You would think that Dark Souls would be just like Dark Souls, however contrary to popular belief and common sense, it is not.
“It’s like Dark Souls” is commonly said of many games with even a minor resemblance to dark souls. This twitter profile has a good account of the wild comparisons. A game qualifies to be “Like Dark Souls” mainly when it shares the property Dark Souls is most infamous for; its unconventional, unforgiving difficulty.
According to darksoulsdeaths.com, on my first playthrough I died over 700 times. It’s hard to say what is normal for a game but I would expect that in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 I died ~120 times during the campaign on Veteran in comparison.
When you die in Dark Souls, it normally takes a few minutes to get back to where you were before dying and not far from where you will die again. So time spent progressing through the levels in Dark Souls is a significantly lower percentage than in other games, which is alright because you are still progressing in knowledge and skill.
Dying is an important part of Dark Souls, it’s a game of learning from previous lives and using that knowledge to go a bit further from your bonfire or checkpoint than the last time. Dying is not a setback in your progression because most of the game’s progression takes place in your head as you learn to take on enemies effectively. This is proven by how speed runners can complete the game in over 50 minutes,
The game’s lore almost revolves around death and deaths aren’t “cut out” of the game’s timeline as you revert back to an earlier save like in many other games, it is nice to be spared from the common disbelief of your character encountering something “for the first time” while you’re sitting behind the screen expressionless, following the drill you formed a while ago.