Dark Souls is intense.

I make one last check of my equipment at the campsite. I think it’s the first safe place I’ve been that wasn’t my cell. The loitering human near the campsite suggests that there are two bells that exist and not just one. Maybe they’re one and the same? I decide to think about that later. I pull my magic glove tight in my hand, pick up my axe and buckler, and begin find a way into the castle across the ravine.

The path is blocked nearly straight away. Those who are Hallow insist on impeding my progress. One stumbles towards me and I ready myself to counter its first and last move. It raises its sword arm. I immediately counter and riposte. I do the same to the next one.

And again.

And again.

I keep searching for the bells and those in Lordran who hold my fate in their hands, though I don’t know where to go. I’ll steal it back from them.

Dark Souls is an important game in this day and age of more modern gaming design not because of its graphics or at design, but its difficulty.

From Software’s creation is brutally unforgiving and massively rewarding. The smallest forward motion is achieved by the most careful preparation and the highest sense of constant awareness. No matter what class a player chooses or what weaponry is used, without precise action, the game’s difficulty curve can never be overcome.

I picked up this title during a sale on Xbox Live for $5 USD and I feel like I need to write up a post like this even though I haven’t been able to complete it yet.

What keeps me playing the game is the sense of achievement that transcends any reward that can be found from the game’s achievement system. Whenever I find an efficient path or defeat a difficult enemy, I feel like I’ve won the gameā€¦ but I haven’t. Not yet.

Looking forward to the end of it when I do.