Don’t worry, there won’t be any spoilers in this post. In fact, spoilers are the topic of this post. I did a great job controlling my intake of Dark Souls info right up to the game’s release. I wanted to savor it — there are few games which I give this hands-off treatment to, but this was one of them. But the game was released… and the levies broke. Scratch that, they exploded.
You see, my friends (online and IRL) seem to have considerably more free time than I do lately. They either don’t work the full 9 to 5, are continuing their education, or just have less responsibilities in general. I am not complaining. When you have less time it makes you focus more on what is actually important — you would be surprised how often video games falls to the bottom of that list.
So back to my friends. In their wealth of free time they understandably got further in the game than I have. In a game like Dark Souls, the story isn’t a big feature so it’s hard to spoil much in that regard. However, the gameplay is everything. And I’ve found gameplay can be easily be spoiled.
“Hey, check out where you can get this awesome sword.”
“There is a great grinding spot if you ________.”
“Watch out for this hidden enemy when you get here.”
This might not seem like anything game breaking but, in a game where the difficulty directly influences my enjoyment, this knowledge can be powerful.
And I am guilty of this as well. Wikis are dangerous because they are available to you when a game may not be. When the desire to play a game becomes its strongest at work, the closest I can come is studying a wikia on my lunch break. I peek further than I should, I read about what’s just ahead, and when I return home to play, yet another surprise becomes nothing more than a scripted event.
To make matters worse, the burden of information on my shoulders has caused me to recreate my character at least a half-dozen times now. I can’t settle on a play style and every time I learn something new I feel compelled to start from scratch. Well, I’ve had it. I am starting over and doing my best to abandon any information I didn’t earn. That means avoiding all those great weapons fairly easy to acquire early on. I’m on the straight and narrow from here on out — my only guidance will be my own wits and the vague messages scrawled by those who preceded me.
To those about to begin their journey in the world of Dark Souls, do yourself a favor and avoid learning anything. Try to channel that aimless wanderer on your screen and explore for youself — you’ll find you have a much more rewarding experience.