Let's talk about Dark Souls II: The kind of game that ruins lives

by Paul Verhoeven Featured 12 Comments 24 Votes 2472 Views 31/01/2013 Back to Articles

First of all, Dark Souls is the kind of game that ruins lives. Imagine this, if you will: your partner leaves for work at, say, eight in the morning. You're still in bed, having a sick day. Only you're not sick, are you? You're just planning on trying to down the Four Kings, because you've tried nine times now, and you're on NG+++, so they're damned near immune to your pathetic little stabby-stabby stab stabbings. So you wait five minutes, crawl out of bed, and start playing.

Nine hours later, your partner staggers in from post-work drinks, to find you hunched over your controller like Gollum, your pale, unshowered body shaking because you literally haven't gotten up since that morning. You're now on NG++++, you're lobbing fireballs at Gravelord Nito, and your eyes look like fleshy, hateful little black holes. How long have you played the game since you bought it? Over five hundred hours.

That's what Dark Souls is: part Medieval horror, part Spirited Away, it's the ultimate game title. And part of the reason why it took off so much is because it's hard. Really, really hard. It's part of a prestigious family of games that pride themselves on their inaccessibility (Demon Souls and the Monster Hunter titles are close relatives), but it doesn't want you to give it. It challenges you to better yourself as a player. Which might be why people are so stressed about Dark Souls II.

Hidetaka Miyazaki, the director of Demon Souls and Dark Souls, has handed off directorial duties on Dark Souls II to Tomohiro Shibuya. From Software are assuring people that the move wasn't forced upon him, but Miyazaki has stated that he's saddened to have been moved from director to supervisor.

That's what Dark Souls is: part Medieval horror, part Spirited Away, it's the ultimate game title. Part of the reason why it took off so much is because it's hard. Really, really hard.

It's a move that has many worried, especially as Dark Souls was uniquely his vision. But what really concerns many die hard Dark Souls fans is Shibuya's assertion that he wants to make the game 'more accessible'.

More accessible? What does that even mean? Does it mean easier? Because unlike most games, the very core of Dark Souls is the challenge. It’s a key feature. If we end up with some loosely related title which feels and plays more like a button-mashing Devil My Cry style title, I for one will head to Japan, stand outside From Software and cry for days on end until they make a worthy sequel.

If, on the other hand, we’re all just scared about such a vague statement because we’re in love and we don’t want that love to get ruined, that’s fine. We all love Dark Souls. The sequel might be an absolute abomination, it might not. But I’m quietly confident Miyazaki would rather die than sit back and let that happen to his baby.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to set a Google alert for 'Hidetake Miyazaki + dead'. Can’t hurt to hedge your bets, right?

By Paul Verhoeven

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Let's talk about Dark Souls II: The kind of game that ruins lives Comments

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**** Dark Souls [Rage]

It destroyed me.
Demons souls ruined me after just one level
Bought Dark Souls and it has never even been inside my PS3
Tano
+
Total Recall, Starship Troopers, hurr durr.

Now that that's out of the way...

This is what I do with the controller after playing this game:



Great article.

I never found the game inaccessible in the same way I find Monster Hunter inaccessible, though. With MH I feel that you absolutely MUST be prepared to put in at least 20 hours just to learn the basics, but with Dark Souls it definitely felt rewarding after a few hours, despite its challenge.

Paul Verhoeven said: It’s a key feature. If we end up with some loosely related title which feels and plays more like a button-mashing Devil My Cry style title, I for one will head to Japan, stand outside From Software and cry for days on end until they make a worthy sequel.



Made me LOL :P Be sure to take pics.
Great article Paul. I share both your obsessive love for Dark Souls and your utter fear for its sequel and the "more accessible" comment. We can only hope they retain its signature difficulty and everything else that made it such a classic game.
Why oh why do people find these games SO hard? it's all about patience and persistence.
Demon and Dark Souls are the best games this generation and shouldn't be missed from beginning to end.
People post things like 'remember when Mario was hardcore' and 'the kids have it easy these days' and stuff like that when here is a set of titles giving out the punishment yet people who post said things don't bother with it cause it's too hard?

OllyEbbz said: it's all about patience and persistence.



Right there. Modern games are all about fast, fast FAST!
Honestly, games like Assassins Creed pretty much dumbed down my skills with counter-kills and whatnot. This game, however, was so, so good for me as a gamer. Perhaps difficult isn't the right word... INITIALLY difficult. Once you learn how the game works and pay attention, it basically becomes an insane ballet of thrusting and parrying and rolling. People should WANT hard games.
Blob
+
I did 3 levels in Demon's Souls before I gave up.

Best character build


As PaulV says, these games are only initially difficult. Once you have any clue about what you're doing and gain the knowledge on the areas and enemies it isn't that hard at all. It still requires some level of skill to play but that core mechanic is rather simple when you get down to it.
It's a great series, but I honestly never finished either game. Once I got to a certain point I held off on finishing it until I finish other games... and I'm still "finishing other games." I'm hoping that during the summer I'll be able to concentrate on it (playing it on/off doesn't work like it does for, say, Skyrim) fully for at least 2 weeks and hopefully finish at least one of the two games. (*)

I have heard great things though... anyone who's finished it says it's possibly the best game of this generation, although there's not many who have finished it... =_=
Can't wait for Dark Souls II, first one was tuff but hey I love a challenge :D
i dont see how people say dark souls was a hard i found it quite easy to run through they had a great dodging mechanic that made it easy. i hope dark souls 2 is more challenging :D

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