Dark Souls – E3 Preview

When From Software released Demon’s Souls back in 2009 it became a huge hit amongst many gamers because of the high level of difficulty, and the rewarding experience that it offered when accomplishing a task in game. Fast forward to 2011 and From Software is about to release the its spiritual successor known as Dark Souls. The only difference? It’s more difficult than its predecessor.

At first glance you when playing Dark Souls you will be shocked to how similar to Demon’s Souls it feels. In fact it is pretty much the same control set as the first, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. The controls work great for what you are attempting to accomplish in the game, and that is to survive. You will not find yourself dominating your enemies. A lot of times it will be you running from them.

Should you be one to choose not to run from overwhelmingly powerful enemies, you will find your character in the game dying quite a bit. This is what Demon’s Souls is known for, and it looks as if Dark Souls will turn it up to max. During my hands on with the game there was a point where my character died 3 times, in under 5 minutes. The smallest mistake in this game will lead to your demise, so you must carefully think before you act.

The game offers a varied amount of enemies to encounter. In the specific level that I played I ran into everything from a skeleton to a fully armored boar that would charge at you. It is worth noting that dragons will also be making a return, because one of those 3 deaths mentioned earlier was from a dragon on a bridge, so be prepared.

Aside from the difficulty Demon’s Souls featured an unique online multiplayer aspect, mainly being used as a help system or a form of tips within different dungeons. This is another thing that will be making a return in the upcoming game. Players can leave tips/help at different areas of the game. It will then appear in other players worlds as glowing symbols on the ground. They may note that an enemy ahead is for higher level players, or even that there is a great treasure ahead. This is not the only thing that can be done from within the game, though. One of the more popular features of Demon’s Souls was to invade other people’s game worlds, and this is once again making a return. By invading another players game world you have the opportunity to attempt to challenge their character.

The combat in the game is once again very well done. It feels a lot more fluid than Demon’s Souls, and this makes dodging and fleeing a lot easier. It also makes the combat seem quicker and easier to string together attacks, so long as you can properly dodge and block your enemies attacks. For those that played the first title the control scheme is exactly the same, so there should be no issue from a control stand point.

Graphically the game is beautiful in a dark and gritty way. It offers a fantastic look into a dark world with emphasis on dungeon-style gameplay, and it has definitely been upgraded from Demon’s Souls. The audio in the game was great, you can hear your enemies along with armor clanking around as you move. If you slow down your movements so does the sounds of your armor. It added to the realism of the game in a great way.

For fans of the first game, Dark Souls is shaping up to be a day one purchase. Those of you that missed out on the first game, and happen to be looking for a challenging and unforgiving title, Dark Souls looks like it’s right up your alley. The game is set to release later this year.