Game Reviews

Dark Souls – Remastered

Welcome to the game that defined an entire subgenre of RPG games, the souls-like. Now available as a remaster. Enjoy stellar gameplay in 4k resolution at 60fps without third-party mods. Released in 2018 this version re-designed the 2012 masterpiece, with the DLC included. Developed by FromSoftware and published by BANDAI NAMCO entertainment.

This review was written by Nex

The vision

Imagine, an epic world filled with monsters, demons, giants, dragons, undead, and humans all ready to die by your hand… Imagine, exploring ruined cities, castles, forests, caves, pits of darkness, a library, or an ancient hollow tree… Imagine, controlling fire with your hand, or creating lightning spears like a god, or using poison arrows and watch enemies suffer from a distance… Dark Souls is an adventure like no other.

Character

In Dark Souls you can make your character the way you want. There are no class restrictions, however, certain equipment does require you to level up a bit. This means that you can start as a knight, then switch to a mage at any time. All you need to do is equip a staff and a spell you want to use. Starting classes differ in starting weapons and stats your character will have. It is recommended that beginners use a knight, as it has a decent amount of HP and starts with a shield and a straight sword.

Difficulty

Dark souls, well, FromSoftware games in general, are notorious for their difficulty. This comes in many forms. It’s gonna take some time to get used to the stamina bar. Unlike most RPGs, you cannot simply spam your most overpowered abilities over and over again. You gotta plan your attacks wisely. If you are not careful, enemies will swarm and overwhelm you in seconds. There are nearly 100 types of enemies in DS. Tactical decisions along with actual skill will separate scrubs from pros.

The main appeal isn’t the mob tho. It’s the bosses. There are 26 bosses in total, some mandatory, others optional. Not only are they usually massive and imposing, but they are also very deadly and will kill you in 2 to 3 hits. You don’t need to look past the first tutorial area to realize this. The asylum demon seems unkillable at first, but *spoilers* as you explore you come to a spot where you can jump and plunge him dealing nearly half of his HP bar as damage.

Sen’s fortress is an interesting area, cause it’s made like a 3d platformer. With pendulum scythes trying to knock you off narrow bridges and lizardmen shooting lighting at you, you will think this is harder than Super Meat Boy.

Equipment

Armor

In addition to raising your character’s statistics, you can improve your defense by wearing “better” equipment. Heavier armor provides better stats but lowers your rolling speed and invincibility frames. Lighter armor is significantly lighter (as its name suggests) but doesn’t provide nearly as much defense. Of course, if you don’t get hit you don’t need to worry about how much damage you will take. It’s up to you to choose what suits your game style. One final thing to note, you can mix and match and choose whatever looks best.

Rings

Another way to improve your character is to wear a ring. Dark Souls Remastered has 2 ring slots, but you cannot equip the same ring twice, nor can you use two of the same rings. Each ring has a different benefit, and you will use the ones that best suit the given situation. If you are going to farm, you will equip the ring that increases soul gain. If you want to fight bosses, you will equip either damage boosting or stamina recovery ring. The options are there, it’s up to you to find what works best for you.

Weapons and shields

Dark Souls weaponry comes in many shapes. You have two equipment slots, left and right hand. Each weapon has a different appeal in either hand. Most common for beginners is the right-hand sword, left-hand shield. However, you can use an axe, a spear, a lance, a halberd, or whatever weapon feel comfortable using. You can use it in one hand, or you can two-hand it for increased damage. This prevents you from using the other weapon/shield, but you still get passive benefits if the weapon has it (for example some shields increase your stamina recovery).

In addition to melee, you have the option of going range build. You can use a bow or a great bow if you want, or maybe you want to go spellcaster, in which case you need a catalyst or a pyromancy flame, or you can cast miracles, for which you need a talisman.

Best builds will require you to swap between several weapons. Some go better together, like STR/FTH or DEX/INT builds.

Story

You might wonder why the story is here. Well, that’s because Dark Souls doesn’t force its story on you. Yeah, there are some guidelines, but if you want to truly learn the story of Dark Souls, you will have to talk to NPCs, pay attention during the cutscenes and read item descriptions.

Multiplayer

While you can play single-player mode offline, one of the best aspects of Dark Souls is the online world. If you choose to play online, not only will you be able to summon people as friendly phantoms to help, but you will also be able to summon them to fight. PvP is different than PvE. There are some unwritten rules, like bowing before initiating combat.

Challenges

Dark Souls might seem like an unsurmountable mountain at first, but if you keep playing, soon you will find yourself rushing through areas crushing enemies on your path. People who play DS are incredibly skilled and always end up finding harder and harder challenges for themselves. Some of the most common ones are classic speed runs, no-hit runs, no-damage runs, soul level 1 runs, pyromancy only runs, and many, many others. If you want to check out this masterpiece and become the Dark Soul you will need at least a 64-bit processor and OS (Intel Core i5-2300 2.8GHz and Windows 7 64-bit), 6Gb RAM, GeForce GTX 460 1Gb GPU, DirectX 11, 8Gb of HDD space, and DirectX 11 compatible sound device.

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