søndag 12. august 2018

First Impressions: Dark Souls

Fredrik here at Megapop just got Dark Souls, all models painted by a friend of his. So, after work last Friday we went depressing dungeon crawling! The art design is bleak, which seems right and proper.

Dark Souls must be the first board game I have ever seen that actually copies the concept of grinding from the computer game. When you are defeated, or just think you cannot clear the next room, you go back to the first tile, get all your resources returned - and the monsters respawn! While very thematic, since Dark Souls the computer game is a game where you just die and die and die, I am not sure whether it was a wise move to keep it... once you have gotten a few upgrades the low level rooms are pretty easy to do, so basically you just waste time playing them again.

A Level I Encounter

After clearing a few rooms, our somewhat under-powered party get to the boss. Most of the stuff we had found was magic weapons, but the boss higher magic defense. So they did not really help a lot.

The mechanic here is that the boss has a sequence of moves that will be repeated, so when you know what the boss is doing, you can place your adventurers so that attacks will not hit your entire party.

We enter the boss room

The boss fight also took a while! We got it down to about half hit points, and then I got killed. We were not good at computing what the boss was doing, that is for sure.

Attack! Block! Dodge! Splat!

Yep. They have that in the box, as well.

We had fun, the game is decent, and the boss fight was quite challenging. The miniatures are quite nice, not quite the same as miniature games, but way better than most board games.

I have just played the dungeon crawler Gloomhaven all summer, and it's pretty hard not to compare games here. The combat and levels in Dark Souls are quite repetitive and simplistic, nowhere as challenging and varied as Gloomhaven. The Dark Souls campaign seems pretty much identical to just playing the base game more times, keeping your gear between levels.

Since players in Dark Souls only have the objective of winning as a group, all decisions are made as a group. This removes one of the most fun things in cooperative games - the option to sometimes be selfish and not cooperate.

Verdict: 3/6. An OK game, no huge flaws, and nothing that really stood out either. The game did feel a little bit repetitive, even on the first playthrough. I did like that the boss fight was really difficult. We definitely had a fun time, so I'd be happy to give it another go.

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