The game is known for its tough-as-nails difficulty. Is it really that difficult? Oh yeah. You will be impaled, devoured by giant cats, knocked off cliffs, engulfed in flames, poisoned to death, cursed to death, and the list goes on and on. However, is it impossible? Hell no! In fact, the last three sections of the game I found piss easy (my soul level was 77 when I beat the game). Once you fully master the controls, the game becomes one of the most fun games of last year. It's also helpful if you know a little bit about DnD, since the game heavily borrows stats, leveling, weapon and item bonuses, and element bonuses from the game. However, the game seems fair for the most part. Bonfires (checkpoints and places to refill healing flasks) are liberally scattered throughout the map with most being fairly close to boss locations. You open up short cuts throughout the game. After a certain point, you can warp between certain bonfires. You learn through death, and you also earn valuable items through death as well. However, the game can be unnecessarily cruel at points. Curse is one of the most evil status elements ever. Clipping is extremely problematic. Sometimes, enemies can hit and kill you through a wall. A few places even require you to die to progress, meaning all the souls you earned are permanently gone
However, the game finds ways to keep you playing through the pain. If you're playing online, you can summon phantoms to your game (if you are human) to defeat a troublesome boss. People can leave hints on blood stains on how to progress, or items to use. You can see the last seconds of another player by touching their bloodstain, so you don't make the same mistake. It's a really awesome online system.
I'm currently playing through Demon's Souls, the spiritual prequel to Dark Souls. And honestly, I find this game a lot harder than Dark Souls. World Tendencies are a pain in the ass. The death system is also more cruel (if you die, you have to start at the beginning of a level instead of a bonfire). The equip burden system is less refined than Dark Souls (You are either fast, slow, or so heavy, you can't roll or run). However, the game is still murderous fun. I'm really enjoying it.
Anyway, I have Dark Souls on the 360 and Demon's Souls on PS3. Let me know if you're interested in some online play.
Edited by Haku, 06 February 2012 - 10:08 PM.