Unless you’ve been in a cave in Lordran, with your eyes shut and fingers in your ears for the last decade, you know all about Dark Souls, the Dark Souls of video games. To be fair, no one would blame you for doing that, because Lordran is scary and Dark Souls is pretty damn hard.
But enough snark for now. You want to know if this is a thing or not. And the answer is, it depends.
Taken on its own merits and nothing more, Dark Souls Remastered is still inherently playable. You’re the Littlest Undead that Could, setting off on a quest to rekindle the First Flame and prolong the Age of Fire because, you know, THEY told you to. You know what to expect: punishing difficulty, looping environments. frustrating bosses, suspicious hitboxes, the works. And all of this works as it did a decade ago: just fine.
But it’s 2018 now, friends, and we’ve had two direct sequels and a number of Soulslikes like Lords of the Fallen, Nioh, and The Surge. We’ve also recently had whatever Bloodborne is; I dunno, like a hyperactive, edgy cousin or something. Does Dark Souls’ fire eclipse their shadows?
Look, I’m sorry, but playing the original Dark Souls on a PS4, which boasts Dark Souls 2, DS3, Bloodborne, and even Nioh, feels sub-par. Those games built on the foundation built by Dark Souls (and Demon’s Souls, the forgotten and arguably better game), but they fine-tuned the style and are fundamentally better experiences than this original recipe.
The SoulsBorne games are like burgers, kind of. Bear with me on this. Dark Souls is like a hamburger; there’s the gameplay patty, the Kafkaesque lettuce, the obscure lore ketchup, and the online multiplayer pickle, all wrapped in a toasty bun of git gud. Dark Souls 2 is a cheeseburger, with the same basics but with a zesty cheese finesse. Dark Souls 3 is a quarter pounder with cheese, Bloodborne is a Royale with cheese, Nioh is a rice ball that we call a burger because of lazy localisation (one for the weebs), and Demon’s Souls is like delicious vegan sandwich that no one really wants to admit they prefer.
Dark Souls is your regular hamburger, but where is the zesty cheese? Where’s the second patty? Or the tomato? Burgers are great, but no one orders the most basic one on the menu. So why would you play the most basic game in the Souls series?
Look, I’ll admit that the metaphor got away from me a bit, but I stand by it. If you love the Souls games and for some reason never played this one, now’s your chance. If you think retro includes things made a decade ago, knock yourself out… No, really, that wasn’t a turn of phrase, literally punch yourself in the head until you’re unconscious, you can’t be nostalgic for something that recent.
I love From Software games. The problem is that they’ve done this same one since, better, and they aren’t going anywhere. So while Dark Souls Remastered is the same game you know and love, it’s the same game you know and love. Why bother?
It’s a good game that I can’t recommend buying unless you’re a die-hard fan or want to play the phenomenon with slightly better graphics. That’s… That’s it.
Anyone else up for Bloodborne 2?