Though the game has a reputation for difficulty, and was marketed against that, Dark Souls is a fair game, writes Zeboyd's Robert Boyd -- offering up a list of 12 ways it isn't quite as hard as it appears to be.
Boyd is the designer of popular indie RPGs such as Cthulhu Saves the World and Penny Arcade's On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness 3.
One way in which Dark Souls isn't as challenging as it appears? "It's difficult to truly mess up your stat progression," writes Boyd.
While many RPGs with manual stat allocation can punish players that don't go for optimal builds, in Dark Souls, mistakes are recoverable.
Sure, a min-maxer can build "the ultimate Dark Souls destroying machine," Boyd writes, but the game takes into account less experienced players, too.
"There are several effective tools available to the player that have little to no reliance on stats, like elemental weapons, armor (armor increases weight but doesn't have specific stat requirements), and powerful fire magic called pyromancy, that the player can use to dig themselves out of the hole they've created with poor level-up choices," he writes.
"All level-ups give a slight boost to the player's overall defense, so no matter what you choose, you're always getting slightly more resilient. And it's possible to max out all stats eventually -- so in the end, poor choices can be fixed with grinding."
Grinding: the last refuge of the lost RPG player.
The full feature contains 11 more reasons Dark Souls is deceptive about its difficulty, including its clever co-op, the linear funnels in its open world, and the design of its spell and item systems, among many more.