What do you say about a game that changed everything?
Dark Souls is an advancement of the idea of the real time dungeon crawler. Taken to a third person perspective the action of the game can be more intense and dramatic as noticing enemy cues for attacks become really important. Yet the game carries a lot of dungeon crawler elements with it, like a hub and death penalty, with most people not really saying anything about it. This is where the contention with the game comes from, even though it looks and feels like an action RPG it's a dungeon crawler.
You hear people say it doesn't have a story, but that hasn't stopped anyone from playing many other dungeon crawlers. People say you don't interact with the world and characters like a traditional CRPG, though before the 90s this is how people interacted with the world and characters in CRPGs. Which were dungeon crawlers basically.
You want to talk to someone after talking to another person, or with an item in your inventory. Or maybe you want to try and hear every line of dialogue a person has so you can figure out some clue to your problem.
With this though we got a weird little community of fans. People who like dungeon crawlers and probably Demon's Souls would sort of see the game as it was and like it. People interested in PvP as well could find something very unique. Then there were the people interested in the game because of the challenge it represents and that drive it creates.
I like the feel of the game. The controls of Demon's Souls are a little too slow for me. Little things like being able to upgrade armors or the estus system really mean a lot to me. While Dark Souls doesn't really go too insane with level design for the most part, there's no Tower of Latria or Valley of Defilement, that isn't necessarily a bad thing. Anor Londo stands out, the Kiln of the First Flame stands out, and these are important places in the world that are supposed to be thought about. But at the same time the atmosphere also isn't as ridiculous as Dark Souls sequel. What one mindflayer could do to your stress levels in Demon's Souls now took a room full of enemies.
But the Souls community was sort of a mess. I'd say they listened to the wrong people in terms of trying to sell the sequel. Dark Souls isn't about some super challenge and being the best.
It's about fighting a giant wolf, and as you take down his health he starts to actually look hurt. Suddenly you really feel like a dick. What you thought was happening and what was actually happening were two entirely different things. Filling you with that sense of discovery. That's when the true Dark Souls starts.