Dark Souls, final conclusions

14 Feb

Best game, for a while…

For me Dark Souls was the best game in a looong time. It was hard as h**l, had cool graphics and a play style that I personally appreciate (stats, loot, dark fantasy monsters!). I was thinking back to really hard games from the early video game era of NES, C64 and such. Recently I had become soft, when talking about challenges in games, being incorporated that it is normal to re-appear a few meters away from where you died/crashed/lost. In comes Dark Souls and crushed my “soft-challenge” game life and I really liked it!

…but not anymore

But something happened after playing 70-80% of the game (and same amount of hours). The game became easier and it started to feel repetitive. Since I were really glad that the start of the game were easy, I actually were a bit worried how hard it would become in the end, but that theory was not fulfilled. The final stages and bosses were really easy, much too easy. If you haven’t played the game or don’t want to read about the final part, stop now!

The bitter (and easy) end

In the beginning I tried at least ten, sometimes 20-30 times, before being able to finish a boss, but in the end I actually won over some of the bosses on the first try and that is not good implementation. Bosses should be hard and should require special tactics! For the Four Kings I just hit them and healed myself, didn’t use any particular strategy, but apparently it was enough, and I don’t think I had too high level (100), since I don’t like collecting too much levels/experience (or souls), since that can cause hard parts being too easy. And even the final boss, Gwyn, was so easy; he just took three attempts to beat. Why didn’t he have a super attack that caused massive damage, like 90%, unblockable? And the ending itself, it could have been a little more elaborate, no matter if you choose the fire or dark ending. Although, in one way, that ending is a bit like the “good old days”, for example Castlevania’s ending where you stand and see the count’s castle crumbling down.

Dark Souls - Gwyn, Lord of Cinder

The final boss, Gwyn, was one of the easiest ones...


Story-wise the game was ok, a bit like old action adventure games; nothing deep at all, to say the least. But for the challenges, I would say the beginning were great, loved the hardships, but toward the end everything got too easy. I would have hoped that they balanced it a bit, so at least some enemies were hard no matter how high level you were (come on, Gwyn is like a half-god, he should be able to smash you no matter if you are level 50 or 100!) I still have to recommend the game though, if you haven’t tried it, for the challenges and hardship during the first 70-80% of the game!


Posted by on February 14, 2012 in Ravings


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2 responses to “Dark Souls, final conclusions

  1. razra

    September 28, 2012 at 6:21 am

    level 100 in the first play through..??? dafuq.


    i finished it at level 60 (I was farming a lot too!)

    thats insane, how much have you been grinding?

    the game is too easy at level 100, OFCOURSE IT IS O.O

    • Anders

      September 28, 2012 at 8:47 am

      I didn’t grind much, I just played a lot, explore and re-play many areas 🙂

      Many games have dynamic enemies, at least bosses, that never get “easy”, no matter how high a level you have. If the game allow a player to be at a certain level at a certain point, it should be dynamic enough to be able to handle it and not make the game too easy. But my biggest concern is that some of the bosses in the end didn’t require any special strategies to take them down. I remember the final boss of Baldur’s Gate II: Throne of Bhaal. I had maxed out the levels for most of my characters (without grinding, it happens because you play all areas of the game), but that boss was still hard as “hell”, because the game was dynamic enough to handle your progress throughout the game.

      If a game becomes too easy at a certain level, it should stop the player from leveling up more. That is a valid point, and I would accept it, especially from a game that want to make it hard for me 🙂 One way would be that the character need some special item, before being able to level up to a certain level, e.g. “collect the mask of iron before leveling up over level 20”. Then all areas that can be reached before having the mask of iron will be designed to handle players up to level 20.


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