|System: Xbox 360, PS3|
|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.
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.
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.
Amanda L. Kondolojy
CCC Senior Contributing Writer