I’m a Dark Souls fanatic.
I started playing Dark Souls a few years back, and it was hate at first sight. I died every few minutes, I couldn’t figure out what the hell was going on, and the first NPC I met, I accidentally hit with my sword and he proceeded to kill me, constantly.
I returned the rental and said, “Never again.”
A few months later, my newborn son would only sleep while being held, so on my shift I would lay him on my chest, and play. I’m not kidding:
“So you see, Artorias is a total bastard, but Daddy is going to smite his ass.”
Dark Souls became something I figured I’d try again, as I had hours to kill – and I’ve never looked back. It stands as one of my favorite games and series because of the mystery, the lack of plot, and the brutal gameplay. Also, I got pretty good.
Now, Titan Comics is releasing a new series–coinciding with the release of Dark Souls 3–so let’s find out if it’s any good.
Dark Souls #1 (Titan Comics)
This is a Black Knight. He will kill you, constantly.
The hallmark of the Souls games is that it’s really up to the player to piece together the plot. They don’t hold your hand at all – dropping you into a game with a tiny amount of info, and then reading item descriptions, finding secrets, and talking to NPCs all combine to form a basic understanding.
Thankfully, the creative team for Titan does a great job of continuing this condition.
We’re dropped in with no background other than a quick setting page to meet Fira, a warrior whose past seems to include a family who has fallen to the curse of the land. Her memories are hazy at best, and her traveling companion Aldritch can only keep her from killing him by showing her a doll–one we assume her deceased child once held close.
So, you didn’t like dinner?
We are presented with the current quest from Aldritch, who seems like a good companion, but has an unreliable memory. At this point, who knows his actual intentions?
See? She doesnt trust him either!
This is a great first issue, continuing the creepy and hack and slash traditions of Dark Souls. They get the setting, visuals, and lack of background perfectly, and you feel like this is some untold tale of the Souls-verse, of which there are hundreds.
They even throw fanatics like me a few easter eggs, like Solaire, a reoccurring character that has been affectionately titled a “sunbro” by the internet.
Overall, this is great fan-service for long time players, and does a great job of bringing someone new to the fold up to speed with the weird and deep dark feel of Souls. You want to learn more, and investigate the little bits and pieces they’ve dropped for you so far – all great signs of a series that should heat up.
This is off to a great start; I’m looking forward to more.