A lot of things nowadays are compared to Dark Souls. Stuff like Zombi U, Lords of the Fallen, perhaps even Citizen Kane for reasons hard to understand. But imagine living in a world without Dark Souls. What would our life be like? Would games be easier today? Would anyone remember Blade of Darkness at all?
Most importantly, there wouldn’t be this strange necessity to compare any third-person action game to From Software’s games. See, take for example Crusaders of Might and Magic. It’s a little known game, and for good reason: it really stinks. Levels are as linear as they come, the combat system is very imprecise, and the platforming sections will make you want to kill yourself… not that the bottomless abyss isn’t going to do that first. With this kind of pedigree, it’s already a miracle that GOG decided to pick it up at all.
But when you really try and dissect it, you will fall in the usual trap: the combat system requires dodging and blocking before going for a quick hit and run. That’s sort of a proto-version of Dark Souls. You can only heal yourself with non-recharging potions, kinda like Demon’s Souls. And if we really wanna stretch it, getting surrounded usually means trouble, so that reminds me of the Souls series too… oh crap, it’s happening to me too.
But then, that’s the problem. At its extreme, we could say that anything that doesn’t behave like Diablo, behaves like Dark Souls. That’s probably some sort of fallacy. What about Zelda for example? Wait… maybe Zelda is a bit like Dark Souls…
No, no, let’s not go there.