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Dark Souls will be the most deeply challenging game you play this year. Can you live through a million deaths and earn your legacy?
Release Date: 23 Aug 2012
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Notice: Microsoft Xbox 360® Controller for Windows® (or equivalent) is strongly recommended.

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Dark Souls II is out April 25th 2014! Check out part 1 of the prologue!

6 March 2014

DARK SOULS II for PC and Steam is coming on 25th April 2014!
PC & STEAM version will benefit from PC capabilities with increased texture resolution and an enhanced frame rate option. On top of that, FromSoftware have been working to perfectly adapt the game for a mouse & keyboard combo.
Feast your eyes on the first part of the Dark Souls II prologue. Your journey to get rid of the Curse begins...
Light a bonfire on www.DarkSoulsII.com/ to get more information about the game and pre-order offers.

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About the Game

New Content for PC
Dark Souls™: Prepare to Die™ Edition will include an untold chapter in the world of Lordran. Sent back to the past, player will discover the story when Knight Artorias still lives.
  • New Bosses – Including Black Dragon, Sanctuary Guardian, Artorias of the Abyss.
  • PVP Arena & Online Matchmaking System – Quick matching for players to play 1vs1, 2vs2 and 4 player battle royal.
  • New Areas – Including Oolacile Township, Oolacile Sanctuary, Royal Wood, Battle of Stoicism which is the training ground for online PVP battles.
  • New Enemies – Including Wooden scarecrows, Chained Prisoner, Stone Knight.
  • New NPCs – Including Hawkeye Gough, Elizabeth (keeper of the sanctuary).
  • New Weapons and Armor – Equip some from the new bosses, enemies, and NPCs

The Story

Dark Souls is the new action role-playing game from the developers who brought you Demon’s Souls, FromSoftware. Dark Souls will have many familiar features: A dark fantasy universe, tense dungeon crawling, fearsome enemy encounters and unique online interactions. Dark Souls is a spiritual successor to Demon’s, not a sequel. Prepare for a new, despair-inducing world, with a vast, fully-explorable horizon and vertically-oriented landforms. Prepare for a new, mysterious story, centered around the the world of Lodran, but most of all, prepare to die. You will face countless murderous traps, countless darkly grotesque mobs and several gargantuan, supremely powerful demons and dragons bosses. You must learn from death to persist through this unforgiving world. And you aren’t alone. Dark Souls allows the spirits of other players to show up in your world, so you can learn from their deaths and they can learn from yours. You can also summon players into your world to co-op adventure, or invade other's worlds to PVP battle. New to Dark Souls are Bonfires, which serve as check points as you fight your way through this epic adventure. While rested at Bonfires, your health and magic replenish but at a cost, all mobs respawn. Beware: There is no place in Dark Souls that is truly safe. With days of game play and an even more punishing difficulty level, Dark Souls will be the most deeply challenging game you play this year. Can you live through a million deaths and earn your legacy?

Key Features:

  • Extremely Deep, Dark & Difficult – Unforgiving in its punishment, yet rewarding for the determined – learn to strategize freely and conquer seemingly impossible challenges.
  • Fully Seamless World – Explore a completely integrated world of dark fantasy where dungeons and areas are seamlessly intertwined, with great height.
  • Mastery Earns Progression – Contains 60 hours of gameplay, with nearly 100 uniquely despair-inducing monsters & an incredibly nuanced RPG systems including: weaponry, armor, miracles, faith, and more. Player success depends on their eventual mastery of how and when to use the magic spells, choice of armor, the number of weapons, the types of weapons, and the moves attached to the weapons.
  • Network Play – Players may cross paths with one another, invading each other for PVP battles, or to play co-op and take on giant boss encounters as a team.
  • Flexible Character Development & Role Play – As the player progresses, they must carefully choose which of their character’s abilities to enhance as this will determine their progression style.
  • Community – See other real players and empathize with their journey, learn from seeing how others died, find and leave messages for your fellow players; helping them or leading them into death.
  • Symbolic of Life & Hope – The Bonfire is an important feature in Dark Souls for many reasons. Though in gameplay it serves as a health and magic recovery and a progression check point, it also happens to be the one place in the dark world where players can find a fleeting moment of warmth and calm.

System Requirements

    • OS: Windows XP , Windows Vista, Windows 7, or newer
    • Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo E6850 GHz+ or AMD Phenom II X2 545 3.0 GHz+
    • Memory: 2 GB
    • Hard Disk Space: 8GB
    • Video Card: GeForce 9800 GTX+ or ATI Radeon HD 4870+
    • DirectX®: 9.0c
    • Sound: Direct Sound Compatible
    • Additional: Online play requires software installation of and log-in to Games For Windows - LIVE, Microsoft Xbox 360® Controller for Windows® (or equivalent) is strongly recommended.
Helpful customer reviews
742 of 816 people (91%) found this review helpful
164 products in account
1 review
50.1 hrs on record
It's like being married to a woman who is attractive and charming and funny and intelligent and you are soulmates and everything is perfect, right? She is the perfect woman. You could not ask for a more better woman in the world. You love her, and she loves you. Only, she has one flaw. Every 5 minutes, she punches you in the face... For no reason, she just punches you in the face every 5 minutes. Even at night, you wake up, she punches you in the face. You recover, get 3 minutes 38 seconds of sleep, then she punches you in the face again. And you love her.

Posted: 12 April 2014
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851 of 1,009 people (84%) found this review helpful
97 products in account
9 reviews
78.6 hrs on record
got brutally murdered by a butterfly

this is now my favourite game ever
Posted: 18 April 2014
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246 of 265 people (93%) found this review helpful
256 products in account
23 reviews
69.3 hrs on record
Dark Souls isn’t an especially hard game, it’s just a lot harder than most mainstream games today. I like to say it’s an early 90’s action RPG with modern 3D graphics and controls, in every aspect.

The central thing that sets Dark Souls apart (as well as Demon’s Souls before it) is that it actually tries to respect the player’s intelligence and resilience by avoiding many of the practices today’s mainstream games adopt. It doesn’t hold your hand. It doesn’t constantly prod you in the right direction. It doesn’t spoon-feed you the storyline. It won’t try to make sure you constantly know where to go and what to do. The developers at From Software aren’t even worried about you possibly overlooking content in this game. Dark Souls provides you only with what you need to eventually figure out what to do.

In terms of overall difficulty and its approach to the player I personally would say Dark Souls is about in line with most Super NES games. It actually feels like it takes a philosophy similar to that of the classic Mega Man and Mega Man X games. While playing you have to accept the fact that you’re going to die and retry a few times before you work out a strategy for beating a particular boss or getting past a certain situation. Most developers today are too worried players will get frustrated during that process and drop the game, but From Software doesn’t care.

Dark Souls is definitely a punitive game. When you die you lose “souls,” a resource representing both your experience points and currency, which you get one chance to retrieve. Checkpoints are specifically placed throughout the game. Though you can save and quit literally anywhere, the game auto-saves after pretty much any action, so every single decision you make, big or small, is final. Many people have called Dark Souls the ultimate example of “tough but fair,” in video games.

Even the tutorial manages to be at once smooth, enticing, and a bit challenging. The first time I tried Demon’s Souls it took me literally around 30 seconds to figure out the core combat controls (which are basically the same in Dark Souls). It’s a very intuitive system based on the left and right bumpers each representing a hand, (on an Xbox 360 pad) the B button representing dodge, and the management of a stamina meter. The rest the tutorial conveys with messages on the ground, immediately teaching you to read messages left by other players in the game proper. The tutorial section is basically a miniature version of a normal level of the game that doesn’t ever stop you to talk your ear off.

Dark Souls even manages to stand out among action RPGs by nailing a unique balance between RPG stat-building and action game skill. It’s not a twitch game at all -- its action combat is rather slower than most games, requiring good timing, patience, and attention to enemy patterns (a lot like old school game but in 3D). As an RPG Dark Souls is about watching equipment stats (your gear is arguably more important than your level in this game), resistances, and a few other base stats, but attaining a high level does not at all negate the need for the aforementioned action game skills. In fact, with the right gear and enormous attention to enemy behavior, it’s possible to beat Dark Souls with a level 1 character.

Another part of Dark Souls that feels tough but fair in a somewhat old school way is its level design. It takes many hours to realize it, but Dark Souls is basically a 3D Metroidvania. Its world is just as vertical as it is horizontal, each area containing shortcuts to other areas that show off real ingenuity in the level design. Oftentimes a “checkpoint” in a level is really just the activation of a shortcut you didn’t even know was there.

One of my favorite things about Dark Souls though -- what it manages to do that too many games have forgotten, is carry a dark sense of mystery. Its environments make me feel cautious but simultaneously provoke my curiosity. It’s a feeling very akin to dungeon crawlers like Ultima Underworld. From Software manages to accomplish this with a combination of minimalist atmosphere and storytelling along with a pure yet baroque sense of art direction.

Dark Souls pretty much constantly surprises you with what you find in each new environment whether that be unique enemies or the environment itself, never really giving you much of any clues as to what you’ll encounter next -- only just enough warning for ever-vigilant players. At the same time paying attention to environments, item descriptions, and NPCs starts to reveal what’s going on in the story as well as some of the game’s lore. Things like this are pretty much the game’s only storytelling devices.

Those environments show Dark Souls is a strong case for art over tech in video game graphics. The game runs on a very modest engine that in many ways resembles PS2-era games, but is saved by superb art design in the environments and enemies. It’s all medieval fantasy, but it manages to nail a medieval look and a fantasy look that are more pure than most fantasy. Dark Souls obviously doesn’t pull its looks from other RPGs, but rather straight from actual medieval architecture, clothing, armor design, and fables.

Dark Souls isn’t a terribly difficult game to run but unfortunately does require some modding on account the PC port’s rushed development cycle. Unless Durante’s DSfix is applied, the game is locked to 720p and 30 frames per second, and its keyboard controls are absolutely not recommended. Furthermore, your performance is highly dependent on your CPU’s base clock speed. If it’s under 3.0GHz you’re going to have trouble regardless of how many cores or threads you’re running.

Dark Souls and its predecessor have gained an intimidating reputation, but if you’re tired of AAA games treating you like an idiot and you want a game that actually let’s you figure out how to play it on your own for a real sense of accomplishment, Dark Souls is just about the best you can do without going down to indie production values.
Posted: 27 January 2014
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148 of 162 people (91%) found this review helpful
228 products in account
4 reviews
76.1 hrs on record
Try jumping.
Posted: 21 February 2014
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282 of 354 people (80%) found this review helpful
290 products in account
7 reviews
414.5 hrs on record
Probably the best game ever.
Posted: 26 January 2014
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4,757 of 5,019 people (95%) found this review helpful
406 products in account
2 reviews
163.2 hrs on record
It's hard to describe why Dark Souls is so, so good.
Yet, it's so incredibly easy.

Why? We just need to look at the core attitude of Dark Souls, from a design-to-player perspective.
Dark Souls is challenging. Yes, that much is clear. But it's not to laugh at you or to discourage you.
It's hard because it knows what you're capable of, and it believes in you. It does't want you to give up.

Despite killing you all the time, it respects your intelligence and holds you of the highest regard. Dark Souls wants you to succeed, and this gives it the framework to do so many things right.

In that regard, Dark Souls does absolutely no hand holding in almost every aspect. The story and lore of the world will completely pass you by if you don't take the time to read item descriptions, examine the world, and talk to every NPC you meet. You will be torn apart if you don't take the time to familiarize yourself with your weapon and shield. Most of all, if you don't take your time, you will be seeing YOU DIED a lot as well. The game grounds itself in patient manner when it comes to enemies and bosses: it wants you to slow down, weigh all of your options, experiment, and most importantly do whatever it takes to survive.

Combat is slow, but weighty; everything about the fighting is spot on. Small weapons swing fast like they should. Large weapons swing slow, and when they hit the ground they emit satisfying "clunk" sounds. Every swing depletes a certain amount of stamina. It's a simple mechanic but it puts so much choice and consequence on the player. You can try to attack like a madman to burn your enemies down as fast as you can, but you won't be able to hold a block with your shield if you run low on stamina. All of this goes double for the intense boss fights - most of the bosses won't hold anything back and they will be a true test of applying everything you've learned thus far. You will die, a lot, but finally defeating one of these bosses grants you such an immense feeling of accomplishment, because YOU DID IT ALL WITH YOUR OWN SKILL!

The world of Dark Souls is completely open. There are very few loading screens, there are no transitional airlocks between areas; everything is seamlessly connected to each other. At times, the geography will seem strange but once you take a look around and realize that you can actually see areas from other places, suddenly everything feels natural. Dark Souls' atmosphere is done with careful and precise attention. At times you'll be exploring dark, moody caverns, other times you'll be wading through a dense, moonlit forest with nothing but the ambience to accompany you. Sometimes you'll even find yourself deep in the middle of a trap filled fortress. Make sure you always have your wits about you and you're actively paying attention. The world is just flat out beautiful and knowing that the game is one big connected overworld makes it feel so real and alive, and it really drives home the sense that this world is huge and it brings back that "adventure" experience I've come to miss so bad. The world is yours, and you're free to go wherever you please. At times, you might feel like you're a bit lost, and I do admit the game is sometimes a little obscure with the regard of pointing you towards the right direction, but there are subtle clues and hints. Are the enemies too hard in a certain area? Is there a locked door? There's probably another way you haven't explored yet.

The world is also home to many NPCs. I mentioned before that if you don't take the time to talk to the NPCs you meet and try to piece together who they are, what they're doing, and how they got where they are, you're going to miss out of a lot of Dark Souls' story. This is where I feel Dark Souls' thematic focus comes full strength. The entire game is about overcoming, and fighting through your own struggles. In that same sense, all of the characters you meet along the way are also fighting for something. Something they thought was important, or something they hold dear. Really, take the time to get to know these people and pay attention as well. You won't know where they go next if you don't listen! With that said, if you make the effort to witness each of these stories, you'll watch them struggle along with you, fighting their own battles. Yes, Dark Souls is rich with lore and backstory, but I think the real beauty is watching these characters fight for what they believe in, while you yourself are fighting your own battles too.

Dark Souls also has a very unusual multiplayer system. At all times, your character will be in either one of two forms: hollowed, or human. You spend a somewhat uncommon item called "Humanity" to turn from hollow to human. This enables you to partake in jolly co-operation! If you're in an area where you haven't beaten the boss yet, you can summon fellow players to your world who are also in the same area, as long as they're relatively near your soul level. Sounds good right? Just like the combat, there's another consequence you might have to face when you turn human. Dark Souls allows players to "invade" the worlds of other human players. They will appear as red phantoms, and they will hunt you down and kill you on sight, essentially marking this game's version of PvP.

Now, this is where I feel Dark Souls' biggest community strength comes from. You see, once a player invades you, all bets are off. They might be insanely twinked out. They might be a fair fight. They might want to honor duel you. You might even have a couple friends already summoned to help you out. Some players have taken it upon themselves to create a sort of "honor" code when it comes to PvP. They like to designate certain areas of the game for official dueling, with no help from other players or no healing, stuff like that. Some players agree with doing this. Some players prefer the chaotic nature of invading in random places, not knowing what either party will be up against. Some players are firmly rooted in the idea that PvE and PvP should not intertwine. They'll even go as far as to never turn human. What "honor" or "etiquette" should be included in Dark Souls' PvP, if any, is still being debated today. I feel like there will never be one solid answer but I think that's okay. It allows for more discussion and I think there's something inherently beautiful about a community being on two complete opposite sides of how an in-game mechanic should work. Bottom line: try, at least a couple times, to play through the game in human form. The invasion mechanic is a part of the game, and even though sometimes you'll get ganked, it's an experience quite like no other.

Dark Souls is challenging, but not unfair. To be honest, the difficulty this game is notorious for isn't as bad as a lot of people make it out to be. Don't get me wrong though, there is still a lot of obstacles you'll have to overcome and at times it'll feel like you're stuck. But don't give up. Never give up.

In today's world of modern game development, it's very pleasant to play a game that actually holds you with a high regard and respects your ability to think, perceive, and act. Dark Souls is a hallmark of intelligent and masterful gameplay design, and it stands as one of my all time favorite games. Highly recommended. Well, now you know... and I can die with hope in my heart.
Posted: 26 November 2013
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