Shop the New Digital Design Bookstore
Check out the Digital Design Bookstore, a new hub for photographers, art directors, illustrators, web developers, and other creative individuals to find highly rated and highly relevant career resources. Shop books on web development and graphic design, or check out blog posts by authors and thought-leaders in the design industry.
How many times did we die before you could actually hold this guide in your hands? 100 times? 1000 times? Who the hell knows. Chances are we died more times in this game than in all other games of 2011 put together. And for what? For the sole purpose of offering you guidance. We died so that you don't have to. But you're still going to die. If ever a game needed a great guide, it's Dark Souls. It's rare for a modern game to be designed so meticulously to enrage and engulf its players in a world that doesn't offer even the most basic assistance. Its enemies are relentless and its areas labyrinthine. Just providing players with area maps is enough to make slowly inching around each corner a little easier to bear. We've done a whole lot more than that, however. We've extracted every last metaphysical ounce of data we could and tracked every last NPC down no matter how many times they might try and slip away. So when you're up to your knees in lava in Lost Izalith being chased by a giant dinosaur that can kill you with a single touch because your armor is rapidly crumbling away, at least you'll know that the treasure you're trying so desperately to reach is going to be worthwhile. We believe that this guide will give you all the information you need to plan your journey through Dark Souls, cut down its most lethal bosses, see its many hidden areas and events, and maybe even not die a thousand times in the process. If nothing else, it might give you hope.
"How many times did we die before you could actually hold this guide in your hands? 100 times? 1000 times? Who the hell knows. Chances are we died more times in this game than in all the other games of 2011 put together. And for what? For the sole purpose of offering you guidance. We died so you don't have to. But you're still going to die."
Thus opens the Future Press guide to Dark Souls. A guide that is honest about the game it's designed to cover. Plenty of games are either too easy, tell you everything you need to know or just plain give you the answers. Dark Souls isn't one of those games. It more or less lets you go at some point, making you learn everything on your own. In an era where online walkthroughs are everywhere strategy guides are mostly collector's items. Dark Souls, however, is a game where having a guide feels more beneficial than not. And it's actually a good guide by being more than just heavy handed set of instructions. There's a ton of info here that those who play Dark Souls will appreciate. This is an in depth guide that doesn't just go over the basics, but serves as an encyclopedia for the game. And it manages to be done in such a way it doesn't ruin the experience of the game if you don't want it to.
The guide opens up with the basis of the game system. It's a pretty in depth chapter that might be far more beneficial than it appears on the outset given how unusually thin the manual to the game itself is. It explains all the stats of the job classes at the start as well as showing all the equipment they begin with. Each stat is also explained in depth with the guide giving tips on just how to utilize and build them based on the class you may have chosen at the start.Read more ›
First let me say this: This guide can be an invaluable resource to the game but it is definitely not without its flaws. And why I feel the need to add this review. Here are the pros and cons of this guide.
Pro: - Tons of information. From gameplay basics, to maps, to enemies lists and strats, to covenant and NPC story arcs, it's _mostly_ all here. - Detailed maps. THE highlight of the guide. Don't miss an item or a shortcut (of which there are plenty of both.)
Cons: - Frustrating layout. It's easy to miss a key exchange with an NPC, too easy, based on how the guide is layed out. - Poor weapon upgrade charting - No overall game strategy/character build section.
Summary: This guide is an invaluable resource but it is also far from perfect. The beauty of the previous guide was that it had all the key information easily and smartly laid out. This guide is a hodgepodge of information with key NPC decisions not listed in the walkthrough and the weapon upgrade system broken out into three or more sections.
How do you plan on what weapon to make, when you have to look up what ember you need, what blacksmith requires it, and at what level it needs to be converted in 3 different sections, not to mention that boss soul upgrades if those are needed are in a whole other section. Ughhhhh....
I get that the authors didn't want to spoil story arcs by putting spoilers in the walkthrough, but there are just so many choices in this game that having a "spoiler" or "don't forget" box there would have been extremely handy.Read more ›
This guide is amazing. It has literally every single event, item, NPC (etc. etc.) covered. The text is clear and concise without any grammatical errors or flat-out wrong information. It's beautifully designed. The construction of the book is solid--I've left the book open for 3 days now and the spine is totally fine, very strong. The paper stock is great--thick with a small bit of gloss.
My only complaint is that the organization of the info is just a little all-over-the-place. In a perfect world, it wouldn't be but then that would probably mean repeating info found elsewhere in the guide making some parts redundant. All this means is that you'll be flipping pages back and forth often. Thankfully there is an index though.
This guide is without a doubt the most complete and the prettiest guide I've ever owned. Outstanding, Futurepress. Outstanding.
UPDATE: The guide is predominantly useless now. From Software has patched the game changing everything from enemy placements to weapon and armor stats. However, if you're a DARK SOULS fanatic, or if you don't have online (so you couldn't download the patch), then feel free to buy this because it's as good as a guide can get.
A Beautiful and detailed guide that you will love!
This guide is so comprehensive that out of 384 pages, only 64 (about 20%) are for the walkthrough. It has everything you need to more than get through the game; detailed enemy descriptions, and how to beat them, character building and stats, NPC descriptions, maps, trophy guide, items, magic, etc. And the most important for me, a detailed stat/upgrade guide on the weapons/armor.
In my opinion, 1) Play the game at first without its help, and only use the guide when you get stuck on an enemy or not sure where to go. This way you experience Dark Souls the way its mean't to be experienced. But don't be surprised if you find yourself leafing through its pages, its hard not to. 2) The game is also mean't to be played more than once, so feel free to use this guide fully on NG+ (new game continued with same character) or your next character.
So why get this guide when you can look up the Wiki's or forums online for help? When you have this beautiful guide in your hand, the answer will be obvious. The hardbound cover, the fantastic colored pages, a handy reference for when you need it, and how it demonstrates how deep this game is. It is a book that you will want to have even after you have stopped playing the game, and it might just make you want to play it again.
If you love Demons Souls and Dark Souls, this is a must have!
Was this review helpful to you?