Well that was quick.
I got to the first boss fight (Shroud) and I’m ready to uninstall the game forever now.
I chose “Hard” difficulty because I’m a Souls veteran. The combat has been taxing at times, but after some adjustments in tactics, easily overcome.
Up until this one boss fight, when it became ludicrously impossible. Shroud has a million hit points. Shroud teleports away after every attack. Shroud lives in an arena that is choked with obstacles preventing you from moving around freely. Shroud causes a bleeding effect if you have the misfortune of being hit. Oh, and Shroud has an army of spawning adds that magically appear and harass you constantly.
The most effective strategy I’ve come up with is: Run constantly and take a shot or two at Shroud on those rare occasions when you can see him to hit him. At any time, an unlucky combination of events could result in your death in seconds, at which point you start over. The longest I’ve lasted so far is around four or five minutes, and I was not even able to get Shroud’s health down to the first tick mark on his health bar, of which there are four.
Oh, did I mention his health regenerates? Forgot to mention that. Yeah, Shroud’s health constantly regenerates.
I hate to be one of those players that shouts “that’s not good boss fight design!” Because most people who say that just don’t want to put in the work to beat a boss. But seriously, Shroud is not good boss fight design. It’s just straight-up trolling.
I did some Googling to see what I was missing, because surely I must have been missing something. Surely I must have gone the wrong way and hit an area that was too hard for my level or something. Surely there must be some hidden vulnerability. But nope. This is the right place, and the strategy I sussed out is the correct one. “Just keep moving and you’ll take down this boss in no time!” the guides cheerily say. Yeah, right. Ain’t nobody got time for that.
Even if I do manage to kill this boss, it’s not going to be a feeling of patting myself on the back for my cleverness in solving an intellectual puzzle, as is usually the case with a Souls boss. It’s going to be a feeling of staggering across a finish line after a punishing marathon in the blazing heat. Not a feeling I strive for in games or in life.
I suppose I could backtrack and farm materials to upgrade my weapons for hours and hours and hours. But that’s pretty boring. Or restart with a different character. But I have no interest in replaying the first bits.
I was starting to get into the game and enjoy myself until I hit this boss. Now I’m very happy I didn’t pay any money for it.
P. S. I should add that the game seems to have been designed to be played cooperatively with others. Based on my experience, I would say co-op play is a requirement to have any long-term fun in this game.
UPDATE 8/27: Here is the video of when I first met Shroud and the trials and tribulations of figuring out it was the worst boss fight ever.