Dark Souls is EASY! Self-confessed average gamer lasts almost 15 minutes without dying

Demon's Souls has a reputation for being something of a bastard in terms of difficulty. I wouldn't know because I never got round to playing it. I was probably too busy with Kinectimals or something. And games that are really hard have a tendency to make me emotionally unbalanced. So I often choose to leave them alone. The sequel - Dark Souls - is meant to be even harder. Imagine that. Even harder.

Because I'm competently average at games (I'm no Billy Mitchell, which I'm thankful for) I thought it would be funny to have a go on Dark Souls. You know, to die after four seconds and enjoy a self-deprecating laugh at how crap I am. Maybe even make a video of it. But that's not quite how it happened. Because this is how it happened.

Above: Billy Mitchell winning something for being better than average at some old games

Seven minutes into my first ever go of Dark Souls and I'm still alive. This is mostly thanks to the fact that all I've had to do is watch the intro movie and create my character. So far so good. I have less faith in my ability to survive the first corridor, which stretches out before me. But I wallop some undeads and I'm through without a scratch. Easy.

A couple minutes more and I'm assaulted by a huge Asylum Demon. It keeps hitting me with an equally huge club. I think I'm done for. But I spot an open door and run through. No bother. Still not dead. Then, after about 10 minutes of playing, I find a shield. I was doing fine without a shield, so now with a shield it's going to be even easier. I begin to wonder whether I accidentally selected 'For Babies' as the difficulty setting. But there is no difficulty setting. It is what it is. Maybe I'm actually just very good at games after all.

Above: If you rest at these bonfires it replenishes your health. Talk about making it easy

With this new-found belief in my abilities, I'm strolling about the place like Barry Big Bollocks, with my shield and my sword and my full health bar and my four full bottles of magic health-restoring potion. But then - just as I'm about to start playing with one hand tied behind my back - I'm confronted by the huge Asylum Demon that I met earlier. Like a true hero I try to run away. But this time there are no unlocked doors. And the Asylum Demon has a health bar. No two ways about it - I'm going to have to fight the beast.

It doesn't go well. By the time I remember which button to press to target-lock I've used three of those magic health-restoring potions. There's a brief glimmer of hope as I manage to dodge a few attacks and get in a few damaging blows of my own. But that hope is quickly extinguished as the Asylum Demon's massive ass traps me in a corner and the camera flips out. Confusion, panic, despair. Then death. I'm dead.

Above: I had a fight like this before I died. It wasn't so tough

I check the clock and see that I've survived playing Dark Souls for nearly 15 minutes. On my first go. That's 14 minutes more than I was expecting. Based on this admittedly brief experience, Dark Souls really doesn't seem too hard. If anything, I found it pretty easy and would have been able to survive longer had I not been defeated by a camera completely losing its shit. Considering that Dark Souls is supposedly the even harder sequel to what people would have me believe is the hardest game in the world ever, I'm pretty happy with how it's gone

Above: All things considered, I'm pretty happy with how it's gone

I will sleep well tonight, comforted with the warm satisfaction that today was the day that a normal man with unremarkable gaming skills took on Dark Souls and won. At least for the first 15 minutes.

Dark Souls is scheduled for PS3 and 360 release on October 4/7 in US/UK respectively. We recently wrote this preview all about it. There are still no plans to bring Dark Souls to Wii.

Sept 14, 2011


  • till-leffeck - August 27, 2014 9:04 a.m.

    My dear friend, you barely made it trough the introduction zone. Have you kept playing afterwards? Or was it so easy that you decided to skip the rest of the game?.. :) I sincerely hope that you were trolling with this article, because the first playtrough is an a-class pain in the ass. Please tell me how you liked the Capra Demon or Artorias. (Though you would have to play more than the Intro.. But I have faith in you my friend.)
  • DrTravia - June 6, 2012 11:49 p.m.

    You're in the tutorial area right now, the tutorial ends the second you see the huge crow carry you off the tutorial island. Also, yes, the tutorial is made so that you can easily get used to the controls without dieing a considerable amount. hehehe Can't wait to see what you have to say after fighting the gaping dragon, granted, it's pretty easy if you stay out of the way, I think you'll find that it's slightly more difficult. :)
  • Darkhawk - September 16, 2011 7:55 a.m.

    Sounds like it might be possible to Emmitt Smith your way through a lot of the game. A juke here, a spin there, and you can avoid most enemies. Here's hoping it doesn't require grinding.
  • Hobogonigal - September 15, 2011 4:11 a.m.

    There's no video of you getting that far in the game so I'm going to assume that you died three times whilst watching the intro. For blinking.
  • AI - September 14, 2011 5:32 p.m.

    AdamE, you'd get pwnd in Demon Soul's by an easy mage class withe firestorm and warding spell combo, it turns your dragon bone smasher into a stick, also mages ultimatly become better than melee class unless your a holy user but still after you figure out what is good and not this game becomes a joke, beat Demon Soul's in 12 hours/ one sitting. Hopfuly this game is WAY harder to fish out the noobs leaving only good players so god danm noobs stop trying to invade your world.
  • BoobleDrop - September 15, 2011 1:50 p.m.

    yeah bro, like mages. god, i... i just love mages so much. i mean, that bone smasher- that's like a stick, right? yeah, bro, you can take my word for it. and like noobs. i really hate those guys a lot. they're always invading and stuff, y'know? i just wish they would stop trying to do that, or something. man, i just hope this game is like way harder, you feel me? yeah, i know you do
  • AdamEll94 - September 14, 2011 3:32 p.m.

    Good article... Terrible journalism. For starters it is NOT a direct sequel to Demon's Souls, it is only a sequel in spiritual form. Demon's souls was a PS3 exclusive that took a year to even make it to Europe. Secondly of course the first 15 minutes were easy, the whole first level of Demon's Souls is easy, the minute the game opens up however, and options are made available is when it becomes crybaby time. Until you get the Dragonbone sword/tower shield combo, then its not life threatening again. But still these games are NOT the same franchise.
  • Tenfey - September 14, 2011 2:59 p.m.

    The first time I played Demon's Souls, I didn't make it past the character creation screen without dying.
  • gilgamesh310 - September 14, 2011 2:06 p.m.

    InFerNog, I don't think so. Miyazaki stated that he wanted to make the game harder than Demon's Souls and that he wanted to make it as hard as is possible, while still being fair. I doubt they are trying to appeal to a wider audience. From Sotware was never like that. The game could just have a different difficulty curve to Demon's Souls. Demon's Souls started off extremely hard but got easier as it went on. It could be the opposite way around for Dark Souls, or different again. It's clearly going to be a huge game, so I doubt making through the first 15 minutes without dying means all that much. I didn't get though the first 15 minutes of Demon's Souls without fying but I did get through other sections that lasted longer than 15 minutes without dying.
  • BoobleDrop - September 14, 2011 2:01 p.m.

    wait a second, you started from the beginning right? the first fifteen minutes of demon's souls are very easy- like historically easy. that's how it lures you into it's trap. right after that, you turn a corner and *BAM* giant demon, one hit kill. you are expected to die there. that's how it works. i'm thinking maybe the game just didn't need you to die just yet
  • EBAX1 - September 14, 2011 1:08 p.m.

    I platinumed demons souls, withmy fourth playthrough taking under 12h. I wasreally hoping thiswould be a lot harder (Although my first playthroughtook me 60h, so its no walkin the park)
  • Crypto140 - September 14, 2011 12:55 p.m.

    Being at GR must be the best job ever, you get paid to write about video games and then you get to toss TV's around the room. Where do I apply for this magical job?
  • InFeRnOg - September 14, 2011 12:24 p.m.

    Ever since I read an article, possibly on GR, about how "death is meant to teach you" I had suspicions that this would be more forgiving than Demon's Souls. It might end up being more difficult, but that doesn't mean it won't be more forgiving. Demon's Souls is difficult but it also unforgiving (i.e. you die, go back to the beginning and lose all your souls and have less health in spirit form etc.). Don't want to start a flame war here but my guess is they want to make Dark Souls more forgiving to make it more appealing to a wider audience, now that it is on Xbox as well (i.e. LCD crowd). And that was a math reference, not a drug reference.
  • lordgodalming - September 14, 2011 10:42 a.m.

    "There are still no plans to bring Dark Souls to Wii." I'm not usually in for bashing other people's consoles, but...BA HA HA.
  • Moonlight_Shadow - September 14, 2011 10:36 a.m.

    As someone who's platinumed the game, I think Demon's Souls difficulty is exaggerated. It has a steep learning curve and no obvious tutorial but as you play through it, the game gets much easier. That's why trophy hunters platinum each version of the game. It's really easy once you've learned it. With that being said, if you're a patient gamer and enjoy a challenge, don't let all this talk about the game being near impossible bother you. I highly recommend giving the game a try since it will probably prove to be a lot of fun.
  • ParanoidAndroid - September 14, 2011 1:16 p.m.

    Agreed; once you got your head around the mechanics, and started learning from your deaths, it wasn't as impossible as people made it out to be. Then again F-Zero 'I'm going to smash the controller over my head if I fail again' GX is the only game to truly infuriate me, so maybe I have a high tolerance for game-pain.
  • Mezolitik - September 14, 2011 9:36 a.m.

    "I'm strolling about the place like Barry Big Bollocks." Lol, fantastic. Haven't played the first game. The hardest game I've ever played is....Killzone: Liberation. But that was just the bosses. I like a good boss. I hope Dark Souls has good bosses. Something else about bosses.
  • Yaro - September 14, 2011 8:46 a.m.

    I enjoyed the article. Though my Souls Fanboyism really obliges me to point out that, When you actually know what you're doing, it really isn't THAT hard, it just punishes mistakes. Can't wait to be trapped by a massive ass in a corner...
  • Money - September 14, 2011 8:28 a.m.

    Dark Souls, more like 10101010101011101010101010010101011010111101010101010101010101010101011010010101011001010 Oh snap
  • penguinchilli - September 14, 2011 7:29 a.m.

    "Like a true hero I try to run away" Hahahaha this had me in fits of laughter. Great article!

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