Friday, October 7, 2011

Dark Souls Playthrough--Part 1 (Getting Started)


Dark Souls is not a game that I could do justice with a typical review. So, I decided that I'll be chronicling my journey through the game in a series of posts here on the blog.

My love for the incredibly difficult RPG Demon’s Souls is well-documented. I have also been telling everyone I’ve come across the past several months how much I could not wait to get my hands on the sequel Dark Souls, that arrived in stores this week.

On launch day I happily went to my local GameStop and picked up my beautiful collector’s edition of Dark Souls, as well as the mammoth 400-page strategy guide that Future Press put out. This time, I wanted to be prepared as I headed into a grueling but rewarding 50+ hour experience.

A funny thing happened as I got ready to start Dark Souls, however. I hesitated.  I couldn’t decide what class I wanted to start with, and I kept perusing the strategy guide, hoping for a level of insight that wasn’t there. As it got later that night, and the window of time I could have spent playing closed, I realized something--

I was actually scared to start playing.

Not actually scared mind you, but anxious. Knowing what I knew after having played Demon’s Souls, I found myself obsessing over how to start the game. Should I go magic or melee-based? What character has better starting equipment? Should I do a better job of building a character that can handle player versus player situations?

All of these questions were still swimming around in my head the next morning, and I spent the day mulling over my strategy. By the time I got home from work that night, settled the kids in bed, and saw my wife off to the gym I finally put the game in and created my character.

I decided to go with the Sorcerer class, because in addition to being able to cast ranged magic spells, the class is decent with a blade and is pretty mobile. In Demon’s Souls/Dark Souls, class really is just a starting point, as you can level up your stats to access all magic and weapons no matter what class you start at. My reasoning for picking Sorcerer was because the class starts with a ranged spell called Soul Arrow, and my play style from Demon’s Souls was to soften enemies up at range and then finish them off when they get close.  As I would find out later though, some of my strategies from Demon’s Souls would need to be tweaked in order to be successful in Dark Souls.

Tune in tomorrow for a recap of my first couple hours with the game.