I started and stopped Dark Souls 1 over a period of about a year. I got stuck against the Taurus Demon and stopped for a few months, then got back into it and got stuck again at another boss. Chatted with a friend who loved the game, which convinced me to persist. In the end it took me about 70-80 hours to beat, including the DLC. I definitely didn’t do everything I could have done, but I’m glad I went and looked up a guide for entering the DLC because I would have been sad to miss out on that. Ornstein and Smough took me about 7-8 hours to beat. Yes a single boss took 10% of my total playtime
By the way, as far as the lore goes, I feel like a lot of it loses its magic after Dark Souls 1, because as 2 and 3 feels like they need to tie themselves back into 1 they restrain themselves and get overly referential.
A lot of the stuff following Dks1 plays on the cyclical nature of the Dark Souls universe that was inferred at the end of 1. There are weird commonalities within the world of Dks2, and overt references like the line “Countless kingdoms have risen and fallen on this very spot” [paraphrasing] as well as referencing that the land used to be called something else.
(then they did the same thing in Dks3)
I think a big problem with this is that Dark Souls was supposed to be a self contained game, but it did so well compared to Demon’s Souls that a different team within From Software decided to take up the mantle and create a sequel while Miyasaki (the creative head of DeS and Dks1) worked on Bloodborne, another new IP that’s meant to be a self contained thing, but might get a sequel too because $$$.
Dark Souls 1 has probably my favourite story and character roster; the story of ser Artorias and Sif alone is enough to give me tingles.
Demon’s Souls took me about 65 hours
I assume the OP is including Demon’s Souls.
That took me about two months. Used the little mini guide that came with the game, and whatever cheats or shortcuts I could muster. Was a harrowing but rewarding experience, I think I talked about it in another thread. Oh god, the invasion mechanic, imagine experiencing that for the first time with little to no warning about what it would be like!
I still remember fighting this player for like 30 minutes on a castle wall, a dragon fireboming us in the background.
Also remember playing offline in spurts when the constant invasions wore me down.
The mechanic where other players become the huge hat priest boss guy remains the coolest use of multiplayer in a game, in my book. Had some fun experiences there. One guy decided to be shield hand boss, the cool but ineffectual boss with a shield in each hand.
Same here. It was all the glowing praise from Vinny on the Giant Bomb podcasts and ‘Load Our Last Souls’ which nudged me closer to Dark Souls. When I gave up on DS1, I just decided I’d be fine watching a playthrough to get the experience without the frustration.
I didn’t want to do that for DS2, so I resisted the urge to watch Patrick beat Scholar of the First Sin and Dark Souls 3. And I’m glad I held out all this time and finally powered through.
Now that I think about it, @robowitch, I haven’t really heard people express an opinion on the DS2 DLC. When most people talk about DS2, it’s usually just to say that they think it’s bad sequel. Personally, I think it’s much more accessible than DS1 (since fast travel is unlocked from the beginning), but the reduction in max health after every death is a little too punitive in a game that expects you to die over and over.
But anyway, I’ll check out the DLC because I do want to keep my character around a little longer. I had dabbled in a few of the DLC areas midway during my playthough, and I was completely steamrolled. Now that I’m pretty over-leveled, I can more fully enjoy the exploration of the new areas and story.
@cyberspacecat Thanks for the recommendations! I wasn’t aware of EpicNameBro, so that’ll definitely be something to check out.
Maybe part of the reason DS2 seemed better to me was because I never tried to put effort into perfecting my parry timing. While it sucked that enemy attacks tracked your movement, I always went with shield that had 100% damage reduction and I invested heavily in stamina and health, so it didn’t become a big issue past the early game.
Unfortunately, I don’t have a PS4, so I won’t ever play Bloodborne unless it comes to PC. From what I’ve seen, the enemy design in that game seems head and shoulders above DS2. My biggest frustrations with with it were that (1) most bosses boiled down to being a big guy with a shield, and (2) there were simply too many bosses (though a lot were optional), so it just eventually started to seem like a boss rush.
I think Demon’s Souls took me about 60 hours.
realizing now that I never actually beat Dark Souls 1’s DLC, nor DS2 and its DLCs, either
I should get on that
No problem, hope you find some enjoyment from ENB (and if you’re not gonna be able to play Bloodborne, I think his full playthrough of it is fantastic, he worked on the guides so he more or less knows the game in and out, as well as delving into the lore)
When I went back to Dks2 recently I went with a standard strength focused shield and longsword type, I think it’s definitely the easier way to play as most enemy attacks bounce off your shield, and you can even block a lot of boss attacks too (although most likely it’ll leave you drained of stamina).
Parry timing is weird in Dks2 because of the variation in enemy attacks, but when you get the timing down is just as powerful as (if not more than) backstabs.
You already beat the game, but ENB has a couple of Dks2 series too, one of the original Dark Souls II and one of the Scholar of the First Sin edition and its DLC (which is more recent one and is a recording from Twitch with a chat box plastered on it)
Wish you luck if / when you decide to jump into another Souls entry
I’m not sure what the total playtime was for Bloodborne, but I think it was about 40 hours and six weeks without the DLC. I really loved it and will play again with the DLC, but by the end I was almost frantic in my desire to finish it. I have never felt more personably responsible for finishing a quest in a game and the thought of prolonging it any more than necessary was untenable at the time.
I am really looking forward to playing SotFS, but I need to finish Horizon: Zero Dawn before I start anything else.
Also really recommend ENBs From the Dark. It’s like a full on guide of DS1 and a great way to see it if you don’t have a PS3 or PC to play it. Vaati Vidya also has a great series about DS1 NPCs called Prepare to Cry that is a different approach but super interesting.
Did the first game in about 30 hours or so? Went on a detour into the DLC right at the end so probably longer.
DS1 took me about 70 hours, which feels short considering I had no idea wth I was doing
@nomdeguerre My 87 hours felt overly long to me for the same reason. Lots of aimless wandering since I didn’t know where to go. Seeing other people’s hour counts makes me realize that my playthrough wasn’t that far off from the norm.
@Gary_of_Nivea Just watched my first video in the Prepare to Cry series! They’re excellent and really make me wish that Dark Souls’ storytelling was more traditional, instead of being vague and opaque. If DS2 (or any game in the series) had been less cryptic with cutscenes, I would’ve been so much more invested in the story and probably would’ve finished my first game sooner.
I can’t say for sure, but the couple days of playtime in Dark Souls 1 don’t come close to the amount of time I spent getting over myself when it came to the reputation of the Souls games. I used swear up and down that I didn’t want to play games that were “hostile to players” and developed this entire rhetoric around not wasting my time. I realized later I had a horrible case of the FOMO and didn’t want to admit it. So I guess a couple years?
I tried to beat Dark Souls on console when it first game out, gave up at Capra Demon. Picked it up again when it came to PC and that took me like six months to beat. It was such a thrilling, rewarding experience that every time I try to play a Souls game after the first one, I get bummed out and stop playing. Doing that challenge all over again doesn’t appeal to me for some reason.
Demon’s Souls took me the longest by far. I still haven’t beaten it. <_<
DSII was the first one I ended up completing, and it took me probably… hmm.
I… huh. Somewhere around 100 hours? I restarted 20 hours in, I think. Didn’t like my build and didn’t know I could respec.
I finished DS1 late last year after (I think) 40ish hours. I’ve also played a big chunk of DS2, but I gave up in the underground area with all the poison statues. I’ve also played a big chunk of Bloodborne, which is by far my favourite, but again I had to give up once I got to Nightmare of Mensis because of my arachnophobia. I also played a bit of DS3 but found all of the environments super boring.
Poison areas in general just frustrate me endlessly. That and stuff like the Shrine of Amana! If you ever do want to try and get through that area, I’ve found that actually paying attention to the resistances of different pieces of armor does wonders. (The normal way I play Dark Souls games is to think about armor for its fashion rather than its defenses.)
But anyway, did you ever make it to Duke’s Dear Freja in DS2? I’m curious how that would’ve been for someone with arachnophobia because that fight even made me squeamish.
Started on DS3, I know. I know… about 70
I remember seeing a big spider image on a door down in whereever I gave up so I assume I was fairly close. IIRC you can skip bosses by collecting a whole bunch of souls (so I could have skipped that area anyway) but I got so frustrated with all the poison stuff that I just gave up.