March 12, 2014 by Tim

One of my favorite aspects of the Demon’s/Dark Souls games is how obfuscated most of the mechanics are. Tooltips and item descriptions often only give you the most cursory explanation, and unless you hit the wikis for everything, the entire game is an excersize in experimentation and discovery.

Three games in now, I know well enough that when you’re offered a “Petrified Something” as a starting gift, it’s going to have a use somewhere, eventually (give us smooth!). But not knowing exactly why and where is a really fun mystery that I feel is core to the experience. I always urge new players of the Souls game to do so with blinders on, if possible. Avoid running to the internet to check the wikis and guides, at least for your first playthrough.

It’s not really possible to “ruin” a character build, since theoretically you can always farm more souls to right the ship. You can set yourself back a bit with some mistakes… you can and will miss items and events and NPCs your first playthrough. You won’t see everything. But you will learn a lot, and it’s an invaluable experience. And it makes NG+ all the more satisfying when you take your newfound knowledge and apply it to a fresh playthrough.

So far, I’m loving Dark Souls 2. It feels authentic to the experience, and not dumbed down, which would have been my primary concern.

This week feels, for me, like 2014’s first big gaming week. And March is the first big gaming month. This is where things finally start ramping up for the year. Dark Souls 2 and Titanfall this week. Infamous: Second Son in a couple of weeks, the game which was the reason I bought a PS4. The Diablo 3 expansion at the end of the month is a lesser, but still welcome addition.

It’s time to finally start really getting into this new generation of gaming.

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