont cheap, as the difficulty is part of the game, but dont be afraid to use a guide to experience all parts of the game. Its worth it to know the extras.

Overal: 90/100

95

An amazing Experience

bnamsrom | Dec. 24, 2013 | See all bnamsrom's reviews »

I first bought Dark Souls on my Xbox 360 and loved it. I was nervous because of how difficult I had heard it was, but I came to enjoy the game for that reason and more. The difficulty is extremely high, but this can be overcome with practice, and this keeps the player from mindlessly farming for souls (experience/currency) because most enemies will always be able to dispatch of you quickly if you make a wrong move. A WORD OF WARNING: the PC version of this game can be just as enjoyable as the console version, but this is only after the right mods are applied. The developers rushed this game on to PC and it is terrible without any of the fixes. These mods can be found on the forums on Steam and probably many other places simply because they are essential. Once those are implemented the game works like a charm. This game is full to bursting with originality; from the seamless world that is masterfully intertwined to the smart use of the player community through the use of summoning and notes that players can leave for each other. Dark Souls needs to be played by RPG fans who are looking for a challenge.

100

Prepare to put over 100 hours

alphaprospector | Dec. 8, 2013 | See all alphaprospector's reviews »

Oh man, this game. I double dipped, first here buying it day one and then on retail, getting all the goodies. Yes, it's the kind of game you double dip. Triple dip and more.

While it's unfortunate the PC release is nothing short of a terrible port, thanks to the power of mods the game becomes even more playable. But make no mistake: Dark Souls is one of those Games of the Generation (c) Once you look past the specific details of the PC version and get into the mechanics, length, challenge, setting, everything comes together to bring one of the most awesome experiences I had in years. The game doesn't hold your hand, it throws you to a brutal, dark and grim world where everything is out there, trying to kill you. And what little friends you have only exacerbate the loneliness you feel as you traverse the ruined corridors of long-lost citadels and forests. So much is told with so little dialogue. That economy of words and lack of exposition and overly long cutscenes, QTEs and such is what makes this game so great: you ARE playing most of the time, that's what games should be! Not interactive movies.

Anyway, not much else to say, just grab your armor, pick up your weapons of destruction and unveil the twisted mysteries that lie behind Lordran the Land of the Gods and its twisted time-altered existence. There is no way back.

85

Difficult, but rewarding

Luke123190 | Nov. 23, 2013 | See all Luke123190's reviews »

The game is based on the soul idea of the player dying, a lot. The game works around this feature and is very smooth for a such a dark game. Its fun to play but has a buggy ui which can be fixed with mods. The game also lacks direction and kinda of nudges you in a direction it never makes it clear. However my favourite feature is when you see a bloodstain and can watch another player die in some way.

90

Flawed port of an amazing game

heretickitsune | Nov. 11, 2013 | See all heretickitsune's reviews »

Dark Souls is a lengthy and difficult game, with a deep and depressing plot hidden within the game that you'll love to discover. Of course, you'll have to stop dying so often to do that... which is no easy task. This game wants you dead.

But, that's perfectly fine, because almost all of the time, it was your fault. You could have prevented your death. You could have been faster, more aware, more prepared. You will get frustrated, but you will learn. And you will love it. The combat system is deep and deliberate: everything you do has a consequence, and you have to learn what to do and when, unless you enjoy flailing angrily instead of attacking while a goat demon introduces you to his giant machetes. And on that note, part of the learning experience involves discovering that death isn't always a terrible thing... after all, you don't lose any of your inventory.

The controls might take some getting used to at first, but once you master them you realize just how great the controls and handling are.

Don't worry though, help does exist in this world. Other players can place signs that allow you to summon them, and they'll be able to assist you. Though, not all Dark Souls players wish to help you... there are those who will invade your world, seeking to kill you for their own gain. Defeat them, however, and you will be rewarded.

A vast amount of equipment exists in this game, with many varying weapon types. Short swords, greatswords, magic, rapiers, crossbows, spears, and even a few whips! They all differ more than just in basic statistics, however, as two different weapons in a single category can behave differently. You can carry as much as you want in your inventory, but there is a weight limit for equipment that varies based on your stats and some accessories, giving even more depth to your choice on what to wear into battle. Unfortunately there are some balance issues, but nothing major: if you're good enough, you can run around naked and punch things to death with your bare hands (I don't recommend this because it takes forever).

Graphically, the game looks quite great. The overall design is wonderful

So, with all this praise, why not a perfect 100? Sadly, the game does have some faults. Texture quality can vary, though as a whole the game looks quite great. There are a couple of moments in the game that you pretty much need prior knowledge to avoid dying the first time, but they are very few and far between. The biggest problem, however, is the shoddy quality of the PC port. This game was originally on the Playstation 3, then ported quite well to the Xbox 360. The 360 version was ported to the PC due to so many fans requesting it, and the developers told the fans prior that they had zero experience with PC game development but with enough demand they'd try and port it. Well, it shows: The resolution settings aren't very good, the mouse and keyboard support is abysmal (the game was made for controllers anyway so just use a 360 or PS3 controller, or similar), and the multiplayer has some troubles with connecting. The community stepped in, however, and there are popular fixes out there for the PC version that are easy to find, easy to use, and perfectly safe to install.

To summarize, Dark Souls is a very challenging, but fair, game. Looks great, plays great, very engaging. Offline or online, you'll have a great experience, but you will die very often. The key is to keep trying and keep getting better... and you'll soon find those super difficult moments from the past are no match for your increasing skill with the game. The PC version has some issues, but downloading and installing DSFix along with Dark Souls Connectivity Fix basically patches those problems and create the ultimate version of the game. There's even a mouse fix in case you want to play with keyboard and mouse.

If you want a deep, rewarding game, purchase Dark Souls. And when you do...

Prepare to Die.

100

A Difficult Game, but Worth Every Penny

Gamerman246 | Oct. 29, 2013 | See all Gamerman246's reviews »

Bottom line, this game is amazing. It easily takes the #1 spot on my list for favourite game, simply because it stands apart from other games this generation. It may appear difficult and daunting at first, but once you begin conquering what at first seemed impossible, it's a great feeling of accomplishment that I have not experienced for a long time out of a video game. In addition, it's that comprehensive and deep in it's RPG and world building elements that new playthroughs almost always bring new discoveries, no matter how many times you play it.

While it may be a dodgy PC port and many recommend a controller, a few fixes later you have a very functional, enjoyable game, controller or not. If you can look past its technological flaws, and have been longing for a comprehensive game that stands apart from others in the same genre, I could not recommend this game more highly.

90

Punishing, Yet Satisfying

coopopolopolis | Oct. 25, 2013 | See all coopopolopolis's reviews »

Dark Souls brings back the classic concept that finishing a game should be an accomplishment, not a requirement. Remember all of your old NES games that would kill you over and over until you reached the point of giving up? That's exactly what this game does. It doesn't sugar coat anything. It doesn't hold your hand and tell you want to do every step of the way. It just gives it to you over and over. You learn from your mistakes, so that when you conquer something, you actually feel good about what you achieved. I've never died so many times in a game and been ok with it at the same time. It's a great game that you should really give a chance if you aren't easily frustrated with lost progress. It's an immersive world that will keep you on your toes as death literally is waiting around every corner. The game does suffer from being a bad console port, but luckily the mod community took care of that for you so that you can enjoy a great game with the expected PC graphic experience. I highly recommend giving this one a try. It'll make you a better, or at least more humbled gamer.

90

pure game

gwynplaine | Oct. 23, 2013 | See all gwynplaine's reviews »

Dark Souls is a great game because it offers a unique experience. I played Demon’s Souls but not any of the King Field’s games and there are very, very few games that have the aesthetic and hand crafted encounters and enemy placement that Dark Souls has. The game controls differently too with weapon weight and a cool control scheme if you use a controller.

People fundamentally like novel things and Dark Souls really delivered it more so than any other game that has come out recently.

Once you know the levels, tricks behind upgrading and how to approach and pull in different enemies, the game kind of loses its magic, but it’s still very, very engaging. It can surprise you too and routinely kill you if you’re ever over confident and think you can rush in the later levels with your +15 upgraded sword and full Havel's rock suit.

The lore and story in Dark Souls are praised by most players too. It's completely out of the way and you can get into it only IF you want to.

The only problem was that I found the PC version a bit lacking in terms of multiplayer. There’s not a big player base compared to the console version so it felt barren. Of course it was client to client too so you had cheaters that were common too. That took away from the experience but if you prefer solo play, or have some friends to run through it, it’s perfect. Deathmatch and pvp are all right because of the dueling arena due to the added DLC.

95

Death, perfected.

aferrick | Oct. 19, 2013 | See all aferrick's reviews »

Dark Souls is the spiritual successor to Fromsoft's game Demons Souls, which was a game designed to make you die.... a lot. Dark Souls on the other hand is a difficult game designed to make you die... more than a lot. The degree of difficulty associated with this game creates an atmosphere of intense fear combined with a huge system of risk-reward. You never know what trap will be waiting behind the next corner or how it'll kill you, but when you finally get to that save area you feel oh so relieved. I recommend this game to any person looking for a fun, thrilling, challenging experience.

95

Prepare to die. Again... and again

stitch123 | Sept. 27, 2013 | See all stitch123's reviews »

Dark Souls is absolutelly HARDCORE game! There is no tutorial, no manual. It will throw you into world and lets you play. You will die alot as you will slowly aproach to the final battle. Slowly because the game has about 70 hours long story! World has really strong atmosphere. You will feel really alone with all monsters around. It is worth mentioning multiplayer, too. You can help other people beat bosses, or others can help you. You can invade and kill other players, you can be invaded... There's only one bad thing. People say (I didn't have problem with that) it's almost unplayable on PC without XBOX controller or DSfix/DSMfix (utilities that will improve performance, controlls, resolution...). Dark Souls is amazing game, though. You will sure enjoy it!

(Sorry for my bad English)

100

Difficult Game

arookonas | Sept. 24, 2013 | See all arookonas's reviews »

This game is possible to play with Keyboard controls, but it's highly recommended to use a controller. The game also tells you VERY little about how to play. You can "reverse hollowing" to turn into a human, and summon people by touching their sign. This makes the first real boss a cakewalk. Be sure to watch everything around you. You may end up in a small hallway hallway with nowhere to dodge but forward or backward... Why would they do that? A quick look around and you can see a raised tile.... where could the trap be? Its not above you... and you can't dodge to the sides.... it could be in front of you, it could be behind you. This is where paying attention to your surroundings, really pays off, like much other "traps" in the game. Every enemy is able to kill you, so make sure to be careful and choose a healthy, tanky, dps class for your first class and playthrough.

97

Prepare to lose your mind!!

losado | Sept. 19, 2013 | See all losado's reviews »

This game has the most time ive ever spent on in any game ive ever played! let me start with the story, the story in darksouls is very dark and baiscally needs your own imagintation to fill up the empty gaps. The combat system is very unfair at the beginning especially online, but there is a way to avoid playing aginst online players while completeing the story and its very easy. how ever if you play the story while you are in "human" you will be able to summon teammates who can help you throughout the whole level until you kill the boss, when you kill the boss your teammate will be returne to his world and you get to keep going. when you are in human form you can also be invaded by people online who will try to kill you and take your goods if you dont kill them. It is a great game overall and the only reason im not giving it a 100 is because of the online system it needs a mod to fix it and you can find it very easliy. thank you !

95

Prepare to have fun and die alot

deadwool | Sept. 19, 2013 | See all deadwool's reviews »

Dark souls is only for hardcore gamers you will enjoy every second in this amazing game. its one of the most hardest games in the industry you will die million times over and over but you won't be bored if you die every time you die you learn a new thing about the game so you avoid hard places and other places. It also have an awesome coop mode up to 3 friends , also it have the invade system while playing solo or coop some people can invade your world so you and him will fight each other until anyone dies if you killed him you will get all of his souls. Every should try this game.

95

Prepare to be consumed

SrebX | Sept. 4, 2013 | See all SrebX's reviews »

I can say with 100% confidence that Dark Souls is the best game ever released. Developer From Software have thought of everything, every little detail when they created this. Lots of things that seem random have a very deep meaning. Dark Souls is the kind of game that consumes you to your very soul. You think about it when you go to sleep, when you go to work and when you spend time with your girlfriend. You'll constantly be amazed by the stunning visuals, the different enemy types that look fantastic. The game constantly requires you to be on your toes, be prepared for everything that it throws at you and never let your guard down, because if you will, you'll be punished. It has lots of different weapon and "magic" [Miracles/pyromancy/spells] that you can experiment with on top of experimenting on your character's build and stats. EVERYTHING in this game comes together so well... the looks, the difficulty, the diversity in gameplay style and the frightening enemies.

I give it a 95 only because From Software failed in many technical aspects. The game has problems in FPS, it doesn't work very well with Mouse and Keyboard and more things...

Aside from the technical issues, this is the perfect game. LOVED it.

92

Incredible.....

SMart187 | Aug. 22, 2013 | See all SMart187's reviews »

I was absolutely new to this game when I purchased it and it has been nothing short of fantastic. Sometimes the controls feel a little clunky and the graphics aren't the best (30 fps) but it is amazing. It is very difficult but that adds to the fun! Many hours can be had in this title and they will all be enjoyable!

80

Not For Everybody

idobadbymyselfi | Aug. 21, 2013 | See all idobadbymyselfi's reviews »

Dark Souls has a reputation as one of the most unforgiving video games in the last decade. This is a reputation that both draws people in and pushes them away. The game is worshiped in serious gaming forums for its extreme difficulty, subtle lore, rhythmic combat system, and unique online experience. However, these same features are what confuse and frustrate casual players who go into the game not expecting its difficulty. Overall, the game is fantastic for those who go in eager for the difficulty, and disappointing for those who fall behind the learning curve.

The combat system in Dark Souls is divisive; those who learn the rhythm behind it and learn not to button mash love it, but those who don't, hate it.

On the outside, the plot of Dark Souls is overly simplistic and leaves nothing but questions. The game has very few cut-scenes, and NPC dialogue is cryptic. However, one can unravel the lore of Dark Souls, in which the player is revealed to be a pawn in the game of gods, giants, and serpents, by reading item descriptions, piecing together the mutterings of sparse NPCs, and community discussion.

The community of Dark Souls is fanatic; it is a community that bonds over the game's unique online multiplayer experience and the forums devoted to the lore and combat techniques of the game.

Dark Souls is a game that is extremely divisive; those who are willing to spend enough time struggling through the learning curve love the game, and those who don't, don't.

77

Badly needs the DSF Mod, otherwise amazing

Dysenious | Aug. 21, 2013 | See all Dysenious's reviews »

Dark Souls is probably one of the most refreshing RPG's i've played in a long time. The game lives up to its reputation of being challenging, but every time you die you know it is due to you. This is what makes it so frustrating, as you have no one to blame aside from yourself. A lot of people will take out their frustration on the game, or on their controllers. Despite being an amazing experience, it is not without its flaws. The PC version has been very badly ported. Fortunately for the game, the modding community has fixed every major problem the game has. Dark Souls Fix mod makes the game actually playable by performing some well needed optimizing. The Mouse Mod enables you to actually play with Mouse and Keyboard without feeling like your controlling a brick on legs, and the Dark Souls Connection mod makes it so your friends are always the people who appear first for co-op. The problem is that it shouldn't be up to the community to fix up the game, so the game looses marks for that. Regardless, it is still an amazing experience especially in Co-Op. If you run into problems with a boss, have a friend handy to swoop in and save the day.

Praise the Sun!

100

Its called Prepare to die edition for a reason.

Xillion | Aug. 18, 2013 | See all Xillion's reviews »

Dark souls is a very hard game. You cannot adjust the difficulty. You will encounter a number of boss and you will be defeated. It's frustrating, I know. Once you defeat the bosses, it starts to get fun. While the graphics in game is bad, DSFix can fix it. I highly recommend this game to everyone who hasn't played Dark souls yet.

85

Worth the pain and suffering

Partyprime | Aug. 14, 2013 | See all Partyprime's reviews »

When you first hear of either Dark Souls or Demon's Souls you probably hear "Oh it's the hardest game that exists, you will throw your controller into the wall" Kind of a scary thing to hear when you're a not too hardcore player like me. Picking up Dark souls for PC was a challenge to get working at first, but once you have DSfix up and running it runs and looks great.

The game itself is pretty hard, it has RPG elements hidden in NPCs and sometimes you have to find "hidden" voice lines in what they say to know where to go as there is no minimap (or map at all!)

It's a rewarding game and feels very satisfying to beat that boss you've been stuck on for an hour.

I'd very much recommend this game if you have the time and patience to get into the difficulty.

97

Game of the Year

DomEReapeR | Aug. 13, 2013 | See all DomEReapeR's reviews »

Dark Souls was tough for me at first, I bought this game before I had a gamepad which made things rough, and the game unplayable for me.

Then I got a gamepad, and my adventure started. There isn't much in terms of tutorials, what stats do and what stats are best for your kind of character can be tough to learn, prepare to wiki. However, once you've learned it all, the game is a lot more enjoyable.

You can kind of play it through in co-op, if you're prepared for invasions everywhere you go, which makes the game harder, and in my opinion more fun (Unless people are twinking or cheating, which happens more often than I'd like to admit.)

The game has an incredible length (Took me 60 hours to beat it first time) and massive replayability. A tough learning curve, making the game very hard your first time through, but once you've mastered it you feel like a champion.

Using souls to level up and buy items/upgrade weapons is satisfying, a cool RPG system where you can increase one stat per level, but making sure you don't go too far with it by limiting your multiplayer capabilities depending on your soul level.

This game brought me much enjoyment and some very successful youtube videos, I love it to death and I'll be playing it for years to come.

69

Doomed to repeat

AznChronos | Aug. 7, 2013 | See all AznChronos's reviews »

I tried playing this game for quite some time. The controls were very awkward unless you had a controller to plug in and play, but otherwise, it's a good game. A bit annoying if you decide to goof off and attack some of the NPCs, but altogether a fun experience. Though, I do not appreciate random skeletons walking up behind me and pushing me off the edge

97

You definitely need a controller.

devin92888 | Aug. 7, 2013 | See all devin92888's reviews »

You will be needing a controller for this adventure, otherwise you are in for the most frustrating time of your life. This is a work of art to say the least. You will not regret your purchase and the enjoyment you will have within the world of Dark Souls. Your journey may be tough but, the taste of success has never been sweeter.

100

easily by far one of the most memorable experiences i've had.

theunknowned | Aug. 6, 2013 | See all theunknowned's reviews »

This game was just great. It had one of the most epic feels a title could have. People may complain that you die alot. But seriously that's what makes the game so flipping beautiful at the same time. It lets you know how fickle life is...and although you are this epic warrior you still are a fragile human being in the end. The actual guiding story is light. But yet again that is where this game is beautiful again. It fills the world with lore with all the characters and items you meet/pickup. It allows you to place down your own backstory and make s you think what happened here. Who are these people? and really when you sit down and think about it. It jus immerses you inside the beautiful Gray world. The combat is tight. and when you finally start nailing Parry Hits. you'll feel like a boss. The art style of all the armor and weapons will jus hit the spot for anyone whose a fan of medieval fantasy. Just buy this game. You'll love it.

100

One of the best games to come out in recent years

bl2k3 | Aug. 5, 2013 | See all bl2k3's reviews »

I first heard of Dark Souls from a friend awhile ago and I was pretty skeptical since I knew nothing about the game. Seeing it used at a local game store for $20, I decided to pick it up. Since then, I have not looked back once.

Dark Souls is a very unique gaming experience that I feel everybody who is a fan of RPGs should undergo. I have yet to see another game do what Dark Souls does and better. I know lots of people complain about the co-op in the game, but this game isn't meant to be co-op. It's intended as a single player game with some multiplayer capabilities, which the system to connect to people isn't all that great, but there's many fixes out for the PC version to connect to friends easier.

Although this game can already be incredibly difficult, especially at first, if you keep playing through "New Game +" there's even more challenge added every time for more replay ability. There's also of course tons of different builds for different kinds of characters you can make in this game.

One thing I have to mention is to get DSFix and DSCfix for this game, otherwise it's very poorly optimized since it was the companies first PC port ever. Seeing as how I've played over 200 hours of this on console and around 40 hours on Steam, I really couldn't give the game anything else but a 100.

93

One adventure to remember

zipnox | Aug. 4, 2013 | See all zipnox's reviews »

It didn't take long for me to fall in love with Dark Souls, the challenge and thrills of the game kept me going for countless hours. It's an action role-playing game featuring strategic combat and providing intense situations around every corner. The big problem however was the poorly ported PC version, the optimization is terrible and I have no idea what they were thinking shipping the game like that.

Thanks to various community members, most of the problems were solved and I'm truly thankful they were because this game is brilliant. The atmosphere is mysterious and the scenery is beautiful, the soundtrack is stellar and once fixed, the graphics in high resolution looks great as well. I welcome the challenges that comes with Dark Souls, they make the victories even more glorious.

If you're up for the challenge, you have no excuse to miss out on this game, with the community fixes it's easily one of my must plays in recent years.

91

Spectacular

berthor | Aug. 3, 2013 | See all berthor's reviews »

This game is spectacular for many reasons, but I want start with one of the lesser mentioned things that really makes the game what it is; the environment.

As you are wandering about this crazy place you may start to realize more and more that this place isn't just a sequence of levels, and that there are alternate paths and shortcuts that are ridden across the world. This world doesn't have little 'corridors' where you walk into the next zone and can't get in any other way. No, this land is an intricately designed masterpiece of architecture. NO LOADING SCREENS.

Now, the rest of the game... Imagine someone took Zelda, scrapped out the puzzles and really matured and perfected the combat system to technical mastery. That is what you get here, with the extra bonus of extreme difficulty. You will need to watch not only your health, but the level of exhaustion is extremely important, over exert yourself and you'll be left wide open, with your guard easily ignored and your body soon to be crushed.

The characters are unique. Every enemy is life-threatening if you don't stay cautious. The bosses are jaw-dropping. Environments are beautiful, or when intended, pretty ugly and disgusting.

This game is a must play for any video-adventurer.

96

Best Game EVAR!

Jawteef | July 29, 2013 | See all Jawteef's reviews »

This game is great. The combat rewards risk and is extremely satisfying. It took my a long time to beat on my first play through and is still a challenge now.

95

Great Game

Jawteef | July 28, 2013 | See all Jawteef's reviews »

Dark Souls is probably my favorite RPG to date. The combat system is extremely satisfying and the lore behind it is amazing! I recommend this to anyone who loves RPGs.

89

Best adventure game i've ever played.

Saggy1 | July 17, 2013 | See all Saggy1's reviews »

Painfully underrated due to an assumption that its ''too hard''. its not too hard, it just doesn't hold your hand, its like an irresponsible parent, instead of shoving a load of tutorials down your throat and hammering the do's and dont's into your face, it gives you a sword (if you want a sword that is), and pushes you out into its world to learn for yourself. best adventure game i have ever played

98

Praise the Sun!

Rollmax | July 17, 2013 | See all Rollmax's reviews »

Not sure why I haven't already recommended this game. If you know it for its staple of being "THE HARDEST GAME", don't be dismissive of the game. IMO, when you pick up the game for the first time I hope you see it as a challenge, get yourself a medal when you overcome it. In terms of gameplay, once you master it, the real fun ensues and you find the deep and addicting features that make this underappreciated game shine. Bosses? Epic on a grand scale. Adventure? A whole world with no loading screens. Very cool. Online? The greatest implementation in history since its previous installment. How about the controls? WELL.....Better follow the instructions on the store page and buy yourself an xbox controller because this game will actually be IMPOSSIBLE when you use a keyboard/mouse. If you want the extra challenge, carry on. The game was a port and its successor is looking to receive more treatment before heading to the pc. If you can get this game, I assure you it'll be a fun experience. Take it slow if you have to, bring a friend to ease the pain, but always Praise the Sun and carry on for the upcoming rewards.

100

Just amazing!

Wonak | July 12, 2013 | See all Wonak's reviews »

For me, this game is just perfect. Do you miss the feeling you had when you were young and played video games, like Super Mario on NES? This games gives you that feeling back. You are always on the edge. Because you don't wont to die! But as the title says, prepare to die... Over, and over again.

Every time you die, you have to start all over again (from the last bonfire). All the enemies you've slain respawns once you die and you loose all your souls (which is your currency and experience points). So trust me, you do NOT want to die. That's why you get that special feeling once you actually progress and finally succed to kill that boss you've been trying to kill for hours or even days.

The only flaw in this game, is the quite badly port from console to PC. You will need a controller to play this game as it's ment to be played.

92

Awesome

Baconation | July 8, 2013 | See all Baconation's reviews »

Although most people will tell you that the PC port was "terrible", that is not the case at all. There are some points where you will get a low frame-rate but nothing game breaking.

The story is complex and interesting, the game play is challenging but every enemy can be beaten by learning their attack patterns. Multi-player works but could use some tweaking, which will be fixed in Dark souls 2.

95

A Lot Of Soul

Tripleforce | July 7, 2013 | See all Tripleforce's reviews »

Dark Souls is a rare and beautiful gem of a game. It isn't perfect, but there really isn't anything like it (outside of Demon's Souls of course) and it offers a challenging and even frustrating experience at times, but this difficulty is matched by the rewarding feeling the game cultivates through masterful use of "old school" game concepts blended with current gen gameplay, combat, look and feel. If you can get past the intimidating reputation the game has, its few glaring imperfections, the imbalanced and forced PVP if playing online, the terrible Games For Windows Live service and the poor PC porting issues (look up the excellent DSfix mod for help in this department), then Dark Souls will provide you with a tense and atmospheric action RPG experience that is simply unmatched in gaming these days. It's great.

100

Hardcore game

mutsuriini | July 7, 2013 | See all mutsuriini's reviews »

The difficulty of this game is no secret, you will die, probably several times, while playing. But like many games, the more you play, the better you'll become and the more your character will gain in experience and durability, although will really only serve in expanding the time you spend playing between deaths, because at some point, you'll find an enemy far more powerful than you expected and again, you'll die. The enemies are fantastic, both in looks and power, every encounter requires a strategy. But you will be rewarded. The bosses are incredible, and you feel a real sense of accomplishment in their defeat, so much so that you may want to tell others using the great in-game social mechanic.

90

Fantastic

XeroHour | July 6, 2013 | See all XeroHour's reviews »

Dark Souls is everything you've ever wanted out of an action packed old-school style RPG. There's no hand holding, no long tutorial, it's just hit the ground and go. While challenging, Dark Souls is infinitely rewarding.

95

A Modern Classic

YggdrasilsSword | July 6, 2013 | See all YggdrasilsSword's reviews »

Dark Souls is the spiritual successor to Demon's Souls, a flawed but enthralling PS3-exclusive game. Dark Souls gave its inherited game model a much-needed level of polish, throwing out some wrong-headed mechanics (World Tendency and carry weight) and trying new, innovative ideas (Covenants and Humanity). The result still retains a vaguely "indie" feel, without it ever becoming a detraction.

For those not familiar with the Souls games, I should begin with the warning in this edition's title: prepare to die. This is a game for those who enjoy a grueling (but usually fair) challenge, not for those who like to breeze through with ease. I've heard it compared to Ninja Gaiden in that regard, and I see the resemblance. But Dark Souls is both a quality action game and a quality RPG, whereas Ninja Gaiden was pure action.

The combat in Dark Souls is beautifully fluid, and feels hard-crafted. In contrast to the limited weapon selection in Skyrim, Dark Souls boasts a myriad of unique weapons of all types, feasible or otherwise. Every weapon group has its own animations, strengths, and weaknesses, making each one feel and play differently. Armor weight has an important impact on one's playstyle as well. No other game has made me feel like my equipment choices mattered as much as Dark Souls does; stats are a relatively small, but still important, consideration. Spending Souls (which are both currency and XP) on weapon and armor upgrades is essential as you encounter higher-level enemies.

The game goes to great lengths to make combat feel realistic: enemies stagger when they take a mighty blow, all attacks feel (and are) dangerous and potentially lethal. The learning curve is steep, unless you're accustomed to the difficulty of classic roguelike games. Beginning players should make heavy use of their shields and their dodge rolls to increase their expected lifespans considerably. I also recommend spending souls on stat and weapon upgrades frequently, as they can easily be lost if you die multiple times in a row, whereas your stats and items can never be taken from you.

Dark Souls also has a bit of an adventure game in it. Precious items are hidden in all sorts of nooks and crannies, and thorough exploration is frequently rewarded. Even checkpoints may be hidden, making the game a lot easier for inquisitive players. If only all games could be so grossly incandescent.

The story of Dark Souls is interesting, but mostly revealed through subtle hints and backstory information. Only a few times in the game is important information explicitly revealed to you, and because two such accounts conflict, one of them was clearly a lie. It's not the same story as Demon Souls, but it has the same macabre flavor.

Finally, there is the multiplayer element of the game. It's completely optional, but relying on it can make certain parts of the game a lot easier. Players can use the orange soapstone to leave pre-written messages on the ground for another player to see in their own game. These are often helpful, though some will try to prank others by giving bad advice that can lead to death. More helpfully, players can spend precious humanity to gain Human Form, allowing them to summon other players as White Phantoms for aid against enemies and bosses; however, this also makes players vulnerable to attacks by hostile Black Phantom players (except during boss battles). Some bosses are insanely challenging for one player, but much easier with a friend or two to help.

Note that the PC port originally suffered from some pretty bad limitations: forced 720p rendering and poor keyboard/mouse controls. The community-made mods DSfix and Mouse Fix correct each of these issues respectively, but a controller pad is still highly recommended. Additionally, the PC version is better in some ways, due to the inclusion of the excellent Artorias of the Abyss expansion, and a popular mod that makes it easier to play co-op with your GFWL friends. The one inescapable issue with the PC version is that you have to use Games for Windows Live, and you will get GfWL achievements instead of Steam Achievements.

96

A game for real men

aleksSLO | July 4, 2013 | See all aleksSLO's reviews »

well this game is true to its name, prepare to die since you will die, a whole lot. the whole point in this game is if you don't bring your a-game you will die, even to starting mobs when you are soul level 120+. there are so many ways in how you can play, almost anything can be made to work. the artwork is the best and when you see one of the many vistas the game has you will drop your jaw. basicaly this game is a perl on the market, once there is a sale get it without hesitation, heck even the 40 bucks are worth it. oh yah i forgot to mention, you have 2 sides of the game and that is undead when you can't get any help and are basicaly alone and some npcs avoid you and you can offer some humanity to become a human once again and you can then get invaded (yes other players come to hunt you) or you invade or you summon helping spirits for particularly hard bosses etc.. well the downside to this game is only the interface that is made for consoles not the pc and the keyboard does a poor job (keys all over the place untill you arange them) compared to a controller, so if you have a controller dont even try using the keyboard with this game.

88

Prepare to die....less than in Demons souls

xLordBelialx | June 28, 2013 | See all xLordBelialx's reviews »

Dark souls is the successor to Demon's souls back on PS3. While not as hard as its predecessor, Dark soul's does still provide the difficulty lacking in most of today's games. If you've never played a souls game, they are action rpgs with combat similar to games like the Gothic series/ Risen, Monster Hunter etc. Stamina is used to simply swing your weapon, you will die just as fast as the enemies you are fighting if you are not careful. But as with most traditional games, all enemies have tells to their attacks, and once you learn the strategies to enemies the game can become quite easy.

If you've played this back on the consoles it does indeed look and play better than there. Most reviews stating that its a poor port are ill placed as there are many worse ports, and the fact that this looks and plays better on pc classifies it as a good 'port' imo.

This version comes with the new dlc that opens up some of the back story to the Dark soul's universe and does add a considerable amount of content to the game.

If you've never played Dark Souls and like challenging games I definitely recommend you pick this up. If you did play on the consoles as I did , but are in love with this game I recommend getting it as well. Supporting From Software may lead to Dark Souls 2 hopefully releasing on PC at some point as well.

92

You should definitely prepare to die.

Roflcatz | June 27, 2013 | See all Roflcatz's reviews »

So as you may know, the game is question is really quite difficult. You start out as an undead monster with no backstory and no idea who you really are, aside from the somewhat basic customization that you did in the beginning of the game. This leads you to wander about, following basic instructions from writings on the floor.

What makes this game unique and stand out from any other game is the multiplayer aspect of it, in which other players can type out messages and tips for other anonymous players to see. Also, you can't choose who you play with, as the game was developed to give the player a sense of isolation and difficulty.

The gameplay is solid and smooth, and when you die you know it was because of something you did, and not the game itself. All in all, it is really worth playing if you haven't yet, and although you will get frustrated at times, it's worth it in the end to push through and finish the fight.

80

A Game I Keep Coming Back To

paramime | June 26, 2013 | See all paramime's reviews »

Dark Souls is one of the most interesting games i've ever played and also one of the hardest. Must be played with a gamepad. I find the trick to enjoying this game is to ask for help and use the wiki and youtube when getting stuck on boss battles.If you have the patience this game will satisfy any hardcore gaming needs.

95

Amazing

wiz88ard | June 21, 2013 | See all wiz88ard's reviews »

One of the best games i purchased so far. Chalenging, rewarding and fun.... Amazing gamelay with a huge replayability...

The big downside is that uses GFWL and sometimes is hard to connect to your friends... Even with this downside the game is so good that you will enjoy every moment...

95

Simply one of my favorite games.

CurtisMN | June 14, 2013 | See all CurtisMN's reviews »

I have been gaming for my entire life, and never have I played a game so frustrating, challenging, difficult, and fun. You could beat this game half a dozen times, and still have much to discover. It is packed with an amazing amount of secrets, content, and fun, for you to discover.

90

Brutally Brilliant

Xiphora | June 11, 2013 | See all Xiphora's reviews »

Dark Souls, the spiritual successor to 2009's Demon's Souls, is a very difficult RPG, just like Demon's Souls. The game runs very smoothly, has gorgeous lighting, has terrifying and spectacular enemies and bosses, and has a satisfying combat system. Players will die a lot in this game, but when they progress, they will be very satisfied. Playing with keyboard and mouse, Dark Souls: Prepare to Die Edition has wonky controls that can be at times fustrating, so I recommend using a gamepad. Other than that, players will have a very good time playing a very good game.

92

True JRPG

Aglets | June 10, 2013 | See all Aglets's reviews »

A game that doesn't hesitate to shut a lazy player down, requiring your focus and mind to beat it. Rewarding time spent playing, Dark Souls teaches it's players not by handing them a tutorial, but instead allowing them to experiment through trial and error. Dark Souls has depth beyond what other RPG's hold, with a wide gamut of weaponry and spells to keep you busy with any class. Hidden items teeming through the world, and secrets pouring out of its doors, Dark Souls stands for what RPG's used to stand for, and hopefully will continue to.

92

One of the most rewarding games I've Played

Xalcard | June 10, 2013 | See all Xalcard's reviews »

If you enjoy a challenging game, you should play this game! I will openly admit that you will be retrying and replaying sections A LOT, but that makes is so very rewarding when you are able to overcome them.

There is not much of a true story (what is there is told through lore), so you definitely won't be playing for the plot.

Finally, if you are easily frustrated, I would not play this game, as it requires a lot a patients. But for those that are willing to devote the time, it is a super rewarding experience.

94

Brutal and Haunting

Turambar29 | June 10, 2013 | See all Turambar29's reviews »

Dark Souls is a powerful game that tells its story primarily through its environment. No hand-holding to be found for any aspect of the game; expect to die often and to frequently be mystified. What is going on? Where is everyone? Why are the few people I meet various shades of crazy? How in the world am I going to beat this next section/boss?

Strangely, all of this frustration actually adds to the game, for it makes your achievements matter. You'll be elated when you make progress through a section, equip a new piece of armor or a weapon, master a technique, light a new bonfire.

Bonfire? Yes, those are your save points, but they also respawn your enemies. Light and dark are not only themes but ever present realities in Dark Souls, and they are used to portray an amazing world. Visually stunning, perpetually haunting. I had to uninstall after completing the game, as the new game plus option would have kept me in this game for the foreseeable future...!

85

Very good

Demilisz | June 9, 2013 | See all Demilisz's reviews »

One of the few console games that deserves it's reputation. Mostly, as legendary difficulty level of this game may be something today, in modern gaming era, but isn't really that shocking. It is just like it used to be around 2001.

Yes, you must watch yourself here. Yes, charging head on and ignoring everything will get you killed quickly. Yes - boss battles are challenging and spectacular. Leveling system is nice, world is large and full of secrets, items, armours to find. You can "visit" other player game to help him or kill him. And other players can do the same to you. Combat system is good, through I saw better (Blade of Darkness).

Game worth playing, just remember to get and apply DSFix first.

65

A Great Game...Just Not On PC

metallicfire | June 9, 2013 | See all metallicfire's reviews »

I tried Dark Souls on the PC. I really wanted to love it. The sad thing is, I could tell that were I playing this game on the console, it would be fantastic. The problem is that this is a lazy port. The controls are frustrating at best without a gamepad. Honestly, if people are buying the game o their pc, chances are they would like to at least have the option to use mouse and keyboard. You can only get the most out of your pc's graphical performance with mods which just prolong the amount of time it takes to start playing. If you can actually get around all of these obstacles to make the game playable, it's a load of fun. So without these problems I would have given the game something around an 85. With all of this frustration just to get the game working at the level it should have been shipped at, however, I give the pc port a 65.

100

Its... not a scam...

dishymars | June 9, 2013 | See all dishymars's reviews »

I eyeballed this game for a long time thinking it was a scam. After reading what so many reviewers thought of similar games in the genre (i.e. "Oblivion".. etc.. games that made me cringe) I figured this would be something to that effect. Long story short I got this about a week ago and I've played 60 hours so far....it appears I'm about 75% done with my first of many many playthroughs. Truly amazing game.. many thanks to the creators who for once in the computer game business know how to actually make an adventure fantasy game not geared towards 12 year olds.

93

Dark... and fun.

ukbasketball30 | June 9, 2013 | See all ukbasketball30's reviews »

One of the most difficult games I've ever played, but also one of the most immersive and beautiful games that I've ever played as well. You won't be great immediately like most games. You'll die, whether it's the easiest enemies, the hardest bosses, or simply falling off the cliff. Somehow though, this game manages to be insanely difficult, but that's what makes it so beautiful, along with the amazing graphics. If you have the money, this is definitely a must-buy. It is worth all the money it costs.

90

An excellent adventure despite some shoddy port issues

Luke123190 | June 8, 2013 | See all Luke123190's reviews »

Let's get the gritty down, it's a hard game, and secondly it's a port that hurts to play. Luckily the mod community has fixed some of the issues, this aside the game is still amazing, and the story intriguing.

The game revolves around the currency of souls, which are collected in multiple ways, mainly killing things, these souls then purchase upgrades, but the twist in this game is if you die, which guess what, in a game with the title, prepare to die, you will die, your body is left on the ground, with all your souls ( and humanity). Now if you can get back to your body you can recover it, if you die on the way, well, there goes your souls.

The combat system is fluent and makes conserve stamina, at times it does seem a tad slow but otherwise its nice, realistic to a point and actually fluent. Bosses are intimidating, fellow players are intimidating, it's a great play from start to end and the one tip I leave for maximum enjoyment, learn when to take a break, don't infuriate yourself to the point you dislike it.

90

A somewhat poor port of a great game

Bertramz87 | June 8, 2013 | See all Bertramz87's reviews »

This game is phenomenal. It has a rich atmosphere and character. You are transportet into what seems like a generic fantasy world , but it could not be further from the truth. Dark Souls world is deep , wide and full of monsters that would love to rip your head off. The game is hard , unforgiving even but very fair, Dark souls lays out its mechanich for you to play with and to master. Like war of the roses multiplayer game , it has a mechanic and system that truly makes you as a player better with time and not just higher damage stats.

The only disapointing thing is that is is not a very good port. Its stable enough but they have done nothing to take care of the added performance of a PC. Frankly it can be a bit ugly as it is. Fear not though there is great mods that can take care of that for you.

Recomended for all who want a bit differnet experience , a harsher one , one that lets you feel like you have acomplished somethinfg when the credits roll. Also play with a 360 controller or gamepad.

96

Wonderful non-casual experience

blacklightofday | June 8, 2013 | See all blacklightofday's reviews »

One of the best games to come out for PC, even if one of thw worst ports, also. The graphics are good, they can't be considered pretty, but they are perfect for the mood of the game. The music is simply breathtaking. All of the bosses have their unique soundtracks, which are recommendet for separate listening, since you will be too busy trying not to die to give them the attention they deserve. Gamplay is also great. It's not that difficult a game to learn, but it is challenging to master. It might take you a while to beat given areas, but once you do, the gratification is immense.

90

Difficulty? of Gods

KellinCore | June 8, 2013 | See all KellinCore's reviews »

This game is one of the most difficult that I have to play well to get me more than a cry of rage to kill a boss or get to one side I wanted, great title that deserves a little place really is completely free and fully changeable

88

Beautiful and ...difficult doesn't stress it enough

TCass29 | June 8, 2013 | See all TCass29's reviews »

This game has been heralded as one of the most difficult games of this generation of gaming. It's also beautiful, expansive, deep, and very, very complex in terms of leveling, items, and strategy.

But believe me when I tell you that this game does not hate you. Even worse, it doesn't care if you succeed or, more likely, fail. It is apathetic toward your petty mortal squabbles.

92

Hardest yet gratifying game

spycid | June 7, 2013 | See all spycid's reviews »

If you are looking for a game which will satisfy your thirst for the most brutal, hardened, depressing yet highly rewarding game, then this is the game for you. Must play for all hardcore gamers. You cannot call yourself a gamer if you haven't completed this game.

93

Dangerous fun

Elghinnarisa | June 7, 2013 | See all Elghinnarisa's reviews »

At first i didnt take a good look at this game. Didnt seem like anything special. Heard some friends talk about it but still just looked like a normal game at a glance. However one day i was speaking to a friend and he showed me a few clips of the game and i was stuck. I instantly went to GMG and bought it. After that i spend god knows how many hours on this game and i still can't stop. Even though i had a friend to help who compleated the game several times, it was still hard. But its hard in a good way! It keeps you on edge and always having to find out how to defeat mobs and bosses. Its not a simple run in and mash as many buttons as you can to win. Which makes it so much more fun. You feel really pleased when you managed to clear out a area perfectly, when you are able to parry and retaliet properly and so on.

This is a game i would recommened most people to atleast try. its not like any other game out there (or well sure there are others).

The game is "simple" yet deep, hard and sometimes annoying yet fun. And so rewarding to complete.

79

Immersion at it's best.

jcyuen7 | June 7, 2013 | See all jcyuen7's reviews »

Do you like living? Do you like a good story? Dark Souls has neither of those things, but still, it is strangely fun. Maybe it's the countless times you see blood splatter all over the place, or the satisfaction of finally killing something that killed you 12 times before, Dark Souls captures you in such a unique manner. Make one small mistake, and you'll be repeating the same sequence over and over. The game is ridiculously pretty, and it's very easy to just get lost in the game and play for hours. Recommended for those who don't mind dying several times!

90

Beautifully Hard

gothicelf | June 7, 2013 | See all gothicelf's reviews »

This game is LEGEN... (Wait for it, cause it will blow you mind and make you throw away your controller after your 1000th death) ...DARY!!! It's like playing an old-school castlevania-zelda crossover, but 10 times harder. You won't learn to play fast, and even the weakest enemy can easily kill you, if you do not concentrate. There are almost no hints about where to go and what to do. The most weapons and equipment you find are basically crap and it gets extremely hard to gather souls, because the required amount rises insanely as fast as you level up. And that's the magic, it's hard, deal with it! And figure out how awesome is to find a great item, or beat a gigantic monster that can barely fit on your screen. It's been a long time since I wish to spend money on games, but this one, (despite of it's technical issues, which DSFix can handle easily) makes worth every penny.

97

No other equal

kalil | June 6, 2013 | See all kalil's reviews »

Few games, due to its high difficulty, make you repeat over and over again the same situations without becoming bored and this is one of them, in fact, the most difficult is there and still having fun again and again even in the following NG. Sound of swords, armor, enemies roars, environmental, music ... it's all great. Character control is very accurate and, though often die by the strength of the enemy, many others will do it for your mistake. The graphics, while not technically the best, its artistic design is the best, very well designed, medieval, dark and gloomy, and the enemies, especially the bosses, are spectacular. The game is quite long but the best thing is that when you finish, start one NG +, and that's when you can begin to wield those weapons in your first game you could not for lack of any statistics, discover new stories with NPC'S, buy other armor .... It is definitely a masterpiece in style and only their predecessor, the great Demon's Souls, get to overshadow.

85

Can't afford to make a mistake

lok0812 | June 6, 2013 | See all lok0812's reviews »

The game really isn't categorized to be a hard game, it is more like don't make a mistake because if you do chains of bad things will happened and it will be hard to recovered. The game itself takes place in a huge open world divided into many sections and each sections can eventually linked to one another giving you a shortcut or a resting place. You grind and collect experience in the form of souls and level up until you are comfortable enough to tackle the boss. In all honesty, levels means little in the game if you don't study the boss mechanics and dodge/block when you must you won't progress very far even if you are high level in a low level zone. One downsize is this is a straight up PC port so therefore it is plagued with bad control and restricting graphical settings. A controller is a must for this game to eliminate further torturing of one self as well as DSFix mod to unlock the restricting graphical settings. Definitely a must get for every RPG fans out there.

95

An amazing experience everyone should try

RasputinVarez | June 6, 2013 | See all RasputinVarez's reviews »

This is one of the best games to come out in years, combining the old school challenge that modern games sorely miss with the effortless playability of more recent games, Dark Souls should not be missed by any gamer.

Make sure to get the fan made patch that fixes the issues the developer didn't

http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showthread.php?t=488240

And then you can play it in 1080p with no blurring out detail like the console versions, and see what the developers really wanted the game to look like away from the limitations of the PS360

87

So hard, So addicting

mostnatebe66 | May 28, 2013 | See all mostnatebe66's reviews »

I almost skipped this game. I was pre-ordering several games (can't even remember what they were) but I was not familiar with this title. I don't know why I pre-ordered it, but when I did, I almost cancelled my order. Then, when it came, I popped it in the PS3 and played for about 10 minutes, died about 3 times, and got very frustrated. Why is this fun? What is going on? I took it out of the game, and played Drake 3 (which really is a fantastic game in its own right).

I was about to move on to Skyrim when my wife put Dark Souls in one night. Why? I'm not sure. Neither is she. But she died. Quickly. And died again. And again. And then we realized that dying was part of the point of the game, and we should just let it roll. So we did. And then about 12 hours later, we came up for air.

We have been playing this game nonstop, every day, for a couple months now. We have not yet completed this game to our satisfaction. We will continue to play it. It inhabits our thoughts, our plans, our dreams. It is beautiful, frustrating, haunting, and fascinating. The slow spinout of the story line is incredible, told with much inference and deliberation. The graphics are peerless--simply magical--and the sound design of worthy of the Lord of the Rings movies!

We love this game. It is amazing. If you are into dark fantasy, and are willing to be a little frustrated up front but know you can hang in there, then get this game. This is easily the best game of this genre that we have played, and one of the best in the last 3-4 years. I give it an enthusiastic 10/10.

90

Simply fun

mtgrill | May 25, 2013 | See all mtgrill's reviews »

I didn't know what to expect when I bought this game. I heard of the extreme difficulty curve (very true btw) but not much else. Graphics are great, story is good if you look for it. Very reccomended.

85

Challenging, but rewarding

eddyh59 | May 25, 2013 | See all eddyh59's reviews »

Dark Souls is very challenging, as I'm sure you would have heard. It can get frustrating, but the game is never cheating you, the mechanics are solid and work well. The game has a nice art style that is always appropriate and the weapons and armor are just plain cool. However there are some minor problems with the PC port. For example there isn't much you can change in the graphics settings, so if it doesn't run, you can't lower the graphics the make it run. Overall, if you want a challenge in a beautiful, yet dark world, get this game right now.

86

One of the most addictive games in recent memory

redskyy | May 24, 2013 | See all redskyy's reviews »

I was unsure going into Dark Souls how much I would enjoy it. I had a few problems with Demon's Souls and was worried that it would be the same here. PC port issues aside, this game is amazing. Each area flows right into the other, and the difficulty is challenging without feeling unbeatable. I love the diversity of classes/builds, with skills and equipment having a distinct impact on play style.

The PC port does have a lot of issues, but these are mostly fixed with mods like DSfix. I also definitely recommend playing with a controller for the best experience.

91

The name says it all! A true, fun, Hard Core RPG: Prepare to DIE

guywiththegun1 | May 18, 2013 | See all guywiththegun1's reviews »

Dark Souls is where Hard-Core RPG is really at

The game truly provides a challenge unlike most other RPGs which hold you by the hand to the end of the game. In this RPG, there is no hand to hold: you are literally on your own. Pros • The Game’s graphics aren’t the best, but they are nice (remember, this game was originally made for console, not PC). The setting is dark, so don’t expect things to be colorful in any way. • The gameplay gets your blood running! Your senses will never be so sharp and wary in a game like this. Every enemy, boss or not, has a fair chance at killing you! The dangers that lurk around every corner really give me a jolt when they jump out at me! • Combat is fun too. The fighting mechanics are similar to Monster Hunter, giving the feeling of real impact on every hit. Hitting your average enemy never felt so well, as you can’t really call it a hack-and-slash game, since, as I’ve said before, almost any enemy can kill you. • The social functions of the game are fun to have on the side. Players leave warning on the floor, which in my view, is a great way for the Dark Souls community to help each other out. You can also see how someone died which is a true spectacle to watch, and a helpful way to plan out what to do next, which is great. Players can even invade your world and challenge you to a fight! Its blood pounding! Or, vice versa. You can create a summon portal which will give people on the server an option to help you on your quest. Again, that’s a great way to have players help each other in a meaningful and fun way. • Loot finding is a nice tradition that I was glad to see in Dark Souls. As with many Japanese RPGs, finding rare super weapons in Easter egg-like crevices is always gratifying. • This is hardcore: saves are rare and death is meaningful. If you die, you may lose hours of progress. Cons • This game truly requires an Xbox controller to play! The game was literally torn out of an Xbox and was slapped onto the PC store! If you play without one, you CANNOT USE YOUR MOUSE! I highly recommend you get a dongle or a controller before buying this game!!!!!!!! • Getting together with friends is difficult, as the summoning function only summons random players. The only way to fix this is by playing over LAN, or with a mod that recently came out that allows you to find a friend to play with • The game can be frustrating at times when you lose progress when you die, but once again, that’s part of the game’s fun. • The story is a bit generic. My conclusion to this game: If you are looking for a serious challenge, and you have a high level of patience, GET THIS GAME! You won’t regret it. If you hate dying, you’re not patient, and you prefer casual gaming, then I would consider with care whether you want this game or not!

80

Difficult but fun game.

sittinghawk10 | April 27, 2013 | See all sittinghawk10's reviews »

The pc version is kind of a bad port from the consoles, but modders have fixed a lot of problem. I recommend using one of the keyboard+mouse mods which binds camera to the mouse if you prefer that option. Controller is a bit more intuitive in my opinion, which is obvious seeing as this is a console game and its "prequel" demon's soul was a console game.

Its a very challenging game. Not for impatient gamers. You have to be methodical or you will pay... a lot. But you keep coming back. That's dark souls in a nutshell.

90

Fantastic Game

meismike | April 27, 2013 | See all meismike's reviews »

I played this game first on the ps3 and had to buy it again when it came out on the PC. That's right, it's so good I bought it twice. There are, however, some major flaws in the PC version, like horrendous mouse controls for one. But once you plug in a controller and download some fan made fixes for all the other problems, it run's like a dream.

95

Pleasant Dread

Ramboknife | April 22, 2013 | See all Ramboknife's reviews »

It is hard to pull off being both beautiful and genuinely frighting at the same time. Where everything you see is ravishing, yet unnerving. In Dark Souls, From Software's spiritual successor to the cult hit, Demon's Souls, you are constantly scared of what awaits you around every corner- yet, you become absolutely engrossed in the games thick atmosphere that you are compelled to push on.

You play as the chosen undead; a character with an unknown past that is seemingly picked at random to fulfill an almost impossible task that has obliterated all of those who have come before. After testing your abilities in what amounts to the games version of a tutorial, you are carried away to the mainland of Lordran, a decrepit land that has been abandoned by the living for what seems to be hundreds of years. You are greeted by a crestfallen warrior who gives you the task of ringing the two Bells of Awakening. He explains that one is above, and one is below. You are then left to your own devices, because unlike Demon's Souls' Nexus hub world where you would load into specific levels via arch-stones, Dark Souls is set in an open world, where nearly everywhere is available to you at the start of the game. This can be very daunting for a new player, because what Dark Souls does in common with Demon's Souls is that almost nothing is explained. Other than very specific hints given by talking with NPC's and reading item descriptions, the player is left to experiment. As far as story goes, it only goes as deep as the player is willing to read into things. It can be completely ignored and the game would be still highly enjoyable, but don't think that there isn't any back story- it's actually quite detailed and deep. Most of it is quite confusing and convoluted, so it may be best to ignore it on the first play-through and look it up online and follow along for your next time through.

Along your quest you will find bonfires, which act as the games main checkpoint system. Once you light a bonfire and rest at it, this is where your spawn point moves to when you inevitably die. The bonfires are also where all of your leveling up is done. You level up by spending souls which are gained by killing enemies. Souls also act as the games main currency as well, making them the most valuable item in the game. When you die, you leave a bloodstain on the ground to mark your last death. In that bloodstain are all of the souls that you had at your point of death. If you can make it back and touch your bloodstain, you will regain all of your souls; however, if you happen to die on your path back to the bloodstain, those souls are lost forever as your new bloodstain replaces your last. This is where most of the tension in the game comes from, as all of those hard earned souls can vanish if you make a simple mistake on your path to retrieval. Along with the new checkpoint system, Dark Souls introduces the Estus Flask: a healing item that replaces the grass item used in Demon's Souls. They can be upgraded in both quantity and potency, and are refilled by resting at a bonfire. Be warned though, by resting at a bonfire not only will your Estus Flasks be refilled, by all of the enemies will re-spawn. You are encouraged to do this, however, because it is a great way to 'grind' out levels by finding an area where enemies are quickly re-spawned for you to kill them again and collect their delicious souls.

The areas that you visit are quite spectacular. The sheer amount of variety in the areas is shocking, and each of them have their own unique atmosphere and enemies. They can range from a dark and brooding forest, to a bright and brilliant place of royalty, to a virtual swamp of human waste. The level design is brilliant in that it eventually links all of the areas together by unlocking shortcuts. This makes traversing a lot more fun and takes out the monotony of walking through entire areas more than you need to in order to reach others. Dark Souls also does a great job of mixing up the kinds of enemies you will be fighting, and before you become tired of a specific kind of enemy, you're introduced to a new, more threatening kind.

In most cases, a boss will await at the end of these areas. Much like the levels, the boss designs and strategy's are unique and varied. They are absolutely stunning encounters that will keep you on the edge of your seat until their last bit of health is taken off by your weapon of choice. These fights are the real stand out moments in Dark Souls and provide a real sense of achievement when you take one down. Granted, some are harder than others, but all of them are uniformly thrilling. If you have a hard time with a boss, you can also summon either another player, an NPC, or both to help you in the fight. I never found myself stuck at a boss long enough to give up and summon for help, but having played and beaten Demon's Souls might have prepared me a bit more than a new player to the series.

Dark Souls really encourages player choice when it comes to play style. You can be a fully armored sword and shield wielding tank, a scantily clad bow and arrow ranged player, a low health high damage output mage, or some combination of all of them. The combat feels great but may take a little bit of practice to get used to. It is quite weighty and very timing heavy, but the controls are done so well that when a mistake is made, it is at the fault of the player and not the game. While there are classes, they don't confine you to anything. They really only define your starting stats and gear, and from there you can mold your character to how you see fit. A knight, for example, who starts off with low magic skill stats, can eventually spend his souls to level up to a point where magic becomes viable.

To call Dark Souls' armor and weapon variety large would be a disservice. The quantity of weapons and armor would be impressive on its own, by all of it is so thoughtfully crafted that any other game pales in comparison. For my money, the aesthetics of the apparel is top notch. Finding a new armor set or weapon is almost as exciting as defeating a boss. It can completely change up your play style and open up new avenues of experimentation. You're able to upgrade your weapons and armor at blacksmiths found throughout the game by using upgrade stones dropped from enemies. The progression of the upgrades is a lot more streamlined than Demon's Souls, but it can still be confusing at times. Again, don't be opposed to consulting the internet your first time through if you aren't sure.

I have played and beaten both the Playstation 3 and PC versions of Dark Souls. While the console version is competent, technical issues can make some areas of the game nearly unplayable. The frame rate can drop into single digits and can be the cause of some frustrating missteps or deaths. The PC version fixes this issue, as well as supports a mod that helps unlock the games native resolution. In high resolution Dark Souls looks stunning, and the mod is highly stable and recommended.

Dark Souls is one of the most rewarding games this generation, hands down. It is rare to find a game so perfectly crafted in terms of atmosphere and game-play. The only downfall is how confusing it can be to new players, which almost seems like an intentional design choice by the designers. They want you to feel alone and scared, and it is pulled off flawlessly. This isn't a game for someone who likes to pick up and play every now and then- it demands attention and effort for you to able able to succeed. With that in mind, pick up Dark Souls and know that you're about to face one of the most brutal, punishing, and profound games ever made.

95

Awesome

Jorgel | Feb. 22, 2013 | See all Jorgel's reviews »

Ok, first of all, you will die. This game is hard, insanely hard, and you will find yourself trying desperately to beat an enemy, just to die in the next corner. But the game is so exciting and challenging that you will spent hours and hours just to advance a few inches in the game(and die just before the next save point), and it will not be frustrating. The combat system is great and intuitive, with rolling and parrying, and it will test your real skills, not just some character attributes. Besides that, the evolution and item system is nice, not letting the game to became too easy. The graphics are also great (although some minor optimization issues) and the history is quite interesting. If you want a really challenging game, that will test your skills, Dark Souls is an awesome game, but be prepared to die. A lot.

96

Masterpiece

supernautbr | Feb. 12, 2013 | See all supernautbr's reviews »

I will not even mention that it's good to prepare to die (a lot), because the title already says that, but in the end you will not die as much as you think you would, because the game is really very difficulty if compared to what we are used to see. But before the details, I suggest that if you're the kind who likes RPG and a good challenge, play this masterpiece as soon as possible, otherwise you'll wonder why haven't played before. If you already decided to play, you don't need to finish reading this, I guarantee that when you finish the game you'll know it's true.

The combat system, the equipments and crafting are very well made, it's unique. Battles are epic and require patience and strategy, as each enemy, weapon or armor acts differently and really gives you an alternate play style. You must learn to adapt to conditions that constantly changes as you progress. There is not a single moment that you can stop and say "I finally made out of this hell" because the next area is certainly worse. This makes you feel very well about having overcome every challenge. It almost outstands every other RPG out there, fortunately or unfortunately, depending on your point of view. The PC port's technical problems can be fixed with a simple mod, and I say that I found only 2 places where I felt a framerate drop, but this is insignificant if we add everything this game has to offer.

My final thoughts are: buy it and enjoy it, while you're still alive.

90

Great game, DSFix mod needs to resolve bad port issues.

Bigshrimp | Jan. 30, 2013 | See all Bigshrimp's reviews »

This is an excellent game, that runs better on the PC than on the Playstation 3. It is extremely challenging and gives you a sense that you will die at any moment. You have to be worried that you will lose all your souls when you die and when you do die, you have to attempt to get your souls back.

You need a controller to play this game well, also you need DSFix mod to get the best quality graphics on the PC. Online can be a tad odd, if you have a laggy connection. Overall though, this game will be worth every bit of money you spend on it, and you will feel happy getting past the next difficult part in the game. Definitely worth buying, two thumbs up!

95

Dark Souls, enough said

georgecopos | Jan. 27, 2013 | See all georgecopos's reviews »

The pc version isnt a good port, many saying its actually very bad. Personally i got passed this problem the moment i saw the amazing and captivating gameplay (and ofcourse with the community fixes )

Game has 3 big positive things : world's design, the combat and the atmosphere.

The level design is excelent and full of creativity; the world is basically open(world) , you can reach pretty much every place from the beginning with some small exceptions (and obviously the hoard of monsters trying to stop you). The areas are interconnected trough different shortcuts , and even sub-areas are interconnected trough shortcuts, each more suprisingly created than the one before.

The combat feels extremelly clunky at first, but after you catch the mechanisms (roll, parry, stab and so on) it becomes accessible. Obviously the things above wont make you like a god, every move you make requires a high amount of patience, observation, dexterity and tactics, these making the necessary skills required to advance in the world without the mobs making you a bloodstain every 10 seconds. More than that, the great diversity of tools to chop enemies, each with an unique move and attack, makes the combat even funnier and makes you experiment all kind of techniques on the monsters.

The atmosphere is also top-notch; since the intro full of riddles, you are thrown helplessly into the hostile world; the fact that the npcs also talk in riddles, adds to the atmosphere and makes you fight for every small thing to find out more and to try to survive.

This is one of the best rpgs the pc has seen and can wait for the sequel.

97

Challenging, but entertaining

starjack20 | Jan. 27, 2013 | See all starjack20's reviews »

This game is NOT for the weak-hearted. This game will take grinding, adjustment, and straight up determination to succeed in. The basic mechanics behind it are that you kill things and they drop souls/equipment. Souls are pretty much a currency in every way, shape and form. Their main uses are to buy items and level up. Now, the things you invest your souls in will heavily affect your play style because certain stats help only certain things. If you are ever having trouble, it's always a good idea to go grind a bit for some level ups and better equipment. There is also not too much direction in the world, and there is a possibility of you getting lost, but it's apart of the game and the experience, an experience that is the most rewarding, triumphant experience out there today if played right.

50

Overhyped

captainstark | Jan. 26, 2013 | See all captainstark's reviews »

I absolutely do not understand the hype around this game, except the fact that most games have become to easy these days and it has become hard to find a challenge, But when you make a game this hard and this unforgiving, you have to makes sure it doesn't glitch, and this game glitches like crazy, the worst being the lock on, which we can barely play the game without, and is one of the worst lock on systems i have seen, many many times i am looking directly at an enemy (relatively close) and it won't lock on.. or it locks on to a creature to my far left, ( which had me walk off quite a few ledges) or even to another creature that's not even in the same room!! And it's impossible to aim a spell without the lock on, then there is the item use, many many times i tried to use a potion (which take a few seconds to drink and get you killed if ill timed) press the button.. nothing happens.. no time to try it again, need to avoid the boss, and wait for another opportunity, but after running a bit or dodging, THEN, the system reacts, my character drinks a potion, no way out, i'm dead.... again!! In this game, any of these glitches usually means instant death, and with few save points, it gets extremely frustrating, dying to a challenging boss is one thing, but to glitches over and over, is unacceptable, and this game has virtually no story,or animations, the graphics are decent, but extremely monotone and dull... extremely over-hyped game in my opinion.

100

One of the best games I've ever played

Lekes | Jan. 21, 2013 | See all Lekes's reviews »

Dark Souls is simply amazing, an addicting challenge, one the most beautifully made hardcore RPG games ever. It's hard to put Dark Souls down, it sucks you in early on and keeps you grinding through hours and hours of death and rewarding conquest. This game will test your nerves and make your blood boil, you will die and you will die often. I guarantee your adrenaline will surge through the roof and you might even find yourself checking your pulse. Dark Souls is a outstanding game and one hell of a good time. One of the best games I've ever played.

94

Great and Challenging!

HeadCrabZombie | Jan. 8, 2013 | See all HeadCrabZombie's reviews »

Dark Souls is truly a successor to Demon's Souls, and it plays great on the PC. Some outside fixes, like DSfix are recommended, and a controller is almost necessary, but with that aside, the gameplay is solid. The online can be a little wonky at parts, not allowing me to summon players, but most of the time summoning is no problem, and the people are always helpful. Even the invaders are courteous, for the most part! Great community, and great game! Highly recommended!

99

Controller Required!!!!

rstokes | Jan. 3, 2013 | See all rstokes's reviews »

Never before have I played a non MMO game that has completely absorbed me quite like dark souls has. Nearly everything about this game is flawless, the graphics are amazing, the controls (with a controller as it should be played) feel very natural, and the engine is amazingly well optimized for a company that knows little to nothing about making PC games. You will constantly be on the edge of your chair and you WILL ragequit the game several dozen times per playthrough, Something about dark souls will have you booting it back up after 5 minutes though. Words couldn't even express how I felt after I finally bested dragon slayer Ornstein and executioner Smough after the 100th try and that will always stick out in my mind as the most impossibly difficult fight I have ever faced in a video game.

The only gripes I can list are the atrociously implemented Co-op peer 2 peer system which makes playing with friends more difficult than the game itself , and from software's lack of native PC settings. The latter of the two is easily remedied with a mod called DSfix however, which allows you to set the resolution of textures (no longer stuck at 720p), remove the games 30FPS frame limiter which causes the game to lag terribly on even the best systems, and adds a plethora of visual settings PC gamers are accustomed to. Which is a shame because not everybody will know to use the mod and they will assume the game is poorly coded, which could not be further from the truth. With the frame limiter off the game NEVER dips below my monitors refresh rate and lag is completely eliminated.

The game is as close to perfection as I've ever seen, but the awful co-op and the necessity of using a graphics mod to make the game playable keeps me from giving it a perfect score. Still all issues aside this game is an absolute joy to play. I've never given a game a 99 before and believe me when I say this game has earned every last point

100

Hard but fair

SengChou | Dec. 29, 2012 | See all SengChou's reviews »

Dark Souls is a spiritual sequel to Demons Souls the game known and loved for its difficulty. Though not set in the same world as Demons Souls a lot remains the same in Dark Souls from the difficulty to the great atmosphere in the world. The gameplay remains is nearly identical but almost everything else has been improved in some way. The world is no longer based around a nexus from where you travel to small areas but a large open world without any real loading screens. The inventory has been improved substantially. The carry limit has been removed leaving only the weight limit on items currently equiped on your character. There are an enormous amount of weapons and armor compared to Demon's Souls making customizing your character a joy. Travelling around the world the bonfires functions as safehavens and checkpoints, a place to regain your strength and plan future fights. These are but a few of the changes since there are to many to mention here and I think it is best to experience them for yourself if you decide to take the plunge into the darkness. I recommend getting a controller since the keyboard and mouse controls are poor at best.

100

Best game ever made in my honest opinion.

Queiroz | Dec. 29, 2012 | See all Queiroz's reviews »

I have to admit the i thought about quitting this game right after i started to play it because it's very hard and challenging game. Do not understimate any enemy of this game. I kept on playing it until i've improved my playing skills and kept on going. I am glad that i did not give up. This game will reward you with some feelings that you won't find in any other games. The visuals are stunning and dark. You will need an gamepad to have good controls over your character and this is the key to success. This game you can't press the wrong button or you will die even for the weakest enemy. Buy it and play it!

100

No Game Has Yet Achieved Such Perfection

Beard_Whisperer | Dec. 24, 2012 | See all Beard_Whisperer's reviews »

Dark Souls is one of the most amazing gaming experiences I have ever had in my life. It reminded me of all the things I loved about video games as a kid that were missing more and more in each new game that came out. It has consumed hours of my life, and I know it will continue to consume countless more.

If you are tired of games that are made for everyone, that entirely dumb down the gameplay and make every "challenge" easy to accomplish, then there is literally no better game out there. This brings back old-school fundamentals and elevates them to new heights. Whereas old games were challenging to help make up for the lack of immersion (naturally due to level of technology at the time) this game is challenging just for the heck of it. You WILL die in this game more than you have ever died in ANY other game. You know how in Online FPS' you are bound to die various times throughout a single 10 minute play-through, well, this is exactly the same way only when you die it can completely change what you have accomplished. Remember those 50,000 souls you spent hours and hours to save up? Guess what? You just lost them all along with all the Humanity that you were saving.

Which brings us to a fundamental core of this game: souls and humanity. This game essentially operates entirely on the stuff. Souls are used for purchasing weapons and upgrades which are EXTREMELY important to ones survival in this game. Humanity is used mostly for Online multiplayer, which consists in activating summoning sigils that other players have set out for you (or many times, their friends as they irritatingly decline your summon for help, a small flaw but one that is not due to the game itself). Multiplayer plays a small, but extremely helpful role to those who wish to use it. There is also a fun section later in the game where essentially the whole role of Multiplayer is to do your best to defeat as many other players as you can, for a huge amount of souls and other goodies.

The game itself is extremely hard to describe. The story is very much a backdrop of the entire game, which to me makes the game that much more enjoyable. Where most games suffer from lousy stories, Dark Souls (although it seems to have a very wonderful story) allows the player to simply enjoy the game as it is without being forced into terrible plots and plot-twists that force the game in an awkward and terrible direction.

The size of the game is IMMENSE, and completely non-linear. When you very first start the game (after the initial 30 minutes at least) you can (theoretically) choose where you want to go, but technically you will be limited based on your skill. This adds to the joy (and frustration) of the game to new-comers. You have to explore in order to see exactly where it is you need to go and what it is you need to be doing.

The art of this game is absolutely mind-blowing. Both in the character models and environments. I have never been big on games made by Japanese publishers, I have often found them to be too ridiculous or be so absurd that I just couldn't get in to them. This game has completely changed that, and given me a better understanding and appreciation of what the hype is oftentimes all about. The enemies are varied and frightening. The levels are challenging and relentless. Everything about this game screams haunting beauty. Which makes dying in this game all the more fun, because you just get to look more and more at all the beautiful landscapes as you try and make your way back down to retrieve your lost souls and humanity.

This game is perhaps the most harrowing game of isolation one will ever experience. You know nothing of what you will experience, and you rarely meet a friendly face. Thus the game is extremely rewarding. For instance, Bonfires are essentially spawn points, that allow you to more quickly access various areas of the game without having to wade through tons and tons of enemies and landscapes. As such, the moment you see a new bonfire for the first time is one of the greatest feelings you will ever experience in a game. Honestly, I am envious of those who get to experience this game for the first time, because once you learn the ins-and-outs of the levels, it is a feeling you will never truly feel again, at least not in full.

Honestly, I do not know what to say about this game or how to even talk about it. All I know is that I cannot recommend any other game as highly as I can recommend this one. It is reminiscent of the Castlevania series, but even darker and more unforgiving. As such, this game is a true practice in patience. I guarantee this game will change you forever, and not just as a gamer, but as a person. That is something I have never truly been able to say of any other game. Hence, I feel this game deserves no less than an absolutely perfect score.

45

Unplayable

AppleMuffin | Dec. 23, 2012 | See all AppleMuffin's reviews »

First things first. The game itself looks awesome, and I'm sure it is on console. But on pc it is virtually impossible to play. Terrible controls, wonky mouse movement, awful button arrangement...who uses the end button for the menu screen? Seriously. Whoever ported the game to pc did a horrendously bad job. I understand the game was petitioned to be on PC, but if the devs agreed to this decision it should have been done with more grace. And effort. I can't play the game not because the game is bad, but because the PC port version is unplayable. I mean the control scheme is still shown with xbox buttons. Come on.

95

Patience and perception test

puppymang | Dec. 23, 2012 | See all puppymang's reviews »

I don't think I've played a game for so long that isn't an MMORPG in my life. I pre-ordered this game off GMG (at a discounted price because GMG is awesome like that) about a month before release, having my doubts of course, and I don't regret it one bit. The atmosphere, the gameplay, the PVP, the jolly co-operation, almost everything this game tries to do, it does it well.. the only exception being the story which is mostly left for the player to interpret through the lore and conversation with NPCs. Whenever I recommend this game to others I ask if they are patient and are willing to take their time to learn things because this game may seem easy enough after the first few hollows you face but after you open that giant gate you realize that it's not that simple. As a result, many people fear the difficulty that Dark Souls has to offer.

95

Can you survive?

CrimsonWizard | Dec. 13, 2012 | See all CrimsonWizard's reviews »

When you break down a good game, most of them are like a puzzle. They require you to think of a solution or strategy to overcome its challenge, rather than relying solely on luck. Dark Souls does exactly that and then some to its audience. Many people who complain about the ease of modern games should try out Dark Souls if they seek out a challenge.

Dark Souls is an action style RPG, but set in an interconnecting set of stages which coalesce into a lovely world of the undead. Some may compare the visuals to The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, but developers From Software made sure to give each section of the game it's own personality, from the style of creatures to the fantastic set pieces. The story itself is rather light with a short introduction to bring you into the world. Afterwards, you're left to wander and try to understand what brought about this undead land on your own with the subtle clues peppered throughout the characters you encounter.

The meat of the game though is in the combat, and preparations for such. Dark Souls is a brutal, but fair game. It will rarely cheat to defeat you, but will gladly cut you down for the smallest mistake. Even if you progress your character down a path of defense and HP, you'll find that only buys you an extra mistake or two against later foes. The game expects you to block, or dodge, or if you're feeling especially skillful, parry and counter. Simply attacking head on will usually fail. You need to exploit opportunities in close combat, use the environment's traps in your favor, or find a place to snipe with arrows or magic if you want to succeed against your foes without losing your precious little health.

Speaking of death, while the game isn't as cruel as to send you back to the beginning, dying can be quite costly. Each enemy defeated (and certain items) will reward you with souls which can be spent at the spread out checkpoints in the world. Death will force you drop those souls in the place you perished, which can be a real effort to retrieve if you died by a nasty boss or trap. The game doesn't demand you to grind, but this system does subtlety suggest that it might be a good idea to retreat to a checkpoint and spend that large wad of souls, before attempting the trek again stronger and wiser of the ambushes and perils.

Dark Souls is fair however in it's brutality. The game offers many ways for you to experiment and explore to find your path to victory, from character and class customization to weapon crafting. Also, even though several of your foes are massive, many have a unique weakness or strategy that can be exploited. Some may be vulnerable to a certain magical element, while others can be easily blocked if they rely on one style of attack.

A final note that is worth mentioning, and why I deducted an arbitrary 5 points from this score was because this game, as fine as it is, has admittedly some porting issues. While slowdown didn't prove to be an issue for me like some other reviewers, this game was clearly made to be played with a controller, rather than a keyboard and a mouse. For some this may not be an issue at all as most PC games have some gamepad support these days. For those who strictly use the keyboard and mouse for gaming however, keep this in mind.

All in all though, Dark Souls is a fine title that succeeds in what it set out to do. It proves to be a difficult, but entertaining challenge, and I look forward to the recently announced Dark Souls 2.

80

Good and Hardly Game :D

kalil | Dec. 11, 2012 | See all kalil's reviews »

Overall this game is amazing. It's very challenging and difficult, yet satisfying because of this. It's long, and fun the entire way, with some of the best gameplay mechanics I have ever seen (that is, if you are using a gamepad). The only two problems with this game are, first off, that you need a gamepad for any good controls. When a game comes to PC, I feel it should have PC controls, however, this does not. I would not recommend this to anyone who does not have a gamepad.

Secondly, the visuals are both stunningly beautiful, and horrid. When you go above a certain resolution, it starts to look stretched and pixelated. However, after a few hours of gameplay I quickly got over that fact and have enjoyed the game for hours on end being completely satisfied with the challenges it has one overcome.

85

No excuse for such a bad port

Mikester7 | Dec. 10, 2012 | See all Mikester7's reviews »

If I was reviewing this game taking into consideration the vanilla port, I wouldn't be rating it very high at all. The port is probably the worst I have ever seen on the PC and I have been playing PC games for a long time. The PC controls (you know, the platform the game was "made" to run on) are absolutely horrible, I used an Xbox controller and you must too, it is unplayable otherwise. On launch, the game ran at an incredibly low resolution and frame rate, which is totally unacceptable, even if it didn't bother some people, many are more sensitive to low frame rates and may find it unplayable due to this. There have been some good community made modifications to fix the frame rate and the resolution, but after those changes, it just feels like a poorly optimized port like GTA 4 was for example.

I'm going to ignore these problems however, as it wouldn't do such a great game justice. The games combat is incredibly fair and great, turning out to be highly rewarding when mastered. Boss fights are varied with many great mechanics which feel like old school RPG fights. The hard difficulty of Dark Souls will also prove a rewarding challenge for anyone. Dark Souls feels like a grand journey filled with dangers, varied monsters and environments, interesting characters and treasure.

Personally I think the Dark Souls multiplayer was a total waste of development time. You cannot play with your friends very easily at all, the whole summoning system is really bad and in many cases you find yourself getting ganked (in a single player RPG?!) by a maxed level, pimped out character with so much lag he teleports behind you and insta-gibs you without having a say about it. This game is hard enough without people barging into your game mid fight and killing you. Thanks to the crappy games for windows live DRM, there is no real way of going offline to play by yourself like a normal single player game. If you don't want to die from a max level player owning you, just Alt F4 the game and restart it (yes the game stops you from closing it when someone enters your game to kill you). It is kind of beyond me why they would think of adding such a terrible multiplayer system, it doesn't do the game any justice and has no reason whatsoever for being there.

Fans of both RPG games, and games that are difficult (you know, the ones who whinge constantly about games being too easy now days) should definitely pick this game up, though try to get it on the Xbox or PS3. If you can't, perhaps wait for a sale, and if you do buy it, research unlocking the frame rate and resolution, especially if you find yourself more sensitive to that kind of stuff.

80

Fantastic experience from beginning to end

Scorpy | Dec. 10, 2012 | See all Scorpy's reviews »

Dark Souls is probably the least polished game I've played in the past few years. The fact that I was able to enjoy it as much as I did is a testament to how great the design is. The game is not hard as most people claim it to be... it is just extremely unforgiving. There is no room for mistakes in Dark Souls, and that adds an atmosphere of extreme tension that never lets up. Even when you are safe, there is a pit in your stomach as you prepare to face what is ahead.

If you can get past the ugliness and terrible optimization of the game, you'll be in for a real treat.

100

Never thought a Perfect Game existed.

Darder | Dec. 9, 2012 | See all Darder's reviews »

Wow. Simply wow. I bought this game on GMG, by pre release and as soon as I got my hands on it I was hooked. After putting in a fix for the graphics that were ported to PC (Dante's Resolution Fix), the game was simply flawless. Vast universe, awesome and disturbing bestiary, Outstanding gameplay! The storyline is subtle, but intriguing. The gameplay.... Oh I could talk about it for hours! You have to strategically manage your resources to try and stay alive in the game against the vicious enemies. Timing is the key in combat, and it just feels so good when you manage to kill an enemy by slicing its throat. The bosses are impressive, and powerful too! You are going to have a hard time if you want to complete this game, and it never ends since you can keep on developing your character with New Game +, which never gets boring. You have to play the game yourself if you want to discover how good this game is. A must have!

92

Great Game with problems

gewgles | Dec. 8, 2012 | See all gewgles's reviews »

The game is absolutely amazing, but the pc port is pretty terrible. The port basically requires an xbox controller to play, but it is worth getting.

Dark Souls will give you hundreds of hours of playtime in between the invading system, pvp, and the actual exploration. The pc version also includes the new DLC which adds another 4 hours to the main game. Price wise it's cheap on here, but sometimes a better deal can be found. I love this game and everyone should try it.

100

Best game for some, maximum frustration for others.

digitalpunk | Dec. 8, 2012 | See all digitalpunk's reviews »

For me Dark Souls is one of the best games in history, it's a masterpiece, a beautiful experience. If you are not old enough to have played older games (Castlevania,Battletoads,Metroid and other games from their generation), or didn't have the chance or curiosity to play those games, you should really try this game too get an idea of how games were supposed to be designed and played. BEWARE, this is not your typical "hold my hand game", not at all. You have to think, struggle to stay alive, fear death like in no other game, explore (you have no map at all so you'll need to memorize all the zones) and be PREPARE TO DIE.

94

Best hardcore RPG

d965457z | Dec. 8, 2012 | See all d965457z's reviews »

i've finished this game one years ago on Xbox 360. I got to experience only part of the new content, but what I did see left me confident that fans will be pleased, if not exactly blown away. The Royal Wood that lies between the Oolacile Sanctuary and the battle with Artorias too closely resembles the main game's Darkroot Forest area, but its dozens of foes nevertheless provides a delectable challenge. And its fields of orange and yellow poppy flowers and warm-hued, dusky aesthetic differentiate it sufficiently enough from existing areas.

In true Dark Souls fashion, falling to Artorias will necessitate repeated traversals of the Wood, as the nearest bonfire is a lengthy trek away. But the unfamiliar enemies that I fought, despite superficial resemblances to existing ones, pack a wallop with new and unpredictable attacks, making the journey challenging, at least.

Even From Software's now-overused trope of scripting fierce dragons to make surprise landings on bridges just as you attempt to cross them hasn't lost most of its impact. And new NPCs, like a giant, depressed, blind blacksmith (no doubt distant kin to his main-game counterpart in Anor Londo) situated behind a locked door in the Township area, possess the cryptic and introverted air that makes Lordran's denizens so intriguing.

90

A clunky port... an amazing experience

Inuyashe | Dec. 7, 2012 | See all Inuyashe's reviews »

Dark Souls is quite a beast, especially on the PC. Graphical deficiencies, finger-breaking keyboard controls (seriously, play this one with a controller), limited FPS. Not the best PC port, by any stretch of the imagination. A decent one.

And yet, it is simply amazing to play. It keeps you on your toes constantly. It forces you to analyze enemy compositions, forces you to find a path through the hordes. Grinding is possible, but is not as helpful as you might hope. You will die. When you wrestle with the controls, at the start, getting used to your hero's realistic clunkiness. And then a spear pierces your heart. And you revive. And so do all the enemies. You will die. Every mistake can and most probably will be punished. So you will work to improve yourself. You shall learn the patterns, you shall master counters and ripostes. You will die. Your foes shall often be gargantuan, in size, power. Most often both. And yet you will persevere. You will cleanse the land of darkness, or doom it further. You will slowly, piece by piece, discover the lore of the world around you.

You will die. By spear, by claw, by lightning, fire, tooth, bolt, bomb, rock, trap, mimic, digestion.

You will die. And if you can accept that... you will love it.

99

More fun in dying then ever before.

Miro3no | Nov. 13, 2012 | See all Miro3no's reviews »

As the name of the game says, be ready to die. A lot. However its not just a pointless dying to overpowered creeps or bosses. Its a progress. Zombie that backstabbed you behind some dark corner will not do it again, because you already know its there. Whole game is based on trial and error. Even tough it sound punishing or even sadist, the good feeling you get from getting to another bonefire (something like checkpoint or a safe zone) is indescribable. Even after killing a boss you feel like you ve actually achieved something. This is very rare in most of todays games (I only felt that in Ys games, and those are remakes of old ones so they dont really count) and so I was pleasantly surprised by this.You are just thrown into this hardcore world with a small clue where to go or what to do. No one is holding you by hand and telling you "Here, this is your path". I also love the stylish, dark enviroment, possibility to kill anyone in the game and PvP aspect is also made very well. Only downside of this games is horrible mouse & keyboard control, its almost unplayable so you need to get a gamepad to get the most of this game. After all, bad PC control is only negative thing I can see on this game and i highly recommend it to anyone who likes the challenge :) Definately worth the money. Have fun dying :D

89

Feel the Burn

das_regal | Oct. 6, 2012 | See all das_regal's reviews »

Dark Souls is a lot like exercising: sometimes you hate it in the moment, but you know it'll pay off... eventually.

Where some games are satisfying on a moment to moment basis, Dark Souls is a lot like climbing a mountain. When you beat a really hard boss you were having a hard time overcoming, there are few things more rewarding. The game has an old school charm and design that sets it apart from today's fluid, player-slanted action role playing games.

Aside from the challenge, there are other things that the game offers. The graphics are deliciously dark. The setting is easy to get lost in. And the allegiance system is quite deep.

Dark Souls also features an interesting multiplayer component that allows you to invade (and be invaded by) other players. Your opponent (or victim) is randomly selected and you have no way to communicate by them. There is a cooperative component that is similar to this that allows you to summon players to help you with fights.

All and all, Dark Souls is a great experience, and a unique one on the modern gaming landscape which is characterized by casually accessible titles and easy wins.

95

A true RPG masterpiece.

fable2 | Oct. 3, 2012 | See all fable2's reviews »

Dark Souls is a true masterpiece all the way through. It is a fantastic gaming experience from start to finish. When you first start off, you're not explained what's going on, nor what you should be doing here. But you start putting the pieces together, and much because of this very laid back story telling, Dark Souls forces you to involve and take interest in every single detail in this dark mysterious world. I can honestly say that no RPG has ever quite sucked me in like From Softwares Souls games.

Running around in this beautiful landscape, hearing only your footsteps and the blowing of the wind, makes the enemy around every corner feel even that more threatening. And I can asure you, they are threatening. From the smallest insect and weakest undead to fire breathing dragons and giant soldiers the size of sky-scrapers, everything can kill you in Dark Souls. If you're not focused going up against a wasp, you will die, and one small miss-step will often see you falling to your death.

95

Prepare to Die is right!

sweetcuppincake | Sept. 28, 2012 | See all sweetcuppincake's reviews »

One of the best games of the current console generation and one of my personal favorites. This game exists on PC because of the acclaim the game received and because From Software listened to fans. Everything that made it great in its original form is still here, and some new stuff as well. The new stuff isn't just an afterthought either. The designers took concepts that didn't make it to the final product and added entirely new areas, enemies, and bosses. And it fits nicely into the storyline. There are some issues with the port like locked frame rate and no controller support. However, fans of the series have developed workarounds for those issues. That doesn't count for this review, but just know that solutions are out there. While not perfect, this game provides some of the greatest multiplayer and singerplayer experiences ever.

100

Best game this year (and last year)

BoomGroinshot | Sept. 25, 2012 | See all BoomGroinshot's reviews »

Not the greatest of ports but with a few community fixes it becomes a very playable experience.

What you get is a challenging metroidvania style game with easily 100+ hours of playtime if you so desire. There are very few games this "generation" that stand up to Dark Souls. It is probably the BEST game to come out in the last few years.

93

A game that doesn't hold you hand

Fkpuz | Sept. 8, 2012 | See all Fkpuz's reviews »

The current generation of games usually suffer from chronic hand holding disease. Unlike most games which will take you on a tour this game simply says "go". And I don't mean this in a bad way. The art in Dark Souls may be some of the most original art styles in any game to date. The enemies look like they could be monsters right out of your nightmares without seeming to ridiculous.

You will die. But most of your deaths will be your fault, it won't be due to random chance. The combat is fluid and rewarding, especially if you can get some back stabs. Each boss battle will leave you saying "oh god oh god" and after you complete each battle you'll be saying "oh yes oh yes".

And if you're having problems on a certain boss you can make yourself human again (you'll see when you're in game) and then summon people who have offered their help to people needing it. Or you yourself can be summoned once you get a white soapstone. Throughout the game you will see certain messages like "beware of right" and "enemy weakness fire." Stuff like that. These messages are left by other players, they are not programmed into the game. Also you may see ghosts every once and a while, those are other players too. And if you see blood on the ground you can click it and you will see how some unfortunate person just died.

Dark Souls is a unique experience that I promise you will not find in any other game on PC.

95

Great game with a few issues from porting

Novalis | Aug. 29, 2012 | See all Novalis's reviews »

While From software has had issues porting a game to the PC for the first time the finished product has come out rather decently . It is far more stable performance wise in areas that had struggled frame-rate wise on the consoles with far lesser hitches and slowdowns. Other then that it it a truly faithful port of the console version. Keys are rebind-able if you are using a keyboard and mouse but a controller is preferred to play.

While the textures look quite muddy and bad right out of the box with a simple download of dsfix. (resolution unlocking patch which you put into the folder that the game installed to) The game becomes far crisper and beautiful with tiny little details like nicks, scratches and engraved designs on many weapons and armors that otherwise would be near impossible to see on the default and console versions.

The Dlc is amazing and adds to the story and gameplay without changing anything that been in the game thus far and will add new many new layers of enjoyment and fun.

92

Very hard game!

maciej2601 | Aug. 29, 2012 | See all maciej2601's reviews »

Hack'n'slash rooted in fantasy. Another part of the Demon's Souls, which are moving to a fantastic land full of characters and unusual creatures, where our main goal is to collect their souls. The game features unique online system: we can leave hints to other players (awesome), and play with them in a cooperative or rival mode. Production is distinguished by amazing mechanisms of struggle and a high level of difficulty. Worth playing.

80

Bad Port, Good Game

Freyar | Aug. 28, 2012 | See all Freyar's reviews »

If only Namco had given From Software enough time and a better budget. Dark Souls is a great game that absolutely delivers on the PC crowd's demand for harsh, critically-thoughtful games. However, it is executed poorly as it is quite literally a rip from the Xbox 360.

Don't expect anything magically better here. Mouse implementation is a bad alpha build, and keyboard controls are atrociously horrible. The UI itself fails to even distinguish which control set you are using. The video (discounting the very-useful fan-made hack to improve the internal resolution) is limited in exactly the same way it's console counterparts are, with GFWL used for it's multiplayer backbone.

Sadly, because of it's ported nature, multiplayer security is extremely limited as well. Edited characters are fairly common, with the leaderboard dominated by a number of questionable-at-best characters.

While all these negatives are disappointing, the game itself is absolutely stellar. It is exactly up the PC enthusiast's alley with a game that flat out punishes you for doing wrong and failing to pay attention to the subtle signs it gives you.

Death is exceedly common in this game and essentially is just part of how it plays out. Combat is slower and more about timing your attacks, parries, ripostes and dodges just right. This is no Skyrim hack-and-slash and it is ALL the better for it.

If you can grit your teeth enough to play with a controller and put in a few fixes, this game can be an absolute favorite, and in the end you get extra content on top of it.

5

Broken console port

vanzi | Aug. 24, 2012 | See all vanzi's reviews »

This game is totally unplayable on keyboard+mouse PC setup.

1) The in game tutorial was not even updated for PC controls - all tips in game refer to pad controls. 2) The internal frame buffer is locked at 1024x720, meaning in 1080p the game looks terribly. 3) While in game the Windows mouse pointer is VISIBLE floating around. This is just pure laziness and incompetence. 4) There's no way to adjust mouse sensitivity so the camera goes nuts after even the slightest mouse movement. 5) All in game menus cannot be controlled using mouse, everything is mapped to keyboard keys (and the game does not even tell you the controls as mentioned above).

I just can't get myself playing this game until the very base issues mentioned above are fixed.

100

Got It For The DLC

BULLBOYKENNELS | Aug. 22, 2012 | See all BULLBOYKENNELS's reviews »

While this game is said to be basically a port of the console version & knowing that up front I still wanted it for PC. While I have already spent countless hours on the PS3 along with the Demons Souls I merely got it for the DLC. So I basically look at it like a $15 dollar game but yet I pay for the DLC & get to play it now rather then later.

Which I will still get for the PS3 when ever it comes out . If you have never played it before then this is a great game to get & die a whole lot over & over again.

100

Beautifully Atmospheric Mixed With Perfect Skill-Based Gameplay

aimforthehead | Aug. 21, 2012 | See all aimforthehead's reviews »

With heavy emphasis on a vertical world design and dark, creepy ruins and dungeons, Dark Souls contains some of the most well designed and immersive atmospheres of any game out there. The gameplay is challenging but entirely fair and precise, you'll rarely die without feeling you made a mistake somewhere. Another plus is that Dark Souls manages to mix all online elements into the lore of the Dark Souls universe, further immersing you into the game. Best fantasy game ever created, period. (If there were an exception, it would be Demon's Souls).

97

Amazing...

cdaburnab | Aug. 15, 2012 | See all cdaburnab's reviews »

It's rare to get a game that is exactly as described, then on top of that even much better. Make no mistake, this is not a walk in the woods like Skyrim, every turn could result in death. It's with those death's that you learn, adapt, and succeed. Add in twenty plus challenging boss fights, the best multiplayer co-op/PVP system ever created in a video game and you have the best RPG in years at your finger tips. The only downside are the few frame rate hiccups, but the game play is so good you'll hardly notice.

100

Excellence Tightly Wrapped Into A Skill

thekingcasper | Aug. 7, 2012 | See all thekingcasper's reviews »

This game is brilliant!

A++

If your into RPG games that require you to learn from your surroundings than this is the title for you! Brutally Hard,Challenging & Rewarding... Best Mature game around atm!