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PlayStation 3 exclusive action role-playing Demon’s Souls was known for one thing: its extreme level of difficulty. Death was inevitable from the very beginning of the game and every part of the game was designed to work against you at every level; booby traps, incredibly powerful bosses and environments that actively damaged you are only a small part of the Demon’s Souls experience. When From Software announced Dark Souls, the developers made the claim that they didn’t feel Demon’s souls was hard enough, so expect an even harder game with Dark Souls. It can be said that the developers definitely succeeded with their intention. In addition to the PlayStation 3, Dark Souls is also being released on the Xbox 360.

No matter which of the over ten character classes you select, Dark Souls is going to be a difficult game. The class you pick determines your play style, whether it is melee, ranged or magic; however, all enemies and bosses are equally prepared for any of the three approaches. To aid in the difficulty, when you die in Dark Souls you are taken back to the nearest checkpoint, at which point all previous enemies respawn. What this boils down to is die while fighting a boss, and expect to fight all his minions again.

To make matters worse, you also lose any souls you have collected. Souls, gained when any enemy is defeated, is used at any checkpoint to strengthen your character or to buy items at any shop. Dying not only resets your progress, but also cripples you as now you have no way to raise your statistics or buy items. Dark Souls, unlike any other game, revels in this risk / reward mechanic.

Dark Souls is non-linear, like its predecessor; you can wander into areas where monsters are too high for you. The greatest example of this is the skeletons in the graveyard directly next to your starting area. Go there expecting it to be the next place to adventure and you will quickly meet your demise.

Dark Souls, releasing on October 4th 2011, is the perfect game for those gamers who think that all challenge in today’s games is gone.

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