DarkMaus, a.k.a rat souls :], is a rat version of Dark Souls and it’s really good too.
Dark Souls has inspired a lot of games lately. There’s Lords of The Fallen, Salt and Sanctuary, and DarkMaus. I’ve played two of the three titles and I think DarkMaus is a fantastic game that’s only brought down by it’s short length.
This game looks really good. It took me a while to get used to the top down view because I’m used to rolling around my enemies and counter attacking in Dark Souls, but the visuals in this game are outstanding. The rats look good, the environments are creepy, and the various different areas that I explored were really good to look at.
This game got it’s inspiration directly from Dark Souls. That doesn’t mean that it’s a direct clone of the game though. This game has a top down view. You don’t get to roll around and backstab enemies in this game. I invested in the pyromancy skill early on and it really helped me own just about everything that came up against me. Dark Souls veterans will have no problem building themselves up a good character because this game sets itself up exactly like Dark Souls. There aren’t as many attribute options or customization, but it’s good and I really enjoyed my first playthrough of the game.
The customization in DarkMaus is great. There’s a good variety of weapons, armor, and spells to be found in the game. There’s short-swords like scimitars, long-swords, great-swords, bows, hammers, etc. The encumbrance feature from Dark Souls is also present here in this game. If you wear heavy armor you’ll move like a turtle and if you wear light armor you’ll fly like a bird.
Dying is Fun:
When I died for the first time I noticed that I had a shadow repeating the steps that I made before leading up to my death. The only difference is this shadow was kicking ass alongside me. The way this works is by finding twisted figurines. The first you find is pretty easy to spot, but getting more then one can be tricky if you don’t explore everywhere. The more figurines you have the more shadows you’ll summon every time you die. I died purposely so I could walk around with my rat army while humming Round and Round out loud.
Don’t expect a Lords of The Fallen or Dark Souls type of story here. Early on you meet a female rat that ask you to help her get home. Once you do that she ask you to help her find her father and that leads to the search for him. It’s a really simple story, but the atmosphere and creepy setting to the game helped sell it to me. I don’t mind the story at all and some times a simple story is all a game needs to sell the gameplay.
New Game Plus:
Since this game is so short it’s nice that there’s a new game plus mode. Once I completed the game I had the option to start over again. DarkMaus does what Dark Souls does with it’s new game plus mode. It adds new items for us to loot and it does get a little harder. It’s nowhere near as hard as Dark Souls in my opinion, but it doesn’t have to be.
Some of the sound effects in this game sound really good while others sound like the death cries in the old Hexen game on N64. Every time I hit a bull or another rat they would make Hexen death cry noises. The swords, fireballs, bows, and other stuff all sound really good though. The soundtrack is really good by the way.
It’ll take about 6-8 hours to complete DarkMaus. That’s assuming that you don’t get lost or die 100 times. This game isn’t that hard so I doubt anyone would die that many times, but it’s short length was a little disappointing. New game plus does add replay value and this game is really cheap so it’s short length isn’t a big deal.
The PC controls in this game are okay I guess. The developer already said that this game was made with a controller in mind, but that doesn’t change the fact that he made a PC game with controllers in mind as the main way to play the game. I found it difficult to do the simplest of actions for my first few hours. I eventually got the hang of everything, but using a controller is literally ten times easier then it is with mouse and keyboard. I wouldn’t be surprised if this ended up on one of the consoles one day because of this.
DarkMaus is a fantastic game. It’s not really a Dark Souls clone. The gameplay is completely different, but it uses the other features that Dark Souls has to enhance it. If you love the Soul series I recommend buying this game. It’s really good and it’ll give you two or three playthroughs before you put it down.