I am reviewing this game as a long term gamer, over 30 years now !!
Graphics, visually the game is good, nice artwork and decent animations, its up there with most games although nothing I would say outstanding, on top of that the visuals can be a bit repetitive. The game is a bit glitchy, frame rate slow downs and the ability to fight through walls is amateurish
Controls - At first the most annoying thing you will find in the game You will get used to them though. The controls however are just another part of the games dynamic which I will elaborate on later.
Playability - This game is highly playable and can be highly addictive, why ?? well for the simple fact that you die a lot but each time you die you learn something, this is the most fundamental rule of games from yesteryear, Your playing Nemesis for example you not only need to memorise where the attacks come from but you need to remember the layout e.t.c
Eventually you would have this maze of knowledge imprinted in your mind that you could eventually play the whole game subconsciously and subsequently very quickly. This is the game that Dark Souls is, its addictive but grindy, in the sense that you play, die, learn, repeat, play, die, learn repeat and so on. You could grind to level up or get better weapons e.t.c but this is not the best way to beat the game. the best way to beat the game is go toe to toe with the enemy and learn how to defeat them, this could take you 100 attempts to figure out or you may get lucky and suss it first time around. If you do get lucky though you should always remember how you got lucky as you may need to face the foe again.
I do find todays games a lot easier and sometime it can be disappointing when the game abruptly ends because you have completed it on the hardest level first time around after 10 hours or less. £40 quid for 10 hours for me is not value especially when the challenge was not so great.
Then you have games that no matter how good you are they will still take a long time to play if you want to glean all the storyline information, a truly great game is one that has a good combination of both.
Dark Souls lacks a few of these key issues, there is very little story and very little point, not in the sense that you feel like you are aiming for a specific goal so you care about why you are playing the game in the first place, this is a fun element to a game even if it is just pretend.
The RPG elements are not great, you level up, get new weapons, make them better e.t.c BUT the actual point of doing this is skewed by the fact that this element is way less important than the actual learning how to kill the bad guys. That new sword you bought is only going to add a minuscule amount of extra damage, its not what you use its how you use it. Its not even the skill of how you use it its following the set of controls that is imprinted in your brain to get the best result, like I say play, die, LEARN, repeat or play, die, REMEMBER, repeat.
This is the ultimate memory game, remember the entire sequence and you can get through the game in 95% less time it took you to do it the first time around.
This is the exact reason I mentioned the controls as I did, if you find them annoying or unresponsive well that's because you are just not using the correct combination of buttons at the right times.
The boss guy will pretty much play out like a button sequence in guitar hero with only a few variations along the way.
Its a rinse and repeat game, this however can be fun and enjoyable but with the lack of story, overall repetitiveness and lack of in depth information on what or why you are supposed to be doing it kind of falls a bit flat.
This game plays to our addictive nature, it makes us want to have that one more go because the last time you died you gleaned that extra bit of information on how to progress ( or so you thought ). Its an old school game under a modern guise and for many new gamers its a breath of fresh air but for me its just going back to my childhood, All i can think of is hours of wasted time only to see the that black screen of disappointment " Congratulation, you did it ".
Lets not forget though that its not the ending but the journey that is important but the problem with this game is the journey isn't that great, it just sort of... OK.
The game is addictive but only if you are a sucker for punishment and you truly want to win. The game is good and when you get into it you will play for a long time but when you step away and break it down its not as good as people make it out to be. There is a lesson to be learnt from this game, sometimes simplistic is good and difficult is good, people want a challenge.
At the same time don't make it so difficult that people cannot get into it, try and provide some sort of learning curve and also try and make the challenge a little more interesting overall.