GAMING CULTURE: THE RISING POPULARITY OF “SOULSBORNE” GAMES
Difficulty level has always been a part of gaming culture. In recent years, one type of game called “Soulsborne” has gained a lot of popularity because of its notoriety for being extremely difficult. In those games, even one small mistake can cost you your game.
Despite its many difficult layers of gaming, a number of gaming communities have grown to like “Soulborne” games.
The beginning of Soulsborne games came from the “Souls” series – an open world action Role-Playing Game (RPG) from the Japanese Fromsoftware video game development company. Its initial start was “Demon Souls”, then slowly gained popularity from its next series “Dark Souls”. So why has it become popular among gamers?
Firstly, this series has a unique way of storytelling. Instead of experiencing the linear storyline like other fantasy games, gamers will immerse themselves in the environment, background music, enemies they encounter that eventually create the storyline. It is up to the player to “solve the puzzle” and create their own plot for the game.
Secondly, gamers do not have to learn the storyline of the game. They can just ignore other characters and play the main quest without a clue. Sounds frustrating?
Thirdly and most importantly, this series is just notoriously difficult. If your character dies, all of the souls (the “currency” to upgrade level & items in this game) collected will be dropped at the point that your character dies, and you have to collect again. Worst of all, if your character dies before you collect all your dropped souls back, all of the souls left will be gone.
Moreover, even the weakest enemy in this game is so dangerous that it can kill you in just a couple of hits! Thus, the player has to be cautious on every move they take or risk losing precious souls. Not to mention, you will have to retry multiple times before you can kill “the boss” of the game.
All those factors combined might sound frustrating to most players. Yet somehow, it has created a community of players who come to help each other to enjoy playing this game altogether. They would go through each zone or take down each boss; help each other solving the mystery of the game; make a roadmap for the new player to follow; or try to summarize & explain all stories in the game.
Thanks to the multiplayer systems of the game, it allows players to create a group who has the same interest in doing PVP (Player Vs Player) content in the game, whether arrange a duel, making item builds for PVP, or invade other player through special in-game “Covenant”.
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