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Figured it might be best for this beast of game to have its own thread, I anticipate I'll be posting my thoughts on a regular basis, and this is the first From Software game I'll get to experience at launch and with so little info out there. I only got into the Souls games last year and am just now finishing up the last one I have left, Dark Souls 2, so my body is ready. Playing them has been a paradigm shift that has revitalized my love for gaming at a time I thought I was outgrowing them. From what I've seen this game really looks like a climax of all the games Miyazaki has designed, and aims to correct some of the imbalances of past Souls games (Like R1 spamming, I've heard).  I've stayed as spoiler free as possible, but things are getting crazy tempting out there. Spoiler warnings would be appreciated for the next couple weeks.

 

So what are you guys looking forward to with this game? I'm planning to play as whatever the deprived class is, as it will make every piece of gear I find that much more valuable, corpse running and exploration will never feel useless, whereas with other classes you'd likely have no use for a lot of the gear you find. Scrounging together whatever I can find to survive will make the game feel like that much more of adventure, and make the refining process into a full blown warrior all the more heroic. If I screw myself and make it too hard before finding good gear I won't be too far gone to just try and start a new game with a normal class. My build and playstyle will naturally present itself, and I'm assuming there will be respec options if I need. Definitely planning on mixing melee and magic, perhaps they change things here but I find purely relying on melee to make certain parts of Souls games unnecessarily difficult, while pure ranged magic can sometimes get OP and really limit how you engage with the world. One thing I really hope they address here is the wide open nature of the terrain. DS3 was fun, but the level design made me feel like I didn't have to be as mindful of my surroundings as DS1, where precarious terrain adds another layer of complexity to otherwise simple enemies. Basically, give me some good Anor Londo and Sen's Fortress esque-environments. I'm also definitely looking to get down in co-op and PvP if anyone here is interested, I've really only been a PvE guy, though I do intend to tackle every boss 1 on 1, as I find boss summons to break the AI and make me feel like I didn't really beat the boss with any skill.

 

So what are you guys looking forward to about this game? Any plans on builds yet?

Edited by A.M.B.
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I'm on the fence for getting this. It looks beautiful, but I have only ever played one "Souls" game and I played it for maybe a couple hours. I didn't stop playing out of frustration or anything, but I think I just got distracted by another game or probably other life stuff. Actually, whichever one it was was on the Switch and we had to replace the Switch we had because it got dropped and cracked. I just don't think I ever bothered re-downloading it.

I do recall building your character being almost overwhelming with the amount of choices and options you had, plus, none of them had the traditional names for attributes that I'm used to after playing a bunch of other ARPGs. Elden Ring doesn't look much different in that regard so it makes it feel like I'm flying in blind. Also, this one is supposed to be more storyline heavy, right? Like previous Souls games didn't have much of a story, did they? If this one has more of a story and side quests and things like that then I'll probably give it a shot and hope it doesn't go on my pile of regret with Far Cry 6 and Deathloop.

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I've actually managed to remain blind (beyond the most obvious shit that has been in official trailers), I have not been this excited for a game launch since Final Fantasy VI on the SNES. Every other FromSoft game I've gone in already knowing a ton of shit, this will be the most honest experience I'm going to get.

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2 hours ago, Craig H said:

I'm on the fence for getting this. It looks beautiful, but I have only ever played one "Souls" game and I played it for maybe a couple hours. I didn't stop playing out of frustration or anything, but I think I just got distracted by another game or probably other life stuff. Actually, whichever one it was was on the Switch and we had to replace the Switch we had because it got dropped and cracked. I just don't think I ever bothered re-downloading it.

I do recall building your character being almost overwhelming with the amount of choices and options you had, plus, none of them had the traditional names for attributes that I'm used to after playing a bunch of other ARPGs. Elden Ring doesn't look much different in that regard so it makes it feel like I'm flying in blind. Also, this one is supposed to be more storyline heavy, right? Like previous Souls games didn't have much of a story, did they? If this one has more of a story and side quests and things like that then I'll probably give it a shot and hope it doesn't go on my pile of regret with Far Cry 6 and Deathloop.


I mean it’s hard for me to say now, but from the impression I get this game won’t be any different than the other SoulsBorne games in how it tells its story. The story and lore is there, and incredibly deep, but it’s not told explicitly in a linear narrative through cutscenes like most games do. It’s much more about piecing little bits of info together from NPCs and item descriptions. Some theorize the item descriptions are the thoughts of the main character. It’s not for everyone, but I really like it, since I mainly just play games for fun gameplay and can try and fill in what I missed with fan made lore videos on YouTube. Sounds like George RR Martin’s role wasn’t much beyond some character and world design, it’ll be a Miyazaki story through and through.

It might be worth a try if you couldn’t get into DS1 (that’s the Switch one), personally I find DS1 the best game of the series to start with, but to some it feels a bit dated. If you’re not into the cryptic game mechanics, a walkthrough can make all the difference. Understanding what a viable build looks like is probably the first step to success, and eliminating lots of trial and error. Every game has basically the same system of an HP stat, stamina, endurance for managing equipment weight and how fast you can move with certain gear, strength for heavy slower weapons, dex for lighter fast weapons, attunement for how many spells you need, intelligence for mostly offensive sorceries, and faith for mostly support miracles.

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I'm thrilled that the reviews are so sterling, but "the intricate design of Dark Souls" is a bit of a deal breaker.  I don't like games that are unnecessarily difficult and Dark Souls nearly made me break my television.  I am pretty sure I broke the mic jacks on my game chair when I hurled it to the ground.

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I tend to trust Jason. He's like a less jaded Jeff Gerstmann, but I still like Jeff's opinions too. The others I'll trust are Vinny, Alex, and Brad from Nextlander. Jason describing it as a more accessible Souls game basically makes this an instant purchase for me. Now I just need to figure out what it will be best on, the Series X or the PS5. 

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17 minutes ago, Death From Above said:

Don't blame the games for your personal weakness

Beating Dark Souls is not something to wear like a badge of honor nor should it be treated as such.  I've got better things to do with my day and gaming time than indulging in frustration.

Edited by J.T.
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9 minutes ago, J.T. said:

Beating Dark Souls is not something to wear like a badge of honor nor should it be treated as such.  I've got better things to do with my day and gaming time than indulging in frustration.

I was going to say something about the next Vampire game, but that's more or less frustration with that game never seeming to come out and less frustration with playing a game.

And the other buzzwords for me from Jason's tweet was Breath of the Wild. I have played more than my fair share of punishing games. Celeste in particular comes to mind and beating that game three times over with the third time trying to do perfect runs being ultra brutal. It's the Clark Griswold in me that's just like, "I'm going to make this damn thing work because my ADHD has given me major tunnel vision to do this one thing," but I have never truly gotten that deep into a "Souls/born" game to know what that level of frustration is going to be like. I'm kinda prepared for me to be wasting $60 on this game in the same way that I'm prepared to be wasting two perfectly good steaks that I'm cooking differently for the first time all because someone swore by cooking your steaks in a cast iron skillet in the oven before basically pan frying the outside of the steaks on the stove to get a good crust on them.

The steaks thing kinda worked out. Maybe Elden Ring will too...?

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46 minutes ago, Craig H said:

I was going to say something about the next Vampire game, but that's more or less frustration with that game never seeming to come out and less frustration with playing a game.

Game companies always overpromise and underproduce.  It's taken two years since launch for 2077 to become halfway playable and Bloodlines 2 may end up vaporware despite the insistence that it will see the light of day.  It's the nature of the beast these days.  That kind of frustration doesn't really bother me.

Games like Dark Souls that are difficult for the sake of difficulty are as annoying as movies like Kuso or Cannibal Holocaust that have to be endured rather than enjoyed.  I am old and am the definition of a dirty casual, though.

Edited by J.T.
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4 hours ago, J.T. said:

I'm thrilled that the reviews are so sterling, but "the intricate design of Dark Souls" is a bit of a deal breaker.  I don't like games that are unnecessarily difficult and Dark Souls nearly made me break my television.  I am pretty sure I broke the mic jacks on my game chair when I hurled it to the ground.

What specific part of the game made you feel that way? It’s quite simple with a walkthrough to make an OP build, sorcery especially, and you can simply run past most enemies and areas if you know where to go. That’s why it’s so addicting, once you understand the game you look back and feel comparatively invincible. But I won’t try and convince you to love it, not every game is for everyone, it’s just a lot easier than it seems at first glance. There’s always a simpler way to do things.
 

and it’s definitely not difficult for the sake of difficulty, it’s difficult for the sake of the story being about the hero being the only one who perseveres through numerous deaths and rebirths in dark, seemingly hopeless times. It’s the only thing that separates you from the hollows you encounter, your willingness to not give in to the feeling of being overwhelmed. Every item you find is on a hollow, and hollows are characters that simply gave up along the way. Don’t you dare go hollow.

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24 minutes ago, John E. Dynamite said:

It looks like the easiest way to make one of the best-reviewed games of all time is to have it come out a week after Horizon.

The consensus I've heard from at least three different podcasts is that the first 4 or 5 hours can be a real slog and pain in the ass, but then after that it starts getting really good story wise. Combat wise, it sounds like more of the same. 

To me, that sounds almost exactly like the Witcher 3 where, my goodness, it feels like you're in that first area for what feels like forever and you begin wondering, "isn't this supposed to be an open world game?" Then you finally get past all of that first area crap and the game turns into something pretty special. I still plan on getting FW, but my daughter and I are going to restart ZD because we completely forgot how to play it and we were at a point where we had to fight a bunch of tribal dudes and creatures and it was basically impossible.

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1 hour ago, A.M.B. said:

What specific part of the game made you feel that way? It’s quite simple with a walkthrough to make an OP build, sorcery especially, and you can simply run past most enemies and areas if you know where to go. That’s why it’s so addicting, once you understand the game you look back and feel comparatively invincible. But I won’t try and convince you to love it, not every game is for everyone, it’s just a lot easier than it seems at first glance. There’s always a simpler way to do things.

There are some games that like to invest time in to master and Dark Souls wasn't one of them and this is coming from one of the biggest min/max guys you will ever encounter. 

Normally I adore tactics and strats, but beating Dark Souls took all the fun of breaking down paths and routes because sometimes you die so fast that you don't really glean anything from your mistakes.  Lessons learned becomes too much of a chore (which is why I was never all that good of a Destiny 2 raid player). 

I love to ponder load-out, but occasionally I just want to explore and not worry about what is behind the corner because the gear I'm using will see me through.

1 hour ago, A.M.B. said:

and it’s definitely not difficult for the sake of difficulty, it’s difficult for the sake of the story being about the hero being the only one who perseveres through numerous deaths and rebirths in dark, seemingly hopeless times. It’s the only thing that separates you from the hollows you encounter, your willingness to not give in to the feeling of being overwhelmed. 

As a strat and survival guy, the ultimate expression of failure is dying so a game where dying repeatedly is part of the mechanic seems stupid.  Death does not bring understanding.  Death brings death.  If I am not playing Deep Space or Resident Evil, survival should not be its own reward.

Edited by J.T.
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I know that metacritic isn't an exact science and some have issues with their methods, but by any standard this is an insane score.

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Can't wait to finally play it once Bandai decides to ship my Collector's Edition, but Horizon (which is amazing) has me pretty busy right now anyway.

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On 2/23/2022 at 8:54 AM, J.T. said:

Beating Dark Souls is not something to wear like a badge of honor nor should it be treated as such.  I've got better things to do with my day and gaming time than indulging in frustration.

I wouldn't call you out for it if you didn't make it your personal mission to let us know in every single conversation about FromSoft that you're not even involved in how much you dislike it because it was too hard

It's okay to stop posting

Like for fuck's sake the game is just launching today and this thread is already loaded with multiple paragraphs of you complaining about a game you have absolutely no genuine intention of even playing, go away

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Oof, that's pretty harsh man 😞

Also, 40 minutes away from playing this thing. Need to play this quick before my Xanax wears off and my anxiety ramps up to where I need to go to bed.

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I played this for a couple hours last night, basically dying repeatedly in the same spot over and over again because I was trying to fight off these things that looked like wheaten terriers. My overall feel after playing for a couple hours is that this game is really freaking good, I have no idea where to go, and I have no idea what I'm doing. 

More than the difficulty factor, which isn't that much of an issue yet, is the concern of the open world. Like, you know when you start FO3 or 4 and you exit the vault for the first time, or you start Breath of the Wild and you walk out of that regen chamber the first time, or you escape that first town in Skyrim and you have no idea where to go or what to do and it's kinda overwhelming? It's that feeling times 10. Because where those games have roads or paths, this game doesn't have any roads or paths or even trails to follow. You enter what is basically a virgin field that just has these random mobs as its inhabitants. It's very, very intimidating.

I wound up rolling an Astrologer.

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Well I just got my first crash, without saying too much, I somehow ended up at a far end of the map with red skies and the game freaked out apparently.

So far the only word I can use is overwhelming. I can’t say I’ve fully internalized the mechanics or have the confidence in my play style to be in a fun flow state yet. I am enjoying it, it’s just A LOT to take in. I am starting to regret picking the wretch a bit, the world is so huge it just feels like it might take forever to work a coherent build out. Plus I’m not upgrading my club yet since I’m hoping I’ll find a better weapon any minute, but that’s yet to happen. The tutorial section boss was incredibly easy, heavy R2’s are really useful apparently. Second boss I found made me really question how I’m approaching this game. Really can’t tell if I’m supposed to upgrade my equipment more, fight it now, or if the wretch was just a horrible choice. I’m also running past like 90% of enemies. The hordes are pretty frightening. This is definitely not Dark Souls 4, those games are looking ridiculously simple in comparison right now.

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