A beginner’s guide to soulsborne games


Soulsborne is a genre that defines the RPG, action, and fantasy universes developed by FromSoftware Inc., a Japanese video game development and publishing company, primarily associated with the supervision of the director Hidetaka Miyazaki.

This article serves as a guide to the most interesting entry points to Miyazaki's world and the soulsborne genre. 

Elden Ring (2022) 

Starting the list with the current most popular soulsborne game itself, Elden Ring is the first open-world soulsborne game. You start the game as a lowly Tarnished, a member of the land's exiled group, set out for personal glory. The characters you encounter on your journey greatly influence your actions and decisions.

Elden Ring has multiple endings, and the choices you make in your playthrough greatly impact the world you create. In 2022, Elden Ring took the gaming world by storm with its breathtaking and immersive open-world experience, lore, character customisation, and build varieties. The game is loved for its intricate map design, exploration, unique characters, and boss fights. 

Dark Souls 3 (2016)

The Dark Souls series is known for its punishing combat system, challenging boss fights, and unique level-up mechanic. Dark Souls 3 is the epitome of what the fans call a soulsborne experience.

As the final game from the series, Dark Souls 3 has all the aspects of the Dark Souls franchise, from the apocalyptic fantasy world setting to the average souls-like combat, but in a more polished and accessible form. This game encourages you to read and understand the obstacles you face instead of charging head-on, whether it be hazy Catacombs or excruciatingly painful boss fights.

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice (2019)

Set in a fictionalised version of Japan's historic Sengoku period, Sekiro is full of vibrant colours and stunning scenery. It has a unique sword-based combat system, and the game is a challenge in and of itself. 

Sekiro has a more accessible storyline that guides you throughout the game compared to the previously mentioned games, to compensate for its mechanical difficulty. It can be frustrating once you get stuck in a challenging boss fight due to its simplicity. Resilience and perseverance are extremely important to progress in this game.

Bloodborne (2015)

It's impossible to talk about soulsborne games and not mention BloodborneBloodborne is the gothic, H.P. Lovecraftian twist to the original souls-like formula. The game is set in a dark bloody city that starts with the idea of entering a bad dream and then transitions into full-blown cosmic horror. 

Bloodborne isn't as mechanically taxing as other soulsborne games and does not require the player to understand a variety of build mechanics. It's one of the easiest entries to the soulsborne universe and also one of the most exciting ones. Unfortunately, Bloodborne is only available on PS4, and there is a big hoard of people eagerly waiting for a PC port or a remaster. 

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