24 Games until Xmas is our special feature to build up to the end of the year, however that is not all.
Each member of staff was asked to provide their top twenty four games of the year; we have taken this list and will reveal a game each day until December 24, at which point we will unveil our number one game of the year.
There are some fantastic titles on the way and when the final game is revealed, that’s where you come in.
Once the number one game has been revealed we will then create a poll with all 24 games and ask you to vote on your own personal game of the year, this poll will run from December 24 until January 2nd, at which point we will announce the ShopToNews readers Game of The Year 2011.
We hope you are enjoying counting down our best 24 games of the year with us and if you have just joined us then make sure you check out the other games in the list.
Here’s the next…
16 Games Until Xmas: Dark Souls
Just the mere mention of Dark Souls will bring many a gamer to their knees and rightfully so; but to focus on how hard it is, belies just really how good the game is. Think of Dark Souls as a Zelda game for adults and sadomachachists and you won’t be far from the truth.
This game grabbed me right from the very start and only now, 80 hours of gameplay later, am I beginning to ween myself off of it. Presented with a lush intro video you are literally dropped into dark and gothic world with a simple quest ahead of you, regain your humanity and defeat whoever was responsible for turning this land into a prison for the dead. You are then left to your own devices as to what to do next, with each area intertwined with one another to such a degree that the level designs alone will haunt you.
Though pitched as a difficult game there are many ways to overcome this with a wide range of starter classes that, as you progress, become more and more persona, which will see mages wielding huge axes to warriors that can spell cast powerful spells on their weaponry, it’s all down to you how to proceed and it’s pure nerd heaven.
Every aspect of Dark Souls has been meticulously crafted, from some truly ghastly and imposing enemies to the intricate looks of the armour and weaponry you carry, all of which can be upgraded to be even more powerful; which you will need to defeat the enemies, some of which are so big they fill the screen with Iron Giants and Hydras acting as mini bosses before fighting the final four who turned on the world into what it is now.
The online mode comes across as very original but confusing and is seamlessly melded into the single-player experience; as long as you are online you are under constant threat of invading players, or Phantoms as they are called in game, with other players crossing to your world to kill you. This is carried out via the many covenants you can join, acting as a sort of online hub with some having evil intentions whilst others are all about summoning Phantoms to assist on some of the harder bosses.
Dark Souls had such a grip on me that I went straight into a second play-through, offering even harder enemies, but with so many areas missed it is worth it and I may do it again; Dark Souls is a rare gem of a game that does not apologise for being brutal but makes you a better player as you proceed. Personally I think Dark Souls should be number 1 on this list, but I only had one vote and the others are too scared to play it.
To see a more in-depth analysis of the game and our thoughts on it, click here to read our review. You can get your copy from ShopTo, here (PS3) and here (Xbox 360).
Do you own Dark Souls? Have you played it or are you considering it? Let us know in the comments field below.