Dark Souls - Retrospective @ Playdar
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October 9th, 2013, 10:11
Well, the thing is I played it ~10 hours on PS3 (don't remember exactly) - then a few hours on PC - then a few hours on PS3 after finally deciding I prefer the console version.
So I never got very far into it. I've explored a bit of the first large area though and found a few secret areas and spoken to some NPCs. It's for sure that the vertical sensation is powerful and I can easily see why some people would be taken by it.
But apart from being non-linear - it's extremely similar to the feel and world of Demon's Souls, based on the first area, anyway. Large, dark, oppressive, bleak and sparse
I liked that as well - but I guess I'm just not that much into the bleak and sparse. To me, the games are too combat oriented and I don't like the lack of interaction.
Ok, you can smash barrels and stuff - but it doesn't have that kind of tangible feel I like, where you can pick up lots of stuff and throw it around. I tend to like "clutter" you can interact with, like you'll find in TES games and Gothics. Even if you have no use for a spoon - you can pick it up and put it down. It makes the world seem more real and tangible.
I don't like inferred or elusive storytelling much at all (much like I don't enjoy David Lynch and Terrence Malick movies) - and I like a more no-bullshit approach to delivering a tale.
I don't really care for the attribute-driven character system either. I know it's very intricate and all stats matter - it just doesn't provide enough sensation of reward. Those tiny steps towards performing better aren't very exciting to me.
I fear I've also become too tired and jaded for the exhausting trial-and-error gameplay, which is a huge part of the first many hours of these games. You have to learn monster patterns and you have to figure out what stats to invest in - and given how frustrating and repetitive it is to die and have the area reset, I just haven't found the surplus of energy to invest sufficiently again.
I got an imported Demon's Souls from Japan - back when it wasn't a very well-known game, and I got really into it for a while. But at one point, I was hit by gamer-fatigue - and I've never been able to go back and enjoy it.
I fully expected Dark Souls to revitalize my interest in this style of gaming - and I was really excited about getting it for my PS3. But I didn't last long.
I still intend to one day give it another go - but I fear I've moved beyond this kind of game.