Dark souls combat is surprisingly forgiving

2980097-dark-souls-iii-6Yeah, I know, this reads like a deliberately contrarian headline to pull in views. Stick with me, I’m being serious.

For background, I have played through Demon’s Souls, Dark Souls, Dark Souls 2 and Bloodborne to completion at least once each. I’m also not a terribly skilled gamer. I have considerable fine motor control issues, and I was able to complete all the games in the franchise relatively easily.

Firstly, why does the Dark Souls series have a reputation as an incredibly hard set of games? Well, mainly because it punishes foolish moves made thoughtlessly. Rushing headfirst into combat will leave you overwhelmed and battered. You can’t play this like most hero fantasy style adventures.

So, if the game punishes you relentlessly for rushing in blindly, why am I arguing that it’s surprisingly forgiving?

Well, because the unrelenting nature of Dark souls combat actually relents quite a lot if you ever make an active attempt to take some breathing room. You’ve got space to back away from being attacked, you’ve got large arenas to navigate, you’ve got space to plan and you are rarely forced into engaging with a given enemy. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, a few good rolls will usually get you the distance to stop and breathe long enough to think through your plan of attack.

You don’t have to fight on instinct, you have room to back away and think.

Compare this to something like the Sans fight in Undertale (No, I’m not saying Undertale is a tougher game than Dark Souls before you twist this around), you’ll see that the Sans fight leaves you very little room to back away, strategise, refocus and reattempt a challenge. Where the Sans fight is unrelenting and unforgiving, Dark Souls bosses tend to have a far larger amount of breathing and thinking room built in.

I know Dark Souls games are not easy, but they are more forgiving to players than they are often given credit for.

2 thoughts on “Dark souls combat is surprisingly forgiving

  1. There’s also the fact that the game lets you get back all your souls if you do mess up. If you learn from your mistakes, you can recover your progress.

    This is why I couldn’t get into Dark Souls 2. The way the health system works just always seem the game was breathing down your neck to git gud, when the first game would let you learn from your mistakes. I’m trying to stay blind about DS3, but I hope they don’t take the DS2 approach.

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