Jolly Cooperation and Getting Good


Ms. Libo-on, Contributor

 Frustration IS a feature!

Co-written by George R.R Martin (writer of Game of Thrones) and inspired by the monstrous works of Guillermo Del Toro, Elden Ring is the newest installment of the Dark Souls series. While not an exceptionally famous game among the youth, the Dark Soul series is widely known for having the most demanding games in its repertoire. Renowned gamers and streamers have often commented on the challenging game series’s rite-of-passage.

But why? Why play a game that’s inherently challenging and frustrating? Streamers worldwide chime in on how the novelty is its difficulty; if you beat a dark souls game, you are evidently a ‘pro-gamer.’ 

Elden Ring is a part of a video game series from FromSoftware that is incredibly challenging. According to an article from The Guardian (written in 2016), “The 25 Hardest Games in History,” Demon Souls (the first game in the Dark Souls franchise) is one of the most challenging games of its time.  Following the release of Elden Ring, a more recent article ranks the game as the most difficult in the series (Screen Rant, Feb 27, 2022). 

Authors Rich Stanton and Will Freeman state: “In these games, even the most basic enemies murder players [repeatedly], so that the screen message “YOU DIED” is imprinted on the brain. The only consolation is that death is a staple part of how these worlds work.

If the game is so frustrating, why do people choose to play any of these games? Gamers and reporters remark that there is a sense of achievement in completing a challenging game. “Dark Souls” and the games in its franchise are notorious for having a community that stands by the “meme” of perseverance; from jolly cooperation to ‘getting gud,’ the gamers in this niche glorify the achievement gained from hard work. Not only is the game a triple AAA title, in a sense that is massive in scope and beautifully crafted, it currently stands at a rating of 95% on the aggregate score compiler, MetaCritic.

“This game slaps. Quite literally.” Friend from Discord.- Faze Jev completes an achievement that only 3% of players accomplish

On a personal note, I have played a Dark Souls game; it took me THREE HOURS to beat the tutorial boss on Dark Souls 3. Veteran players have said that Iudex Gundyr (the first boss of DS3) was one of the more difficult starting bosses, but being stone-walled at the start of the game certainly is disheartening. So why does anyone continue to play? I certainly didn’t. People who call themselves gamers wear their wins against challenging games as badges of honor. The more hype that surrounds this game, the more inclination I have to at least GIVE IT A TRY.

As author Daniel Van Boom states from Cnet, “Trust me, I know — because I’ve never beaten any Souls game. In fact, I’ve been too intimidated even to play them. You may be in the same boat, intrigued by Elden Ring but also a little afraid. After sinking over 60 hours into Elden Ring, I can tell you with absolute confidence: You should be afraid. But some fears are worth conquering.”

Other articles have commented on how much more accessible this game is than the others in its franchise. I’m not too sure about the validity of those statements, seeing as Elden Ring is ranked as the most difficult in the Souls series, but at least I am somewhat convinced that I should give it a try.

After Summer Break, I should be able to review the game with more credibility.