Let's start with the storyline. When you start the game, you will be sent through a a tutorial level which basically tells you what buttons does what. You will also learn how to dodge or parry.It is sad to say that you are forced to die at the end even if you manage to kill the big fat ugly flying troll with a massive club. You are revived by a witch and your journey begins from there. The storyline is basically a hero comes in and save the world from utter destruction. A typical RPG storyline.
The gameplay is somewhat original and a little complex. In fact if you are automatically connected to the PSN, your playthrough will be already affected. The first thing I noticed is the endurance bar. I like the fact that there is an endurance bar which prevents you from hack and slashing the enemy NPCs and makes you develop your own fighting style during PVPs online. Just like other role playing games out there, you will require to obtain items such as HP replenishing grasses and MP regenerating spices.
When you start the game for the first time, you are asked to choose from different classes in the game and those are Soldier, Knight, Hunter, Priest, Magician, Wanderer, Barbarian, Theif, Temple Knight, and Royalty. You can edit your character to as well to the very last detail however you want it. You can edit the hairstyle, color, distance of the eyebrows, length of the nose, and etc. So after all this, you are forced to die once you reached the end of the tutorial and you start the game in what they call "Soul Form". Everytime you die, you become a soul.
Being in "Soul Form" will give you a different perspective in the game. You get less maximum hp and you are allowed to help other players once you obtained the blue stone. There are 2 more important stones and they are black and red. With the black stone, you are able to invade other players's world while the red stone is like an invitation for PVP. These stones are important if you are in soul form.
In order to be "alive" again or back in your physical form, you have to either kill a boss or a living player by invading their world. Whenever you kill a boss, a living player, or a friendly NPC will change the gameplay just a little bit. This game has something called "World Tendency".
World tendency is affected by each action you make such as killing a boss or an NPC. It is rated from pure black to white. Having pure black world tendency means harder enemies and higher chances of them dropping better items. With pure white, some parts of the levels will change. For example, a big rock blocking your way will be gone in pure white world tendency which allows you to enter a room that contains a good item. So in order to complete the game in 100% you have to play in both world tendencies.
Some of the bosses are pretty darn hard and some are not. Each boss requires a different strategy in order for you to defeat them. Of course they have their own weaknesses which is up to you to figure out. Also there are some places where you can get to and not get hit by their attacks. Make sure you use the boss' location and environment to your advantage.
Aside from singleplayer, the multiplayer part of this game is satisfying. You are automatically connected to the servers and whenever you are playing in your physical form, you are at risk of being invaded by other players that are also online. The PVP in this game is okay. The lag sometimes decides whether you win a PVP or not because sometimes it can get so bad that a player can back stab you while you think they are far away. This game also has a co-op mission. You can invite up to 3 others to join your world. By the way, you have to be in your physical form in order to play co-op not in your ghost form. I like to invite others if I cannot beat the boss by myself. By helping players defeat bosses, you gain souls. In order to level up in this game, you need souls.
Souls is basically the currency and the exp needed in order to gain soul levels. So basically, you have to "pay" to level up. This makes you more careful to what stats you should level up.
Enough with the gameplay and let us look at the audio/visual part of the game. Graphics wise, this game falls under excellent. There is tons of details that comes with the items and environment. Texture and everything for the bosses are excellent. Animations are excellent. There are different animations for every weapons you choose.
Sometimes, the framerate drops to a noticeable level especially when there are too many things going on in your screen. For example, rolling on top of the wooden barrells. Other than that, there is barely and pop ups or camera glitches in this game.
Sound is excellent. Voice acting sometimes gets dull but it brings that cinematic feel. Background sound and ambience provides extra realism to the game. It can be very scary at times because of things that you hear in this game.
In conclusion, this game is excellent. It is one of those games that will want to make you give up right in the beginning but as the game progresses becomes easier. This game provides satisfying rewards and feeling when you finish it or even just killing another player. I would rate it 4.5 out of five.