Are Souls games Metroidvania?

Would you classify the Souls games as metroidvania?

Only really Dark Souls. To me, metroidvania means that the areas are interlinked and you’re required to pathfind, find the shortest route between two points.

Dark Souls lets you from firelink shrine go through the undead burg, undead parish, new londo, valley of the drakes, blighttown, dark root basin, dark root forest, the great hollow, the lake of ash, the catacombs, and tomb of the giants.

Without fighting a single boss you can from firelink shrine access all of the following bosses: taurus demon, gargoyles, capra demon, moonlight butterfly, Sif, quelaag, stray demon, and pinwheel.

Tastefully, dark souls limits its warp points to a few of the most interconnected or important locations, and they’re only available in the latter half of the game when you’re required to quickly travel between the far ends of the game.

Demon’s Souls doesn’t really fit for me, because there are 5 paths that you can progress on linearly, but they are not interconnected, and there is no connection between later levels in an area and earlier ones. Also you can warp between all the major checkpoints, so there’s no point in pathfinding on an area to area level.

Dark Souls 2 has a similar issue because it’s littered with bonfires and you can warp between ALL OF THEM. Not to mention that much like demon’s souls, all the areas are just one way branches off a central path, they don’t reconnect, and there’s only one loop connecting different ends (the eagle and boat which both take you to the lost bastille) So you can pretty much warp to any point you want to.

Bloodborne follows from Dark Souls 2 and Demon’s souls in that you can warp to every single checkpoint. The world is actually really well interconnected all over the place, but the problem is that all the connections need to be unlocked after going through the area that is connected, so the world only really becomes nonlinear after you’ve already gone through it in a linear fashion. The numerous warp points make the nonlinearity further pointless.

Lesson: If you’re gonna have warps, use them sparingly, include looping level design, don’t make it one way to a dead end all the time with shortcuts.

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