Originally Posted by Aditya
No it doesn't help 'significantly' either. Dark Souls is not a conventional RPG (or even a conventional ARPG) where leveling your character gives you skills points to unlock some high-tier abilities (to what you refer as "more options to play the game"). Leveling, at most, will help you dispatch the trash mobs quickly. Most of the challenging foes in the game CANNOT be won merely on the basis of your level and/or gear.
Feel free to counter this with some examples.