The Souls Legacy
December 18, 2018
Souls is a franchise which has drastically changed the landscape of video games. It is a game of extreme difficulty and lovability. For a game that started out being looked down upon and thrown out for being “too hard,” the franchise has come a long way from where it started. With games left and right trying to emulate its combat style, gamers are playing games much tougher than they were a decade ago.
“Demon Souls” was the first entry in the ground-breaking franchise, and it laid a foundation which FromSoftware would use to build on. The first game was published in Japan by Sony Computer Entertainment in February 2009, in North America by Atlus USA in October 2009, and in Australia and Europe by Namco Bandai Games in June 2010.
“Demon Souls” was the one of the first truly difficult role-playing games (RPGs) to hit the market — an RPG that wasn’t turn-based or card-based, but one that let you do as you pleased. You could go and do the story, or you could go and get rare items to help you on your journey through the game.
Being the first in the series, “Demon Souls” didn’t carry the best visuals of all four of the Dark Souls games; but to be fair, it was one of the first games of it’s type to come out for the PlayStation 3. A true classic that has unfortunately been forgotten by the flow of time — the game introduced bosses that could obliterate you in a single hit, as well as people who could come into your world and attack you (as if the enemies you’re already facing aren’t enough).
The second entry of the Souls series was “Dark Souls.” Released on September 22, 2011 — “Dark Souls” made a much broader appearance than “Demon Souls” when it was released for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 Consoles.
“Dark Souls” went on to be remembered as a game that would raise people’s blood pressure just a little too high. Regardless, those persistent enough and strong-willed enough to beat the game loved it, difficulty and all.
Later on, “Dark Souls” would be remastered and re-released on May 24th, 2018 — reigniting the franchise hype with better graphics and better frame rates. The downloadable content (DLC) bosses, such as Artorias; the Abysswalker; and Magnus, the Father of the Abyss; got a nice special effect makeover as well.
The third entry, “Dark Souls 2,” was another great addition. In this entry, players were given a lot more freedom over where they could go or what they could do.
“Dark Souls 2” came out on March 11th, 2014, and put a new emphasis on exploration. Granted, if you went to the wrong place, it would not end well for you. The hub-world is confusing, and the progression systems are ridiculous to navigate, but the game makes up for these flaws by giving the player a new sense of agency.
“Dark Souls 2” allows choice as to which bosses you want to skip or fight, with the same choices available across most areas of the game. However, making the game easier comes with the consequence of missing helpful items and materials, which can be used to upgrade your current equipment and boost your level. “Dark Souls 2” introduced newer combat styles as well, with fresh animations and revamped character movement.
The fourth entry, “Dark Souls 3,” is what most people would call a masterpiece of a game.
“Dark Souls 3” was released on March 24th, 2016, and mixed great visuals, great bosses, and great difficulty all into one great game. Many would say that “Dark Souls 3” game is too hard, but franchise veterans know it’s just right. A game which hits near-perfect balance between insane difficulty and insane visuals. No detail is taken for granted, and the in-game world is populated with more secrets and more ways to go about your adventure. Optional bosses and optional areas make exploring worth your time — giving players access to high-level items. There are many places players will pass, not realizing they are “secret areas.”
A large amount of “Dark Souls 3” is left to your own imagination. Any armor or skill combinations you have will determine how well (or poorly) you do in combat. If you have experience with the Souls series, this shouldn’t be anything new, If you haven’t played a Souls game before, I highly recommend you play this one.
Gather your confidence and get going. These classics aren’t going to play themselves. Be prepared to lose!