So what exactly is wrong with FROMSOFTWARE’s Soul Series?

Don’t ask me, I’m asking you so it’s pretty obvious that I don’t have a clue. Or do I? Ask anyone around these parts and they’ll tell you that I’m a HUGE fan of both Demon’s Souls and the Dark Souls series. So as a fan of the series it’s increasingly alarming or even darn right annoying when I constantly see posts on both major websites as well as smaller gaming blogs cursing and damning the series.

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But cursing and damning the game, why indeed? I don’t know, maybe because a specific or certain type of gamer likes to have their virtual hands held and told what to do throughout their game session. Well if that’s the case they should definitely stay far far far away from Dark Souls. Seriously gang neither one of those games are going to hold your hand or go “Alright buddy, let’s go kick some ass”, they simply don’t. What they do however is provide you with a non-stop pain train filled with death after death, that is if you don’t pay attention to your surroundings and enemies. To the un-trained eye a session in Dark Souls is simply a chore and no fun. Sure I get that, hell I was in the same boat.

Fun fact, I have picked up Demon’s Souls on the PlayStation 3 back in 2010, I believe it was around the Spring time. I had went to the local Gamestop to find something new to play and the cover caught my eye and was thinking “This looks like a cool “Action RPG“. I was so wrong, I didn’t have a clue. So I get home, pop in the disc and start playing and cursing and crying and well getting completely pissed while being wrecked. It turns out that I had picked up the Devil’s sick attempt of a game and I thought anyone who played this game was sadistic. Saddened and defeated I put the game in the case and vowed to never play it again. Well it was more like “FUCK THIS GAME, WHY DID I EVER BUY THIS SHIT? Yep, I had a complete and totally not like me “Gamer Breakdown”.

Fast forward to Christmas 2010, for some odd reason I randomly picked up the game again and said ” I am going to make this game my bitch!”. No lie, my wife was next to me when I said that and asked me if I was ok.

Damn it! How can a skeleton kick my ass like that? WTF is this crap!

But I was more than ok, I was a renewed man, I had a purpose, I had to break that game. And so started my descent into madness. Every death started to mold me, to shape my adventure in the world of Boletaria. And you know what? After a while those deaths didn’t bother me, well those cheap deaths did… oh and when I rolled off a ledge or when those dogs slaughtered me….. But eventually I ended up learning the in’s and outs of the game. The boss battles quickly became more fun, the environments were both a test and a joy to wonder and well I learned to enjoy the game. So much that once I beat it I had to do it again and again. And then it happened! I had gotten so good at the game that when I looked back at my beginning I wondered how could I’ve let the game put such a hurting on me. On top of that, why weren’t there more games like that and if there was, why haven’t I heard of them before?

Sadly with all good things my time with Demon’s Souls stopped as I had beaten it so much and pretty much did everything to do that there was no reason to play it, plus I still a PC guy so the frame rate and I were never really friends to start with and better looking games started appearing so I stopped. Well I stopped until I found out that the spiritual successor, Dark Souls, was being made. Like a giddy child I eagerly followed every article an video of the game to whet my thirst until the game was released. Same crap that happened with Demon’s Souls happened with Dark Souls but with one keen difference, I LOVED EVERY SECOND OF IT.

DAMN IT DAMN IT DAMN IT! Stop KILLING ME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Now look at me. I’m hooked on the damned series and I’m proud of it. I’ve amassed 3 play throughs of Demon’s Souls and recently erased all my characters to start again, I’ve play at least 4 different sessions of Dark Souls, twice on the PlayStation 3 and then I double dipped and got it on PC where I prompted beat it two more times. Don’t even get me started on Dark Souls 2… well ok,  is 3 times beating the game on the PlayStation 3 and 4 times on the PC enough. Yep, four times, I’m sitting at a 243 soul level there right now. I’m sure I’ll play and beat it again another 2 or 3 times as well.

So what exactly is wrong with FROMSOFTWARE’s Soul Series? Not a damned thing. It’s a perfectly playable game that rewards your efforts if you play smart and if you like to rush head first into a room or not pay attention to that cliff you’re about to walk off of, then perhaps this game or series just isn’t for you. I say this as a fan of the series, a fellow gamer and someone who was in those very same shoes. I won’t hold your hand but it will reward you if you can keep up and if you can’t, my the gaming lords have mercy on your soul because the game sure won’t.

Even now I sit, I sit and wait for the eventual release of FROMSOFTWARE’s next spiritual successor in the Soul series, Bloodborne. I sit in the darkness while waiting for my thirst to be quenched yet again.

on an unrelated note, if you in the same boat as I am and are eagerly awaiting the release of Bloodborne then also check out the upcoming Lords of the Fallen which seems to cater to fans of the Soul series and releases this Fall (PC, Ps4, Xbox One) And when I say cater I really mean cater, so much so that the creators (CI Games) of the game also fans of the Soul Series.

About The Author

Keith Mitchell
Editor-in-chief and all-around good guy!

Keith Mitchell is the Founder and Editor in Chief of The Outerhaven. A grizzled IT professional during the day, but a passionate lover of video games after his 9-5 grid. Loves playing the Dark Souls series and has been gaming since he was 6 years old. You can find him on Twitter as @Shadowhaxor or you can email her at keith.mitchell@theouterhaven.net.