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About the product
- Delve into an epic dark fantasy universe stricken by decline and the Curse. Explore its intricate world design - full of hidden passages, dungeons and secrets - and uncover its deeply rooted lore
- Each playthrough surprises you with new challenges and unexpected facets of the game. Don't bet on completing the game only once
- Hundreds of unique combinations of weaponry, armor, magic and crafting options to create your own playstyle and gaming experience
- From your first steps to mastery, build your character while refining your playing skills. Learn to strategize freely and experience the rewarding taste of overcoming daunting foes
- Whatever your motivations are to play online - collaboration or confrontation, support or betrayal - you'll find your true home among the nine covenants. Which allegiance will you choose?
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Then, there was fire. Re-experience the critically acclaimed, genre-defining game that started it all. Beautifully remastered, return to Lordran in stunning high-definition detail running at 60fps. Dark Souls Remastered includes the main game plus the Artorias of the Abyss DLC. All 4 platforms will have dedicated servers.
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Dark Souls has players controlling an undead character that they will create and name. After escaping the Undead Asylum they'll be thrust into the world of Lordran, a world where things look rather bleak. The fire is dying and as the chosen undead you will fight various monsters and old heroes to either reignite the flame and keep the age of fire going longer, or thrust the world into darkness for a new era. There is this misconception that the only appeal Dark Souls has is its challenge. If that was all there was to its success and fandom, however, Dark Souls would likely not be as popular as it is. A large portion of is fanbase comes directly from those trying to decipher its story and lore, and just being in the world it takes place in. Lordran is a very dark and mysterious world and this has become just as synonymous with Dark Souls as the difficulty has. Though Dark Souls story seems simple on the surface, much of its story is deliberately vague, leaving the player to piece bits and pieces together on their own. In fact, once you're about halfway through the game it helps to watch the first cutscene again because it suddenly makes sense. Dark Souls is not a game known for holding your hand in any capacity and this includes the story. Much of the story is communicated to the player through the various environments, cryptic NPCs who have either lost all hope or gone mad in some way, and various items around the world. Unlike most games, reading the item description is imperative to understanding the story and the lore of the game, and even that won't provide you all the answers. Some things you're still left to collect and interpret for yourself. Of course, if you are in this just for the challenge then there's that as well. One can get a lot of enjoyment from Dark Souls without basking in the lore.
Dark Souls is best known for being challenging. When the game was marketed with the slogan "Prepare to Die," that's not just a warning. It's a promise. You will die. Over and over again. For players who accept this as an inevitability they'll quickly adapt and go forth. For players easily frustrated, however, this may not be the game for them. Especially because Dark Souls is far less forgiving in death than most games. This is still true today. Throughout the game the player will collect souls which are used as not only experience but currency. Any time the player dies they will drop their souls. You always have one chance to get your souls back, but if you die on the way, they'll be gone forever.
Sure enough, death lurks around every corner. But Dark Souls is not unfair in how it distributes death. Yes, there will be times when death is inevitable, but Dark Souls is more of a stern teacher rather than a cruel one. If an enemy kills you, the enemy placement never changes. Once you know of the threat lurking nearby you'll always know of the threat lurking nearby, and as you play you'll slowly learn their patterns, movements and placements that Dark Souls goes from being rather difficult to slowly being manageable. The game is designed for you to learn from failure, adapt and succeed. This is shown greatest in the games many boss fights. The hulking demons you fight throughout the game are always a challenge at first, but as you continue to die you'll eventually learn. There's nothing greater in Dark Souls than the feeling of landing the last hit on a boss that gave you trouble. And in that moment the game celebrates your success. Bosses explode in a flash of stardust as the words "Victory Achieved" show up on screen and you're rewarded handsomely with a ton of souls. Each victory feels like an accomplishment and even though I've played through the first game numerous times, I still feel a sense of joy whenever this happens.
The combat in Dark Souls is meticulous. Unlike most action RPGs, Dark Souls is a methodical combat experience. Your attacks have obvious wind up and cool down times and so do your enemies. Every attack every enemy uses is telegraphed enough for you to figure out how best to approach that particular situation and react accordingly. This is also true of bosses. However, the player is also tasked with managing a stamina gauge. So long as the gauge has a little juice left they can act. Stamnia depletes with each swing of the weapon, block of a shield or (as is the most common tactic in many situations) rolling. Learning these moments and exploiting them is the key to victory. Most failure in Dark Souls results in the inability to be patient. If you're used to games such as Bloodborne it may take time to relearn. This is particularly true as the engine in the first Dark Souls is not as fast as that of Bloodborne or Dark Souls III.
Though this is also not always in the game's favor. While combat is fine in and of itself, the combat is more refined in other games that came after. None of the combat quirks of Dark Souls II or III make it in here. Duel Wielding isn't a thing you can do here and if you loved that a lot it's an adjustment here. None of this is bad, mind you, and I certainly didn't expect FromSoftware to retrofit these mechanics into the game. After all, some of the future mechanics would make Dark Souls just a bit too easy and that isn't what the game is going for. Nevertheless, the combat actually holds up surprisingly well.
One area that has been vastly improved, however, is the multiplayer experience. Dark Souls is unique in that players can cooperate and go against each other in various ways. Players can join covenants that allow them to travel to other worlds and best others in PVP combat, but perhaps the most well known aspect of Dark Souls is the engagement in jolly cooperation! Not only can players invade to kill each other, but they can team up to go and challenge bosses together. In the original game the intent was to get help from a stranger. There was no way to set up local play with friends without going through tedious convoluted methods to do so. This is now simplified by allowing players to share a password and this allows for them to connect and play together far more easily. The multiplayer has also been expanded to allow 2-6 players to run around as opposed to the 2-4 previously. Dark Souls also still retains its message system. Throughout the game, you'll find messages on the ground that can provide hints (or tricks) as to what to do. If you ever feel lost, this system can give you some help.
Another aspect where the game shows noticeable improvement is that it no longer suffers from some of the frame issues that plagued the original release. This is especially good for places like Blight Town, an area where the framerate notoriously dropped considerably making an already difficult area that much more difficult. Blight Town alone will make you reconsider going back to the original PS3/360 release. The game runs at 60 frames per second, and while the frame does on occasion dip and lag can settle in it's never anywhere near as bad as it used to be. The downside to all of this, though, is that making the environments look better graphically does have the drawback of making more of the blemishes stand out. Everything is sharp and crisp and that's nice, but it also means that some textures reveal themselves to look rather ugly. Also of note is that some graphical hiccups such as floating destroyed barrels and crates are far more noticeable this time around.
That's not to say everything about the game has aged well. Some bosses aren't as memorable as they used to be. Some of my personal favorites are still as awesome as ever. I never tire of fighting Sif or Ornstein and Smough, but other bosses like the Moonlight Butterfly or the Bed of Chaos are not highlights for the game. Bed of Chaos in particular feels like a boss that the player needs to have a lot of luck in fighting. The game itself is still rewarding, but I'm reminded some parts of it I truly do not miss. On the other hand, though, most of the games other battles and locations hold up. Anor Londo, for instance, is still just as amazing here as it was the first time I played it in 2011, including some of its notorious difficulty areas.
On the other hand, it is something of a shame that FromSoftware didn't offer up a chance for players to remix the game if they so choose like how Dark Souls II's remaster did. If you played the original Dark Souls to death everything you've done will still work here. And as Dark Souls is a game about learning and mastery you'll have already done that. This doesn't mean there isn't much of a reason to play it if you've already mastered it, but it does mean that there isn't much new being offered to you. At the very least it does come with all the DLC from before packed in as well.
Is Dark Souls Remastered worth getting if you've already played it? Mostly it is. There are some aspects that haven't aged as well, but quite a bit of it has aged remarkably well. The more consistent framerate and easier time playing with friends in multiplayer make experiencing it worthwhile again. The game is also pretty gorgeous, for the most part. If you've never played Dark Souls before there is absolutely no reason to go with the original PS3/360 version. If you have and you simply want to step back into the world Lordran then this is a worthwhile investment.
I think if you are wanting to play this on the console, then I recommend getting this version. It would also be a great introduction to the SoulsBorne genre of games.
Tip: don't lock onto your opponents in PvP. Freeball it, and you'll avoid many more backstabs.
Sure it has a lot of older mechanics, but in my opinion, they add to the game's experience. The update to the graphics makes the game just visually stunning.
A little bit of advice for newcomers to the series: practice parrying and dodge-rolling early on; using a shield is ok, but the game is a lot faster paced and rewarding with minimal use of shields (although at some points I use a shield more than I should, I am actively decreasing the amount of which I use it though)