Dark Souls II: Proof That Hardcore Gaming Is Alive and Well

Mobile and social gaming is on the rise, but that doesn't mean hardcore experiences are dying out.

Legendary designer Hideo Kojima was recently quoted as saying that young people are increasingly less interested in “high-end games.” He says this is due to the social and mobile gaming explosion.

Recommended Videos

There’s no doubt that casual gaming is bigger than it’s ever been. The majority of individuals do play video games these days, but let’s face it, they’re not playing games like Dark Souls II. They’re fiddling around on their smartphones and tablets, but as everyone knows, there’s a very large gap between those games, and the productions that cater almost exclusively to the hardcore crowd.

And while I certainly agree with Kojima, it’s nice to see a title like Dark Souls II prove beyond a shadow of doubt that yes, there are still plenty of gamers who desire a challenge.

Yeah,  you might actually have to practice

You won’t master this game in an hour. You might be fully checked out on the controls, but that doesn’t mean you can defeat anything in your path. You have choices to make and those choices will have consequences. All of this adds up to the following fact: You have to practice. You have to get better and better as time goes on. There is no hand-holding and while dying doesn’t mean the end of the world, it’s not like in other games where you just go back ten feet and try again.

This is not for the faint of heart. Developer From Software did make it somewhat more accessible to a wider audience, but the bottom line is that if you want fast and easy, you’ll never really understand Dark Souls II.

OMG, dying SUCKS

Yes, it really does. As I said, it’s not a catastrophe if you die in the game (’cause you’ll do it a lot) but you definitely want to avoid it. Death in video games has become a mere stumbling block over the years; something you barely even notice. The punishment for death is little to nothing and as such, we’ve come to expect simpler, more streamlined adventures that aren’t as frustrating.

Those of us who grew up in a time where death meant starting an entire level over from the beginning…? We know what it means to persevere. We’re quite familiar with that tension and nervousness that accompanies the burning desire to stay alive. This feeling is part of what made gaming such a singular challenge back in the day.

Even if it’s not for you, you should still respect it

I won’t finish Dark Souls II. I’ll play it long enough to issue an accurate review, but that’s it. I’ve reached a point where a challenge is welcome, but a hair-pulling challenge that requires precious spare hours is not. That doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate the effort. That doesn’t mean I’ll condemn the game just because I find it beyond vexing. Like I said, I remember that tense feeling of never wanting to die; personally, I prefer the simpler, more streamlined form of interactive entertainment we have today. I imagine anybody who’s extremely busy does as well.

Still, when you see the great sales for the first Dark Souls, when you see the great review scores for the sequel (and you anticipate high sales as a result), you can’t help but feel satisfied. Despite the immense explosion of social and mobile gaming, platforms that never offer the same level of depth and immersion as hardcore PC and console gamers are used to, it’s nice to see such success.

It means that, in spite of it all, the hardcore crowd is still alive and well.


GameSkinny is supported by our audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a small affiliate commission. Learn more
related content
Read Article 3DS Online Server Shutdown Makes These Pokemon Features Obsolete
Player enters Festival plaza in Pokemon Sun & Moon
Read Article Best Games for Godzilla x Kong Fans
Godzilla faces King Kong in Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire
Read Article How Darkest Dungeon 2 Integrates Fan-favorites From the Original
Kingdoms crest for new game mode.
Read Article Top 10 Dungeons & Dragons 5e Spells We Need in Baldur’s Gate 3
caster casting a fire spell in baldurs gate 3 by the docks
Read Article 10 Game Modes We’ll Miss After the Nintendo Network Shutdown
Nintendo characters in fighting poses
Related Content
Read Article 3DS Online Server Shutdown Makes These Pokemon Features Obsolete
Player enters Festival plaza in Pokemon Sun & Moon
Read Article Best Games for Godzilla x Kong Fans
Godzilla faces King Kong in Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire
Read Article How Darkest Dungeon 2 Integrates Fan-favorites From the Original
Kingdoms crest for new game mode.
Read Article Top 10 Dungeons & Dragons 5e Spells We Need in Baldur’s Gate 3
caster casting a fire spell in baldurs gate 3 by the docks
Read Article 10 Game Modes We’ll Miss After the Nintendo Network Shutdown
Nintendo characters in fighting poses
Author
Fathoms_4209
A gaming journalism veteran of 14 years, a confirmed gamer for over 30 years, and a lover of fine literature and ridiculously sweet desserts.