No game has ever come close to matching Dark Souls other than the other ‘Souls-Borne’ games: Yer Demons, Dark 1,2 & 3 and of course, Blooders.
The games that ruined all other games for me, nothing will ever taste as sweet as that first time through Lordran. And I assume it’s the same for pretty much everyone who plays them. There’s so much depth in the combat, the environment design the enemies and of course that story that doesn’t ever seem to stop revealing layers the more the look into it.
Sure, your DMC’s and ya Bayonetta’s have expansive combat systems, but they’re all about learning massive combo inputs. Souls games are more like chess. You wait and study your opponent, you see a gap and you attack…they share more with Street Fighter in that sense.
And the art direction…oh my. Even back when the budgets were low and the tech was lacking finesse, From could still produce a stunning vista – utterly out doing even Naughty Dog or Bungie and becoming the sole reason the ‘share’ button is worn out on my PS4 pad.
You know this already, right? You’re an intelligent person…of course you are, that’s why you’re reading this. And as much as I could go on and on about how great these games are, I really can’t be arsed. Instead what I’ll do for you, dear friend is solve the age of question of which of these games is the big dog in the best way our species have invented for categorising such things: The Numbered List. YES.
5.Dark Souls 2
Ah DS2. I feel bad for it now because with the DS3 being the game I think everyone wanted 2 to be, this will probably get lost in the conversations about these games. It is a good game, one with a few problems but good non the less. By any other measurement it would be classed as a ‘fucking great game’. But when you’re measuring up to the legit best game ever made, it’s going to be hard to break out of it’s shadow. If you really want to hear me going in depth on my issues with this game, check out the ep of Twin Humanities I was kindly asked on. Also: Fuck Earthen Peak.
OK truth time: I’ve not completed this. I’m currently on the Armour Spider boss but I have watched EnB’s playthough’s so I’m basically an expert. It probably would be a bit higher had I not wussed out and ignored it at the time it was released, but since the subsequent games have improved upon this pretty solid foundation, this one feels a bit…janky. Sorry. Still great though.
3.Dark Souls 3
Yeah. That’s right, it’s featuring this high up. Without going into too much for fear of spoilers (though seriously, why are you reading this if you’ve not played it?), but the evolution of the series reaches a pinnacle here. Everything is refined to a shiny perfection from graphics and art direction to the tweaks given to the upgrade system. And the way it uses connections to the other games never feels cheap or done for mere hollow (HEH? GET IT???) reasons or a cheap pop…it’s a everything I wanted From to give us as a Souls swan-song.
I almost put this first, but without the impact that DS had on me, I would never have checked this out. It is however an absolute masterpiece in its own right. What seems to be a standard story of beasts and hunters suddenly becomes a whole lot more in a way I could never have seen coming. An incredible story weaved intricately around a stunningly realised Victorian-by-Gothic Horror world inhabited by some of the greatest enemies designed. And that combat system…I’d take the Regain system all day over blocking shit.
Of course it fucking is. What, you think I’m fucking stupid? It’s the best game ever made and I say that with Streets of Rage 2 in mind. That’s right, it’s better than SoR2. You know how hard it was to admit that? Honestly though, I’ve played through this game about 6 times and I still find new ways to approach it. I’ll be playing this for as long as there’s consoles that support it. And on the day they stop, then I’ll buy a PC.
So there ya go. Disagree? Shout it at a wall kiddo, ’cause I do not care x