An ode to those not playing Dark Souls 2

by James O'Connor Featured 1 Comments 12 Votes 34834 Views 14/03/2014 Back to Articles

YOU HAVE DIED.

For many gamers, this simple condemnation is the brightest beacon on the gaming landscape. The Souls series has caught many players up in a cycle of pleasurable punishment, hurling themselves into death over and over, learning, crafting, getting better. After eighty hours they emerge out the other side a little stronger and wiser.

And then there’s me, and countless other players like me, who can’t quite bring themselves to jump in. Last year, I tried to read David Foster Wallace’s infamously difficult Infinite Jest, and gave up a third of the way through, despite its obvious brilliance. I look at Dark Souls and imagine that the same thing would happen there if I ever tried it.

I am not disinterested in Dark Souls II. I am super happy that the game has been released, and when a copy showed up in my mailbox I was quietly pleased that the option of giving it a good shot had been made available to me. But it took maybe half an hour of play for me to realise that it probably wasn’t going to happen anytime soon.

It’s often said that Dark Souls is beautiful because it doesn’t give a damn about the player, which is the same reason some people like having cats as pets.

The notion that these games aren’t actually going to appeal to everyone – or, at least, that their appeal takes longer to emerge than some players are willing to invest – was once the central point of discussion around Dark Souls, which has since moved on to straight-up worship of the game. But a big part of the series’ success is the feeling it gives players that they’re locked out until they really start to come to grips with the underlying systems and the capricious nature of the game. It’s often said that Dark Souls is beautiful because it doesn’t give a damn about the player, which is the same reason some people like having cats as pets – a cat is aloof and difficult to coax love out of, as are these games.

About once a week, I’ll feel a twinge of guilt about having barely touched the Souls games. I plugged an hour into Dark Souls but I know that either game would require a pretty significant investment from me if I really wanted to get the most out of them. I also know that my backlog is enormous, that I have jobs that need doing, and a social life that I want to maintain. I think about Dark Souls and I get a little panicked about what playing it might do to me. I worry that when I hit a wall I’ll give up and feel like a failure forever more, as I still do with Infinite Jest.

Still, there’s no doubt in my mind that those of us who can’t quite bring ourselves to play Dark Souls are missing out, and I can’t help but feel sad when I see all the discussions around these games online. My Twitter feed is made up largely of folks who genuinely love these games, who love to cryptically discuss events and bosses without ever daring to actually give advice, who like to allude to weapons and locations and load outs. It sounds wonderful. It also sounds out of my reach. It’s slightly suffocating being surrounded by people talking up a thing you want to be able to love, but which you’re also slightly scared to even pick up.

Dark Souls stirs up complicated feelings in its audience, including those of us who haven’t played it. Perhaps one day I’ll be able to set aside a month of my life, sweep my pile of shame aside, and give Dark Souls the time it so obviously deserves. Until then, this is a shout out to everyone else silently wishing they could bring themselves to put these games in their consoles.

I feel your pain.

Link to us http://PS3.mmgn.com/Articles/an-ode-to-those-not-playing-dark-souls-2
Vote for this article Log in with Facebook

An ode to those not playing Dark Souls 2 Comments

Leave a comment Log in with Facebook

It’s often said that Dark Souls is beautiful because it doesn’t give a damn about the player

This is why I love this game. It doesn't babysit you like most games nowadays.

Dark Souls may be the only game that made me throw my controller so much that I actually needed to buy a new one.. Twice. Cause those times that you went somewhere far and then died, realizing you didn't light any bonfire nearby yet. Ugh. It makes me want to cry. Dark Souls isn't fun. You won't really enjoy playing it most of the time. But whats rewarding for this game is the feeling of Accomplishing something. Conquering a boss, Finishing a stage, Getting awesome armor, Getting stronger weapons. (well, you can argue that most games has this kind of features and liked in this reason but somehow Dark Souls is different while being the same)

Post a comment

Leave a comment Log in with Facebook

Recently Read

Featured PS3 Content

Games of October: Your most wanted

Games of October: Your most wanted

06/10/2014 Polls 8 16
San Andreas’ Grove Street is still home

San Andreas’ Grove Street is still home

Tano 2 hours Articles 0 5
GTA: San Andreas could get an Xbox 360 re-release with Achievements

GTA: San Andreas could get an Xbox 360 re-release with Achievements

Tano 6 hours News 5 1
The Evil Within Essential Survival Tips

The Evil Within Essential Survival Tips

Gryllis 7 hours Articles 2 2
Destiny: What was promised, what could have been, and what we got
Tano 1 day News 1 3
Shadow of Mordor is a must buy: Here’s why

Shadow of Mordor is a must buy: Here’s why

Tano 1 day Articles 8 11
Win Samurai Warriors 4 on PS4

Win Samurai Warriors 4 on PS4

Tano 1 day News 3 5
Gyromanic: I played 3 hours of Far Cry 4, but ignored story

Gyromanic: I played 3 hours of Far Cry 4, but ignored story

Gryllis 1 day Articles 0 7
Yeah, science! First-person shooters boost sensorimotor skills

Yeah, science! First-person shooters boost sensorimotor skills

Tano 1 day News 0 4

Community Content

Awesome Gaming Stuff Of Tomorrow, Today! Vol. 3

Awesome Gaming Stuff Of Tomorrow, Today! Vol. 3

02/09/2014 Blog 10 0

MMGN Updates

Status
Updating..
Username

Patrick812, Tano, Tyrus, Olly commented on GTA: San Andreas could get an Xbox 360 re-release with Achievements

Patrick812 2 mins ago
Username

Doyl is now Level 37!

Doyl 8 hours ago
Username

commented on Rechargeable Battery Grip Dual Joypad

sram 18 hours ago
Username

commented on Friendly Fire Show 70: The Amazing Dergerpopa

marywalden 19 hours ago
Username

Tyrus, zurczner commented on Fantasy Life review - Harvest Crossing Life

Tyrus 1 day ago
Username

Patrick812 is now Level 7!

Patrick812 1 day ago
Username

Leasha, Tano commented on Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel review

Leasha 1 day ago
Username

OrangeBlck, Enarium commented on didgio digital giveaway: Win 1 of 50 PC game codes

OrangeBlck 1 day ago
Username

commented on Ultimate NES Remix coming to 3DS in November

xevious 1 day ago