What is the easiest Dark Souls game

The 8 best Dark Souls-style games

"Carrot and stick" seems to have become an ever more widespread design philosophy in the past decade since Demon's Souls on the PS3 - and now hopefully soon on the PS4 and PS5 as a remake - and especially the successful successor Dark Souls. Only that there was always the stick of a hard level of difficulty and then the sweet carrot of triumph. Sounds cruel, but it was good for the game landscape, because by the mid-00s at the latest, game studios were far too busy grinding their games in focus group tests so that a dog with peanut butter could have played them on the controller.

Either way, here are eight of the most interesting moves that you can currently do in this segment, loosely sorted by topic.

The Fantasy Souls Games - the "Clones"


  • Developer: A44 Studios
  • First published: December 7, 2018
  • German setting: German texts
  • Available for Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC
  • Test: Ashen

Right at the beginning, perhaps the lightest soul-like of this selection, but also the one that I like best stylistically and especially in terms of world-building and music. Atmospherically, this pastel and sparsely textured world, which gets the light back after an age of darkness, is a stunner. Especially the dance of shadows, when your lantern lights up a dark cave, is a relief for the eyes. But all the other designs are also really eye-catchers. In terms of play, I primarily had to get used to the fact that developer A44 probably has something against swords. But clubs, axes and spears have something too. I know that now.

The world itself is more wide and long rather than winding itself with many unlockable abbreviations. But that solves the game with a comfortable fast travel on a sympathetic mythical creature companion. Another nice feature is the AI ​​companion, which is now and then controlled almost imperceptibly by other players who are also in the same area as you. Great game with a lot of charm of its own.

Ashen in the PlayStation Store, for PC at gog.com and in the Xbox Game Pass (amazon.de)

Mortal Shell

  • Developer: Cold Symmetry
  • First published: August 18, 2020
  • Language: German texts
  • Available for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC
  • Test: Mortal Shell

Mortal Shell is as good as fresh from the oven and was able to convince players and international press right away. Visually and playfully, at first glance the title of this list that is closest to From-Software Original. Thanks to the interesting shell system and the hardening of the character instead of a block, Mortal Shell feels enough like its own beast to fully deserve its right to exist. The combat system is fun, the world is wonderfully depraved and the small studio of Cold Symmetry showed a lot of taste with the menus and the graphic design. If you don't have a title in this selection yet, this is the first address - also because of the low price.

Mortal Shell in PlayStation Store and for Xbox (MS Store)

Japan Souls - off to Nippon!

Code Vein

  • Developer: Bandai Namco
  • First published: September 27, 2019
  • Language: German texts
  • Available for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC
  • Test: Code Vein

A soul-like in an end-time Japan, in which it is teeming with vampires. However, they are civilized vampires who quench their thirst for blood wherever they can on mysterious plants that give off the red gold. If they run out of that, however, there are problems. When hungry is excessive, these bloodsuckers turn into frenzied monsters, contrary to all their reasoning, that do not stop at their conspecifics either. Code Vein definitely has one of the most exotic scenarios in this class to offer. The game also explains itself in its many dialogues much more frankly than the original. In terms of play, however, it is not so far removed from the familiar paths of the From ancestors. Light and heavy attacks are here on the square and triangle, but the rhythm is very comparable - which also applies to the structure of the game environment.

Anyone who can live with a somewhat monotonous design of the linear world and is not averse to anime will find a more than solid representative of this genre of action role-playing game here.

Code Vein on the PlayStation Store or for PC in the Humble Store

Nioh 2 (and Nioh 1)

  • Developer: Team Ninja
  • First published: March 12, 2020
  • Language: German texts
  • Available for PS4
  • Test: Nioh 2

It was a bit unfortunate that not even a year before Nioh 2 Froms Sekiro was released and the inclined fan had already put together a huge, Souls-like package in old Japan that could no longer be topped. After all, Nioh 2 has the bonus of being further removed from reality than the From exception game, which is permeated by anger demons, giant snakes and undead ape creatures. You yourself play a half-demon and use the skills that go with it diligently.

Martin once described the fighting system as "more of a fast soul than a slow Sekiro" and hit the nail on the head, because the patterns that are used for fighting here are much more similar to those of Dark Souls than those of the not so waiting Sekiro . If you have no problem with a little grind and could use a more colorful, extravagant scenario, Nioh 2 is the best choice. If you want to spend less money, get the first part, which is also not bad. In contrast to other games here you really have to have a PS4 for Nioh, because this series is PlayStation exclusive.

Buy Nioh 2 from PlayStation Store

Buy Nioh from PlayStation Store

Dark Souls, but with Lasers - The Sci-Fi Soulslike Games

The Surge 2

  • Developer: Deck13
  • First published: September 24, 2019
  • Language: German voice output
  • Available for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC
  • Test: The Surge 2

Surprisingly good, what Deck13 managed to do here in the second attempt. Above all, the Frankfurters have set all level design levers in motion to equip their game environments with an incredible number of abbreviations. In this way, they prove that they have understood what many players love about the Souls games: to gradually make their areas their own and also coax their last secret out of them. The developers also draw good capital from the future scenario, even if not necessarily narrative. But if you knock off components from cybernetic or robotic opponents in order to attach them to your own exoskeleton, that's a nice idea that is actually well implemented here. It would be nice if Deck13 continued to develop this brand. This part has really blossomed.

The Surge 2 on PlayStation Store, as a boxed version on Amazon.de


  • Developer: Cradle Games
  • First published: July 30, 2019
  • Language: German texts
  • Available for PS4, Switch, Xbox One, PC, Linux, Mac OS

Okay, you have to say that - in contrast to Mortal Shell - you can tell that it was developed by a small team with very limited financial resources. Hellpoint is neither technically impressive nor, strictly speaking, in terms of design. In particular, the relevant experts should have taken another look at the stiff animations and the terrible fonts. But it has playfully retained a refreshing bulkiness that feels as if every triumph and every discovery is being wrested from it in a heroic manner. The scenario is also appealing: It is no coincidence that what happens on this space station near a black hole is reminiscent of Event Horizon, the only good film that Paul W.S. Anderson ever did.

Add a bit of System Shock flair and a nice co-op mode - optionally in split screen on the same PlayStation and an ugly duckling like this one takes an exciting and exceptional position.

Hellpoint in the PlayStation Store, for PC at gog.com

2D Soulslikes - dying from the side


  • Developer: The Game Kitchen
  • First published: September 10, 2019
  • Language: German texts
  • Available for Switch, PS4, Xbox One, PC

What a wonderfully morbid mood blasphemous creates! It is a little gimmicky, this opulent, hand-pixelated soul-like with platformer borrowings, which Metroidvania fans are also welcome to take a look at when it throws stained Catholic iconography around. But there is actually no better way to capture the feeling of From software games in 2D, even if there is no emphasis on endurance conservation. On the other hand, pixel-perfect timing is unusual for a game from the side view. This game spanks your bum with downright religious zeal

Blasphemous in the PlayStation Store, for Switch in the Nintendo Store and PC at gog.com

Hollow Knight

  • Developer: Team Cherry
  • First published: February 24, 2017
  • Language: German texts
  • Available for Switch, PS4, Xbox One, PC
  • Test: Hollow Knight

And again Metroidvania: Hollow Knight shares with the From software model above all the hard level of difficulty - here it is not enough to walk back to its remains to collect the soul equivalent Geo after a screen death. You have to fight your own mind for it too. The secrecy that his world and its insect-like inhabitants pursue is also strongly reminiscent of the mystical convoluted nature of a dark soul. No doubt, fans of From will feel at home here, even if the fights in Hollow Knight are much faster and jump-and-run talents are also asked for. Team Cherry has delivered a beast of a game that will hopefully have a hotly anticipated sequel in the not too distant future with Silksong. So: catch up on this before the sequel appears - and then be well prepared for the sequel.

Hollow Knight on PlayStation Store and as a cute box version on Ebay