Sunday, February 6, 2011

A Wish List for...

Hands down one of best games on the PS3, Demon’s Souls holds a reputation for brutally difficult (but deep and rewarding) gameplay. It probably comes as no surprise that I’m really looking forward to playing Dark Souls, the spiritual successor. That said there are a few things in particular that I’m hoping they revamp in the interests of producing an even better game than the original. So, without further ado here is my Dark Souls wish list:

1.)Relevant Armor
As realistic and practical looking as armor is in Demon’s Souls it becomes fairly irrelevant at higher levels. The defense provided is hardly worth the stamina penalties needed to make it work. Let’s hope that From Software adds an upgrade tree similar to weapons and shields in order to keep armor from being relegated to a mostly cosmetic role.

2.)“Random-less” Drops
No, I’m not talking about falling of ledges that (despite the frustration) is an integral part of the game, rather I’m talking about grinding. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to go into some dank, god-awful place trying to find a chunk of “something-or-other” stone only to come out exhausted and empty handed. Either make the items need for upgrades set in fixed locations or have them always dropped by particular monsters in a given location.

3.)Long Range Lock-on
This is a personal issue that I have involving enemies making ranged attacks at me when I can’t even target them. Granted it could get equally annoying accidentally targeting an enemy oblivious to you halfway across the level rather than the one that’s right in front of you, but I feel like some tightening of the controls for this particular mechanism would be greatly beneficial.

4.)Smoother Inventory Management
Fumbling with healing and mana regeneration items in the midst of a battle is not fun. Nor is trying to get the right catalyst and spell selected in a situation where timing is critical. Maybe a wheel selector like that used in Mass Effect or Red Dead Redemption would be the most elegant solution, but regardless the system used in Demon’s Souls left something to be desired.

Bear with me on this one for a minute. It might sound silly at first (after all who actually enjoyed the water temple from Legend of Zelda?) but let me throw an example or two out there. You come to a wide river, but can’t swim across it unless your item burden is below a certain amount. What do you do? You can leave some gear behind, but then you’ll be more vulnerable should you have to fight something on the other side. Alternatively there might be a ford somewhere, but it’s probably heavily guarded. Maybe there’s a bridge you could lower later making the river less of an obstacle in the future. What if there’s a monster in the river, can you lure it into the shallows and slay? If done right swimming could make for an exciting new addition to the game.

Well that’s my list. I should note that some of my wishes have already been met such as seamless transitions between areas, more animations for attacks, and of course more areas to explore, spells to learn and equipment to choose from (not to mention monsters to fight). I’m sure there are some improvements being made that I haven’t even thought of (particularly to online play I’d wager). Well…until the game is released keep those fires burning otherwise only the dark will remain.