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Dark Souls is a dark fantasy action role-playing game series developed by FromSoftware in which the player assumes the role of a custom-created character to explore paths and defeat various enemies along the way in an open-world environment. Upon killing an enemy, the player receives a certain amount of "soul" that serves as both currency and experience points (XP), as well as rare items in some instances. Since the release of the original title in 2011, the Dark Souls series has gained an online following for its depth of combat features and challenging difficulty curve.
Demon's Souls is an action role-playing game developed by FromSoftware under the direction of Hidetaka Miyazaki for the Sony PlayStation 3 console. The game was first released in Japan by Sony Computer Entertainment Japan Studio on February 5th, 2009, followed by its release in North America on October 6th, 2009 and the rest of the world on June 25th, 2010. Demon's Souls is widely regarded as the spiritual predecessor of Dark Souls.
Dark Souls, the first official title in the video game series, was directed by Hidetaka Miyazaki and developed by FromSoftware for the Sony PlayStation 3 and Microsoft Xbox 360, which was released in Japan on September 22nd, 2011, followed by its worldwide release in October 2011. A PC version of the video game was released in August 2012.
Dark Souls II
On December 7th, 2012, Dark Souls II was announced during the Spike Video Game Awards. Unlike the previous game, Hidetaka Miyazaki is credited as the supervisor of the production, with Tomohiro Shibuya and Yui Tanimura serving as co-directors of the sequel title. In March 2014, the game was released for the Sony PlayStation 3 and Microsoft Xbox 360, followed by the release of its PC port in April that year. In April 2015, Dark Souls II: Scholars of The First Sin was released as the expansion of the game for the Sony PlayStation 3 & PlayStation 4, Microsoft Xbox One & Xbox 360 and PC.
Dark Souls III
On June 5th, 2015, Rooster Teeth news channel The Know reported on leaked information and screenshots from the third official title Dark Souls III it had anonymously obtained during its production stage (shown below), which was subsequently picked up by several video game news sites, including Polygon, Kotaku, Forbes, and Techno Buffalo.
On June 9th, 2015, IGN released promotional images for Dark Soul III a week ahead of its official unveiling at the E3 2015 (shown below).
During its showcase at E3, FromSoftware confirmed that Hidetaka Miyazaki would once again return as the director of the third official title in the series and slated for release in early 2016 for the Sony PlayStation 4, Microsoft Xbox One and PC. Dark Souls III was released in Japan on March 24th, 2016, followed by worldwide release on April 12th, 2016.
Bloodborne is a dark fantasy action role-playing game developed by From Software and published by SCEA Japan Studio exclusively for the Sony PlayStation 4 on March 24th, 2015. Due to the similar gameplay mechanics, Bloodborne is considered to be a spiritual sequel to both Demon's Souls and Dark Souls.
As of June 2015, Demon's Souls holds a Metacritic score of 89. Dark Souls holds a Metacritic score of 89 for the Xbox 360 and PS3 while the PC port was rated a score of 85. Dark Souls II holds a Metacritic score of 91 on all platforms while Dark Souls II: Scholar of The First Sin holds a Metacritic score of 87 for the PlayStation 4, 89 for the Xbox One and 78 on the PC. Dark Souls III holds a Metacritic score of 89 for the PS4, 86 for the XBox One and 90 for the PC.
With a large online fanbase, the Dark Souls series has been a recurring subject of discussions on various communities, including Tumblr, 4chan and GameFAQs, among others. As of April 2016, the official Facebook page for the game has over 600,000 likes and the Dark Souls Wiki has more than 2,900 articles about the series. On Reddit, there are three main subreddits for discussions dedicated to each installment in the series, /r/DarkSouls, /r/DarkSouls2 and /r/DarkSouls3.
Search queries for the keyword "Dark Souls" yields more than 145,000 results on Deviantart and over 4,700 results on the Japanese illustrators' community Pixiv.
The series has also inspired cosplays based on the various characters and bosses in the games.
The series has inspired a number of viral playthrough videos, parodies and remixes.
Dark Souls II Graphics Downgrade
On March 9th, 2014, a thread on NeoGAF titled "Dark Souls 2 Lighting changes/Downgrade" was posted which highlights graphical downgrades which were noticed by early players of Dark Souls II in comparison to what was advertised prior to the game's release. The thread gathered 4,422 posts in a month. On March 12th and March 19th, 2014, respectively, YouTuber HyperBitHero uploaded a two-part video that compares the graphical difference of Dark Souls II between what was shown in the game's trailers with the released product.
On March 19th, 2014, FromSoftware released a statement regarding the downgrade.
Throughout the game development process, a game is constantly being balanced not only in game playability but also in the realm of resource management. A developer is always challenged with creating the most rewarding gaming experience while delivering continuity in graphical quality, gameplay dynamics, and balance within the game. The final version of Dark Souls II displays the culmination of this delicate balance and we’re very proud of the positive media and fan reception for the game.
On March 20th, 2014, Forbes reported that Dark Souls II's graphics was downgraded due to the game encountering serious frame rate and playability issues with the original settings on the console version, citing anonymous sources.
Solaire of Astora
Solaire of Astora is a character from the 2011 video game Dark Souls. The character has gained a fan following due to his personality and quotes, with the latter popularizing the phrase Praise The Sun and Jolly Cooperation.
GiantDad, also known as The Legend, is a custom-built playable character often used by griefers in the player-vs-player (PVP) mode of Dark Souls.
 Polygon – Dark Souls 3 screenshots, rumored gameplay details leak
 Kotaku – YouTube Channel Claims To Have First Dark Souls 3 Screens, Details
 Forbes – A Closer Look At The 'Dark Souls 3' Leak
 Techno Buffalo – Dark Souls III screenshots leak, additional information bubbles up
 IGN – Dark Souls 3 Art Confirms Early 2016 Release
 Metacritic – Demon's Souls
 Metacritic – Dark Souls Xbox 360
 Metacritic – Dark Souls PS3
 Metacritic – Dark Souls PC
 Metacritic – Dark Souls II PS3
 Metacritic – Dark Souls II Xbox 360
 Metacritic – Dark Souls II PC
 Metacritic – Dark Souls II PS4: Scholar of The First Sin
 Metacritic – Dark Souls II: Scholar of The First Sin Xbox One
 Metacritic – Dark Souls II: Scholar of The First Sin PC
 Tumblr – Search for Dark Souls
 archive.moe – Search on /v/ for Dark Souls
 Gamefaqs – Dark Souls Board for PS3
 Gamefaqs – Dark Souls Board for Xbox 360
 Gamefaqs – Dark Souls II Board for PS3
 Gamefaqs – Dark Souls II Board for Xbox 360
 Facebook – The Official Dark Souls Facebook Page
 Dark Souls Wiki – Main Page
 Reddit – /r/DarkSouls
 Reddit – /r/DarkSouls2
 Reddit – /r/Darksouls3
 Deviantart – Search for Dark Souls
 Pixiv – Search for Dark Souls
 NeoGaf – Dark Souls 2 Lighting changes/Downgrade
 MCV – From Software responds to Dark Souls II graphics downgrade concerns
 Forbes – Dark Souls II Was Unplayable And Broken On Consoles Before Graphics Downgrade
Apr 11, 2016 at 12:54AM EDT
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