The Joy of Souls Combat

What elements of the souls series gameplay do you like?

I love winding up attacks early as enemies walk up to me so they’ll hit enemies right when they reach me and interrupt them trying to attack me. I love walking out of range of enemy attacks and hitting them when they miss. I love moving around enemy’s attacks to hit them from the sides. I love using strong attacks to hit enemies from outside their range as they attack. I love weaving between multiple enemies and slowly whittling them down. I love running past enemies and zig zagging to avoid their blows. I love learning and memorizing enemy movesets. I love locking enemies in hitstun at critical points. I love using the terrain to crowd control enemies, separating some off from the others, or standing in a place where I can temporarily hit them without them hitting me. I love stepping into enemy ranges to lure out attacks. I love dodging at the last instant to get through attacks. I love pushing enemies off cliffs. I love managing stamina to get in more slashes while the enemy becomes vulnerable. I love releasing my shield or pausing my attacks to get some stamina back at risk to life and limb.

The thing about dark souls is that enemy attacks are reactable, and so are the player attacks, they’re on a similar timescale, but the game is still fair because the enemies are reactable and your defensive options are instant. Whereas other action games like Bayonetta, DMC, Zelda, etc, use attacks that are unreactable, significantly faster than enemy attacks in relative terms. So attacking in dark souls is this commitment, and you need to evaluate when and where that type of commitment is safe, and you’re given enough information to determine that.

These are all things that the combat system of Dark Souls accomplishes that are individually really satisfying, and together, fucking excellent.

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