FYI: This boss is called the Gaping Dragon. This is not the worst boss name in the game.
In one particularly epic battle, I was facing off against a giant lava-puking naked lady spider (seriously), which was (naturally) immune to fire. As a Pyromancer, I was pretty much screwed. I summoned up two other players and went to work with my pathetic non-fire magic. Both of my allies were killed in the fray, but I was victorious. I was physically shaking as the demon dissolved around me. That’s a good boss fight.
I was lucky that time. More often than not, I can’t find summon signs at the beginning of levels or in front of boss areas, which is where most players leave them. Too often I’ve left my sign in front of a boss's lair, only to stand around for five, then ten minutes before eventually venturing in alone. It's possible to beat most bosses solo, but it’s just not as much fun. And isn’t that the why we game?
Co-op rage aside, Dark Souls has other flaws. It’s never a good sign if I can start chanting “I think I can, I think I can,” as the frame rate chugs along in three player co-op or when faced with long draw distances. The camera will occasionally hide behind objects, completely obscuring the view. At odd times the controls seemed to be on a delay. All of these issues are very rare, and easily forgivable considering the incredible gameplay experience. FYI: I have logged in over 60 hours playing the Xbox 360 version. The game was installed on the 360's hard drive. It only required 4 GB of memory. The graphical issues rarely impacted gameplay.
If this doesn't make you pee a little, we can't be friends.
Like it’s predecessor, the greatness of Dark Souls comes from it’s unique and intelligent level design, as well as a fresh take on traditional fantasy enemies. The world is immersive and foreboding. It truly is one of the best games of this generation, surpassing Demon’s Souls in almost every way. It’s a shame the co-op is so badly implemented.
Whether or not this limited cooperative play is the culmination of FromSoftware’s greater vision doesn’t change the fact that many co-op fans consider the game’s cooperative features to be completely broken. This isn’t really a cooperative game. It is an excellent online experience with random players. Too bad Dark Souls claims to be a cooperative title in both it’s marketing and packaging. Like Demon’s Souls, I highly, no - ferociously recommend playing this game. But I would not recommend it as a cooperative title.
*The Dark Souls Co-Op FAQ has been posted. You can find it here.
The Co-Op Experience: Co-Op will continue the tradition set by its predecessor where players can be called into other worlds to help out.
Co-Optimus game reviews focus on the cooperative experience of a game, our final score graphic represents this experience along with an average score for the game overall. For an explanation of our scores please check our Review Score Explanation Guide.