Game of the Generation? Part 1

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The Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 have been going for almost 8 years now, which is a long life cycle for a console. In this time there have been some truly memorable games that will go down in history as some of the greatest games ever created. We thought it would be a great idea to list our favourite games of the generation and also to hear yours. All you have to do is write in the comments below, what your favourite game of the generation is and why. Over the next few weeks each member of the Throwing Digital Sheep team will be submitting their favourite game of the generation and why, To start things off I thought I would give you mine – so enjoy:

Aaron Stone, Favourite game of the Generation – Dark Souls

Today, games want to provide a cinematic and thrilling experience, as time goes on though they feel more like an interactive movie, often losing context as to what the original concept is… a game. Say hello then to Dark Souls, a game that reminds us of what games used to be like; punishing, brutal, unforgiving, thrilling and oh so satisfying. Call of Duty rewards players with its multiplayer, offering new items when leveling up, Uncharted exhilarates us with its high-octane set pieces. However, Dark Souls creates a sense of anxiety and fear with every enemy encounter, as one hit by the enemy can dramatically lower your health. This may not sound like fun but the game rewards you with a sense of satisfaction that you won’t find anywhere else, no matter the enemy, the feeling is always the same when you overcome the odds. Credit though also has to be giving to the world itself, it’s sick, twisted and you will remember it more than most game worlds. Each part of the world has been beautifully constructed and gives you a sense of the backstory of its inhabitants and the environments in which they are in. Of course Dark Souls does not have a real narrative, that’s for you to find and for your imagination to conjure.

The combat in the game is excellent, its often slow and methodically but very rewarding, patience is key to winning and if you take the time to learn it, you will find a very deep system. You pick a character class at the start of the game but you’re never restricted to that one class, you can change styles on the go, as a result the combat never gets boring.

Considering that the game is so brutal, you would think that dying is frustrating, but far from it, death makes you learn in Dark Souls, it makes you a better player. I remember the first time that I faced the third boss fight in the game, the Bell Gargoyles, I was reading the first ones moves, staying on the defence and when I could, go on the offence. I fought the boss for a few minutes when another one appeared, of course I died but I was continuously learning each time I attempted the fight. When I finally achieved victory, I was overwhelmed with triumphant feeling.

At the same time it punishes you for dying, when you kill an enemy they drop souls, which acts as the games currency, (“so there are spoils of war to be had”)  there kind of important. If you die you drop your souls and if you fail to secure them on your next go, they are gone forever. The beauty of this, is that it takes the whole death concept of gaming and turns it into one of the most genius mechanics in gaming history.

Multiplayer is mostly thrown into games to add to the longevity of the game, with not a lot of thought put into it. Dark Souls will already consume your life with roughly 60 hours of gameplay, however the multiplayer in Dark Souls is so original and intertwines in a brilliant way with the single player. Players can leave messages to others, either to warn them or to trick them. This effectively creates an in game guide in a desolate and dangerous world, the term trick or treat is most suitable for Dark Souls, many a times I been tricked to fall to my death, resulting in anger and a slight smirk. Players can invade other players worlds to take there souls and you can bring other players in, to help with boss fights. I have only ever been invaded once by another human player, whilst I was killed instantly, the tension that arose as soon as the notification of another player appeared was at an all time high. I suddenly became more aware, going round in a 360 spin awaiting the arrival of my inevitable death. The multiplayer manages to create an online community in a game world that doesn’t intrude with the gameplay but rather adds to it, in a unique way.

I could go on and on as to why I love Dark Souls, but it truly is a game that needs to be played to understand the pure satisfaction that is had with it.

 If thats not enough to wet your appetite then check out this trailer of the game below: