On the occasion of the recent release of Dark Souls Remastered, we decided to look back at the entire Souls franchise, which is by far the most important new franchise in the gaming industry over the past decade. Of course, the original Dark Souls and other projects in the series cannot boast of multimillion-dollar sales, and in general are made for a narrow target audience tirelessly wasting their nerves in an attempt to kill another boss. But the main advantage of the Souls games is their huge impact on the entire gaming industry.
If you see a game from the third person and with combat on melee weapons, then be sure in it you will definitely see the influence of Dark Souls. It is worth taking at least the last two parts of The Witcher or the recent God of War. But the combat system is only part of what has made the series a favorite of hardcore players.
Nobody believed in the founder of the series, which was released in 2009 exclusively for the PlayStation 3, even the publisher of the game. Sony spent a minimum of funds to promote the project and, fearing rejection of the game in the Western market, released it only in Asian countries. But unexpectedly for developers and gamers in the gaming industry, a new star shone and within a few weeks after the release of Demons Souls became a real hit on the Japanese console.
The most cruel and inhospitable world, where each battle turns into a test of the gamer's agility and reflexes, an uncomfortable and depressing atmosphere, a variable combat system and an unusual multiplayer mode ... Everything that the Dark Souls series is associated with was fully represented in Demons ".
After the success of the first game, the publisher approached the release of Dark Souls with great confidence. The project lost its exclusive version for the Japanese console and was also released on the Xbox 360, and a year later honored the PC with its presence. Yes, the port was terrible, the graphics sported low poly models and blurry textures, but the gameplay was so addicting that it made Dark Souls a frequent guest on the selection of the best RPGs of all time.
For the first time in the series, a completely open world appeared, the main feature of which was a huge number of shortcuts and secret moves that turn Lordran into a tangled maze. Another difference between the Dark Souls series and "Demons" is a slightly lighter atmosphere and a "humanity" system, with which you can open a multiplayer mode and simplify the passage of the game. Or, on the contrary, to complicate it, since at any moment a level 700 knight armed with one club can invade your world. Believe me, there will be no time for jokes.
Dark Souls 2
Gamers have an ambivalent attitude towards the next release in the series. Unique, scary Japanese-style bosses and unusual locations like Ash Lake are absent in Dark Souls 2. It seems as if the game world has become more mundane and closer to the standard Middle Ages, and the father of the series Hidetaki Miyazaki did not have his hand in the project.
In addition, the project has become more welcoming to casual gamers who cursed the developers for the original Dark Souls. Bonfires now from the very beginning allow you to teleport around the Dranglik kingdom, there are more first-aid kits, and even after death, not all opponents are restored. Are small indulgences considered disadvantages of the game? In the end, it's unlikely that battles in Dark Souls 2 still challenge the player's reflexes and punish them painfully for every defeat.
Dark Souls 3
The final chord, the swan song of the entire Dark Souls series, was the third part, which absorbed all the best features of its predecessors. Hidetaki Miyazaki also returned to his post, which makes the game world with its oppressive, painful, even insane atmosphere resembles the first Dark Souls.
In terms of gameplay, the developers did not break the usual foundations of the Souls series, but refreshed them with several innovations. For example, the concentration scale affects the number of spells that can be used in one life. It will also be useful for warriors, because now you can take a combat stance with each weapon, allowing you to inflict deadly blows.
Bloodborne is nominally not part of the Souls series, but developed by the same team under the direction of Hidetaka Miyazaki and is the spiritual successor to the hardcore RPG series. When watching the passage of Bloodborne, a persistent deja vu with Dark Souls may appear at all: the same hitting animations, the same gameplay concept, hardcore oozing from all the cracks. Only the gothic surroundings flavored with Lafkravtian madness does not allow us to forget what kind of game we have in front of us.
But immediately everything will change as soon as you pick up a gamepad. The exponentially increased dynamics has become the cornerstone of the game and turns any battle into a deadly and bloody dance. But you will have to pay for the increased tempo: unlike in the Dark Souls series, you cannot create a long-range or armored character build. The covenant system has also come under the knife, which reduces the replayability of the game.
The Souls series can be treated in different ways: the minimalistic presentation of the plot, the gameplay, the basics of which have to be learned by trial and error, as well as the excessive hardcore game. But thanks to the success of projects like Dark Souls, developers are enthusiastic to experiment, and gamers are getting more and more different and most importantly interesting games. And if you are not ready to put up with the approach to story and gameplay that Dark Souls cultivates, then we recommend paying attention to other role-playing projects in our top of the best modern RPGs.
The Topic of Article: Overview of Souls games: Dark Souls, Demons Souls and Bloodborne.