Dark Souls: Remastered

released on May 23, 2018

A remaster of Dark Souls

Dark Souls Remastered is a remastered version of the original game Dark Souls. The updated version of the game features graphical enhancements, an expanded online mode, and the Artorias of the Abyss DLC.

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First time playing Dark Souls. Everything before Anor Londo was amazing, but everything after got really tedious.
It was an amazing game regardless though some sections where extremely frustrating due to mechanics.
I could see myself playing again on PC with randomizers.

Dark Souls is something unique. Despite playing it way later than most people, I still fell in love with this game. The Old Game Charm really benefits this game, it really feels like you are playing something experimental that is still executed really well. It is no surprise it gave birth to a new "genre". I can excuse most of the flaws in this game only because it is really that special.

i have never played a soulsborne before, and i was very scared to start one. these games have a reputation for evil, man, and if i'm telling the truth, i get very angry when video games beat me up consistently. when i was a kid i used to scream and break stuff because i got so mad. i well and truly had milk all over my lips. so, to deal with dark souls, i streamed the entire playthrough to my friends through a discord server, some of which are veterans of this and other soulsbornes. it helped a lot. it did a lot for me that i wasnt going through it alone, but rather, much like Death Stranding, i realised that Dark Souls is a social strand game. i didnt play online or use summons, so Bonum Pullum's journey as the chosen undead was kind of a lonely one... but also one in which he did share that adventure with others. it helped me having people there to guide me, support me, hype me up, console man, and even ridicule me. losing 40000 souls bc i fell off a cliff or died in a stupid way helped me see the humour in dark souls. it was very rarely a frustrating experience, even during things like bed of chaos and kalameet, because it always just ended up being funny. and dark souls IS funny. its fucking weird! to get back to undead asylum you have to do bizarre stuff and then "curl up like a ball" in a bird’s nest with absolutely no explanation for why. you just sort of do it. it owns! the mere fact that Frampt exists is great, and everything about catarina is delightful too. i laughed so much during dark souls and that really helped me get into the groove of things. it’s just funny to swing your sword and slightly slip off an edge. it's funny to get to blighttown and get toxicated instantly. it’s funny when manus of the abyss wombo-combos you. it’s funny! those silver archers in anor londo? they are hilarious! what more can you want? once i realised this game was a big joke i was super into it. the obscure nature of its writing and storytelling do make it a bit harder for me to access, and i dont think I’d have picked up on much at all if it wasnt for my buddies answering my questions as i went. i still didnt really understand or pick up on a lot of it, but that doesnt mean i dont think it’s cool. for me, this might be a game's story thats more fun to read about on the wiki or watch a summary of on YouTube... like hollow knight.
all of that aside Dark Souls is a game that is known first and foremost for its gameplay. i dont play action games really, FF16 being my first one only a few months ago, so i was going in as a big baby. i know i wanted to be big and strong. i sort of regret starting as a knight bc it meant i had this great armour to begin with, although i was fat rolling up until bell gargoyles. i think if i had started as wretch i could’ve more organically built up my character and there would’ve been something in the player expression of that, bc my character didnt feel like mine until i got to the depths, and i put on the sack. but that, then, was when it all started coming together. i dont remember why i put the sack on as my headgear, but i found it very charming. and aside from a brief stint of using the helm of the wise to fight the gaping dragon, i wore the sack for the rest of the game. upgraded it to +10 quality where it was only MARGINALLY worse than random headgear found elsewhere. suddenly play expression meant that DARK SACK BONUM PULLUM was a real character and i became invested. that, and finding the two weapons I’d play the whole game with, made me realise i was in my playthrough. i used the halberd and zweihander for the whole thing, finding their different styles useful in different contexts. for sif, i used the halberd, but for Nito, i used the zweihander. that and the 3d metroidvania thing the game has going on was super cool. every time i unlocked a shortcut that took me from one place to another i did the biggest sexiest moan that i could. there is something so unbelievably satisfying about linking up all these areas. it helps you feel like you've conquered them in a very real way. and that in of itself helps you tackle the game in kind of whatever order you want! it felt good knowing that i did sif earlier than all of my friends because once i found him i decided to stick with him! the only boss i ran from to come back to was the stray demon in the undead asylum, and thats bc he sucks! BUT enough nattering... the gameplay of dark Souls is more than exploring or player expression. its combat baby! fighting in this game feels so good. it's so simple on one hand, light attack and heavy attack, but there's so much variety. every weapon has flavour and personality, looking cool and distinct and also feeling powerful and weighty. finding the right weapon for you feels incredible. landing heavy hits with the zweihander is genuinely addictive. flattening these fools, even big fuckers like silver knights, or staggering Artorias, is so rewarding. the way you commit to a heavy attack at the cost of precious stamina instead of rolling is a tiny calculation of risk, reward, and probability you are running in your head every few seconds in those hard as nails boss fights. and bosses are hard, they're relentless and feel unfair and like there's no way you can learn them... and yet you do! kalameet was probably the hardest boss in the game for me. he took me just under an hour to beat but at the start i seriously felt there was no way i was ever going to beat him. and yet the way you learn to read him, learn which way to dodge, when to sprint instead, where your punish windows are. beating these games rewards you with a feeling of satisfaction so pure that the in-game reward for it can be totally lacking (and often sometimes is) and its FINE because the reward you wanted was knowing that you won. very few other games can give you that feeling. Ornstein and smough gave me that the most. i got them on my third try, but genuinely don't feel like I’ve ever been that engaged with a boss fight other than extreme trials in FF14. genuinely bonkers how wired in you feel when you're going toe-to-toe with a tough motherfucker. can't recommend that shit enough.
i'm feeling extremely high on Dark Souls having just finished it but it would be remiss of me not to mention that it does have a lot of stinker stuff in it too. the latter half of the game isn’t bad but does pale in comparison to the first. basically, once you've finished anor londo the game is just slightly not as good and its noticeable. the areas are slightly less interesting, some enemy placements are silly (looking at you, zombie dragons in lost izalith), and the bosses are just not as fun either. there are some real bad fucking moments though. tomb of the giants is absolute hot shit. such a cool idea for an area, an ancient crypt filled with skeletons of long dead giants... and yet it ends up being impossibly dark with annoying enemies and jank platforming. just not fun. crystal cave isn’t as bad but is definitely not good. invisible paths are just like, gimmicky. they're not interesting or innovative ways to keep environment design fresh. they're just lame. as for bosses, seathe the scaleless and moonlight butterfly are not good... but man, nothing is as bad as bed of chaos. its nuts just how bad that thing is. it's not even a puzzle boss; it has two huge glowing weak spots that need to be destroyed. the problem is not working out how to destroy them, but rather that he fucking kills you instantly 1000 times in a row and there was never anything you could do about it at any point. it doesnt engage you with the way you've played the game at all. your build or stats or understanding of combat or movement dont come into that fight. so why is it in an action game? delete bad of chaos. I’d rather fight kalameet again honestly.
things i wanna gush about before i go: Ornstein and smough, wow, genuinely so cool. doing Mario 64 in the painted world was awesome and one optional boss was genuinely super cool. the DLC bosses were all engaging and fun in their own way. Lautrec’s side quest is really great (although the idea that freeing him is a choice is kind of dumb. if your choices are "engage with a mechanic or dont" then the most interesting one is always the former). i love that he kills the firekeeper, despite the fact he can help you beforehand as a summon! then you have a fun boss fight with him if you want to get vengeance and bring firelink shrine back to life! thats genuinely so cool. I’d also never heard Gwyn’s music before, so even though he was pretty easy, especially after coming off the DLC bosses, he felt like a fun and fitting final boss. good stuff. in short, i liked dark souls a freaking lot!

It took more attempts than I'm comfortable admitting but I completed my second FromSoftware game with minimal stress. I still had so much fun with the combat until just before seeing the credits roll.

One of the best games I've ever played. The first time you're lost in the ass-end of an area and take some random stairs back up to Firelink Shrine is an indescribable feeling. Mind-blowing mapping and I don't even mind that the second half of the game is less intricately designed bc that's what the Lordvessel is for!
I love the story of this game, I love the bosses, I love the levels and the DLC contains two top 10 boss fights of all time for me (Artorias & Manus). I'm a big fan of exploring different builds but for people that just like finding a big sword and whacking people with it this is the game for you. Playing Demon's Souls has made me appreciate the upgrade system in following games SO much. I know there were still some kinks with working out the infusions for weapons here but still: awesome game. Will never forget my first play-through and excited to revisit it some years down the line.