A generation has their Ghosts & Goblins in this trilogy of Souls, although we’re far removed from the cheerful, pattering Arthur and his fair maiden. Dark Souls remains apathetic, an industry gatekeeper without empathy for its audience. Dark Souls seems to believe it’s a sacred preservationist of “the old ways” and allowing an entry path for newcomers would be sacrilege.
The uninviting guardian that is this series carries unreachable lore and unapologetic rule set. Its lumbering motion casts an unusual anger over the combat. Anyone unwilling to devote themselves in totality must not apply, noob. Playing Dark Souls (cast in appropriately lifeless grays with death roaming the cracking landscapes), is much like traversing an internet comment section – don’t dare challenge videogaming’s oftentimes dire, near-sighted conventions.
In a way, the Souls game’s deliberate motion hearkens to turn-based RPGs, which twitch dodging. Dark Souls is a replacement for games like SSI’s Might & Magic, with often singe frame movement, mossy brick corridors, and vibrant text descriptions. There Dark Souls III remains, a slithering, torn remnant for masochists who share in their frustration and celebrate their accomplishments in echo chambers. Dark Souls III cannot change up its style; the consumers have become too rabid and defensive as if this is their own.
While many view death as entering into a world of clouds, halos, and eternal life, Dark Souls prefers to stab those comforting ideals in their face. Only those specialized few may enter, too.