Full disclosure: I loved Demon’s Souls. I know not everyone has, but I thought From Software really brought something new in an ocean of sameness that is the current video game market.
Dark Souls is the spiritual successor to Demon’s Souls, so-called because of a goofy licensing issue that is far too tedious to discuss here. Anyway. It’s not related to Demon’s Souls in plot, but game play mechanics and visuals were very familiar. That’s a good thing. While calling Dark Souls (a dank, wet, gritty, bloody game) might be a misnomer, it is visually stunning.
You use left-hand and right-hand weapons with the left and right trigger. Also, you can equip items and weapons with the D-pad, much like the first game.
The big change here is now there’s no Nexus. There’s no hub-world after you die. The game is one continuously flowing map. Now you use bonfires to level up, regain health and (TA-DA!!) checkpoints! But it’s not the respite you might think. Using one re-spawns all the monsters. There's also a lot of ways to evade big baddies. You won't be able to avoid all of them forever, but since it's an open world game, you can dart by some of them to get to other areas in the world.
Each time you die, your avatar changes a little bit, becoming a little less human, a little more demon-looking. I actually didn’t see this happen, but I was told about it. Also each time you die, all your accrued experience points leak out. You can travel back to the same spot and pick them up later.
I really enjoyed playing this game, and it’s a must-have for hardcore players.