One small tip: when youíre rolling and dodging, Dark Souls doesnít offer a safety blanket, it doesnít stop you from rolling over the edge to a foolish death. It wants you to make those kinds of mistakes...but it wonít mock you for doing so.
So with a deep and tactical combat system, a powerful character creation and levelling system as well as open world exploration thrown in seamlessly. Dark Souls is a rewarding RPG that brims with stuff to keep you occupied and a lot of secrets waiting to be discovered. Graphics<
Even with the odd frame rate slow-down, which is nothing too major, Dark Souls presents a grim and gothic world that oozes atmosphere at every turn. The dungeons are truly a work of art and nothing in the game looks as though itís out of place. The area designs are fantastic and each zone has a visual theme that not many games manage to present as well. From the lofty heights of castles in the Undead Burg to the Darkroot Forest and Basin, the game is a explorerís dream. The dungeons are dark and dank, they are full of shadows and death waits at every turn. You find that as you explore the sewer area, you are actually holding your breath because of the attention to detail in the game borders on OCD in that respect. Itís a horrible and filthy place to be.
The lighting effects are just as good with the pyromancy flame and fireball looking great, alongside the roaring dragonís flame as it scorches across a nearby bridge. Light and shadows are the make and break of this kind of game and Dark Souls pulls out all the stops to provide some extremely dramatic vistas in regards to the lighting engine.
Praise the Sun!Animations
Thereís a wealth of animation in the game, everything has unique moves and there are even things to discover about the player character based on stats. Get your Dex high enough and you can become a pure ninja back-flipping agile thief for instance. The combat system is full of detailed battle motions, ripostes and counters flow like water and the clang of a sword against a shield is enough to often push a foe back depending again on numerous factors. Nothing is left to chance.
The running, climbing and generic animations are all spot-on and thereís a whole host of gestures to perform when you meet other players in the cooperative side of the game. Basically, the game is just packed with quality animations. The only problem that I can see people having is that once someone dies, they are now at the mercy of the amusing rag doll system and that can make for hilarious combats as your feet drag the floppy undead warriors body around with them, throwing it off the cliff side and so on.
Iíd have liked to see more death animations before the bad guys bite the dust, but itís a minor niggle and the game doesnít lose out because of it.Physics
The aforementioned rag doll system provides a slightly amusing tint to the game, but itís also useful for some of the bigger attacks and the explosive power of some larger spells. Physics is good though, its Havok engine based and things break nicely as you battle around a group of barrels for instance, or youíre thrown into a large collection of crates by a particularly big bad guyís swipe. Some of these enemies can knock you off your feet with a single blow. It ties into the animation system quite a bit too, so you get a real sense of physicality with this combat, compared to other games. A strike on your shield can literally leave you open if you donít keep an eye on your Stamina bar.AI
The AI does have various tells, attack patterns and it can be exploited sometimes by clever players. Though there have been a couple of patches that have fixed a few exploits here and there and already some of the strategies developed by the community have been countered. For the most part though, the game offers an amazing kind of AI that provides a meaningful challenge and tests your grasp of the level and the various minions that youíll encounter. Boss AI is vicious at times and some of them are often masters of one hit kill moves they will pull off with no warning.
The AI of the bigger meaner bad guys knows how to counter, watch for their combat tells. If a Black Knight armed with a rapier and a small buckler ever goes into a particular pose, donít attack, or youíll learn just how deadly a riposte of that kind can really be.