A Darker Shade of Soul: The State of Dark Souls Four Months After Launch

Justin Belin writes, "Dark Souls was released on October 4th 2011 to an even split between gushing acclaim and unprintable expletives by gamers and critics alike. Our own site gave it nearly universal accolades for its brutal skill based game-play, oppressive atmosphere and unique on-line multiplayer and it was a personal Game of the Year for more than one member of the editorial staff. Nearly a month later a little game called Skyrim was released and shortly thereafter the likes of Arkham City, Skyward Sword, Uncharted 3 and Assassin’s Creed: Revelations served up an overabundance of RPG and or adventure goodness that most are still wading through well into the new year. Some never once looked away from Dark Souls, while others put it aside to move onto brighter, more user friendly pastures. For those who have gone astray, it is worth wading back in, but be warned, the color of this Dark Soul has changed in some notable ways."

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Edward752323d ago

Great game, good read, I hope the game goes on for a few more years.

yeahokchief2323d ago

Nice article and you make a number of good points. This is the type of stuff that goes through anyone's head when they play to NG++, NG+++ etc.

You definitely need to understand boss mechanics pretty well for later playthroughs given how hard enemies hit and how much damage they can soak in. I've been killed in rooms that I can breeze through on NG++ in someone's NG++++ just because of how hard enemies can hit and how much of that fire spell damage can go through my shield block with 95% resistance to fire. I believe there is a big difference between your first game and NG+, but NG++,NG+++ etc all have small, incremental difficulty adjustments after that. I believe I read that after 8 playthoughs it stops increasing enemy health and damage output.

It works fairly well. It keeps us from overpowering boss battles with our stats. You are definitely going to feel good about seeing those soul signs when you find them around level 200 in NG+++ or NG++++. You get hit really freaking hard and they have a ton of hp.

I've stacked my damage so that my weapons have around 800 dmg prebuffs on an occult great club +5 via 83faith/50strength/18dex stats and they still take a few full bars of endurance to kill. My occult weapons do more damage than my chaos weapons with 99 humanity in human form (10 is max for the dmg modifier). So far my favorite weapons in order are manserpent greatsword, zweihander, greataxe, washing pole, falchion, halberd for poking, and claws for pvp lolz. Even generic weapons become some of the strongest in the game if you upgrade them with stats so the balance of weapons changes completely when you get to the higher levels. The occult pickaxe +5 for example has over 500 dmg which does more than the sword you get for beating the end boss based on my stats. Weapon effectiveness really depends on your level and your build so some builds you have to think about what level you plan on stopping at if you're going to stop leveling at all. I'm still finding tons of coop/pvp matches at level 200.

One thing I would like to point out is that how often you get invaded will also depend on your covenant. If you are in way of the white or sunbro covenant then you are less likely to be invaded and more likely to be connected with fellow coop players. You can also lower the number of invasions by paying off your guilty status.

I only stopped briefly to play through the story of all the major releases and it was right back to DS for me. But starting next Tuesday i'll be getting some heavy playtime with Twisted Metal.

With over 300 hrs played, my cleric is around level 200ish and I still want to do a few more things before starting a new character. I like experimenting with all of the weapons now that I have them at occult +5 or divine +10. I'm going to beat the entire game as a level 1 for my next character, but i'll spend souls on weapon upgrades, spells etc. I still feel there is a lot of little stuff to learn with this game in terms of strategies with weapons and spells for both coop and pvp. Dark Souls doesn't get boring as quick as other games because it's so attention demanding and the challenge makes being attentive worth your while.

VirtualSamadhi2323d ago

Wasn't a fan of zweihander as large weapons still snag on walls. Winged spear is a direct hit, as are any poking weapons, and anything with a wide radius is a good secondary, though uchigatana and falchion types are favs.

yeahokchief2322d ago (Edited 2322d ago )

The Zweihander's running R1 and running R2 attack will send some pretty big and lethal enemies to kiss the ground on contact so its pretty helpful depending on situation. I'm pretty much finding good uses for most of the weapons. You are correct that it is not a good weapon for narrow corridors. But its great for its knockdown attack. The greatsword also has similar standing R1 attack animations and damage, but instead of the knockdown you get a powerful thrusting attack which is more of a poke, but is extremely slow. It also weighs 2 more units.

My secondary is always my darkmoon talisman for miracles. The ivory talisman is better until you build your faith stat up and the darkmoon is the best endgame talisman because it has the best scaling.

VirtualSamadhi2323d ago

Pray for a sequel!

Skyrim didn't even stir me this year...