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LttP: The 'Soulborne' Games (Dark Souls, etc)

Darkmakaimura

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Sort of misleading title since I haven't actually played any of the Soul games or Bloodborne.

I used to get tired hearing about Dark Souls but very recently became intetested in it. I love how Lovecraftian all the games seem to be.

Setting and lore-wise, Bloodborne seems really cool. It's one of the more Lovecraftian games I've seen.

So are the Souls games kind of Metroidvania or more 'open world'?

What's good to start with? I know the games are known for being aimed at new players and considerably very easy and forgiving.

Anyways it's just on my mind. I can't afford to buy games at this time but I'd love to hear your thoughts.
 

Lux R7

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my advice is to play them in this order:

1) Dark Souls
2) Dark Souls 3
3) BB
4) Sekiro

because i think is better to start with the "slow souls" gameplay and then adjust for the faster games.

And then maybe play Dark Souls 2.

(If u can play Demon's Souls play it first)
 
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GHG

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Start wherever you want.

My history with this genre of games went as follows (after trying to get into the original dark souls on PC and failing multiple times):
  • Lords of the fallen (yeh, I know but it was a much softer introduction to the genre - a stabiliser bike if you will)
  • Dark Souls 2 Scholar of the First Sin
  • Bloodborne
  • Dark Souls 3
  • Sekiro
  • Dark Souls Remastered
  • Demons Souls (currently playing through gradually via RPCS3)
Just be prepared to get your arse kicked at first and get lost. Once it clicks though, oh boy does it click.
 
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Fbh

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Yeah, as others have said. Just go with the game that interests you the most.
With the Dark Souls games though I would recommend starting with 1 if you want to play them all, as the combat gets faster and more polished in the sequels (particularly 3) so going back to 1 after playing the newer games might be a big rough (it's still great though).

As for the design, I wouldn't call them Metroidvania since it's way more about pushing forward than backtracking and it's not really about finding tools to traverse the world.
At the same time though it's not the average open world where it's all about size and big empty areas. It's open world in the sense that most areas are connected to each other in cohesive ways and without loading.

Does Dark Souls 2 suck or something?
Nah.
I do think it's the worst in the franchise and it did have some controversy when it launched (massive visual downgrade that even affected some of the mechanics they had been showing prior to release). But it's still a solid game IMO and I'd still rather play DS2 than most non souls games.
 
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Darkmakaimura

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As for the design, I wouldn't call them Metroidvania since it's way more about pushing forward than backtracking and it's not really about finding tools to traverse the world.
At the same time though it's not the average open world where it's all about size and big empty areas. It's open world in the sense that most areas are connected to each other in cohesive ways and without loading.
I heard something along the lines that Demon's Souls is more linear while Dark Souls and Bloodborne have a more Metroidvania style.

Story wise Demon's Souls and Bloodborne interest me more.
 
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eot

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The two best ones are Dark Souls and Bloodborne, most people will agree on that. Out of those two I would personally suggest that you start with Dark Souls, only because I think going from DS to BB is easier than the other way around. BB is a faster, more forgiving game and going from that to a slower, more (IMO) punishing game can make you feel like the game is sluggish. I don't think it's actually sluggish, it just doesn't let you mash whereas BB does to some extent.
 

AV

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I hadn't played any until a few years ago when I did them all in one year, and I liked the order I did them in:

DS1 -> DS2 -> BB -> DeS -> DS3

DS1 really gives you the best idea of what the games are, and it's really the game where the concept blew up. It's amazing even if it feels a little dated, and the back end of the game seems rushed compared to the rest.

DS2 cranks everything up, it's personally my least favourite but it's a good logical progression from 1. Bloodborne is a fucking masterpiece and you should play it if you only ever play one of these games. It's Lovecraft in spades, though it plays differently to the rest.

DeS is worth revisiting if you have a PS3 to see where it all started, but it feels old, even next to DS1. Then finally top it off with 3, which feels like the culmination of everything you've just played.

Then play Sekiro and unlearn most of what you just learned.
 
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Steve.1981

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For me, Demon's Souls and Bloodborne are the absolute must play entries. And maybe Dark Souls 1. I haven't tried Sekiro because I fell out of love with the whole series during Dark Souls 3.

DeS and BB are damn near gaming perfection. Both are full of memorable locations with twists, turns, secrets and God tier atmosphere. Awesome bosses with crazy designs that will seem impossible at first but leave you elated when you defeat them. Wonderful gear for the player to experiment with. Just the right level of challenge to overcome... All that good stuff, you know?

From Soft and Japan Studio were always the dream team.
 

Darkmakaimura

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For me, Demon's Souls and Bloodborne are the absolute must play entries. And maybe Dark Souls 1. I haven't tried Sekiro because I fell out of love with the whole series during Dark Souls 3.

DeS and BB are damn near gaming perfection. Both are full of memorable locations with twists, turns, secrets and God tier atmosphere. Awesome bosses with crazy designs that will seem impossible at first but leave you elated when you defeat them. Wonderful gear for the player to experiment with. Just the right level of challenge to overcome... All that good stuff, you know?

From Soft and Japan Studio were always the dream team.
Yeah in fact, story and lore-wise, Demon's Souls and Bloodborne are my favorite.
 

RokkanStoned

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Play them in release order if you can. Meaning play Demon's Souls first. If that's not possible, start with Dark Souls 1. To me DeS, DS1 and BB are the best in the series. They each have their strengths and weaknesses. Demon's Souls especially shines in terms of environments, levels and the general atmosphere. Bosses are hit and miss, with later series having better boss fights (albeit those entries also lose what DeS does well in terms of boss fights, like concepts and puzzles. Also they often just copy DeS for a lot of bosses as well.).
DeS is very open ended and once you beat the first level, you can continue onwards in whatever level you want. Due to the 5 worlds with level progression within them, you get a good sense geography, as well as a sense of journey throughout the level, that laters games never really match. There's lots of ways to progress, lots of weapons, armor and items to get. World tendency is a neat thing, even though it's stressful for a lot of people as well.

Yeah in fact, story and lore-wise, Demon's Souls and Bloodborne are my favorite.
I'm getting confused. Have you played them or not? Have you been reading wiki summaries or?
 

V4skunk

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I'd start with in this order! DarkSouls, Bloodborne, DS3 and then Sekiro.
Wouldn't bother with DS2 or Demon's Souls unless you are thirsting for even more. Demon's is very archaic now and very hard to get into when you've been spoiled by the newer games. DS2 is considered the worst in the series while still being a 9/10 game.
 
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Arkage

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Yeah in fact, story and lore-wise, Demon's Souls and Bloodborne are my favorite.
Bloodborne has the best lore I've seen in a game, period. If you really love Lovecraft go with that. I also liked the weapons more.

Dark Souls is dark fantasy and harder to follow the plot IMO. It didn't interest me nearly as much.

All of the games let you unlock shortcuts in the environment. It's not really metroidvania as the shortcuts don't require special abilities. It's just stuff like kicking a ladder down or removing a board from a door. I'd say the shortcuts are more generous in the newer games like DS3. Demon's Souls and DS1 has some substantial mobs to get through to retry boss fights, which can dramatically increase frustration levels when playing through the game.
 
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RokkanStoned

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I would play them in order of release if you can.

Btw, people will shit on Dark Souls 2, but it's a masterpiece.
I think it's a slow grower. After thinking it was "okay" the first playthrough, I've gained more and more appreciation for it as I've played more of it. DS2 also got the best treatment, as it had the original release and the SotFS release, which change things up. Compared to Dark Souls: Remastered, which barely did anything. Honestly, I'd have loved to see a SotFS kind of change in Remastered. I love switching between vanilla and SotFS DS2. They have each their strengths and my approach changes depending on which I play. Also, bonfire ascetics were a great idea.
That said it has numerous flaws that I feel puts it below DeS, DS1 and BB. But yeah, it's still a great game and must play.
 
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Bartski

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Dark Souls 2 was fucking great and the biggest one of all (number of different weapons, enemies, build variety, etc) but I wouldn't recommend for anyone's first soulslike experience. Start with Bloodborne
 
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RiccochetJ

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If I understood you correctly OP and you're tight on money, then I suggest getting Bloodborne. It's the reason why I bought a PS4 and it's one of the greatest games to have come out this generation.

However I still maintain that Dark Souls 2 has the best pvp out of all of them. The level design doesn't have the Miyazaki touch and it makes it the weakest of all the Souls single player experience, but the MP in this game is off the charts.
 

bonk64

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I say jump straight to Dark Souls 3 then Bloodborne. Play other Souls games after if you still wanna play more.
 

rofif

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my advice is to play them in this order:

1) Dark Souls
2) Dark Souls 3
3) BB
4) Sekiro

because i think is better to start with the "slow souls" gameplay and then adjust for the faster games.

And then maybe play Dark Souls 2.

(If u can play Demon's Souls play it first)
Good. Save best for last
 
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Bankai

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I played & finished Bloodborne and The Surge. I loved both, because they're so different - but both are fast and require precision.

You could definitely give The Surge a try as well, if you end up liking the gameplay of Bloodborne. Dark Souls is slower, wasn't really my cup of tea.
 
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No, but it is the cool thing to do among people. Even though most probably didn't even play it
Or, those of us who have beaten it, and the Scholar of the Dark Sin edition, believe it is by far the worst of the series. Lazy level design, lazy bosses, and lazy enemy placement (what should we put here, ah who cares, another gank squad will do).

But sure, I'm being 'cool'.
 
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GHG

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Also Dark Souls 2 is the only game in the series where whips are viable. So much fun to use, especially in PVP.
 

Virex

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Or, those of us who have beaten it, and the Scholar of the Dark Sin edition, believe it is by far the worst of the series. Lazy level design, lazy bosses, and lazy enemy placement (what should we put here, ah who cares, another gank squad will do).

But sure, I'm being 'cool'.
OK
 
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I wasn't anywhere near as harsh on the game until recently. I enjoyed it at the time. However, after playing through Dark Souls Remastered and replaying 3, I went back to 2 for more of the Souls fix. I couldn't play more than 5 hours of it. And I tried.
 

Aion002

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Just play DKS 3, if you enjoy it you can play them in whatever order you want.

I think you should not start with Bloodborne, the combat is more fast paced, so it might give you more trouble playing him first and then the others.

They're all master pieces, my favorite is Bloodborne, the world is amazing and the battle system is perfect in my opinion, Dark Souls 3 is the second in my favorite list, it represents the Souls series perfectly (even more than BB).

If you can, you should definitely eventually try Demon's Souls, everything started with him and it is quite unique.

Sekiro is different, it's amazing, but not the same as the Soulsborne, in the same way there is Nioh, which has some things from the series, but it has a whole other set of mechanics and approaches. Both are also must play games in my book.
 

Stiflers Mom

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I'd say start with Demon Souls. Wait for the remaster.
The atmosphere is really the best of all games imo and very different from DS 1-3. Also, levels are quite linear, which I liked.

I feel that Bloodborne is very akin to Demons in that regard. Compared to the rest of the bunch they are the brothers in this line of games.
 
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Dark Souls is Lovecraftian? Not in the same vein as Ebrietas, Ludwig, Nightmare of Mensis, etc. I'm sure, but the first boss in 3 was pretty Lovecraftian.

I'd say start with Demon Souls. Wait for the remaster.
The atmosphere is really the best of all games imo and very different from DS 1-3. Also, levels are quite linear, which I liked.

I feel that Bloodborne is very akin to Demons in that regard. Compared to the rest of the bunch they are the brothers in this line of games.
What I like about From Soft is the fact that their games aren't boringly linear, some paths may be narrow but they allow exploration, and you can go pretty much everywhere because they have a hub area.
 
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sublimit

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Story wise Demon's Souls and Bloodborne interest me more.
They are also the best in terms of how solid,complete and unique they were both in terms of gameplay as well as their worlds. The first Dark Souls although a phenomenal game for the most part which improved some aspects of Demon's unfortunately had some sections that were rushed. DS3 which was also an amazing game felt more like a best of than anything else.DS2 also had its problems although still a great game (and a more unique and "honest" one than DS3).

Demon's Souls and Bloodborne were the most unique,fresh and complete from all 5 SoulsBorne games.
 
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16bitwarzvet

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Play them all! I've finished DS3, Bloodborne, and DS2. Just picked up DS1 and will get Demon Souls at some point. Don't know about Sekiro simply because I like the customization options that the Souls games and Bloodborne offer. I'll probably pick it up in a sale. These games truly some up what this means... "get gud."
 

sublimit

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Play them all! I've finished DS3, Bloodborne, and DS2. Just picked up DS1 and will get Demon Souls at some point. Don't know about Sekiro simply because I like the customization options that the Souls games and Bloodborne offer. I'll probably pick it up in a sale. These games truly some up what this means... "get gud."
Sekiro has nothing to do with Souls/Bloodborne. It's a completely different game and genre.

Someone who likes Souls/Bloodborne doesn't mean he will also like Sekiro and vice versa.
 
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16bitwarzvet

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Sekiro has nothing to do with Souls/Bloodborne. It's a completely different game and genre.

Someone who likes Souls/Bloodborne doesn't mean he will also like Sekiro and vice versa.
First, go read the other quotes. Sekiro is a different game but it's made by the same guy and, while we can disagree, i would place it in the Souls like genre...ie...a difficult game that continually gets tougher but rewards you for getting better. And you are correct in someone liking Souls may also like Sekiro and vice versa. I was simply making the comment that I like the Souls games because of the customization whereas in Sekiro, you don't have that.
 

V4skunk

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Sekiro has nothing to do with Souls/Bloodborne. It's a completely different game and genre.

Someone who likes Souls/Bloodborne doesn't mean he will also like Sekiro and vice versa.
Sekiro is exactly the same as the other Soulsborne games lol minus the coop/invasions and a few other minor gameplay changes.