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Tycho / on Mon, Oct 3 2011 at 12:00 am

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The Affwiction

Given the disrespectful manner of my treatment, my husk is holding up super well!  I hate it, and I hate the idea of it, it’s my enemy in addition to being a kind of prison, but aside from the occasional twinge of piercing, mysterious pain, this thing just keeps on going.  Sure: there are the occasional parasitic lumps, sucking out my vitamins.  But it’s mostly cool.  My teeth are rarely pulled out by a Charleston Chew.

Gabriel’s body is always resentful of their arrangement - always quick to dispense abuse.  Sometimes, when we are in an airplane, one side of his face becomes paralyzed.  Sometimes his jaw will squeeze a nerve in the side of his head, and even though the worst pain he knows is eating part of his skull, we have a panel to do and he must approximate humanity for the next hour and a half.

Sometimes he will try to eat a piece of fresh, ripe fruit, because we are fucking omnivores, and we respond at a fundamental level to everything that fruit represents.  It is at this point that his lips become plump, hideously so, like some Hollywood cautionary tale.  This causes him to spend an evening cross referencing symptoms, pacing the skeins of an infernal Web, until he is able to craft himself an entirely custom apocalypse.

I’ve managed to tuck several hours into Dark Souls, the multiplatform followup to the Sony published/From developed grindhouse RPG grudgefuck.  You’ll be entirely at home coming over from Demon’s Souls, if you were one of the people exposed to one of the greatest surprises of this console generation.

Its blistering difficulty is the most salient point, as a message it’s certainly travelled far.  This means some of the basic stuff you’d think it would: survival-horror style rationing, big hits, mean-spirited booby traps and the occasional instakill.  But it’s also difficult in ways modern games have simply decided against: a “ledge” in Dark Souls is not an aesthetic trapping, a fetish, an object meant to represent another object and evoke its properties without actually embodying them.  It’s a fucking hole.  There is no magical forcefield that will keep you from that hole.  This world does not have your best interests at heart; it will eat you like anything else.

(CW)TB out.

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