Dark Souls - Xbox 360

  • Publisher:
  • Genre:RPG
  • Developer:
  • Release Date:Oct 4, 2011
  • # of Players:1 player
  • ESRB:M - Mature (Blood and Gore,Partial Nudity,Violence)
  • Platforms:
Game Description:Enter a dark world filled with despair and threaded by hope where your ability to creatively strategize, learn and overcome unpredictable and unique challenges determines your fate. Dark Souls will demand your absolute concentration, unflinchingly punish your mistakes, but reward your ability to learn from death. Each challenge is a mind game met with endless combinations that will test your ability to creatively strategize a way to conquer unimaginable monsters and progress deeper into this bleak and forbidding environment filled with the undead.
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    (48 Ratings)
    4.3 / 5
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Dark Souls E3 2011 Multiplayer Preview

Dark Souls E3 2011 Multiplayer Preview

By Leah Jackson - Posted Jun 10, 2011

Dark Souls is the spiritual successor to one of the hardest games ever, FromSoftware's Demon's Souls. Dark Souls is being developed by the same team who devleoped Demon’s Souls and they promise this game will be even more difficult than Demon's Souls. It’s a cringe worthy goal but I have faith they will succeed. We've seen glimpses of Dark Souls here and there, and did an in-depth Dark Souls preview from a Namco Bandai event. At E3 2011 we got a chance to check out Dark Souls' intriguing multiplayer system.

I entered the dark cave in which the demo was being played at Namco’s booth, to my left and right all I saw were other players getting brutally massacred in the game. Honestly I had a good time just laughing at them repeatedly. I found myself constantly giggling at their failure. I knew I wouldn’t do much better though so I had a developer walk me through the multiplayer system. I don’t feel bad either.

The demo started with our character, the Black Knight, running through a level called The Undead Parish. Right away the developer pointed out a Bonfire, something new to Dark Souls;  it acts as a checkpoint system. In Demon’s Souls you could play the game for quite a long time, die, and then be set back almost an hour or more which added to the challenge of the game, sure, but also lead to unnecessary frustration. Dark Souls’ Bonfire system is completely optional, but for those that don’t want to spend all of their time redoing previous content, it’s there. You can also regen all of your health at the Bonfires if you wish, but again, it’s optional.

Immediately after we walked past the Bonfire inside of a dark room of the castle, we stepped out on to the ramparts. The game is gorgeous, each brick and stone of the castle seemed to be placed with care. Plus, looking out over the castle you could see forests with hundreds of trees fluttering in the distance. It looked great, and if I wasn’t pressed for time I would have loved to just run along the castle, breathing it all in. Unfortunately, there was a Wyvern on the ramparts waiting to get its scaly hands on me.

The developer explained that in Dark Souls, how you play the game and explore the world is up to you. We could have both fought the Wyvern and got a lot of Souls from it, or we could have just kept going to see what else the castle had to offer. The world is open and seamless, but I wanted to see what the Wyvern was all about. However, as soon as I got near it, it lit me up with a nasty fire breath and I instantly died.  I didn’t have that much time with the demo so after experiencing the Wyvern once, we decided to go check out more of the castle. Choices like this will pop up everywhere in Dark Souls, and obviously you’ll haves benefits if you take out the challenging minibosses, but they’re not a requirement.

As we walked around the castle, taking out skeletons along the way, I noticed some writing on the floor similar to the writing on the floor from Demon’s Souls. Dark Souls doesn’t feature co-op multiplayer like almost every other game out lately. Instead, there’s an option where you can enable multiplayer while you play. This new feature to Dark Souls allows random people, not your friends, to jump in to your game and leave helpful messages, aid you with a specific quest, or kill you.

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Let’s say I really wanted to kill that Wyvern from before but was just having too much trouble with it. I could enable multiplayer in my game and ask someone to come in and help me. Opening my game world up for a random person to come in and help also leaves the door ajar for malicious people to come in and invade as an evil spirit and kill me. Players can also leave signs around the game letting you know they’re available to be summoned to your game and help out if needed.

Voice isn’t enabled, so even if someone is coming to help or kill you, they can’t talk to you. What they can do is perform gestures, like flexing their muscles or laughing at you. There won’t be any twelve-year-olds calling you a noob running around which is nice. Regardless of whether or not you go in to another person’s game to help or hinder, once you come back to your game you’ll return in exactly the same spot you left.

The aforementioned writing on the floor is another part of the multiplayer. Using the Wyvern example once again, I could have left a message on the floor saying something along the lines of “Warning, danger up ahead.” And then added some sort of other advice. The messages are limited to predetermined phrases that are in the game already, meaning you can’t write personalized messages, but there are a lot of phrases to choose from so you could get creative if you wanted to. You could even leave a message giving someone bad advice if you wanted, it’s entirely up to you. Once you write out a message it goes on the floor and players with multiplayer enabled might see the message if they walk over it.

dark souls

Being the malicious chick I am, I wanted to keep invading other E3-goers games and kill them. It was insanely fun when I managed to do it, but what was even more hilarious was that before we could even find other players within their game they’d die to some other evil Dark Souls creature. For example, I kept trying to go in to games to kill people but a huge armored boar would always get to the person first.

The developer then let me in on the idea that in Dark Souls there are always different ways to approach every situation. He said that the people who kept getting owned by the boar weren’t realizing that there was a staircase in the area they could climb up to avoid getting impaled. Every miniboss and every situation has some sort of gimmick in Dark Souls, meaning if you’re having trouble then you probably aren’t doing it right. Of course the intention is that the game is difficult, but the answers are there if you can find them.

With that, my time with Dark Souls was up. I hadn’t been able to get my hands on it before, but now that I’ve seen how it looks and plays, I definitely want to know more. I find the multiplayer aspects to be intriguing, and I like the fact that you don’t get to choose who you work with or against while you traverse the castle. Look for Dark Souls this fall when it launches for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.

Comments are Closed

  • tmsmyth4

    Sounds good, I hope they dont checkpoint it before boss fights. Nothing got my heart pumping like a demon's souls boss fight, having not found a shortcut and knowing the price of failure! I know the bonfires are optional but for the same reason I'd save before a boss in a FF game, if its there I'm gonna use it! Especially as demon's souls had me crying. Before and during the boss fights, Id love a checkpoint. After boss fights, who needs checkpoints this game's awesome!

    Posted: June 14, 2011 8:57 AM
  • LemonAter

    Can't wait for this game. I loved the first one. Surprisingly the very first level of demons souls was the hardest for me. But I love the idea of being able to tackle each situation differently to a certain extent. Pass up the mini bosses for a later time and come back when you can actually kill it.

    By the sounds of it people were getting pissed that they couldn't kill the dragon but the thing about this game is, even though its in a early level doesn't meen you can do it right off the start.

    Posted: June 14, 2011 1:46 AM
  • hoof_hearted4

    looks a lot like demons souls, but different enough to be a new game. deff very excited. as ive told ppl on the DS forums, idk if ill get it right away. a good chunk of games (Battlefield 3 (PS3), Resistance 3, SWTOR and maybe (dunno if ill get) Skyrim (PC) all coming out around there, i may have to wait till 2012 sometime to pick this up...then again ME3 comes out in march of 2012 soo we will see lol. and thats not including games that have been out since 2010/2011 i still havent gotten (Army or Two 2, DW7, AC:Brotherhood, and prolly more) and games i wanna get like MGS:Rising and maybe the new Ghost Recon that idk when they are coming out. too many good/interesting games not enough money,

    Posted: June 14, 2011 1:42 AM
  • fordxfurry

    I think that's a really stupid multiplayer. That serves no purpose as one might as well just have a message board or something but they deff need multiplayer. If I wanted to play a game by myself I might as well get skyrim instead of this where I can enjoy it a bit more than always getting frustrated if I can't get help from a friend. Co-op will have more people picking up this game especially if they're going to Xbox. I know me and my friends were looking forward to it because we wanted to enjoy it together and not be a shooter. They deff need to rethink their multiplayer

    Posted: June 13, 2011 11:24 PM
  • 52Fatal_Strikes

    Demons souls is the best rpg ever,i can't wait to play this PS3 gem and even though some seem worried about it straying away any from demons souls you have to remember this is not demons souls and i do trust what Fromsoftware has set in this new. (even if it seems very close to DS) I strongly believe they listened to usPS3 owners that put DS on the map and will not let us down. Oct 4th can't come soon enough :D

    Posted: June 13, 2011 8:21 PM
  • Shuklar

    Absolutely loved the first game. Hopefully this one is just as exciting, and adds a bit of polish that any good successor does.

    It took me like two weeks to find a copy in my city for Demon Soul's, so hopefully with the success of the first one, they don't limit launch production.

    Posted: June 13, 2011 7:25 PM
  • hellterskelter89

    Damn so how does this affect wanting to play the game with your friends? If you can't put down a sign then how will they make it work? I have a friend I play demon's souls with and we tell each other where we will be putting our summon markers. I hope they have a way to play with people you want to and not make it all "well multiplayer is turned on I hope he's one of the two or three people that join my game outta the half million people out there". Leave it in FromSoftware! Let players set up matches/co op with people they know!!

    Posted: June 12, 2011 8:05 PM