Posts Tagged ‘Dark Souls: Prepare To Die Edition’

Buy These Games: Our Picks From The Steam Sale

Dark days for the world. Maybe videogames can save us? Haha yes of course they can haha.

Here are some really good videogames, though. They’ll take you to a better place for a while. These are the RPS team’s 13 personal favourites from the current Steam Summer Sale: we believe in these games, and we believe that you should play them too.
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Facing Our Demons: RPS Discuss Dark Souls, Difficulty And Death

Dark Souls III is a favourite here at RPS, but it hasn’t lit a fire in the hearts of the entire team. Recently, Alec jumped into the game, having observed the series from afar for some time, and shared his thoughts. He, Pip and Adam gathered to discuss the appeal of the series, and talked about its divergence from traditional RPG systems, the intimidation factor and the complicated nature of its much-debated difficulty.

Adam: Dark Souls III is probably going to be in my top three games of the year, despite the thousands of good games coming out this year. I’m continually surprised to see it selling quite as well as it does though, because so many people that I recommend the series to treat those recommendations as a form of sadism.

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Dark Souls Is A Metaphor For These Things ONLY

If I have learned anything from reading other people’s opinions about Dark Souls it’s that Dark Souls is probably a metaphor for something. But what? WHAT? There are so many conflicting opinions out there.

Well, that’s where your pal, Pip (that is me), can help. I have come up with a definitive list of ways to interpret Dark Souls correctly:

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Dark Souls III Boss Guide – Lore, Loot & Strategies

To many, Dark Souls III [official site] can be summarised as a boss stamping on a human face forever. We’re here to help. This is a guide to killing all of the bosses in Dark Souls 3 but it’s not simply a how-to-murder manual. It also takes a look at some of the sumptuous design and the patchwork lore surrounding many of the bosses, explaining who they are, what they leave behind when they perish, and why it’s necessary to steal all of their souls. As such it’s absolutely riddled with spoilers, as well as strategies and a sprinkling of silliness.

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Endgame: Why Dark Souls III Is A Fitting Finale

Dark Souls III [official site] is a superb entry in From Software’s series, and in both design and lore it feels like a fitting finale. Is it time to move on?

One day, many years from now, when I have a family that I hang out with by way of a VR headset while in real life we all fester in our isolated cubicles, I envision my future kid coming up to me in our shared virtual space and asking “Daddy, what was Dark Souls like?” At this point, I’d look wistfully out the virtual window at the setting sun (an illusion concealing the fact that in the real world the sun had set for the last time many years ago), and I’d say:

“Dark Souls, my child, wasn’t like all the other games. It didn’t play nice. It didn’t hold your hand, or make you feel loved or important, but it was, in many ways, the purest game series of all. It ended in 2016.”

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Dark Souls Multiplayer Snuffed Out, Now Rekindled

The day that Dark Souls III [official site] arrived on Steam, the multiplayer functionality for Dark Souls I mysteriously died. No messages, no invasions, no human helpers, no ghosts, no bloodstains. Your world was no longer a vibrant place, riddled through with the lives (and deaths) of others. People spoke of deliberate closure, to cause a migration to the new game, while others thought servers had been moved from one to the other for less sinister reasons but with the same end-result.

Last night, the servers came back online, leading to much praising of the sun. But what actually caused the lights to go out in Lordran?

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Dark Souls’ Uncompromising Design Leaves No Space For An Easy Mode

Dark Souls [official site] isn’t for everyone in the same way that a bowl of piping hot broth isn’t for everyone. Let it cool for a while, add some seasoning, and people might happily tuck in and enjoy, but if you expect them to eat it exactly as you would – whether that’s by chugging it down in a few swift gulps or taking tiny sips long after it’s gone cold – a fair few folks would rather have a nice sandwich instead. Nothing wrong with that. Nobody should have to drink soup through a straw.

Or should they? Given the cries of ‘git gud’ that greet many complaints about the difficulty – or inaccessibility – of Dark Souls, it’s tempting to see those who love the series as precisely the sort of people who would chase you away from the bowl if you brought a spoon to the soup kitchen. “NO SPOONS” they’d shriek “YOU WON’T APPRECIATE IT IF YOU DON’T GET IT ALL DOWN YOUR CHIN AND THE FRONT OF YOUR JUMPER BEFORE YOU MANAGE TO SWALLOW A MOUTHFUL”

I wholly agree with these kitchen monsters.

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The RPG Scrollbars: Hollow Pursuits

Ever had one of those games that you just long to get into, but can’t? There haven’t been many I’ve wanted to get into more than the Dark Souls series. To sink into the world I see people talking about on my Twitter feed. To have that sense of discovery in ash and ember. For that crumbling world to feel like something more than just a succession of traps and gauntlets. I want to like Dark Souls. I really hope Dark Souls 3 is the clicking point. But… so far, (whispers) I’ve never managed to like Dark Souls.

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Prepare To Download: Free Dark Souls Steam Code

the grabby-greedy hand of freeness approaches

Dark Souls is the famously easy and brightly-coloured walking simulator beloved of casual gamers, and scorned by the hardcore. If you’ve long desired to frolic in its pastel fields but been unwilling to scrape together the requisite pennies, the good news is that, if you live in the EU (including UK), you can currently grab a Steam code for it for free. I know it says ‘Prepare To Die’ in the subtitle, but that’s just a typo – it’s actually ‘Prepare To Dye’, in reference to its acclaimed dressmaking minigame.
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Prepare Yourself For Dark Souls III In-Game Footage

If I hadn’t already played Dark Souls III [official site] (and what a wonderful experience that was), I’d probably be avoiding any screenshots or videos. A self-imposed media black-out. Because I am a small part of the media, however, that’d involve knocking myself unconscious and staying that way until April 2016. I’ll understand if you want to skip the four minutes of in-game footage below though. I’ll understand if you want to be surprised by the new horrors on show.

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Have You Played… Dark Souls?

Poor Artorias. Defending his grave seemed the right thing for my character to do.

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game recommendations. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.

Dark Souls, you may have heard, is pretty good. You don’t need me to tell you that. However, us calling Dark Souls an RPG let alone declaring it the best RPG proved unexpectedly controversial so I’d like to talk a little about why it’s so very much a game about roleplaying. Rather than carefully pick a role following the suggestions and nudges of quests, rewards, and dialogue options, Dark Souls has you actually play a role without prompting.

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Victory Achieved-ish: Twitch Kinda Beat Dark Souls

“Sometimes we attempt things to prove we can’t do them,” I wankily declared when folks started trying to play Dark Souls [official site] in the viewer-controlled style of Twitch Plays Pokémon. Embrace futility and inevitability and that, yeah? After days, they’d made two minutes’ progress. I was fascinated that hundreds of people were trying to do something that clearly would never work. So they cheated. People, yeah?

After changing to a system with generous pauses to think and act, the stream and its viewers have beaten Dark Souls, and now started on Dark Souls II.

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Twitch Plays Dark Souls Beats Notorious Roadblocks

It took 28 days, but the eternal, self-propelled machine that is Twitch Plays has finally managed to defeat a couple of the toughest bosses of Dark Souls [official site]. That is to say, the notoriously tricky Ornstein and Smough, who were taken out after several attempts – I haven’t a clue how they managed that one. You can watch it all unfold after the jump:

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The RPG Scrollbars: The Best Punishments For Cheaters

Over in Everquest II, they’re trying an experiment at the moment – what’s that? Yes, Everquest II. People are still playing it. The original as well. I know, I’m surprised too, but never mind. Specifically, they’ve created a prison server called Drunder. The idea is that instead of banning trolls, griefers and cheaters (presumably up to a certain point), they can simply throw all the troublemakers in server jail and let them play together with no possibility of escape. Nothing can possibly go wrong! If you want to indulge in the anarchy then you can request to be sent there, but again, it’s a one way trip for your account. Has Daybreak finally discovered the ultimate fix for bad online behaviour, though? Let’s ask our special ethics correspondent, a snowball in Hell.

Well, while we wait, I thought it’d be fun to take a look at how a few other RPGs have decided to have a little fun with their dodgier elements, both online and off.

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Going Hollow: Twitch Plays Dark Souls

haha come on now, they'll never even reach Artorias

The story of King Canute setting his throne down on the shore and commanding the tide to turn back and not wet his flip-flops is often now referenced as arrogance, when really he was well aware that the waves would knock down his sandcastle and carry away his ball. Sometimes we attempt things to prove we can’t do them.

Almost definitely inspired by Canute (and, sure, Twitch Plays Pokémon too), a new experiment in controlling a game through commands issued by Twitch livestream viewers has chosen a surely-impossible challenge: Dark Souls [official site]. After three days, the thousands of ‘helpers’ are still in the Undead Asylum.

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Dark Souls 3’s New Combat Is Faster And More Fearsome

Dark Souls 3 [official site] is in the shadow of a giant. The giant probably has a wound for a face, not a single leg to stand on and spends his days dragging his torso around the ruins of a throne room. After one slightly uneven sequel, the Souls series has returned to the guidance of creator Hidetaka Miyazaki. Rather than replicating what worked so well four years ago, however, From Software are tweaking their design. The architecture of the world is immediately recognisable but combat is changing.

After half an hour with the game, I’m half-way convinced it might be able to step out of the shadow of its predecessors and find a new sun to praise.

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The 50 Best RPG On PC

An entirely objective ranking of the 50 best PC RPGs ever released. Covering the entire history of computer role-playing games is a daunting task and attempting to place the best games in such a broad genre in any kind of order is even more daunting. Thankfully, we are equal to all tasks and below, you will find the best fifty PC RPGs of all time.

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Journeys In Games: Let’s Talk About Fast Travel

I first noticed the feeling when I stopped at an inn. They had a roaring fire, plenty of food and wine, and there was a dog lying at my feet. Skyrim had never felt more welcoming. I was replaying the game with some mods installed. One mod took away all the dragonborn stuff and left me starting as a simple bandit schmuck. Another mod made the world of Skyrim cold and harsh to survive in, so I had to light fires to keep myself warm and make sure I didn’t fall into any water lest I catch my literal hypothermic death. But one of these mods had a side option, which was to turn fast travel off. On a whim, I did. It was only days later, in the warm glow of this inn that the feeling began to come over me. And I realised something. Something that all my gaming life I’d never even thought about.

I HATE fast travel. Let me tell you why.

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Fail Forward: Dark Souls 2

Fail Forward is a series of videos all about the bits of games which don’t quite work and why. In this episode, Marsh Davies discusses Dark Souls 2 [official site], but ends up mostly talking about the preceding Dark Souls, the legend of King Arthur and wanking onto goblins.

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