Dark Souls Review
Xbox 360 | PS3
Dark Souls Box Art
System: PS3, Xbox 360
Dev: From Software
Pub: NAMCO Bandai
Release: October 4, 2011
Players: 1, 2-4 online
Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p Blood and Gore, Partial Nudity, Violence

Dark Souls asks a lot of its players, and you don't get a whole lot back in terms of story or cinematic scenes. But as those who have already experienced Demon's Souls already know, the experience itself is worth the dark and treacherous journey. Running through the same area ten times just to beat a mid-level boss to get to the next checkpoint may seem foolish to some, but there is an incredible addictiveness to it. Getting just a few more souls and then finally beating that beast or dragon feels immensely satisfying, and I don't think there's any other game out there that can quite replicate the experience.

Dark Souls Screenshot

On the technical side of things, Dark Souls is just as solid as its predecessor. The game's world is vast and highly detailed. Though "grunt"-type enemies do tend to look quite similar, there's enough variety in the bosses and the world at large to keep things from getting too repetitive visually. The game's soundtrack is also very well-done, with a haunting score that keeps pace with its dark themes.

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Dark Souls is a game that is very demanding, and it certainly isn't for everyone. However, if you liked its spiritual predecessor Demon's Souls, or are looking for a gaming experience unlike the endless paint-by-numbers RPGs out there, Dark Souls will give you everything you want and more. Like anything worthwhile, it is a difficult experience and it's not always pleasurable. But in the end, this is one journey you'll be happy you undertook.

By Amanda L. Kondolojy
CCC Senior Contributing Writer

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
4.3
Graphics
The world of Dark Souls is gorgeously depicted with plenty of detail.
4.0
Control
The world of Dark Souls is gorgeously depicted with plenty of detail.
4.2
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
The soundtrack is haunting, and voiceover is done well (despite being quite sparse).
4.5
Play Value
Grinding, leveling, and, of course, dying over and over again will keep the most dedicated players immersed in this world for a very long time.
4.2
Overall Rating - Great
Not an average. See Rating legend below for a final score breakdown.
Review Rating Legend
0.1 - 1.9 = Avoid 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 3.5 - 3.9 = Good 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair 4.0 - 4.4 = Great 5.0 = The Best

Game Features:

  • Extremely Deep, Dark, and Difficult – Unforgiving in its punishment, yet rewarding for the determined – learn to strategize freely and conquer seemingly impossible challenges. You will organically design your own gameplay style by developing your character and continuously trying different strategies to finally achieve successful progression.
  • Fully Seamless World – Explore a completely integrated world of dark fantasy where dungeons are seamlessly intertwined, with great height.
  • Mastery Earns Progression – Contains 60 hours of gameplay, with nearly 100 uniquely despair-inducing monsters and an incredibly nuanced weaponry and magic spells system, the effectiveness of which is determined by combat situation, fighting style, and character attributes. A player's success depends on their eventual mastery of how and when to use the magic spells, choice of armor, the number of weapons, the types of weapons, and the moves attached to the weapons.
  • Network Play – Players may cross paths with one another, interacting with each other throughout the game even as each player plays their own game. Networked play allows users to cross paths with one another to enhance the single-player gameplay experience without destroying it.
  • Flexible Character Development and Role Play – As the player progresses, they must carefully choose which of their character's abilities to enhance, as this will determine their progression style. Players can choose to play as a sword master and a wizard, for example.
  • Community – See other real players and empathize with their journey, learn from seeing how others died, and find and leave messages for your fellow players, helping them or leading them into death.

  • Screenshots / Images
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