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Dark Souls 2011 Namco Bandai – FromSoftware , Inc. CIS 487 Fall 2012 By: Jared Baker. Features. RPG/ Hack-n-slash $59.99 USD on release ($10 PSN / 800 XBL credits for DLC)

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features
Features
  • RPG/ Hack-n-slash
  • $59.99 USD on release ($10 PSN / 800 XBL credits for DLC)
  • Minimum/Actual Hardware Requirements Xbox 360 / PS3 Console (did not include pc version in review as it includes content not yet available in the console versions)
story line player s role
Story line / Player’s Role

THE WORLD OF DARKNESS

You are thrown into a world of darkness, a world of demons. It’s a place where humans with the Dark Ring are sent to succumb andtransform into the living dead. You are soulless at the beginningof the adventure, and in order to regain your soul, you mustemerge from the abyss to reach the land of the living.

Open World

The demon world is expansive, but interconnected. Any locationyou see, you can explore. Some locations are more challengingto reach than others, but simply exploring the land is fulfilling.As you progress, you’ll discover massive, vertically orientedstructures, humongous landmasses, and complex dungeons, withinterlinking routes and secret corridors.

Bonfire

During your quest, you will come across bonfires. Approach the unlitbonfire and Press Q key to light the bonfire and access its menu.Here you level up your attributes, regain Humanity, refill your EstusFlasks and magic count, and remove any negative effects.

Death

When your HP is fully depleted, you die. When this happens, allof your collected Humanity and Souls are left on the ground as aBloodstain, and you re-spawn back at the last bonfire you rested at.

Living and the undead

When you are Human, you are classified as living, but if you die andall Humanity and Souls are left as a Bloodstain, you are classified as an undead Hollow. In order to become living again, return toyour fallen Bloodstain and collect all lost Humanity and Souls thensacrifice Humanity at a bonfire to reverse Hollowing. If you dieagain before returning to your Bloodstain, your previous Bloodstaindisappears and a new one is left, but you remain undead.When you are undead, you can use collected Humanity, and thenrevert back to living at bonfires. When you are living and offer yourHumanity at a bonfire, the effects of the bonfire fortifies.

installation
Installation
  • The installation is standard saving only in game saves and patch data to the actual console. All other content runs directly from the disc.
user interface
User Interface
  • The user interface while large on screen serves it’s purpose well. It looks like the designers try to maximize the transparency as much as possible and move items to the edges. While cluttered on lower resolution screens I had no problem seeing anything while playing in HD resolutions.
gameplay artwork sound music
Gameplay / Artwork /Sound & Music
  • See gameplay video
  • S™

Classes

Choose from 10 classes, each class has its own unique abilitiesand statistics. Every class starts the game with certain equipmentand spells. However, as you play, you’ll discover Dark Souls hasnon class-specific items. Therefore, you may adjust your attributeswhen leveling up to meet certain basic requirements a weapon orarmor might have.

  • Warrior: The fearless warrior is a weapon expert with highstrength and dexterity.
  • Knight: The low-ranking knight has high HP and solid armor.Knights are not easily toppled.
  • Wanderer: The aimless wanderer has high dexterity and wieldsthe scimitar.
  • Thief: The guilt-ridden thief has a high chance of critical hits andcarries a Master Key.
  • Bandit: The savage bandit has high strength and wields a heavybattle axe.
  • Hunter: The bow-wielding hunter can handle close-range andlong-range, but is vulnerable to magic.
  • Sorcerer: The sorcerer of Vinheim Dragon School can cast soulsorceries.
  • Pyromancer: The Great Swamp pyromancer casts fire spells andwields a hand axe.
  • Cleric: The cleric on Pilgrimage wields a mace and casts healingmiracles.
  • Deprived: The unclothed enigma is only armed with a club andold plank shield.
  • No audio was provided in the game play video but it was one place that I felt the game fell short. There really wasn’t much in the way of music to coincide with the gameplay unless a major battle was underway. The sound effects were on par with most rpg’si.e weapon effects and environmental sounds.
scoring
Scoring
  • Based on acquisition of souls
  • Bosses typically return 20 times as many souls as standard foot enemies.
  • Souls are the currency in game used in weapon and character development.
  • Death can mean complete loss of all currently acquired souls.
special features
Special Features
  • Unique Multiplayer Experience

(Co-Op PVE/PVP)

  • No adjustable difficulty level
  • No quest based activities progression to certain areas can only happen through triggered events elsewhere in the game world
  • Hard learning curve, the game environment is very open and encourages you to try and get to places off the beaten path Ex:( scaling a vertical stone structure with no obvious way up may yield great rewards but a single slip may cause instant death and a 1 hour walk across a portion of the game world to make another attempt )
  • Cross game world interaction, even if you choose not to play in the multiplayer environment with your connection to the internet hooked up and active there are unique events taking place constantly within the entire gameplay universe.
manual
Manual
  • The included game manual serves its purpose by giving the new player just enough information to navigate the menu screen as and create their first character.
  • Multiplayer game modes are discussed as well as button layout and the overall concept of the game.
  • Overall the manual was a little on the small side it provided just enough information to get a player started without providing any details that would give away any of the game surprises hidden away.
slide10
Bugs
  • The two of the three most notorious bugs in the game have been resolved with patches.
  • The first bug allowed players to kill the hellkite dragon one of the most difficult dragons in the game by sneaking behind it and range attacking it from a tower in the air, this allowed players to get past a very difficult piece of the game early on that they would have had to spend more time at. The AI on the dragon has been improved and is no longer visible from this vantage point.
  • The worst bug which most would consider to have ruined the entire multiplayer environment involved the use of the dragon head stone which allowed a glitcher to create an infinite amount of souls from their stamina bar, this effectively let players max out their characters to 999 and begin invading other player worlds. The dragon head stone was nerfed but unfortunately most of these maxed out players can still be found and the online population has vastly decreased due to honest player frustrations.
  • The third and final bug still yet unresolved is due to online lagstab, where the synchronization of online connections has been so poor that in a multiplayer dual one instant you are defending with a shield and the next the opposing player teleports behind you getting one shot instant backstab kill. There are no teleporting spells or moves in the game it is purely connection dependent.
game review
Game Review
  • Whats good?
  • The high learning curve in this game gave me many WTF moments. Having never played the original release there were many times in the beginning of the game where I almost gave up and returned the game. It is nice to see a game that I cant beat in 2-3 nights of heavy play yet keeps surprising you.
  • High replay ability from a single player point of view. When the final boss is killed the game starts over only enemies hit 50% harder and the souls earned per kill increase denoted by NewGameas NG+,NG++,NG+++ acquiring all trophies/achievements means a guaranteed minimum of 2-3 play throughs.
  • Possible to beat the game without full exploration of some parts, for the curious adventurer attention to details reaps high rewards.
  • Consequences for slaying certain NPC’s, or performing certain actions in different sequences result in different mid-game outcomes. Potentially locking you out of having access to items only available through certain progressions.
  • Unique character development, and equipment scaling system.
game review1
Game Review
  • Whats bad?
  • The unresolved lagstab, and late patching on the infinite souls glitch has discouraged many die hard fans.
  • Game needs more DLC, the first DLC is scheduled to land this October
  • Naive players may not be willing to invest in the difficult learning curve which further isolates the player base.
  • Multiplayer match making needs to be revamped to pair similar leveled players together (possibility when DLC content is released)
  • Some of the terrain is intentionally difficult to master going for an item that may be completely worthless may cost the player several hours of unnecessary game play.
  • Dying can mean losing all currently acquired souls if your unable to make it back to the last place a player died.
game review2
Game Review
  • How does it stack up with other RPG’s?

It’s difficult to compare; Dark Souls is definitely in a class of its own providing no guided path an absolutely no hand holding approach to adventuring and no quick transportation methods to get to different portions of the game world. If I had to compare it to a major competitor in the console market Skyrim came out at the same time. I find that in Skyrim it is easy for me to get overwhelmed with inventory management and it is very easy to save before entering an area and if I make a mistake I can just adjust my play style and reload right from the previous auto-save this leaves me feeling like some how I cheated because I couldn’t beat the area on the first try but I can pick up right where I left off with different weapons selected. In Dark Souls it is a much more satisfying sense of accomplishment because I was forced to fight my way all the way back to that final standoff and then I had to beat the boss with no save before hand.

game review3
Game review
  • Audience
  • The game has an ESRB rating of 17+; there is a toggle in game to remove the blood and gore but ultimately you are still killing things.
  • I think that this game is for a very particular die hard gamer or seasoned veteran fan base who is willing to put in a lot of time; the game is advertised as difficult and that you will die and will learn to deal with it. The upcoming DLC content is being released under the “Prepare to Die” edition title.
game review4
Game Review
  • Design Mistakes?
  • The game flow seems to work well; but there are certain points in the game where I noticed after a significant amount of game time that my frame rate dropped. I would like to see this corrected in future games.
  • I would also like to see the item quick select bar trimmed down a bit or at least have toggles in the options screen for users to customize the UI a little bit more to their screen resolution.
  • My biggest gripe about design mistakes revolve around the early bug introduction with infinite souls; how did they let that slip past the test team? Additionally now that they fixed the hellkite dragon the AI is so difficult to beat that you literally just have to be lucky to kill it I have been hit with fire through walls which shouldn’t happen. I’m on my 3rd play through of the game and I still feel it is extremely overpowered at the point in time when you encounter it in the game.
summary
Summary
  • Great game for anyone looking for a challenge
  • Great replay ability value
  • MP needs revamp
  • Game is worth purchasing even out of the bargain bin. To get this game on sale it would take you months to beat and the new DLC will breathe new life into it and hopefully fix the MP.