How long did it take to beat your first Dark Souls game?


#1

After having sworn off every game in the Dark Souls series because of countless rage quits, I can now proudly say that I’ve just completed Dark Souls 2.

And all it took was a meager 87 hours, 26 minutes, and 31 seconds of playtime, which took place over a period of 2 years, 4 months, and 8 days. So…yeah, it’s not exactly speedrun material, but a respectable length for someone who once spent 5+ hours trying to beat the Asylum Demon.

For perspective, in those 2+ years I went from being single to meeting my girlfriend, being introduced to her family, taking multiple vacations together, buying a ring, becoming engaged, and getting married, so weirdly this feels like a double milestone.

The only downside is that for all the time spent with DS2, I could barely tell you what the story/lore was. I wish the developers hadn’t chosen to bury so many important pieces of story in item descriptions and cryptic NPC dialogue.

That said, what should be next? Explore the lore or forget it? Put my beloved character aside and move on to another game in the series? Engage in some jolly cooperation and PVP in DS2? Tackle the DLC? Kill and pillage all the NPCs?


#2

To answer the question in the title, I don’t know exactly how long it was as far as in-game time, but it took me a little over 2 years to finish Demon’s Souls (albeit with a fairly substantial break in the middle.) I got lost at some point (probably in the Valley of Defilement) and stopped playing, but when they announced the we’re going to turn off the servers back in 2012, that convinced me to go back and finish the game. And then they didn’t shut down the servers. :stuck_out_tongue:

As far as DS2 is concerned, I actually think the lore is interesting. Specifically I find it very interesting in how it’s related to DS1 and within the context of the cyclical nature of the world perpetually falling into ruin and how that might affect the history of the land. So if that seems interesting to you, then I would definitely recommend looking into the lore. And also playing DS1. And Demon’s Souls if you want to go that far. (I haven’t played Bloodborne or DS3 yet.)

For what it’s worth, The Tower Knight fight in Demon’s Souls is still probably my favorite boss fight in a Souls game. Although I admit that it’s most likely just nostalgia more than anything else. But it was the fight that really got me to understand both the concept and execution of using invincibility frames from rolls. Just know that the checkpoint system in D’sS is much less forgiving, and you have an inventory burden as well and an equipment burden, which can be kind of annoying.


#3

Dark Souls II is the longest, so there’s that. The first one I finished was the original Dark Souls - I don’t know my in-game time, but I’d probably put it at around 30-50 hours. I do know that my Steam clock was at 69 hours when I got the final achievement, but I went through looking at the wiki to help clean those up after I’d finished the game.

In real-world terms, though, it was a lot longer - I played up as far as Lower Undead Burg, but then stopped for a long time. It was only after watching a couple of speedruns a year or so later and then getting into Giant Bomb’s ‘Load Our Last Souls’ and ENB’s playthroughs that I actually went back; so when I played it I’d already seen what lay ahead, which would certainly have sped things up slightly. I’m still one to explore every possible corner, though, so I saw pretty much all there was to see on that first playthrough.


#4

I think original Dark Souls took me around 120 hours, but I had spent some time doing PVP. I’ve done about 300 hours total across all my characters. Haven’t actually beat all the DLC bosses yet though.

DS2 is a significantly easier game that took me close to 200 hours since I played like 140 hours of PVP.

I only got a PS4 in the last month or so, so I haven’t played DS3 or Bloodbourne yet, and I don’t remember how long DeS took me.


#5

Demon’s Souls was my first Souls game and it took me the longest amount of time simply because I stopped playing it about part way through… Then when I returned to it a friend and I hooked up our PS3s and TVs in his living room and played the whole game as a local co-operative experience that I’ve yet to be able to replicate with newer Souls games.

I’m hooked on the series now though and I want to say that each one takes me between 40-120hrs with that later number meaning I usually level up once per hour if I’m trying to get ready for NG+,++, etc.


#6

I think Dark Souls 2 took me…60 hours? I don’t quite remember. Dark Souls 3 took me maybe 75? I have yet to actually finish Demons Souls or Dark Souls or Bloodborne, though I’m very close to the end of Bloodborne as I’m working through the DLC now and only have a couple proper bosses left in the proper game.


#7

I honestly can’t remember what my playtime in the original Dark Souls was, but I’d guess somewhere around the one-hundred hour mark? Every game since has been correspondingly faster (although Bloodborne, which I played last, definitely took me longer than Dark Souls II or III). It was over a fairly condensed period of time, since I’d watched a Let’s Play up to the Undead Parish to give me a grounding in the mechanics/some tips and, once I sunk my teeth in, I couldn’t help but devour the whole meal. This was probably in 2012 or 2013? Definitely before the first DLC came out.

As for what comes next for you, @idkicarus, that is up to you! I hear good things about the DLC of Dark Souls II (but have not played them myself). On the other hand, I, as someone who really enjoys this series, have always loved the feeling of approaching the next one. While nothing has inspired the same passion as the original, I still really think there’s something special about what From Software makes.

As for the lore, that’s always an option! That said, I imagine most of the deep lore dives incorporate substantive amounts of the DLC information. You didn’t mention this, but Dark Souls II always has the option of trying the Scholar of the First Sin version if you haven’t already…


#8

Dark Souls 1 took me over 300 hours. One character over a single playthrough (though I changed builds very frequently and could wield almost every weapon by the end). I didn’t 100% it (although I did go to every area outside of DLC and beat every boss). I would take long (e.g. 6month) breaks between playing though so it took me about 2.5 years.

I just adored exploring the world and searching for as much as I could find. After key story moments I’d run to every npc I knew of to see if anything had changed. I’d read all the item descriptions. I’d grind a lot purely for the fun of it. DS1 just sort of tapped into the wonder inside me that few other games ever have.

I think Dark Souls 2+DLC (not SotfS) took me over 120 hours and I haven’t finished DS3 or Bloodborne yet (never played Demon Souls).


#9

Steam has marked me in for 98 hours in Dark Souls 2, but that includes the DLC and me fucking around in New Game + for a few hours and restarting a gimmick caestus build for several more hours. So probably around 70 hours for the original and 90 including the DLC


#10

I’d say about 70 to 80 hours for the first dark souls for me. After that though I could beat all of the others in about 40 hours. The thing about Souls games is that a large part of what makes them so difficult for people (who have played other third person action games I’m not getting into the whole accessibility thing here though others are welcome to) is that in a lot of ways they speak their own design language compared to other similar on paper games and there’s a fair bit of learning to be done there. Once you’ve done that the other games will likely be a fair bit faster for you and all of them are worth playing. Bloodborne and DS1 especially.


#11

Dark Souls 1 with the DLC was about 60 hours for me. I had a friend helping me through some of it. I ran past a lot of enemies.

However, I think the real-world time span during which it was in my life is more interesting. I played it once and was terrified to leave the first area, staying there for hours grinding on basic skeletons. When I found the first Black Knight, I had to put the game down and walk away. For months, until my friend who is really into the Souls games found out I had a dormant copy and took me under his wing.

From then on, every weekend I’d bring the game over to his house and we’d slowly make progress with him coaching me. It probably took a year and a half total for me to beat the game but now that I understand how to play them, I can finish them in months.


#12

Dark Souls took around 60 hours, without the DLC. I explored everything at my own pace, but didn’t do any online stuff. The other games I could beat faster since I knew what they were about, but usually spent a lot of time doing co-op inflating the hours. It probably took me a month or two to finish it. I only remember that I spent a full week trying to beat or grind to beat O & S.

That game rules, btw.


#13

I think Dark Souls one, around eighty hours. It… was a bit slow from a “No consumables” rule resulting in more farming than was ever needed, just as every stretch of trash was perfected, to get to bosses without having taken damage. A really dumb call for a first game, on several fronts.

It did simplify a lot of stuff, and probably resulted in over-leveling what I was fighting. I didn’t have to worry about windows to heal, just learning all the dodge timings.

It was fun. Dumb and fun.


#14

Dark Souls 3 was my entrance to the series, I’ve since gone back and played through one, two, and currently playing bloodborne, DS3 took me about 65 hours on my first play through, I started as a sorcerer, I didn’t know much about the souls series but knew that I liked casting spells in games so why not right? It was a big mistake for my first time, but I loved the game play so much that I persisted through and got there. Hey also after playing three first going back through one and two was super hard to do. I feel like I never see people talking about this, but both Dark Souls three and bloodborne control way better and so much fucking smoother than DS1 and DS2 both of those games felt like a god damn chore.


#15

I actually kinda prefer the way Dark Souls 1 controls compared to 3 honestly. 3 feels like a sort of awkward half step between Dark Souls and Bloodborne in some ways. Still really like it though


#16

So playing bloodborne right now and I think it’s my favorite in the series, those controls and movement just really click with me.


#17

Oh yeah Bloodborne is the best in the series as fantastic as Demon’s and Dark Souls are. Maybe even the best game period. As much as a medium that includes both Bloodborne and Peggle can have one “Best” anyways.


#18

Demon’s Souls took me around 50-60 hours IIRC. Chose the Knight starting class and stuck with that slow-ass build for the rest of the game. Definitely the hardest experience overall. Apart from having to relearn how to play in the early parts of Bloodborne, the games just got progressively easier for me. A lot of the skills and lessons you learn carry over from game to game so it’s not that surprising.

Dark Souls took around 60 without the DLC. I think I spent another 7 with that add-on.

Beat all of Dark Souls 2: Scholar of the First Sin in 90-100 hours. The base game was already very long. Adding in 3 whole areas made it even more of an epic adventure.

Bloodborne with DLC was around 70 hours the first time through. Also, yes, the best Souls game is the one without Souls in the title.

DS3 took me 60+ hours as well with just the base game. DLCs took me about 8 hours each to completely finish.

I’ve replayed all these games at least 3 times. Got the platinum for every one except Demon’s Souls because I’m not going to endlessly trying to farm for all the rarest upgrade materials. So grateful they streamlined that system.


#19

A handy list

Dark Souls all achievements: 65 hours
Dark Souls 2 all achievements: 75/80 hours ~
Dark Souls 3: @ 65 hours main story and DLC is done, + some cleaning up cheevos.

The online required grinding / EXTREMELY LOW drop rates is going to make it the first DaS game I don’t 100% I think. I got no patience for farming 3% chance items from 2 enemies for hours.


#20

I can’t honestly tell you what my final clock time landed on upon first finishing Demon’s Souls, while it felt like I didn’t spent an enormous amount of time getting to the end, I also has way more free time to do so, so it was probably up there.

It’s interesting you bounced off of the other Souls games but landed on 2, it’s certainly the most different out of the group (not including how they changed fundamental gameplay things come Bloodborne).
It’s a much slower game than its counterparts, no longer were you able to sprint, dodgeroll and parry your way through every silver knight, hollow thief and butcher you saw, but expected timing and a more defensive style.

Enemies would poise through your attacks, track your movement with their swings so you couldn’t just spam dodge, your overall speed was slowed down and the parry / riposte mechanic came at a much higher risk and difficulty once enemies could delay their attacks.

A lot of original Souls fans hated how different it felt, but speaking for myself in hindsight, I warmed up to the game when I just take it as its own thing. Nothing in the series has really topped the art and level design of Dks1 for me, combined with its more deliberate and sharp movement and feel, and, in my mind, a much more interesting story it still hasn’t been dethroned.

I’d encourage you to jump into the Dks2 DLC, I’ve heard good things, but I’d also urge you to revisit the other souls games now that you’ve finished your first game in the series.
While I really like Demon’s Souls, it might be a tiny bit archaic to go back to, but it’s a game that drips with atmosphere, has great boss designs, and an interesting world.

Dark Souls 1 is probably my main recommendation (in any Souls conversation really) and if you’re having issues with the game I would suggest checking EpicNameBro’s channel on YouTube for a comprehensible playthrough of the game “From the Dark” featuring both gameplay tactics, story / lore introspection, fun different builds and NPC quest-lines.

If you have a Ps4 I’d highly recommend Bloodborne too, a much more aggressively playing game but strangely enough I just think it makes it more accessible. It’s the best looking game out of the series; the monster designs are great, so are all the bosses. Moving the parry mechanic to a ranged attack was a great move which lowers the risk of taking a hit and makes it a more prominent feature in your arsenal out of the gate.
I guess it’ll kind of depend on whether you want to stick with medieval fantasy or want to explore a lovecraftian horror setting for your Souls game.

As for Dark Souls 3, it’s probably the best feeling Dark Souls game, finding a middle-point between Dks1 and Dks2.
It’s got rather linear yet branching level design but the structure and geography of the levels are still good.
All of its elements separately pull it in different directions between DeS, Dks1, Dks2 and BB, so it kind of feels like a best-of (especially with all the references and cameos).
I’ll say it gets a bit light-attack spammy with how easily enemies tend to stagger in it, and the enemies like to perform the same frantic attack pattern. Dks3 is still very fun and very polished, I’m sure you’ll have a good time with it.

That’s my overly long response to a simple question, hope any of it helps.