Monday, December 19, 2011
Dark Souls The Official Guide
Get Dark Souls The Official Guide at Amazon.com
PREPARE TO DIE LESS
Going into Dark Souls unaided will get you killed. A lot. Even armed with the complete knowledge of the game that this guide will provide, you're still certain to die at least a few times. But when a gigantic demon takes you by surprise you'll at least have a chance to not lose everything. This is a true survival guide for a game that's almost impossible to survive.
Area Guide Walkthrough
The Walkthrough makes use of detailed maps to guide you in exploring every inch of the game's huge world. Learn the most useful shortcuts and find all of the hidden areas.
Everything you need to know to tackle the game's army of lethal foes is contained in one easy-to-use reference chapter. Tactics, data and attack details for all enemies will prove an invaluable resource.
Weapons & Equipment
Weapons, Armor and Magic are all covered in exhaustive detail. Full stats, locations, upgrade paths and usage strategies are provided so you can easily compare all of the options when choosing your equipment.
The complete item lists reveal every last consumable, accessory, upgrading material and offensive item. Quickly discover where to find each one and how to make the most of them.
Discover how to unlock every Achievement or Trophy and learn the secrets of Dark Souls' unique online multiplayer mode.
How many times did we die before you could actually hold this guide in your hands? 100 times? 1000 times? Who the hell knows. Chances are we died more times in this game than in all other games of 2011 put together. And for what? For the sole purpose of offering you guidance. We died so that you don't have to. But you're still going to die.
If ever a game needed a great guide, it's Dark Souls. It's rare for a modern game to be designed so meticulously to enrage and engulf its players in a world that doesn't offer even the most basic assistance. Its enemies are relentless and its areas labyrinthine. Just providing players with area maps is enough to make slowly inching around each corner a little easier to bear.
We've done a whole lot more than that, however. We've extracted every last metaphysical ounce of data we could and tracked every last NPC down no matter how many times they might try and slip away. So when you're up to your knees in lava in Lost Izalith being chased by a giant dinosaur that can kill you with a single touch because your armor is rapidly crumbling away, at least you'll know that the treasure you're trying so desperately to reach is going to be worthwhile. We believe that this guide will give you all the information you need to plan your journey through Dark Souls, cut down its most lethal bosses, see its many hidden areas and events, and maybe even not die a thousand times in the process. If nothing else, it might give you hope.
Thus opens the Future Press guide to Dark Souls. A guide that is honest about the game it's designed to cover. Plenty of games are either too easy, tell you everything you need to know or just plain give you the answers. Dark Souls isn't one of those games. It more or less lets you go at some point, making you learn everything on your own. In an era where online walkthroughs are everywhere strategy guides are mostly collector's items. Dark Souls, however, is a game where having a guide feels more beneficial than not. And it's actually a good guide by being more than just heavy handed set of instructions. There's a ton of info here that those who play Dark Souls will appreciate. This is an in depth guide that doesn't just go over the basics, but serves as an encyclopedia for the game. And it manages to be done in such a way it doesn't ruin the experience of the game if you don't want it to.
The guide opens up with the basis of the game system. It's a pretty in depth chapter that might be far more beneficial than it appears on the outset given how unusually thin the manual to the game itself is. It explains all the stats of the job classes at the start as well as showing all the equipment they begin with. Each stat is also explained in depth with the guide giving tips on just how to utilize and build them based on the class you may have chosen at the start. The guide makes no bones about the challenge the game can provide and does it's best to offer a good explanation of the strength and weakness of each class. It also jumps into the inventory and just what everything means. If you're looking for a good way to understand the complex systems of Dark Souls, this is a good place start.
It is the combat chapter that some may find rewarding. Much like the Game System Chapter it's a lot more indepth than just a set of instructions. While it only looks at some of the basics here, the goal is to get you acquainted with the combat mechanics of the game. There are more tips here including talking about status ailments and how to overcome them. It's actually a lot more in depth than it sounds. Anyone new to Dark Souls would probably do best to start within this chapter because this is where you'll learn the most about the combat you'll experience. You won't be lost without it, but seeing as how the game itself isn't going to explain everything to you, you might as well take a peak to understand what those symbols and such mean that you see on the screen from time to time. There's also a lot of explanation about the online interface.
After we get through all the basics of the games system as well as helping you understand the combat, the guide jumps into the enemy index. This is probably the meat and bones of the guide in and of itself. Getting through most of Dark Souls is really about knowing how to battle the enemies more so than where you'll need to go. The guide goes in order of the enemies you'll encounter. First showing you all the enemies in the Undead Asylum before moving onto to the Firelink Shrine, etc. Each enemy has tables that show you their stats, what they drop and if they respawn. There are also details of all the various attacks they perform and how to dodge each and everyone (or at least make them easier to deal with). They also detail the boss foes in the same manner. Showing you all their attacks, the damage they can do before providing a decent strategy for them. When it comes to defeating your enemies the guide is at its most helpful then. You're more apt to be using this portion of the guide rather than the walkthrough itself. It's also the longest chapter by far.
Once we get beyond the enemy data we finally dive into the walkthrough. It's a simple to use walkthrough. Each area begins with a set of maps. It uses the waypoint system where you see numbers on the map and then you must find the number in the text. The walkthrough is straightforward. Often times telling you what to expect around the corner and telling you what enemies you encounter. The waypoints serve to tell you what to expect at each location. Given how Dark Souls lets you roam around a lot it's not really a bad way to go. You shouldn't actually need help getting from point 1 to point 2. What some may find a little hectic at times is that you'll constantly be flipping from the walkthrough to the enemies list. Given how detailed the enemy data is I have no qualms with this. You're much more likely to be stuck at the games various bosses and enemy groups than you are getting to them. This makes the walkthrough pretty easy to follow... but make no mistake it's not WHY you should buy the guide. If anything the enemy guide is much more gratifying.
Beyond this we then get to the inventory. All the weapons and armor are listed first. It'll tell you a little about each weapon before giving you tables upon tables worth of info concerning each one. It's a decent reference. It does the same thing for armor as well. It'll then tell you all the things you need to know about magic and the basics items. This is pretty standard fare for any guide to RPGs in general.
When we get to all the extras the guide is once again extremely helpful. First the guide list out all the various NPCs you'll run across in the game. It'll also inform you of what specifically each NPC is there for. Need to know who will lift a curse? Or who you can buy from? The guide is more than willing to tell you. It then jumps into the games various sidequests. It'll give you the conditions you must meet to actually begin the quest and also provide tips and strategies. There are reference maps provided for each quests. It also details all the data for the various NPCs as well. A lot of this stuff is in depth and even this particular section has a lot for you to take in.
When we get beyond this the guide tells players a little bit about New Game+ and how the game changes. It also gives you some info on making your weapons better.
Very few game guides actually have a section dedicated to helping players obtain Achievements or Trophies. But the Dark Souls guide does. From the most basic achievements to the hardest ones to obtain. For some players, if every strategy guide had a section dedicated to achievements they'd probably be happier. This goes to show that there was actually quite a bit of effort put into the guide. And it's not a particularly small section either.
At the end of all this stuff... roughly 384 pages later... we finally have an index. In case, you know, you get lost or something when flipping through the guide. It's well organized overall, telling you just about everything you need to know and being constructed in such a way that it's good for those who really know what they're doing (the walkthrough doesn't feel like it's holding your hand) and for those who are new to the experience as a whole. It's an incredibly thick guide but one that will be extremely helpful to players. They also work in conjunction with their own website. Don't worry, this actually works out well. You won't have to go online for information that isn't here... they're mostly videos to better show you what they're talking about if they're not explained well enough. A visual aid as opposed to just a text based one. It all comes together to make a pretty impressive guide. One that compliments as well as enhances the player's experience of the game. This is something strategy guides rarely do anymore. While you won't find extras such as developer interviews or anything like that, just getting all this info may suffice.
If you are feeling like you simply can't conquer Dark Souls then this is a nice supplement that might help out. It goes in depth on just about everything in the game. So much so you may feel overwhelmed with information at times. I'm not sure how good or bad that second part is, but for how expensive strategy guides are these days, it's nice to have that much depth. So if you need a leg up, this isn't such a bad guide to get at all.