"Dark Souls" and "Bloodborne" are both video games that you might have heard of. Assuming you have, what I will say next will be unsurprising. For those who do not know, these games are incredibly difficult. They punish every single little mistake that a player makes. I know what those of you who do not know this game are thinking: That's every game right? But that would be false. Yes, many games will punish you if you make a mistake, but these games take that punishment much farther.
"Dark Souls" is a three-game series set in a bleak dark fantasy setting. The oppressive feel alongside a very well written story is part of what makes the series so remarkable. "Bloodborne" in contrast is set in a Victorian Era. Yes, there are swords and magic in this game. But right alongside it, you can find guns and Molotov Cocktails and other technology from that era.
Both games share an unrelenting difficulty. A player has a health bar like in any video game, but that is not the meter that players watch the most. Right below that is a stamina meter. Rolling to avoid attacks as well as swinging your weapon costs stamina. And while that bar recharges, players learn real quick that you want to avoid depleting that bar. Going for an all-out attack on an enemy and then not having enough stamina to avoid its counter attack has led to many deaths.
What I just described relates to the ordinary enemies. That is truly part of what makes both "Dark Souls" and "Bloodborne" so difficult.. Normal video games dictate that ordinary enemies exist to be a simple roadblock before you crush them. Not so much in these games. Here being careless while swinging a sword around will lead to a Game Over Screen. Indeed, the "You Died" game over image is one of the most well-known aspects of these games.
Adding to this difficulty, players have a limited number of healing items. In "Dark Souls," getting to checkpoints is the only way to replenish them. In "Bloodborne," you have to buy them. For both games, the currency you use to buy items is the same one you use to level up. How do you get this currency? By killing enemies mostly.
The save points appear as bonfires in "Dark Souls" and lanterns in "Bloodborne." When a player uses them, they get fully healed and in "Dark Souls" get all their healing items restored. This seems great right? And it also seems that even though the enemies are tough, with smart use of these healing areas, a person could slowly make their way through the game. But this is not like most games. When a player uses a healing save point, all the enemies respawn. This is not a big deal if you have just completed an area, but that whole slowly poke through hordes of enemies tactic will fail quickly as a result.
All right, hopefully, I have explained "Dark Souls" and "Bloodborne" enough that I can finally talk about the topic of this article. Now let's get into why I play these games. I want to get one thing out of the way before I continue. It is very possible that some form of masochism has a hand in me enjoying these games. Perhaps I truly enjoy watching the sheer number of failures that occur when I play through "Dark Souls" or "Bloodborne."All right with that out of the way, let's talk about the Boss Fights in "Dark Souls" and "Bloodborne." This is where the true challenge lies. Learning attack patterns and reacting to every single situation is one of the biggest draws of these games. While extremely difficult, Souls and "Bloodborne" are fair in their difficulty. Whenever a player makes a mistake, they get a chance to learn and improve. Thus, victory feels that much sweeter.
Winning battles in most video games give a thrill. But winning in "Dark Souls" and "Bloodborne" is so much more. The fact that you are completing a task that is that much more difficult than normal is a thrill in itself. Knowing that you are part of a gaming community that thrives on overcoming difficult battles adds to the lure. I have nothing but positive things to say about this gaming community. It is helpful and supportive. So long as a person jumping into "Dark Souls" and "Bloodborne" is willing to learn, other players are willing to teach.
These games have also taught me humility. No matter how skilled I am, I will be seeing the "You Died" screen sooner or later. Even with near-perfect play, the aspects that I messed up on will rear their ugly heads. I will be punished for each and every mistake without fail. And I am ok with this. On the flip side, I am rewarded for every single play I make that is correct. And the flip side of a complex difficulty means that there are many ways to proceed through each part of the game.
To say that I have learned things about myself by Playing "Dark Souls" and "Bloodborne" is an understatement. I have learned much better techniques in patience. Imparted onto me is the idea that it is ok to fail. That I am not a worse person because I fell flat on my face. Especially in the early parts of "Bloodborne" which in my opinion is harder than "Dark Souls," I felt at times that it was better to give up. However, going to most of the other games, I realized that I like the difficulties of these games.
Every single boss defeated is another step forward and even learning how to deal with the newest enemy gives me the encouragement needed to continue through the grueling experience that is these games.