Games: How ‘Dark Souls’ took a rare path and became a trend


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“Dark Souls” is one of the rare games that can boast of having transformed the gaming industry.

The title released in 2011 only for PlayStation 3 by the then little-known Japanese studio FromSoftware was not an immediate sales success, eclipsed by “The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim”, another excellent action RPG that hit stores just a month later and with a much bigger investment in marketing.

Still, the innovations and mechanics introduced in “Dark Souls” – actually improved, as most of them were already present in 2009’s “Demon’s Souls”, also from FromSoftware – did not go unnoticed by critics and other developers.

To the point that today the game is considered one of the most influential of the century, creating what many consider to be an entirely new category of games, the “soulslike” (“like ‘souls'”, in an English translation).

The feat is not unheard of in the industry. After the resounding success of “Doom”, released in 1993, first-person shooters were called “clones of Doom” for years. As these “clones” diversified, approaching new themes and exploring in new ways the mechanics that marked ID Software’s game, the nickname lost strength and gave way to the acronym “FPS” (“first person shooter”).

But what exactly makes a game a “soulslike”? This is a lively debate both among developers and in the specialized media, but at least three points are almost consensual.

  1. Difficult but fair: There is no easy way in FromSoftware titles. Some see this as a problem, as the difficulty can frustrate and alienate players. On the other hand, fans point to this as one of the elements that make “Dark Souls” different from other action RPGs, which have plenty of save points and less challenging combats. In addition, they point out that, although opponents are often stronger than the player himself, combat is almost never appealing. Most enemies scare initially, but they have weak points and moments when they are off guard, just for the player to know how to take advantage of them.

  2. risk of setback: In “Dark Souls”, when the player character dies, he loses all “souls” (which work as experience points and in-game currency) accumulated and not spent until then. If the player manages to return to the same place without dying again, he can recover all lost souls. This mechanic gives the feeling that there is something palpable at stake with every enemy faced and punishes those who play carelessly as much as it gives the player a chance to make amends for their mistakes.

  3. strategic combat: Often, the pace of fights is less intense than in other action titles. To succeed, you need to think through each attack, dodge enemy attacks, and manage the use of your stamina. The worst tactic in “Dark Souls” is losing your cool, pushing buttons in desperation, and relying on your armor and sword to do the work themselves.

Even without having ever played a FromSoftware title, it is quite possible that a player has already come across some of these mechanics in games from other developers such as “Nioh”, “Ashen”, “Hollow Knight” and “Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order “.

But FromSoftware didn’t stop there. The company incorporated elements of open-world games into the formula of its “soulslikes”, mixed it with a story developed in collaboration with George RR Martin, from “Game of Thrones”, and released last Friday (25) “Elden Ring”. .

The title was received by critics in an overwhelmingly positive way – including here at Folha. Terms like “epic”, “fantastic” and “one of the best games I’ve played in my life” appear in profusion in most of these reviews. But whether “Elden Ring” will have as big an impact as its predecessors in the industry, only time will tell.


game tip, new or old, for you to test

“This War of Mine”
(PC, PS4, Xbox One, Android and iOS)

Unlike other war-themed titles, “This War of Mine” does not put the player in control of a soldier or army commander, but in the role of a group of civilians trying to survive in a besieged city. Released in 2014, the game was inspired by the siege of Sarajevo, during the Bosnian War, from 1992 to 1995, and shows the suffering and misery that affects civilians in the midst of a war.

After the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the Polish studio 11 Bit, developer of the game, announced that all profits made from the game and its expansions until March 3 will be donated to the Ukrainian Red Cross as a way to help the victims of the war.

The game is available on Steam and Epic Games platforms (R$ 36.99) for PC. There are also versions for PS4 (on sale, R$20.98) and Xbox One (R$59) and Android devices (R$46.99) and iOS (R$79.90).


news, launches, business and what else matters

  • In a statement posted on its social media, Kiev-based studio GSC Game World, developer of the “STALKER” series, called on all “colleagues in the video game industry” to help in the fight against the Russian invasion of the country and send resources to an aid fund for the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

  • According to the Videogames Chronicle website, Electronic Arts CEO Andrew Wilson said in an internal meeting that FIFA’s license was “an impediment” for the company to achieve its own ambitions in its football game series. The current agreement between the company and FIFA ends after this year’s World Cup in Qatar.

  • BioWare revealed in a blog post that it is developing new games in the “Dragon Age” and “Mass Effect” RPG series. According to the statement, the new “Dragon Age” is already in production. For the new “Mass Effect” fans will have to wait longer, as the title is still in the early stages of conception.

  • The PS Plus service’s March free games have been revealed by Sony. On the list are the racing game “Sonic Team Racing” (PS4), the survival title “Ark: Survival Evolved” (PS4), the action game “Ghostrunner” (PS5) and the multiplayer expansion “Legends”, from ” Ghost of Tsushima” (PS4 and PS5).

  • Capcom has announced that “Street Fighter 6” is in development. The trailer presented by the Japanese developer, however, received criticism for using a more realistic look than previous titles in the series.


games that will be released in the next few days and promotions that are worth it


  • “Puzzle Quest 3”: no price set (PC, Android, iOS)
  • “Shadow Warrior 3”: R$139 (PC), R$184.95 (Xbox One), R$264.90 (PS4)


  • “Babylon’s Fall”: BRL 299.90 (PC, PS 4/5)


  • “Gran Turismo 7”: BRL 299.90 (PS 4/5)
  • “Triangle Strategy”: BRL 299 (Switch)


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