5 A Unique Challengedrlowdon | 03/11/2011 | See all drlowdon's reviews (468)Top 100 Reviewer Top 100 DVD Reviewer A spiritual successor to the PS3 only Demon Souls, Dark Souls is a game like nothing else available on the Xbox360. As you may well have already have heard you will die a lot in the process of (attempting to) complete the game. In the 75+ hours it took me to finish I would estimate that I suffered in excess of one hundred deaths. Unlike a number of other games I could name however this rarely became frustrating as each death can be seen as a learning experience allowing you to progress just that little bit further next time.Following a short, but tough, tutorial section the player finds themselves in an open world that they are free to explore any direction they choose. Never knowing what is around the next corner provides a truly tense yet exhilarating experience and reaching a bonfire (the games equivalent of checkpoints) provides such a huge sense of relief that you will often find yourself letting out a deep breath.All this is backed up by an excellent combat system that allows for the use of magic, bow and melee tactics as well as any combination in between. Forgoing the use of complex button combinations success depends on quickly working out the attack patterns of the huge variety of enemies and launching your own attacks at just the right moment. A seconds lapse in concentration can be fatal even against the games most basic foes!If all this sounds impossible help is fortunately always at hand from fellow on-line players. Using an item found early in the game players can leave messages for each other providing information on how to find secret areas or on the weaknesses of certain enemies. It is even possible to summon another player into your world in order to assist you on a particularly troublesome boss and this can go a long way to swinging the odds in your favour.For anyone looking for something just that bit different I can't recommend Dark Souls highly enough, just ensure that you have the internet handy as the game doesn't clearly explain many of the concepts that are vital if you are to make any kind of progress.