The Soulsborne games are a pretty niche series of games by From Software, where the check points are merely pit stops on a road of non-stop torture that begins each session by asking, “Just how much bullshit are you willing to put up with today?”
The answer is very little.
I was introduced to the games by Jacksepticeye playing Bloodborne. I then found a copy of Dark Souls II on the Xbox360 and proceeded to hate the game because I kept dying and lose whatever souls I had accumulated, I never even got to the first boss. When I finally saved up enough money to buy a PlayStation 4, Bloodborne was the first game on my list…and I was terrible at it. I gave up and started playing other games, before trading in my copy of Fallout 4 and Bloodborne so I could by the Bloodborne: Game of the Year edition. And after many trials, tribulations, yelling, and ultimately dying at least a hundred times, I finally completed the game within five weeks on an Arcane build, she is still saved on my PS4 and is currently in NG+ failing to kill the Blood-Starved Beast.
And after enjoying Bloodborne so much I was eager for Dark Soul III and wasn’t too bad at it. Before I got it on PC for my Ramsay Bolton Dark Souls character run, I completed the game in just over two weeks on the PS4. Naturally the player-count has dwindled a little in the past few months but it’ll pick up when the DLC’s are released and provide us with more fun and pain.
But I want to talk about the difficulty of these games, a lot of people complain that the Souls games are ‘too hard’ and yes that was my first thought when I first played Dark Souls II, I had jumped into the series with no idea of what to do or how to play. Bloodborne was different because while I was terrible, I started watching EpicNameBro’s Bloodborne play through to get an idea of how to play the game and understand the lore of the game. And that’s when I realised that there are four things you need to realise if you want to play these games.
- You need patience and a lot of it
- You need to accept the fact that in these games death and loss of a few thousand souls/echoes is inevitable
- Trial and error will play a large part in making progress
- Read the notes left behind from other players, a lot of time they have useful information like if bosses are weak to certain things or illusory walls are nearby
Sure you get a lot of people who will tell you to ‘git gud’ and as stupid as that phrase is, it raises a good point that you will need to practice and to farm and normally the first area of the game is perfect for that. If you’re playing Bloodborne, stick to Central Yharnam for an hour, look for the shortcuts, grab all the items, and practice your visceral attacks. Not every game has an easy mode and these games certainly don’t and yes you can complain about that but at the end of it all, it’s not about the combat, it’s about the story.
And that is why I love Bloodborne and Dark Souls III (I still haven’t got around to giving enough of a shit to actually play Dark Souls and Dark Souls II, and I have no PS3 to play Demon Souls) because of the story. I love the premise of the Night of the Hunt, I love hunting down the Lords of Cinder, and at some point I will go into a long rant about how much I love The Old Hunters DLC despite it being a bitch to get through.
Underneath all that combat and all the bullshit you have to power through is a fantastic story and world that will make you glad you experienced it, you just need to master the art of Patience in order to get there.