I told myself I would write a review once I was done with Dark Souls. And so here it is.
Dark Souls. I am late to the Souls party, since it is 2015 and this game came out... what? 4 years ago? It's an action RPG with a story hidden behind dialogue and item descriptions where you can die numerous times and come back at a nice bonfire. The RPG part mostly comes from increasing your skills and joining a covenant. The game does not really provide you much options to be a character, but that didn't stop me from being Knight Benedict of Astora, Blessed by the First-Born. Most dialogue is also just "Yes or No, mutafugger".
The game's popularity comes from being "hard" or "difficult" with many of the fans of the game telling newcomers who are having trouble "Git Gud". I had to hear that myself as I was starting out and when I died a pathetic number of times to certain bosses (Here's to you, Knight Artorias), but would I say the game is hard? No. I don't believe this game is hard. I believe this game is frustrating, with a lot of mechanics that I question each time I encounter them. Questions like "Why can this ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ Sancutary Guardian hit me 4 times in a row and keep my stunlocked and oh god damn it no, not the lightning again" as well as "Wait, these ghosts in New Londo can phase through walls and floors, because they're ghosts, but I can't roll away from them? How does that make- Oh no, now I'm surrounded and they're looking at my butt."
Perhaps the only difficult part in this game comes from the early game, when bosses like the Asylum Demon and Taurus Demon can be plunged attacked but (for Asylum) you can only plunge once or (for Taurus) you can plunge multiple times, but its a fight to climb up the ladder without him killing you. Then you realize that the "git gud" part comes from running into a specific part of the boss and just wailing on them because they can't hit you there (under Sif's legs, or against Seath's crotch and tentacle leg, for example). So the game is not hard. It's very frustrating, especially when you first start out, and when you encounter ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ like the ghosts that you cannot roll through, despite them being GHOSTS.
The lore in this game, however, is very good. It's not all up in your face like certain games, and you got to dig to find your answers to certain questions, though only some will be answered (Who was Gwyn's Firstborn? Was it Solaire? Was it Andre of Astora?). I'm always a fan of world building, and FROM did some great world building with this game. Not much to say beyond that. It's good. It's really damn good.
The online community is small, but that's to be expected. Dark Souls 2 is out, Bloodborne is coming, and the community is split between the GFWL players and the Steam beta players. There was also the Region Lock that was only killed a few days ago. The game, for me, got -much- better once I was getting randomly invaded. Was fun. Managed to kill me a Spirit of Vengeance and Dark Phantom back-to-back before I got my final achievements today. Made me feel like I was gud, unlike the bosses, which just made me feel like I was cheesing all of them. Like the Ceaseless Discharge. He is so easy to cheese.
So the game is good? Yeah, it's good. The combat is decent enough, though you should learn to parry, even though all but one boss cannot be parried. The lore is good. The online is still there, even if they can be ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥s (thanks to the two guys who left messages on top of the summon sign for the Manus fight). Is it hard? No. It is not a hard game, it is only a frustrating one, and there is a HUGE difference.
Buy it if it's on sale, though I suspect I'm probably the last person in the world who got this game, and I didn't even buy it for myself. Thank you, my friends.