Dark Souls 2: Where's the fun?
Dark Souls 2 is a unique game and it has a lot to offer. The big question is will most gamers like it? What is the appeal in a game so difficult? Should there be more games like it? One writer from The Gamer’s Lounge takes on Dark Souls 2 and is left pondering one question, where’s the fun?
I am not a fan of RPGs, although I do enjoy games such as Mass Effect, Diablo II, Baldur’s Gate, and the Fallout Series. Most of them don't share anything in common with Dark Souls 2. Although Diablo II or III on Hell difficulty is pretty punishing, gamers who die have to backtrack and can risk losing some loot. As a noob in Dark Souls 2, I played for three hours and died 25 times as a warrior. I almost gave up. This isn't fun, I felt like I wasn't making any progress and felt frustrated. I wanted to quit and put the game away and go back to playing something with a more mainstream appeal.
Punishing a player isn't fun. Dark Souls 2 does a great job at letting gamers know they shouldn't make mistakes. Here are some of my pet peeves. The checkpoints are few and far between. The weakest enemies can kill you with a few hits. There is no pause button. If I use a bonfire and travel between areas when I return to the previous area everything has respawned. There are checkpoints and if gamers die, there could be backtracking or replaying areas sometimes this takes more than an hour. None of this is easy. Those are my complaints, but I also understand why this series and Demon Souls has take this path.
Games like these need to exist, to many modern games are too easy. There is hand holding as players move from point A to B with a lot of checkpoints. If gamers die, they usually respawn at the nearest checkpoint or they can reload a save from 5 minutes ago. Many modern games have different difficulty levels and the developer tries to make sure anyone can play and finish it. The game is over in 6-10 hours and gamers move on to the next big AAA gamer. None of this applies to Dark Souls 2, there is no hand holding, no difficulty slider, and gamers will have to invest a significant amount of time. But the reward could be worth it. Gamers will take everything Dark Souls 2 throws at the them and they will take it head on.
Does this means Dark Souls 2 is for the average gamer? Probably not. Will I give it another shot with a different class, sure, why not? I enjoy a challenge once and while and as I had mentioned there is some satisfaction in the game.