The Guiding Hand of Dark Souls

Dark Souls has a reputation for being difficult - no minimap, no pausing, even low-level enemies will eat your face - but the game does quite a lot to help the player. All the game really wants from you is your full attention.
One of my goals is to refine the image that both fans and non-fans have of Dark Souls, as being defined solely by difficulty.  Perhaps its best-hidden secret is that it does not actually leave the player lost in the wilderness with no direction and death awaiting at every turn, but rather guides and supports them in subtle ways.  The game fulfills two roles at once: presenting a seemingly crushing challenge, but also, behind the scenes, doing what it can to make it more likely that each player finds a way through.  The defining emotion of Dark Souls is the thrill of both facing the challenge and then eventually surpassing it, and the game succeeds because it does everything it can to provide both of those experiences.
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