Stepping back into the first entry of Dark Souls has been quite an experience for me. I got my early release copy and thought I would breeze right through it. After all, I had completed the original title on new game ++, when it was relevant on my PS3. Add on my experience with Dark Souls II and III, I thought it would be a cake walk. I was wrong.
I breezed through the opening of the game. Of course the beginning is more of a tutorial, but I was happy to take down the first boss I would encounter with some firebombs I took as my starting item (gift). It was over in less than 60 seconds. I should have recalled that defeating this boss was no reason to get cocky.
As I progressed through the game, memories began to poor into my mind. Unfortunately, my memory could not be trusted. I was blending thoughts from all three games and even included memories of Demons Souls. I had to forget almost everything I thought I knew and experience the game near first hand for the second time.
I thoroughly enjoy the Souls series. While I can respect that it’s not everyone cup of tea, the Souls games have never let me down. I enjoy the frustrations that occur after my poor choices. If I make a mistake, I can only be frustrated with myself. Maybe I shouldn’t have run down that corridor without checking each corner first. Maybe I shouldn’t have tried to skip ahead to levels that I was clearly not ready to take on. So many mistakes to learn from. For me, it makes for a captivating experience.
While there are a number of gamers out there that say the Souls games aren’t actually difficult titles to complete and that all it requires is a little caution and common sense, I can’t imagine there is very much fun in always playing it safe. Proceed with caution? Yes. Tiptoe through the entire game until it is complete? Not very rewarding. At least not for me.
As far as the game being remastered goes, this is a top notch job. Graphics and frame rate are clearly improved. It is still a little pixely, but it is easy to overlook. If this was a brand new title just releasing, then it may be of consequence, but it a remaster after all. The network has much better stability and finding players is fairly quick. Being invaded is also fairly quick after unhollowing, so be on your toes if you’re playing through online. While invading enemy players only get half of their Estus flask when they invade (stats are also brought down to your level), that doesn’t mean they won’t the power to wallop you a good one. Don’t let them lure you into an area infested with enemies, it will not be to your benefit.
If you are a fan of the series or maybe just a big fan of Dark Souls III and haven't tried the previous two entries (both available on PS4), I would highly recommend diving back in or trying this title for the very first time. If by chance you played Dark Souls and didn’t enjoy your experience with it, you likely won’t enjoy it a second time around.
Thanks to my time spent on the remaster, I am going to head back over to Dark Souls II, soon. I’ll play that and likely play through Dark Souls III once again. While I am under the impression that there will not be a Dark Souls IV, in the near future, I do know FromSoftware is working on a secret project. I am hoping there will be some sort of reveal to give us an idea of what's to come from one of my favorite developers. Likely a Souls-esk type game.
What are your thoughts on the Dark Souls series? Do you love it or hate it? Why or why not? These are the questions that keep me up at night. Shoot me some answers and I just might get a good night's rest. Thanks for reading!