Dark Souls: Prepare to Die Edition Review

In the game Dark Souls, invading other worlds is an art, and I practice this as a true gentleman. It is important to choose the right moment for invasion: in some places, the victim won’t even be able to summon friends for help, while in others, it will surprise you unpleasantly. In places like Duke’s Archives, you will have to show all your skills.

If the victim is engaged in a duel with someone, let them finish. There is nothing worse than an invader who attacks from behind. Respect your opponents. Only when they notice you – majestic, furious, deadly – stop to look them in the eye, and then bow as a greeting. This way, you have almost guaranteed yourself a duel with the winner of that fight.

This is just one of the entertainments I enjoyed in Dark Souls. But there are many more. For example, if you hide near a boss room waiting for signs of a Challenge, you can play dead football. The ruins of New Londo Ruins provide perfect conditions for this: you can freely kick dead enemy bodies back and forth, piling them up as much as possible near the edge of a cliff. And then, all at once, push them all down. Another time, you may encounter souls who, like you, have taken an oath as Warriors of the Sunlight. Together with them, you will fight against a boss, and if the duel ends successfully, you will not only have a joint victory dance but also a Sunlight Medal. Sometimes, you will spend half an hour in rooms, illuminating them with Prism Stones.

Dark Souls is often not the game that everyone describes (although, of course, there is some truth in their words). Undoubtedly, it is a challenging game from start to finish. Even the most experienced players encounter insurmountable obstacles and frustrating mistakes that lead to unnecessary character deaths (for example, when a player returns to a bloodstain containing ten units of humanity and falls off a bridge).

Dark Souls: Prepare to Die Edition - Dark Fantasy

But people spend so much time discussing the various obstacles presented by the game that, in my opinion, they will never truly understand why Dark Souls is one of the best modern games.

There is one wonderful moment in the game: it happens when you first reach the city of Anor Londo. After defeating the boss (a huge golem), two gargoyles will lift your hero high into the sky without any ceremony. They will bring you close to a wall that was previously unclearly outlined above the game world. Eventually, you will find yourself on top of this wall and from its immense height, you will see Anor Londo spread out beneath you: its refined and majestic architecture, with its white and orange tones that sharply contrast with the destroyed and gloomy landscapes that accompanied you on your journey to this point.

Before you lies a fantastic landscape, hiding more secrets than you could have imagined. But in that moment, the presented landscape looks like pure paradise. This spectacle and what follows it – rivers of blood and tears that will become increasingly abundant over time – is Dark Souls in all its glory.

The title of the edition, Prepare To Die, is more than eloquent and fully supports the spirit of the original game. This extended version came to light thanks to PC gamers who also wanted to play such a wonderful game. Now, in Dark Souls: Prepare to Die Edition, there are many moments that can be discussed and not be thrilled about. One of them is the inability to change the monitor’s resolution. Fortunately, this misunderstanding was immediately rectified by the resourceful Neogaffer. However, other player requests, although desirable, are currently unfeasible, as they would require From Software to completely overhaul the game.

In general, you can complain about all sorts of problems and shortcomings for a long time. But to put it briefly, with Dark Souls: Prepare to Die Edition, you definitely won’t get the technical capabilities that are present in the full PC game. The reason is simple: it was originally a console game port, and From Software created a console game, so there’s no point in asking them about the quality of the PC version. And if you refuse to play Dark Souls because of this, you have no one to blame but yourself.

There are differences in the Prepare to Die Edition compared to the original version, but many of them are so subtle that they will only be interesting to the most dedicated fans. For example, I really like that players using heavy armor no longer have to wear a specific ring to backflip. However, I repeat, such changes will only please experienced gamers who know the game inside out. If you still haven’t played Dark Souls and are unsure if it’s worth your attention, I will say unequivocally “yes”. The reason for this advice is simple: it is one of the few games that doesn’t treat the gamer like an idiot.

In today’s world, the overwhelming majority of console games are completely devoid of any difficulty and are aimed at satisfying the needs of average users without any special gaming aspirations. Even in the beloved Assassin’s Creed series (which can be loved for reasons other than Dark Souls), the player controls almost nothing: the system provides predetermined options for the development of events. Think about what such a game becomes for you: simply holding down a button for a certain amount of time. There are only consequences, and there is no need to think about the causes. Dark Souls does not present itself to its players in such a primitive manner. The combat system in this game is built around precision, accuracy, and quick reaction; here, enemies deserve respect, and breezing through any part of this game is always fraught with irreversible failure.

That’s why, when playing Dark Souls, you are constantly learning something. Each type of weapon has its own movesets, and this doesn’t mean that visually these movesets can’t look the same. There is a significant difference between the styles of fighting with a rapier and a short sword; they are completely unique techniques that have nothing in common with each other. One of the charms of the game is finding your own fighting style and using it (if you’re a beginner, I would recommend starting with a spear – it allows for both aggressive attacks and good defense). Mastering military techniques is more about mastering the intricacies of their application depending on the place and time in the game, rather than mindlessly memorizing key combinations. And when you finally use it against a powerful boss (or even better – against another player), the feeling of pride and satisfaction you experience in that moment is hard to compare with anything else.

I will repeat once again that Dark Souls requires more the use of mental skills than good mechanics from you. And it is from this position that you need to approach the game. Once I had to explain to someone the role that the game character can play in the world of Dark Souls, and in the end he said, “So you have to be a bad guy there”? But it’s not quite like that. You can be good too, but here the question needed to be formulated differently from the start. In the kingdom of Lordran, there are certain things that need to be accepted by definition, but the main essence lies in the details. And a lot depends on how you approach them: to some extent, everything depends only on you.

It is worth asking why Dark Souls is worthy of attention. I think at least because it is an adventure where you discover something new every second, and the analysis and detailing of the information obtained during the game does not allow your brain to shut down for a second.

If we consider the situation with the death of the character, the best thing modern games can give you today is an infinite number of lives. In Dark Souls, this is a means to achieve the goal: it is assumed that you will die, because only in this way can you learn to look at things differently next time. And only the wrong interpretation of this feature as sadism towards players is the reason for Dark Souls’ reputation as a cruel game. The “curse” of immortality opens the way to the acquisition of invaluable experience, and there will be plenty of it. In this game, the death of the character is not just a click of some virtual counter, the value of which has increased by one unit. It is part of the game’s idea.

Everything in the game has an alternative meaning. After years of experience in Demon’s Souls and Dark Souls, I looked at things that used to seem obvious to me with completely different eyes. The currency of the game is souls, obtained in battle with enemies or received from numerous corpses. I never attached too much importance to this, but then it dawned on me: these souls are from those who, for some reason, did not have the strength to reach the end.

You collect the souls of those who have also lost their human nature through an endless cycle of death and rebirth; those who have descended into mindless aggression. You also acquire the souls of those who wished to be heroes. Since the game is built around your courage, every time you show a desire to try again or gain knowledge to become even stronger, you absorb the souls of those who couldn’t do what you did. Of course, if you think about it. And don’t forget about “power pills” and gold coins.

This edition can be considered as a director’s version, which includes a significant amount of new content: a large area with several new bosses and a multiplayer arena. Both the first and the second can only be accessed after completing a serious chunk of the original game and making certain discoveries. That’s Dark Souls for you. That’s why we love it.

Certain sections of this new location are nothing more than modified territories of the original game, where new types of enemies have appeared and the appearance of the surrounding world has changed. The bosses are very good: they are beautiful monsters – villainous heroes who have come from unknown legends and have absorbed the best qualities of bosses from the original game. This content is designed with the interests of experienced players in mind, and there is nothing that could hide from their eyes. Even the new PvP arena is marked with a damn familiar emblem for all true royal knights, which means a lot to them.

Speaking in detail about this PvP arena, unfortunately, I cannot give Dark Souls: Prepare to Die Edition the high ratings it undoubtedly deserves in other aspects of the game. It pains me to say this, but this mode simply doesn’t work. I spent several hours standing on the platforms that were supposed to serve as the start of one-on-one battles, but nothing happened. This discrepancy is observed against the backdrop of an online infrastructure that simply cannot cope with its functions.

I really enjoy invasions and summons, and without a doubt, my best moments in Dark Souls were associated with the presence of other players. But too often, the concept of multiplayer gaming (as beautiful as the game itself) suffers from a “flawed” implementation.

For every successful summon, you will have to endure ten unsuccessful ones. Every time you want to invade, be prepared for five more that will end in nothing. Eventually, you get used to it and almost stop noticing because the game is full of captivating moments. But you can’t simply dismiss the fact that hours of your time were spent in empty waiting just because not everything in the game works as it should, and the titans of thought from From Software show no desire to fix it in any way. It’s time to appeal to the gaming community: “If you have networking skills (or people with such skills in your circle), get a job at From Software. They need people like you. And we need you to be there.”

Can these aforementioned flaws be a reason not to buy Dark Souls: Prepare to Die Edition? No. Then it would be like refusing to buy “War and Peace” because of a few typographical errors. In this game, you will immerse yourself in a world of almost endless discoveries and inventiveness. This world demands a lot from its players, but it gives them even more in return.

The game will provide you with entertainment opportunities that go beyond the usual understanding of the word. The world of Lordran alone is worth savoring every piece of this exquisite dish before moving on to the next. Dark Souls beautifully illustrates what a game can be if it properly presents all its possibilities to the players. And its possibilities are much, much broader than you can imagine.

Dark Souls: Prepare to Die Edition
PC, PS3, Xbox 360
Action, RPG, Co-op, Multiplayer
From Software
From Software
Release Date:
Editor's rating:
Is it worth playing? (If the score is more than 70%)



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