Like every other enemy in Dark Souls, giant honey-badger-things just don’t give a ****.
Combat is a satisfying mix of blocking, countering, dodging, backstabbing, and spell casting. You’ll do all of this while hoping that your killing blow lands before you’re rendered defenseless by a depleted stamina meter. Weapons can be upgraded to godly levels through the complex crafting system. Armor can be upgraded, as well. All of the inventory management and statistics may seem daunting at first, but they quickly become second nature. Soon you’ll be drawing out undead snipers with ranged bow attacks, nuking killer plants with fireballs, and backstabbing bloated giants with the best of them.
Exploration is a key element of Dark Souls. Gone is the Nexus hub world of the Demon's Souls. The land of Lordran is a faux open world. While you can’t “go everywhere,” the spider webbing paths offer several opportunities for discovery, adventure, and death. The clever level design will keep adventurers peeking around corners, leaning over ledges, and searching for false walls. You’ll be constantly searching for new timesaving shortcuts and lifesaving bonfires.
These bonfires are invaluable locations in Dark Souls, offering checkpoints, the opportunity to level up, and so much more. When you inevitably use these bonfires, the world’s enemies are renewed, and you must defeat all but the mightiest foes once again.
Other players will appear in their human form when near bonfires.
The real Dark Souls doesn’t start until you’ve unlocked the co-op mode. Once you have acquired the White Sign Soapstone you can etch your summon sign into the fabric of the game’s universe. This will allow you to be summoned into another player’s world. You can also summon players into your own world, so long as you are in “Human” form. Yes, you can still be invaded by enemy players. If you play in “Hollow” form you cannot be invaded, and you cannot summon other players. To learn everything there is to know about the mechanics of Dark Souls co-op please see our Dark Souls Co-Op FAQ*.
Dark Souls is intended to be played with other players. That’s right, “players,” not “friends.” The co-op mode in the game is non-traditional at its best, infuriating at its worst. There is no lobby system. Players cannot meet up with specific friends. Unlike Demon’s Souls, the game uses multiple servers, severely limiting the chance players have of actually finding friends online. This has made co-op and organized PvP almost impossible to accomplish.
In Demon’s Souls, gamers could get together by communicating through other means and then simply placing their summon sign in a specific area. The host player would see the sign, and summon their friend. This won’t happen in Dark Souls. If the players are on different servers, there is no way to see each other’s signs, and it’s impossible to see which server you are on, let alone manually select a specific one. This has become a huge issue for a large portion of the game’s player base. You can see more information on it here.