Why Dark Souls Still Matters in 2019
Many of you may already be able to tell by my website name and design that Dark Souls is game that means a lot to me. Even though it has been 5 or 6 years since I first played through the game, I still remember all the different emotions that I felt while experiencing it for the first time.
I was in my final year of high school when one of my close friends asked me if I ever played Dark Souls. At that point I had heard of the game but never actually tried it, but they convinced me it was worth it.
I remember on my first play through I struggled to beat the first boss the Asylum Demon. But I also remember the incredible rush of adrenaline when I finally landed the killing hit and was able to leave the Undead Asylum! This rush fueled me with the determination I needed to continue playing through the rest of the game.
Me after beating the Asylum Demon for the first time
After arriving to firelink shrine I faced my next big challenge: where the hell do I go? I remember wandering in every direction I could and dying near the graves trying to get into what I now know is the catacombs. Well eventually I found the right direction and climbed up the hill and towards the Undead Burgs. After several tries I made it to the bonfire in the tower of the Undead Burgs. I kept pushing forward until I reached the Taurus Demon, who got the pleasure of kicking my ass for a while.
Eventually though, like every boss after him, I was able to land the finishing hit and claim victory. After moving pass him and meeting Sun Bro for the first time I remember seeing a ladder I could kick down. After kicking it down and climbing to the bottom I realized I had just arrived at the same bonfire as before. This was just a small taste of the amazing map design FromSoftware created.
Lordran (the kingdom Dark Souls takes place in) is to this day one of my favorite world designs from any video game. With clever shortcuts placed throughout the land it is easy to travel the land once you become familiar with it. While it can be a major pain travelling between far locations or having to backtrack until you unlock quick traveling, I think it adds to the game as it pushes you to explore and understand each area you visit.
A map of Lordran from the Wiki page to help show how connected each area is.
My first character was less than ideal. As I refused to look anything up I ended up wasting souls by trying to level all my characters skills instead of focusing on certain aspects. That didn’t stop me from sludging through the bosses and taking them down however I could. I remember how proud of myself I was after finally taking Ornstein and Smough down, it was incredible.
Ever since that first play through FromSoftware had me hooked. I have since beat the original Dark Souls and Dark Souls 2 more times than I can count, Dark Souls 3 at least twice, Demon Souls and BloodBorne once. I just recently had the pleasure of beating Sekiro: Shadows die twice!
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Also if you haven’t played Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice yet… do it. I plan on writing a full article on it at some point but haven’t had the chance yet. It is an excellent game that differs a fair amount from Dark Souls formula but keeps the intense combat and sense of accomplishment when you finally take down a boss.