The second game analyzed was Dark Souls on the Xbox 360. Out of all the elements of game design, this blog post will focus solely on the game mechanics of Dark Souls.
Game Mechanics – “Prepare to Die”
In Dark Souls, the player is thrown into an enormous, evil, and open world. The best way to describe this game is with a simple statement that can be found on the back of the game’s box. The statement is, “Prepare to die”, which any new player will quickly find out. While constantly dying is a huge part of this game and can be extremely frustrating at times, it is what makes Dark Souls such a meaningful game.
The player is in constant fear knowing that even in the smallest of encounters there is a high possibility of death. This constant fear ensures that the player will never be bored because they must always be ready for the next battle. While the difficulty level of Dark Souls can lead to a player becoming frustrated with the game, this level can also allow the player to feel a sense of accomplishment that is without comparison.
The player is thrown into an open world where they can choose to journey in almost any direction. Although the player has the choice of where to journey, the difficulty of enemies in certain locations will act as navigational cues. These cues help guide, but not force, the player to the correct areas for their current character level. Most of the time these helpful cues mean imminent death. The player must learn from death in Dark Souls in order to understand how to progress through this treacherous world.
The next blog post will be in the same world of Dark Souls but will be focused on the game’s atmosphere. So stay tuned and game on!