Twitch is playing Dark Souls, and it’s slow going

Twitch Plays Dark Souls screenshot
Earlier this year, Twitch users banded together and over the course of 39 days, managed to capture all 151 Pokémon in Pokémon Red. Next Twitch took on Metal Gear: Ghost Babel for the Game Boy Color. It wasn’t a pretty sight to behold, and it certainly wasn’t easy, but the challenge was overcome.

Perhaps the community is getting overconfident, because now it has decided to take on a much more complex and challenging game: Dark Souls. The stream, first noticed by Kotaku, has been running for hours at this point, and the community has yet to get the player out of the tutorial area.

Dark Souls is tough enough by itself, but there is a lot working against the Twitch community as it tries to make its way through the game. First, only one command can be entered at a time, and since anyone can enter a command via Twitch chat, movement and camera controls have been fairly chaotic. Some of this comes from players actively trying to guide the character in the right direction, but there are a fair number of players actively sabotaging the game at any given point.

An even bigger problem is the input lag. Twitch streams are delayed by thirty seconds, so the delay between when an input is accepted and when visual feedback of the command being carried out makes it hard to tell what is happening.

Pokémon Red is turn-based and even though Metal Gear: Ghost Babel is a much more action-oriented game, it still takes place from a top-down, 2D perspective. For Dark Souls, players have been having a tough time retrieving lost souls after multiple deaths, let alone making it past the Hollow Archer that has been the cause of so many of those deaths.

Twitch’s playthrough of Metal Gear: Ghost Babel started off looking similarly hopeless, but eventually players got the hang of it. There is certainly a possibility that the same thing will happen with Dark Souls and at some point — maybe a month from now, maybe a year — we’ll be able to report that Twitch has succeeded.

In the meantime, if you enjoy watching a character repeatedly roll into a corner and occasionally get arrowed to death, head over to Twitch to catch the stream.

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