ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

In Praise of Dark Souls

Updated on July 19, 2020
Retired Shoe profile image

I'm an avid gamer who loves all types of games from any genre.

I have played hundreds of games throughout my lifetime. This has included dozens of bad games, some mediocre games, and even fewer genuinely amazing games. I think one game stands above the rest of the games for multiple reasons. That game is the infamous Dark Souls. It has built up a reputation for multiple reasons. From its difficulty to its level design, there are many reasons to praise the game.

My Experience

Dark Souls has built a reputation for itself as being THE “hard game”. Many game reviews will compare a game’s difficulty to Dark Souls’. For many people this has undoubtedly either drawn them in to want to try and beat the game, or has pushed them away. I was one of the people who was drawn in by its difficulty. I played until I had gotten to the bridge with the red drake that spits fire on the entire length of the bridge. Now, I am a very impatient person, so trying and failing to cross this bridge multiple times was not an experience I enjoyed. I quit playing the game and did not pick it up again until about three months later. That time I had looked up a guide on where to go from there. I successfully crossed the bridge and actually ended up beating the game.


When I finally pushed through the parts that were frustrating for me I continued and fell in love with the game. Dark Souls has had this “hard game” reputation ever since it came out. This reputation does the game a disservice. Yes, Dark Souls is a hard game, but when I slowly played through it for the first time (a playthrough that took me nearly 40 hours) I kept finding reasons to love it even more. The story, the music, the level design, the characters, and the bosses in this game all swirl together into a perfect concoction. Very few games, in my opinion, have achieved such a perfect mixture of all of the elements that make a video game.


Comparisons

Many games have been subject to comparisons to Dark Souls. I think this is usually for all the wrong reasons. Whenever I see a game get compared to Dark Souls it is because it is either difficult, uses a similar dying/healing mechanic, or has a similar gameplay loop. By gameplay loop I mean the loop of exploring, dying, then exploring the same area again until you get past it. When games are compared to Dark Souls I think it should be because of the excellent standards the Dark Souls presents. Especially when it comes to areas like level design. When a game has a gameplay loop comparable to Dark Souls, instead of looking at the surface level comparisons (such as difficulty) deeper comparisons about the level and enemy design should come into play.

Bosses & Music

The bosses in the game have contributed to Dark Souls’ status as both a difficult and well-designed game. A majority of the bosses in the game are quite difficult, but very few seem outright unfair. A lot of the bosses, when you get the hang of them, are just plain fun to fight. Some bosses even have some emotional weight put onto them. Such as the final boss, Gwyn, with his somber piano theme. The bosses are all wrapped up in a neat package of music, mechanics, and art design. Some are so well designed that they have transcended the game itself. Take Ornstein and Smough for example. Even if you have never played Dark Souls you might still know that their fight is considered the hardest boss fight in the game, maybe even the entire series. Even then they do not seem unfair to me. They both clearly telegraph their attacks and are easily separated with some careful movement.


The music contributes greatly to the recognizability of not only the bosses but the game as a whole. The music is fantastically composed. From the quieter firelink shrine theme to Orstein and Smough’s swelling orchestral theme. The music adds so much life to all of the areas and conveys their respective mood impressively well.


The game has many recognizable aspects, whether it be the difficulty or bosses, which has made it a sort of gaming phenomenon. There are youtube channels dedicated to breaking the Souls games apart. Channels such as VaatiVidya, Limit Breakers, and streamers like TheHappyHob and LobosJr who do insane challenges. The game has reached a status that few games have. That is one that is critically acclaimed and has stayed in the gaming limelight for years, especially with the development of more and more complicated mods. I would not be surprised in the least if Dark Souls was still talked about and played a decade from now.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://corp.maven.io/privacy-policy

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)