Which Dark Souls is best ?
of reading - words
I would note here only dark souls 1 and 2 by putting aside the 3 which for me lacks of character.
It's been several years since I "finished" the Dark Souls series and since then, I wanted to write a brief comparison. I am going to give you my global feeling on two experiences which remain in my eyes, one of the most beautiful successes of these last years. My opinion is based more on the feeling I had rather than a simple technical comparison.
Prepare to Die!
What's the best episode?
Might as well get a vial of estus for this paper, as this question took up so much of my time. What a pain in the ass.
I want to specify first of all that this subject is very complex as Dark Souls 2 goes in the direction of the first part with a lot of small improvements...but also new "defects". Asking this question implies to ask several (and many) in order to be as precise as possible. Wait, I take a humanity. That's it, we can go.
What's the most difficult episode?
It all depends on what you mean by the word "difficult". In multiplayer (cooperative) Dark Souls are more demanding games than sadistic. In solo (without clues or messages written on the ground), it's a different story. And that's good, I finished the two solo parts first before tackling the multiplayer. It's on this mode that I'll linger to judge the difficulty. Hop, a gem of life by the way.
I lived incredible moments in both episodes (more intense in the second part). But in terms of pure difficulty, DS1 wins in my eyes. Careful, this doesn't mean that DS2 is a thrill ride only. It's just as much (I've died more than 180 times solo) but in a different way.
When I played Dark Souls for the very first time, I wanted to give up the adventure after 4 hours of play. Stuck in front of skeleton knights (yes, the ones near the cemetery at the beginning there), I had no idea where to go and what to do, and most importantly, I would die every five minutes or so. Recently, I started the adventure again, making the same mistake. But that's because I'm the Pierre Richard of video games.
In other words, you can quickly get stuck and unmotivated in DS1 where the beginning of DS2 seems more like a long tutorial rather than a full-fledged game. The transition is less violent and this "softer" start makes all the difference to me in the approach you take during the rest of the adventure.
It's a stupid thing to say but trust is a key element of the Dark Souls gameplay. The moment you feel "strong", you dare more and take risks that sometimes pay off and sometimes don't. I think that's a key element of Dark Souls gameplay. But let's be clear : you progress in the adventure of the second opus by daring and trying the impossible as it was the case during my epic video fight I shared with you a while ago. Well, that reminds me that I had another similar experience.
You might as well say it right away: you don't have that confidence in DS1. The slightest enemy at the start of the adventure is a torture and attempting to take a boss without first raising the level makes your character seem suicidal. The few gameplay latencies in the first episode and the slowdowns (which disappeared in the second instalment) also make the task a little more complicated. So I'm going to give DS1 this first point for its ruthlessness in selecting the most resistant players at the start of the game.
1 Point for Dark Souls 1
What's the longest episode?
It's hard to say at the time of writing. I already have more than 229 hours of gameplay on the first episode and I haven't yet unlocked all the hits (but I must also say that I'm a Pierre Richard in this game). On the second opus, I exceeded 110 hours last week.
But to answer the question, I would say that the second episode is richer in terms of discoveries and secrets. The stolen passages are more numerous as well as the oaths that can be taken or the objects that can be found. There is work to be done, as they say.
On the other hand, in a straight line, DS1 seems to me to be on top despite its "less vast" universe. This same universe is better connected and the teleportation is only unlocked once you've arrived at Anor Londo, unlike DS2 where you can move from zone to zone from the start of the adventure. This means you'll be making more round-trips in the first episode, which obviously extends the lifespan considerably.
But when it comes to choosing one, I'd say that DS2 takes longer to complete in the end (thanks to the fire tricks that allow you to start zone bosses again in ultra-hardcore mode). And I'm giving it its little point just for that.
+1 point for Dark Souls 2
Which game has the most terrifying enemies?
It's also well known, you'll come across lots of them in the Dark Souls series. The second episode may be longer and more beautiful, but I don't have the impression that this one has a more varied bestiary than the first opus.
Some of the DS2 bosses are really striking and some others are sub-bosses, a little less. On the other hand, I feel like all the enemies of DS1, whoever they are, have made an impression on me. Not to mention the bosses that have distinctly superior charisma (except for the dragon).
As for the enemies who move in the "cuckoo, it's me who's coming to ruin your life" register, how can you not talk about the skeleton knights of DS1 and the mummies who fart in your face in DS2? Each episode has its share of monsters that have only one goal: to drive you crazy. So it's 50/50 on that side.
But you have to choose carefully and despite the crazy moments I experienced in DS2, the best enemies and bosses go to the first part. But not by much, eh?
+1 point for Dark Souls 1
Who's got the best multi?
From this point of view, it will be very easy to decide. DS2 offers a multi in the spirit of the first episode...a hundred times better. In terms of connection stability, player summoning speed, invasions, counter-invasions, cooperation...
From Software listened to the players and so far I find the DS2 multiplayer to be enjoyable and very complete. In particular, I've had a few laughs.
+1 point for Dark Souls 2
Which game has the best progression?
Ahh the progression. As I said before, it's all about confidence when it comes to advancing in the adventure of a Dark Souls. If I felt the desire to give up in the first episode, I never thought about it for the second part (to be relativized because I was coming out of the first episode, so I was much more experienced than I was when I discovered the franchise).
However in terms of taking "levels", I would say that there is a good balance in each episode ... At least at the beginning. For the rest of the adventure, it becomes a bit of a panty party because you can go up levels much faster in DS2.
To compare: I'm level 202 with 110 hours of play in DS2 where I reached level 190 after 229 hours of play in DS1.
The progression is slower and riskier in the first episode as well. The "fault" is the existence of a sacrifice ring in DS2 that can be repaired at will in exchange for only 3000 souls. This ring allows you to keep both your human appearance and the number of souls you've acquired, which is essential to level up.
In other words, to sum up:
In DS1 you had to save souls to level up without having the guarantee to keep them long enough to do so (because the sacrifice ring would break "forever" without being able to repair it). So we were playing under pressure where in DS2 you just had to put this magic ring on and deflate bosses by having it repaired if you died.
This could explain in part the speed at which you increase levels in the second opus. And personally, combined with the addition of the gems of life (which, as its name suggests, gives you a little bit of life with each use), I find that progress in DS2 has been greatly facilitated, with the greatest challenge ultimately being the single bosses.
To make up for these thumbs-up, From Software has added some extra difficulties like the life bar, which is reduced with each new death in the form of a carcass. But as said above, if you have this ring that you can have repaired at will...
+ 1 point for Dark Souls 1
Which game has the best universe?
Ah the Dark Souls universe...The Level Design is almost half of the game's interest to me. It's so classy (and I speak for both episodes). However, I find the first one more inspired and better thought out. DS2 does have a few memorable places, but it still takes a while to get to them.
Moreover, I would say that it's easier to get into the DS1 "delirium" because of its narration and its really memorable secondary characters. And then Anor Londo, you can't test it.
+1 point for Dark Souls 1
Which game has the best weapons / armor?
Difficult to judge this point in my sense that weapons and armor are used differently between the two episodes. I thought it was particularly good to see the weapon wears out faster in DS2, so we had to bring up several swords, axes and other level bows / crossbows.
Hey, don't you have a little coin, pal?
While DS1 also has this feature, it's less critical to the gameplay. For example, in DS2, I often saw my sword break during certain bosses, leaving me no choice but to use another weapon...or to flee by pushing back the inevitable when I hadn't selected one.
+1 point for Dark Souls 2
Which game has the best music?
Let's conclude this comparison, we're going to do a little good for our ears with sound that will instantly make you feel good. DS2 has music to match the first opus. A few epic themes that come on at just the right time literally transcend the gameplay experience and other mystics. Alala, it's hard to make a choice on this side as the work done on both episodes seems to be of such high quality.
So I'll decide by giving a point to each episode. Sorry but I can't decide.
+ 1 point for Dark Souls 1 and Dark Souls 2
Dark Souls 1 : 5 PTS
Dark Souls 2: 4PTS
Yes it was long enough to get a very tight ranking at the end. I wouldn't go so far as to say that DS1 is better than the second opus as each game has its own qualities and flaws. And it's not for nothing that DS1 "wins" thanks to its points on the universe, the progression, its enemies and its "dryer" difficulty.
On its side, DS2 marks by its longer lifespan, its more complete multiplayer, its more serious finish and its many little extras (as well as the upcoming DLCs) that I haven't got my hands on yet (I can't count the number of closed doors I haven't opened yet...). Choosing between the two games is therefore impossible for me, as I've been able to really kiffer through these incredible and seemingly endless universes over and over again. When you think I've seen everything here, there's always something more to see. It's magical.
While waiting for the next production of From Software, throw yourself on these pearls if you haven't already (especially since they're quite easy to find at a good price).
And forget the prejudices about the "difficulty" of the title. In an era where we're being spoon-fed more and more with games that are assisted from all sides, think that diving into the world of Dark Souls is like going from the small bath to the big bath (without belts or buoys). At the beginning it can be scary, but once you understand the trick, you'll kiff like a fish in water.
Praise the sun (and From Software) !