Dark Souls: Prepare To Die Edition

  • Released on Aug 24, 2012
  • By From Software for PC, PS3, Xbox 360

Dark Souls: Prepare To Die Edition User Reviews


Dark Souls...Just Dark Souls... (Spoilers)

The good:

The difficulty is fair(-ish) and tough, and It feels really satisfying to kill something you keep dying to.

The controls are fairly intuitive! They're a simple but effective break from the button-mashers of our time, that's not to say that it isn't, you WILL ineviatbly find yourself mashing the same buttons over and over again, but it reduces wear-and-tear on your controller at least.

The graphics have their shining moments, such as the bloom effect the game uses, and the detail put into the bosses.

Many of the enemies and/or their designs are very original, often breaking away the cliches some of the more well known monsters have built up, for instance, how many games have you played that you had to fight a dragon with six legs, an alligator head, and a giant gaping maw where it's belly should be? And the undead, or the hollows, instead of the moaning, green skin and brain craving the most well known movie monster has been cursed to be known for, instead they give us these beautifully crafted shells of former brave warriors, and chivalrous knights that went insane from giving up on their perilous quest.

The idea of what you're doing will end up as an exercise in futility since the world is stuck in a perpetual time loop, and you'll be forced to do the same tedious and long quest over and over again, realizing that Lordran will never see a true "Age of Fire" again, or an "Age of Man" really gives this game some artistic depth.

Choosing your fate during the game is actually pretty cool too! You have to choose the lesser evil by either linking the fire, and burn in the kiln to prolong a dying idea of a golden age, or the Age of Fire. Or follow Darkstalker Kaathe's advice and become king of the Primordial Serpents, and usher in an Age of Man, and risk humanity actually going extinct, the choice is yours!

Some of the weapons are pretty badass as well, in the game you can upgrade weapons to +10 and later ascend them to several types of elements, you have your basic ones like Fire, Lighting, Crystal (don't get this one, I'll get to that later), but you also have Chaos, Divine, Occult, the possibilities for weapons are ENDLESS. Adding layer upon layer of replayability, and even better, if you haven't used any of the main bosses souls, you can ascend them to make soul weapons, such as using Great Grey Wolf Sif's soul to get a shield that functions well, AND is easy on the eyes, or keep Executioner Smough's soul and ascend it to make a blunt weapon AN EXACT REPLICA of his big-arse hammer! The only downside is is that it's smaller and you can't duel wield them since you can only have one of that boss' soul at once, and the strength requirements for it are astronomical, but I digress.

The game also has a very good way of establishing the story. Just my two cents, but when you begin the game by having a dead body with a key thrown down into your jail cell, meet the guy that threw the body down dieing in a pile of rubble, killing a literal big-arse demon, and then get carried to the Land of the MacGuffins by a giant crow, that is a REALLY effective way of making you question what you've gotten yourself into!

The game isn't by any means verbose, but at least people are capable of holding up a healthy conversation...unlike...Shadow of the Colossus...ugh...and the voice acting is believable, and easy on the ears. Unless it isn't intended to be, such as the likes of Patches the Hyena, a merchant that repeatedly tricks you into death traps in an attempt to kill you and steal your items.

The game uses an interesting type of currency. Instead of Coinage, the game uses souls of fallen foes for buying things. That would be neat, but I hardly see the soulcount go past 1000, you'll see why soon.

The bad:

The difficulty is good, it feels like whenever you die to a formidable opponent, you truly question why you lost, and how you let it kill you. The only problem is that most of the difficulty doesn't come from the main opponents, no the difficulty comes from cheap kills and traps, and I know cheap is a risky term in the Dark Souls community, but listen, if you're getting attacked by 5 enemies at once, back up a little and fall of a cliff that you didn't see, that's cheap. Or how about one everyone can relate to: Going through the fog wall expecting a boss fight in a large arena, nope! You're trapped in a little box with a giant goat demon wielding two machetes that will give even your best shield both middle fingers, and on top of that, let's add some attack dogs because he might not be hard enough to fight on his own! That's low, even the most unforgivable games difficulty or general quality-wise still gave you room to catch your breath and, oh I don't know, FIGHT BACK during a boss battle?
I could give you a full list of deaths that were anything but "Tough, but fair", but since everyone in the Dark Souls community will *bleep* me out of every orifice if I complain anymore, that's all I have to say.

Also, lets not forget about pausing, in every self respecting game that claimed the title of "tough, but fair" there was always a menu that you could access at a moments notice, and catch your breath from an intense battle, to analyze your problem, and just to take a little break. Dark Souls has none of this, instead, you have to constantly be on your toes, turning around in every direction, keeping your fingers on the attack buttons, all while leafing through your inventory for that homeward bone so you don't end up dieing. This puts too much stress on the player, even the most hardcore of them all will still break out into cold sweats whenever they pause the game.

While the graphics were okay, aside from the blooming, the light glare, and their clever use of a 2D backdrop to look like 3 Dimensional models in some areas, it looks like nothing more than a really good 2006-2007 game.

FRAMERATE ISSUES. JESUS H. CHRIST ON FLAMING CRUTCHES JUMPING A SHARK. The framerate is okay throughout most of the game, but it's so horribly optimized that in areas like Blighttown it slows to a crawl, even in the PC Version. People had to mod the game to fix these issues. That's right, normal people are doing a crack team of fully trained game developers' jobs!

Most of the weapon buffs are cool, like having high faith boosting your divine or occult weapons strength, or killing an enemy with a flaming scimmy. Never under any circumstances buff your weapon with a crystal ascension. It's sole purpose is to trick you into ascending your favorite weapon into it, and then make you flip a table when it breaks after 4-5 hits. Why include a buff like that if not just to make everyone angry?
The Enemy AI functions well. Why is that bad? Their attacks home in on you. It wouldn't be bad if it was believable, like say they try attacking you but you outrun them in time so they turn a bit but fail. But do you expect me to think an Infested Barbarian, one of the fattest enemies in the game, can turn a complete 180 on their heels, bring their club down, and still hit me with it in a 4 second time frame, and still say the game is "Tough, but Fair?" Not to mention that they will aggro you across the entire map if you decide to run past them.

Speaking of running: did you know that the only checkpoints that you can go back to from death are bonfires? You can restore your Estus (the main source of health restoration save for a few items and humanity), you can level up, and you can restore humanity, etc. What's wrong with this? They're few and far in between, meaning that if you die in a tough area and didn't find that bonfire yet, you'll go back to the last bonfire you saved at, meaning a dung pile of running back to your destination to recover your 80,000 souls, with the added bonus of every enemy you've fought in that area being brought back to life, and running past all of the enemies just to go back to your point of death feels empty, like a speedrun, and that's not good! Someone below in the comments mentioned that the bonfires provide meaningful checkpoints, while I would understand that, and that the lordvessel helps a lot, there are still some bonfires you have to truck through several enemies to make it to, what if someone (like me) dove into the game blind and tried finding all of the secrets by himself? For instance, to get to the Demon Ruins I always trekked from the Depths to blighttown, or from VoD to blighttown, it took me until JUST NOW (AKA 500 wall smacks in the Demon Ruins/Lost Izalith area later) to find the Fair Lady's Chaos Servant Covenant, which housed a bonfire close to Demon Ruins.

The Friendly AI sucks however; I can't remember one time I had to waste one precious humanity to summon an NPC like Solaire or Mildred to help me with a tough boss, and them actually helping me. Nope! Every time I summoned someone, all they did was roll into the fog wall over and over again for no reason! There wasn't anything on the other side as I'd killed all the enemies! And the worst part? They don't react when enemies attack them when they aren't phantoms! When I was walking through the catacombs, I accidentally led some Skeleton Giants into Patches and he died without as much as a fight! But no, it's suddenly a fight to the death if the player even scratches an NPC!

And let's not forget how painful continuing is. When you die twice, if you failed to "Recovered" after your first death, you lose all of your souls, all of your humanity, and all of your progress from after you left your bonfire. Forcing us to farm for items isn't good, that's called padding gameplay, and making it longer than it should be.

Also, the battle controls are so sensitive, if your fingers even graze the R2 or R1 buttons, you'll swing around like a mad man, and hit a friendly NPC! And don't think that just putting away your weapon will stop them like in Fallout, no if you hit them, there's no turning back. You have two choices after this: A.) To actually kill them, or B.) Go to Oswald of Carim to request Absolution. What's the price of Absolution? I accidentally hit Domnhall, the merchant that essentially sells the most unique and best armor in game, and the price for Absolution is TWENTY TWO THOUSAND, FIVE HUNDRED SOULS. I had to cough up ALL of my souls, and then use Sif's soul to pay for it all. The game has such an abundance of souls, and yet the game shakes them all out of you in an instance just to make the game playable.

Finally, the community, oh lord.Neoseeker is pretty good about it, but in some forums, there is always a group a arseholes that wait in a dark and damp corner for a new guy to complain about a genuinely unfair death, like glitching through the floor forcing him to die, or the GHOSTS IN NEW LONDO RUINS and jump out screaming "GET GOOD FAG DARK SOULS IS EASY SL1 NO EQUIPMENT AGAINST O&S WITHOUT EVEN LOOKING GO BACK TO SKYRIM KID" that's the kind of stuff you'll hear if you ask a "hard core" dark souls player for help, I really don't understand why the "hard core" community of dark souls craves conflict like it does, but I hope this kind of stuff dies down soon. Oh and that's just the general community, the online community is much worse, again, there are some good apples in the bunch that play fair, that actually use interesting builds, and try their best to be graceful losers when they do lose. Unfortunately there are only few of them, a majority of them (or "Dark Trolls" as I prefer to call them), are just there because they had a bad day, so they want to make it miserable for everyone else, Dark Trolls are separated into 3 categories, The Presidents, these guys waltz around with nigh-indestructible friends decked out in Smough's Armor +15 or the ever so "loved" Giantdad build, waiting for some unfortunate Darkwraith, Forest Hunter, or Darkmoon to stumble into their world to get sicced upon them.
There are also Farmers, which are basically Presidents, but they decide to do this because they're too lazy to get legitimate souls or items, and let's not forget: Gangbangers, which are a horrific amalgamation of the other two, with the added bonus of thinking you don't deserve to fight them consecutively, so they decide to fight you all at once, these groups of people also have the nerve to taunt you as you leave, no not give you a bow, and a wave, or drop a carving from Gough, but to give you dark soul's equivalent of "come at me bro" and leave you very hateful messages as you leave. The community is by far the worst online community I've ever seen.


The verdict is that the game isn't bad, it's just flawed.
I honest to Gwyn don't want to sound like I'm b*tching about the game for difficulty alone, nor do I want to sound like I dislike the game because of how I personally feel about it, I just addressed what any other reviewer would address.


An adventure and challenge worth having!

The good:

-Gives gamers a challenge that they have been looking for.
-Graphics and Draw Distance
-Boss fights
-PvP/Co-op System.
-Balanced out combat system
-A fairly large map.
-Many hours worth of gameplay
-Wide variety of weapons and armor to go with your character's build.
-Simple and easy-to-learn mechanics.

The bad:

-Gets really annoying sometimes.


Nearly 2 years back while I was waiting for the release of Skyrim, I heard about this game called "Dark Souls" and it was supposed to be released shortly before Skyrim. I also heard about it's difficulty and how frustrating it is. At the time I thought "Eh, that's really not the game for me." A year and a half later and I moved out of my old house and into a city. After getting sorted out with moving, I went to my local GameStop, where I saw "Dark Souls" sitting on the counter brand new for $20, I still kinda held back, but then later that day I went on YouTube to see it's gameplay. It...


A phenomenal challenge

The good:

The seemingly non existent plot very slowly and subtly makes its way into the game. You may not really notice it or understand it at all the first time you play, but it's there, and it's very interesting.
It's really difficult, and yes, this is a good thing. It doesn't hold your hand or pat you on the back so everything you do actually feels like you've done it yourself.
The online co op is a great way for new players to make a boss fight easier, or to just enjoy the company of another player as you fight a boss.
The combat in this game is really something else, straying from the usual 'press A until you win' and making it feel like actual strategy. Even regular enemies can kill you if you aren't paying attention to your combat skills.
The world looks beautiful, and it's very big with barely any loading screens.
Fantastic boss fights.

The bad:

Multiplayer is difficult to access occasionally. Lags a little in blight town, but not enough to make it a real problem. Can be very difficult which might be a fault for some people.


Dark Souls is a game that, at the beginning, throws you in alone and you have to work out where to go and what to do. This lack of direction seems to scare some people off, and to them I say, give it another go! It's part of what builds the challenge in the game by refusing to hand-hold players and provides a sense of accomplishment when you do figure things out.

This dark, beautiful and terrifically designed game is one that everyone should get to experience. It's crafted in such a way that really makes players want to explore every corner of its world, delivering visuals that work well wit...


Dark Souls Review

The good:

Amazing graphics beautiful levels and landscape. A number of places to explore with beautifully designed areas with a dark goth feeling. There are many unique covenants to join that has their own perks or flaws from good, neutral then evil.

Great gameplay easy to get used to, filled with hours of fun. For example I've played it since I've gotten it when it came out and it is still extremely fun. The game boasts an amazing fighting system makes it more realistic, as in if you swing a greatsword you won't feel like you're swinging it around like a knife.

There is a wide array of armor and weapons available that can be upgraded up to +5, +10 and even +15. Some armor and weapons can be gained from bosses too. These items also use an interesting repair and weight system, the latter of which makes it more realistic for being a dark fantasy rpg. A huge array of items aside from these can be collected as well.

The bad:

The game is extremely hard but gets easier as you get used to it. You must "Prepare to Die" for you are going to die many many times while playing Dark Souls. Phantoms (other players or npcs) can invade your game and kill you, which can be a huge pain and bother for you if are trying to get to boss dungeon.

Multiplayer prevents nearby players from playing together, making it harder and limiting options if invaded by a higher level player.


There are plenty of monsters to kill from the lowly hollow soldiers and rats to drakes, golems and vicious bosses. Can be confusing since game does not tell you what excatly what your suppose to do but that adds to the fun of it since you are not being babied.

The beautifully designed landscapes and levels add to the medievel dark gothic feeling to it, amazingly designed creatures from the small rats to the big Seath the Scaleless each with different strengths and weaknesses.

Every piece of armor or weapon has their own stats, requirements, strengths and weaknesses from the broken sword handl...

Based on 4 reviews
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