Death on its Own Terms

UnWinnable: Dark Souls tried to kill me.

That phrase is how I’d say the joke started, at least. If there were some kind of judicial entity or ethical tribunal created to protect and serve the interests of we the players, it would be the nut of my on-record statement. Surprise: my most adored game from last year is also devious, vicious, cynical, abusive, methodical and highly intelligent. Of course everyone knows that, despite a few niggling concessions made to accessibility, Dark Souls is more or less From Software’s own Hannibal Lecter, designed to test and torture the player, likely until they break under the strain. That was the kind of tired approach I had decided to avoid when coming up with my own evaluation of such a monster. “Prepare to Die,” the ad campaign taunted me, or anyone else who came within grasp of its bloody feasting gauntlets. Obviously this wasn’t an idle threat.

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