Dev­il­ishly dif­fi­cult in De­mon’s land

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - Tech - MIKE WIL­COX mike@ hy­per­ac­tiveg­ames. com

DARK Souls is the fol­low up to 2009’ s

De­mon Souls, re­turn­ing play­ers to a fa­mil­iar fan­tasy world with mag­i­cal pow­ers to wield and dev­il­ishly dif­fi­cult game­play.

It is a clas­sic dun­geon- crawl­ing, role- play­ing game that al­lows play­ers to cus­tomise a char­ac­ter and pro­gres­sively in­crease their power as they gain more ex­pe­ri­ence and col­lect spe­cial items along the way.

There are 10 classes to choose from, in­clud­ing war­rior, knight, thief, and sor­cerer, and each has dif­fer­ent skills and abil­i­ties.

Ex­plor­ing the var­i­ous en­vi­ron­ments re­quires fast think­ing, as you can quickly be­come over­whelmed by en­e­mies and need to de­cide whether to stay on and fight for their souls and risk be­ing killed, or turn and run to en­sure your sur­vival.

There is a struc­tured learn­ing curve to help train you up. Once you’ve fig­ured out your char­ac­ter’s strengths and weak­nesses, you’ll soon learn which bat­tles are worth fight­ing and which are best left alone.

Dark Souls is an unashamedly hard game but no doubt there are play­ers who will thrive on its sadis­tic game­play. Re­gard­less of your gam­ing prow­ess, you will die and die of­ten.

For me, this isn’t nec­es­sar­ily a bad thing but the de­vel­op­ers went a few steps fur­ther. Only lim­ited check­points are avail­able to save your progress and, ad­di­tion­ally, when restart­ing from a pre­vi­ous check­point, all the en­e­mies you’ve just killed reap­pear.

With the main point of killing en­e­mies to gain their souls and level up, what an­noyed me more was that ev­ery time you end up on the wrong end of a fiery ball of de­struc­tion or a sharp blade you lose all the souls you’ve re­cently col­lected. You need to re­turn to where you were killed to re­trieve them.

Dark Souls makes no apolo­gies for its high dif­fi­culty level. So ca­sual gamers be warned – the fun fac­tor may be short- lived.

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