All member reviews for Dark Souls

Common Sense Media says

Bloody RPG gives new meaning to hardcore game difficulty.

Users say

(out of 29 reviews)
age 13+
Review this title!
Parent of a 4, 11, and 13 year old Written bybig_bad_dad August 22, 2013

Hard does not mean inappropriate for kids.

I have used this site for a very long time, but become incredibly frustrated after reading the last parent reviews for this game. So such that I created an account just to post. This game has NO talking, so language is not an issue, it also has NO sex, there is 1 monster that is half spider/half women that might be considered topless however the monster has long hair and nothing is ever exposed, no nipples, nothing sexual at all. Trust me when I say that your kids see more skin during Budweiser ads on TV. Now on to the violence, first this game is complete fantasy, its is not a shooter, and does not attempt to be realistic, you are fighting mythical creatures and knights. The game does have blood, but it is not realistic and does not attempt to be realistic. And to add to it all, there is an option to disable blood entirely. I consider myself incredibly strict when it comes to media with my kids, this happens to be the ONLY M rated game we own. This game should not have been rated M, even with the blood enabled this game is less violent than most T rated games (especially shooters), and there is absolutely no bad language or "suggestive" content. I am annoyed that people seem say "this game is hard and not for kids" what does a games difficulty have to do with it being appropriate? I personally prefer that my 11 year learn a little bit about persistence and having to learn how to play a game. I would say any kid who wants to play this game and is willing to stick with it over the age of 10 should be able to play it. There is nothing any more violent in the game than what kids see in Harry Potter or Star Wars if the blood is disabled. To give you an idea of where I stand, I have no problem with my 11 year old playing this game, and I don't let him play games like Halo, or Uncharted, War Hawk, or Call of Duty. I would love to hear a real explanation of "not for kids" that doesn't include "its really hard" I would also like to add that something is seriously wrong when the parent reviews on this site show Mass Effect 3 as appropriate or kids 13-15 when it has an incredible amount of cursing including the F word, sexual themes and scenes including potentially same sex relationships, crazy amounts of gore and killing, and then we label a mild fantasy game as "Not for Kids" Sounds a little off to me.
What other families should know
Great role models
Too much violence
Adult Written byColin A. October 4, 2011

Even harder than its predecessor, absolutely not for kids/faint of heart

Dark souls is an incredible, fun, deep, rewarding game if you are the right person. If not, it will prove to be cruel, overly-punishing, hopeless torment. The difficulty level is turned all the way up to 11 in this game, and will probably be remembered as the hardest game this year. If you or your child is easily angered from death/failure in games, than this is absolutely not for you/them. Regardless of the gamer's skill, it is almost a guaranteeing that they will die constantly from clever, brutal enemies, devious traps, and knights wielding giant hammers. Onto the content: Violence: Very brutal, blood spurts all around with plenty of disturbing, gory imagery. It is very realistic, and there are an incredibly high amount of ways to die other than "stabbed to death by sword." If the player is easily freighted by unexpected deaths, like being charred to a crisp by a dragon or being devoured by a living treasure chest, one should think twice before playing. Sexual content: The ESRB rating is for "partial nudity," and this much is true. One of the boss fights displays a woman whose breasts are only covered by her long hair. Additionally, she has the torso of a giant spider beast. Other than that there is the occasional cleavage from a lady-character or shirtless guy, nothing one wouldn't see in a PG-13 movie. Privacy: A small issue, but an issue none the less. In the game's online function one can team up or attack other players in their own game-worlds. The only thing truly displayed is one's online screen name, thus allowing one to send messages to the account. Be sure to have a talk with your children to not give out any personal information before you let them play, though most evil-type players you meet online are only interested in killing your character and what they can gain from doing such. Message: As an additional point, the game has a very dark, hopeless, and off-and-on spiritual tone to it. Some players may find this very inviting and engaging to enter the game experience with such a strong emotional overset, where as other players could be disturbed emotionally from the constant stress on death and decay in the game environments. This game and its predecessor (Demon's Souls) are both well-known in the gaming world for having the ability to infringe on the gamer's mental well-being after extended playtime, however the amount that it does, and the intensity of its effect is reliant solely on the gamer themselves. This can be a good thing if the player commits themselves to the game to beat it, as the payoff and victory stand to be one of the most-satisfying victories in modern gaming. It would be a bad thing, of course, if the player is easily influenced by feelings up to the point that it would change their attitude from playing the game. As a final note, Dark Souls is good if you like to be challenged, and to learn from your mistakes. The game is never unfair, only strict. One can think of it as a teacher, aiding the player to learn more and more about how to combat each enemy and situation as time, (and deaths) pass by. Simply stated: Enjoy challenge=good Hate challenge=bad Do some serious thinking before you let your children under 15 or so play.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Parent Written byTheBestDad11 January 2, 2014

No violence or gore, only difficulty

I disagree with most parents who have written a review on this game. It is suitable for any child above 10 who wants a challenge and is not going to take their anger out on other people or things. Now, on to the content: VIOLENCE: not an issue in this game. There is worse in PG-13 movies. Small splashes of blood appear from an enemy as you hit them but it is very hard to notice. Most of the enemys you will fight in this game are skeletons anyway. The blood does not look lifelike at all, and for the over-protective parents there is even an option to turn it off. GORE: Not an issue. In Dark Souls there is no gore in killing enemys. The violence and gore in this game stands below Halo, Call of Duty and a lot of other top games young kids play. SEXUAL CONTENT: Not much of an issue. There is one boss who's breasts are only covered by her hair, but she has the body of a spider so it is very fictional and nothing worse then what you would see at the mall these days. LANGUAGE: Not an issue as the characters don't speak. PRIVACY: You can play online but there is no talk, the only issue is that everyone can see your online name which is only an problem if your child's online name is their real name. DRUGS AND GAMBLING: None at all. DIFFICULTY: The major issue in Dark Souls. Both this game and its prequel, Demon's Souls, are known very well for challenging the player with hordes of enemies that can kill your player in seconds. You will need a tactic to clear each part. What makes it even harder is that checkpoints are very scarce. OVERALL: I think this game is appropriate for anyone above 10 who does not have anger issues. It is a very fun game which will reward you deeply if you complete it. The feeling you get in this game when you defeat a boss or find a checkpoint is one of the best feelings you can get from this game. I think Dark Souls should have been rated T rather than M.
What other families should know
Great messages
Parent of a 13, 15, and 16 year old Written byJonathan_Bailey June 4, 2014

No more violent than Lord of the Rings

My 16 year old son plays Dark Souls, and really enjoys it. My 13 year old son knew a lot about it, and wanted to play it. I had my 16 year old play the game while I watched. It was quite violent, but nothing my son hadn't seen before in media such as Lord of the Rings or the Hobbit. My 16 year old then told me that there was even an option to turn off the blood in the game, which was my biggest issue. After witnessing the game like this, I wondered why it wasn't rated Teen. I asked my son about how much nudity there was, and he said there was barely any. He showed me a video of the boss battle that apparently contained nudity, and it was a spider demon, with hair covering her exposed breasts. I let my younger son play this game, and he claims to enjoy it very much, even though I hear him shout in anger frequently.
Parent Written byCuddly1984 December 15, 2011

Excellent description Colin A. Definately not for kids in my opinion.

I agree with Colin A. Definately not for kids, as far as describing the aspects of the game that make it such, Colin A. gives a great answer for that. I would also say "know your child", make sure they are mature enough to understand the game play, and game contents.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Parent of a 15 and 16 year old Written byjenclove35141 January 18, 2014

Fine game

This review is way too sensitive! As a mother of two boys ages 16, I am strict on what video games and media they are exposed to. This game is a fantasy monster hunting game, violence isn't an issue, nor is the so called 'nudity'. Both of my children say that the game is very difficult. Difficult does not mean unsuitable for children
What other families should know
Great messages
Teen, 17 years old Written byWhatYouNeedToKnow October 30, 2011

What You Need To Know

Hello all! Back again to review another big name title! Dark souls! Whats it about? Its about an undead soldier who is "chosen" to save all the undead. Disturbing imagery - Its a pretty dark word full of demons and dragons. Some of the bosses are quite interesting looking. I wouldnt say disturbing more like "ew". One of the bosses is a partially naked lady, her hair covers the area of interest. Also one of the NPC's has verrryyy large....Ahem... while they are completely covered they are most definitely noticeable. Personally i think it is ridiculous how parents will let their kids play super violent games but if mildly suggestive clothing is in a game its an automatic NO. The thing parents have to realize is YOUR KIDS HAVE SEEN WORSE! Sorry for ranting. Violence - The game lets you use a variable arsenal of weapons all do different types of damage. Blood in this game is not noticeable enough to make a difference, it appears as a thin red cloud around the enemy. There is no gore, or hacking of limbs. There is also no option to turn it off. Difficulty - Alright, this is the ONLY reason i wouldnt suggest this game to younger players. It is extremely difficult! fighting enemies is tough and requires alot of thought and can prove to difficult for younger less patient kids. I have played over 50hrs and im not even a quarter of the way through it. So if you have a kid who doesn't like to die or extreme difficulty then stay clear of this game for now. Educational value - It teaches you how to think. How do i kill this boss? What armor is best for my character? It really makes the player think logically and feel out new enemies to find the best strategy. It really makes you think, one mistake can lead to HUGE repercussions. Personally i think its a life lesson one mistake can have bad repercussions. Over all i think its a great game! I certainly have had a lot of fun with it. It is extremely hard though and i would take this into consideration before buying. :) Hope this helped!
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Too much violence
Parent Written byJanewhite123 January 18, 2014

Not a problem

My 15 year old son owns and plays this game frequently and i believe that this game is completely age appropriate. It contains fantasy violence that could be found in a Harry Potter or Lord Of the Rings Film. The game also gives the option to turn blood off. The nudity, or sexual themes in the game are non-existent, there is one monster that is half woman half spider,and she has the top half of her body on display, but her breasts are completely covered by her long hair. You would find more sexual themes in a 12 rated film than in this game.
What other families should know
Great messages
Parent of a 10 and 13 year old Written bythe_real_review January 2, 2014

Get it

No serious violence or gore its really hard my ten year old plays it with me. get it if your kids want a challenge
Parent of a 12 and 15 year old Written byThe best dad January 30, 2012

Just fine

This game can be frustrating at times but is really worth while. The blood is so mild and weird because you mostly fight skeleton like creatures but it really is not bad at all. The battle with the partially nude boss is really hard to notice what is not covered so well because she is constantly moving. Over all, my 13 and 15 year old son plays this game a lot and I have absolutely no problem with it.
What other families should know
Great messages
Teen, 17 years old Written bygrEEdo111 January 21, 2014

Play this if you think your a gamer (a serious one)

Dark souls is not for kids, simply for the reason that kids would not make it past the tutorial level. This may sound like a generalisation, but my estimate would be that 75% of the gaming community would struggle to make it past the tutorial without video walk through or the like, let alone children. Dark souls is truly a game made exclusively for the battle hardened video game veteran, the player who is willing to plunge into the heart of darkness, tumble into the inevitable well of defeat time and time again, and then, truly learn from their mistakes, grow from their experiences, and then stand up, fight the hoard, and emerge victorious finally. For those happy few who survive the ordeal, Dark Souls will almost certainly be one of the most spectacular, immersive, engrossing and ultimately satisfying gaming experiences you have ever taken part in. But come prepared. Prepared to die.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Parent Written byXanthousKingJeremiah September 8, 2015

You're child needs standards

Do you want your child to grow up to be a minecraft playing communist? Of course not! You want your child to git gud! Put them in their room and tell them they can have dinner when they show you the Soul of Ornstein.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Easy to play/use
Teen, 13 years old Written bykniroid May 22, 2012
LEARNING

zawesome

basically, if you can let your kids watch "lord of the rings" and they are okay with that, they can play this game. it is a very good game that teaches children to learn from there mistakes. while i do admit it is a hard game, its possible. you just gotta learn all the tricks, and once your kid beats one of the bosses, he will feel like he is on top of the world (i say "he" because i dont think many girls play this game.)
What other families should know
Too much violence
Teen, 14 years old Written byLokesloth August 22, 2015

Prepare to Die... a lot

Dark Souls is a masterpiece of gaming. In an industry full of titles that hold your hand and give you no sense of reward, the Souls series stands out. It is difficult, but not unfair- there is never a time where you are not killed with a reason. Every death is a learning experience; you can learn enemy attack patterns, maybe a certain strategy, and it's little moments of realization like that which make this game so good. The second you realize that this boss' weakness is such and such, and you test your theory out and it works, the joy is overwhelming and like no other in gaming. In terms of appropriateness, the game is fine. Blood appears as you hit enemies, and a large flow of blood spews out if you stab an enemy from behind. The blood is unrealistic though, and can be turned off. There is no inappropriate language that I can recall, and even if there was, it was nothing that bad. The "worst" it gets is a boss named Quelaag. From the waist down, she is a large spider-like creature, and her top is clothes-less. Her breasts are covered by her hair. Nothing to be worried about, since the cutscene showing her in torso in close is brief and it's hard to view her top in detail during the actual fight.
Adult Written byDom_C August 10, 2015

Spot on, CSM

"Who would think of letting anybody under 20 play a game where you can poke stuff with swords? This is absolutely unacceptable for any child at all" -Common Sense Media Bravo, guys. Yet another complete exaggeration with next to no truth to it. This game does have violence in it, but seriously? There is blood, which can be turned off, and the game is very difficult, with invisible platforms, seemingly- invulnerable bosses, hidden doorways, traps, and frustration will come with it. There is one half-spider-half-human hybrid who has a partially-exposed chest area, although nothing is shown.
Teen, 13 years old Written byDarksouls444 September 5, 2014

Good game but very hard for new gamers

It is a very good and well told RPG game ive played once and I couldn't beat the first area until I got enough souls (the currency and what you use to level up) to get a new weapon I played a heavy build tough for quick enemies but I beat it took me a while buy this! but not for younger kids also good role models if you want to help weaker people to stand up for themselves.
Teen, 13 years old Written byiwouldtrustme13 August 28, 2014

iwouldtrustme15

only reason that i rated this 15 is because its just the hardest game ever and unless you want your 10 year olds raging then i would make them wait nothing wrong with this game just really hard
Teen, 17 years old Written byPoopMagee January 28, 2014

Very hard and rewarding game. Hardly violent.

Dark Souls is a game that takes place during a dark time, and can easily depress people playing. This game can easily have a record for hardest game. The only note worthy factors are violence, and some partial nudity. Players use swords, bows, daggers, and other weapons to kill the undead. Players can often perform moves such as backstabs or parries which result in a huge amount of blood. Blood can be disabled by the player though, as the players has three options for blood display: ON(Shows blood) Mild(Turns blood black) and off(Disabling blood) and in some boss battles are strategically required to dismember enemies tales, or cut off their multiple heads.(Gargoyles, Dragons) and one character is depicted topless with just strands of hair covering her breasts.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Kid, 11 years old December 18, 2013

5 STARS UP

It's it's AMAZING!!!! i totally love it great RPG aside from skyrim.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Parent Written bydeadpeashooter12 July 6, 2015

dark souls is not for kids!!!

dark souls is a game were you kill demons, skelletons, and dark nights and more this game is very violent and there is one boss fight were there is a topples girl who is like a demon you have to fight this is not for kids i recomend 17 an older
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking

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