Gaming | Random Thoughts

First impression: 'Dark Souls' - prepare to weep, throw your controller and rage-quit

In other words, pretty much more of the same thing that you got when you played Namco Bandai’s Demon’s Souls.

This action RPG sequel to what is ostensibly the hardest and most unforgiving game to be released in recent memory picks up where the first game left off, and heaps on the brutal and relentless difficulty.

Yes, finally making it through a section of the game and overcoming the challenges involved — whether they be the enemies or a perfectly-timed move, or some combination of the two — and surviving to the next area brings a great sense of accomplishment and success. It also takes a special kind of masochist to persevere through it all.

Add in the fact that the game’s world is melded seamlessly with online play, and that other players can join your game without your permission and kill you to steal your hard-earned in-game currency and powers (and yes, you can do the same to others, too). Oh, I suppose they could be simply wanting to help you take down the enemy that you’ve been fighting for the past hour without success. But I don’t think that’s likely.

In my gaming sessions, the combat controls were difficult to adjust to, resulting in lots of missed moves, as well as wasted healing potions. The fact that resting at a camp fire to heal yourself also heals all enemies in the game (and even revives those enemies you’ve cleared out) and will simply add to the difficulty.

So, if you’re that special kind of masochist, one of those who love the thrill of finally completing a section you’ve been working on for many (many, many, many, many) tries, or you simply love the challenge of having uninvited players drop in to surprise you, Dark Souls may be perfect for you.

Just be aware, it could be one of the most frustrating experiences of your life. The game’s website, http://www.preparetodie.com, spells it out pretty plainly for you.

Like its predecessor, "Dark Souls" can be exceedingly difficult. (Games Press)