I suppose everyone here has games they enjoy - After all, isn't that what roleplaying is?
But clever remarks aside, about a year ago, probably a bit less - 9 months or something, I stumbled upon this game that had been sitting on my Steam account for eons it seemed. I can't honestly recall how I got it - It's just one of those games you suck up during a sale somewhere because it looks decent, and you never get around to ever playing it. Pushing 400 titles on my Steam account, I have quite a lot of those. ^^'
Now, this little thing was called Dark Souls, and apparently it was a bit of cult-hit that I'd never really heard of. I finally got around to booting it up as a livestreamer I was watching started talking about. I remembered: I have that game.. Perhaps I should go ahead and see what it was? So, once in there I was wondering what was going on. It seemed almost ancient in the way it delivered it's tutorial, but it had a certain charm to it. As anyone who has played this game knows: It drops you in at the deep side of the pool. You aren't really allowed to get a solid footing before the game takes it's first jab at your kidneys!
I was amazed and in love from the ten-minute mark: This was just the game I had wanted! A game that doesn't hold your hand and force tutorial after tutorial down your throat, along with long, droll cutscenes featuring characters that you're supposed to care about but just can't because they keep stopping in tight hallways to exposition your head off when you JUST WANT TO SHOOT AT THINGS! (Bad Homefront! Bad!)
I went through the game, until I was about halfway. As many people who have played this game might find, your first character turns into a sort of experiment to get familiar with the system, and the unforgiving nature of the decisions you make forced me to give up this sinking ship of a character and start over - I didn't mind though! I was almost as excited as the first time around, because now that everything wasn't new
anymore, I was prepared. I was prepared to prove my worth and swing about my sword with heavenly purpose and strike down my foes! I was going to prove to this game that it wouldn't knock me about so easily. (Then I got to the boss marking the first major turning point of the story, and I wept, creeping back into a dark, dank hole to lick my wounds - But that's a story for another day.)
Oh did I have fun with that game. I completed it, and completed it again, and then once more! On my third run I was still finding major secrets that I had completely missed on my initial playthrough, and on it wasn't until my fourth that I got access to the expansion! Thank the heavens for google.
After some 200 hours of playing that game with almost religious fervor I put down my controller and took a breather - I might just have found my favorite ever game, I thought to myself, and I cracked a smile. I had indeed found the one game to rival Half-Life 2 in terms of being the best thing I have ever gotten my greasy little hands on! This game was a masterpiece through and through, being both solid in it's gameplay, it's desing, it's story and in it's delivery of said story. You connect with the people you meet because they act like that: People you meet! They don't follow you around on your suicidal quest to do something or other
but go about their own quests, most of which are entirely unrelated to yours! And they sure as hell aren't going to invite you along to get in their way. They don't pretend to be more nor less than what they are, and then they don't insist on shoving pointless trivia down your throat, or teach you the mechanics of a hand grenade which happen to be the same mechanics that hand grenades have used for every game they've been in since the mid-90s!
Already it's sequel was on the horizon, and I all but wet myself as over-excited puppy when it came into sight: Dark Souls 2!
Already I had to take a rather bitter blow - I had never experienced the wait for the original game to come out on PC, so the month between it's release and it's second release was one of many hardships. And when the game came into my hands, something immediately felt a little bit off. It was hard to say what it was, but it was clear that something
had changed, and for the worse. Heartbroken and wounded I left the game for some 2-3 months, before I finally returned to give it a second chance - And it broke my heart again, but I kept at it. Eventually I got far enough into the game to get used to the changes, even if I still weren't all that willing to accept
them, and as I write this I have poured just as much time and effort into this game as I have the original. It's not as good, but it's still a great game by modern standards - Because it is just that: A game.
There's something very refreshing about a game that's just a game, and doesn't try to be a movie, or make you cry or care about every last one of it's cardboard-cutout characters with the same personality in them as a dead tortoise. It seems that most modern 3xA companies have gotten the rather odd idea that gameplay comes after cinematics. That a broken but beautiful game (Crysis 3) is better than a tightly controlling, less picture-perfect game (Dead Space).
And now.. Now I've had my bleeding heart torn from my chest once more, and had it cast into the dirt only to be stomped upon. Once more with this 'new generation of gaming' publishers are going to insist to twist my arm and press me up against the window to the candy shop, all while whispering in my ear: 'Do you see that? You can't have that. None
of it, if you don't do as I say. If you aren't a good little consumer, and go buy my product, you will only ever get to watch the other good little consumers eat all the candy on the other side of that window.'
Bloodborne, the obvious spiritual successor to a series I have grown to love, made by a company of extremely talented people, is going to be out of my reach unless I'm willing to pay more than 10x the actual price of the game, for a console to play it on.
I feel sad, and I feel betrayed - I'm jealous and I want what I won't ever have. I'll be standing here, outside the candy shop, with tears streaking my cheeks as I watch you all eat the candy, until I can finally have the stale remains that you kicked under the shelf some 5 years from now when the machine itself will be within my economical reach.