Dark Souls: the end of a game diary

, | Game diaries

I’m sorry, Dark Souls. It’s not working out. You’re too demanding, and too obscure, and too moody. I don’t get you. I don’t have time for you. It’s over.

After the jump, it’s not me, it’s you

I’ve been carrying around a bundle of about 3000 souls, trying to save up 4000 so I can buy a heavier hitting soul arrow spell, which is the only item left for me to spend money on. But I dropped my 3000 souls when I misjudged a swing and died. I deserved that. So I was heading back to pick them up again when I foolishly got knocked off a ledge by a rat. Yes, a rat. A freakin’ rat. I didn’t deserve that. But props for finally making a rat meaningful in a videogame.

And that meant my bag of 3000 souls was lost forever. I lost another thousand or so souls when I stumbled onto one of those really tough armored knights lurking in close quarters so that I couldn’t get any range to zap him with a spell. There was no way I was going to be able to get those souls back. I lost another thousand or so trusting one of those messages about jumping off a cliff because there was treasure ahead. I kind of wish I could turn off the orange graffiti messages. They’re unsightly, and they lie.

Dark Souls is mostly about making corpse runs to avoid a permanent penality in experience points as well as gold, because experience points are gold. Not many games ask you make corpse runs these days. Particularly dangerous corpse runs. Not many games will swallow an hour without giving you anything in return to show for it. And not many games give you so little information about what you should and shouldn’t do, which just leads to me wondering if I’m wasting my time or making progress.

For instance, how was I supposed to know I’m supposed to charge forward into a dragon’s fire breath? After spending/wasting an hour trying to get past some ghosts women with praying mantis claws and finally realizing I just wasn’t ready yet, I went back to the reviewers guide Namco sent out with the game. Ah, so I’m supposed to charge forward into a dragon’s fire breath. That’s usually videogame language for “don’t come here until you get the special armor of fire immunity”. Over twenty years of videogaming language refining itself, and Dark Souls still speaks the tongue of Battle Toads.

I’m done. I respect Dark Souls. But I don’t enjoy it. I’m going to instead play kinder accessible welcoming games that recognize my time is valuable.

Up next: Yes, there’s an “up next”. You didn’t think I meant it when I said I was done, did you?
Click here for the previous Dark Souls entry.

Update: Dark Souls and I remain broken up. You could say we’ve have had make-up sex a few times, but haven’t officially made up yet.