I'm sick of everyone praising Dark Souls. Almost everyone on the internet who talks about game design mentions Dark Souls as the greatest example of "hard but fair", and you know what, that's BS. Dark Souls is full of unfair anti-player mechanics that would be called out if any other game did the same thing. I'm going to list them. Expect this to take a while. (I'm going to focus on Dark Souls 1 for this review, and I'll only discuss the gameplay; I discuss the "story" here.)

First, I'll give the game something: the game has one of the most functional combat systems I've ever seen in an action game. It actually works. It has no unwinnable situations (subject to a caveat below), multiple counterplay options to almost everything, and has an extremely high skill ceiling. This game's combat system is extremely deep. The game is killed by everything else about it crippling the enjoyment of its core.

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