There are many rites of passage for a gamer: Completing a race on Mario Kart's Rainbow Road without falling off; performing your first Fatality in Mortal Kombat; getting verbally abused by 10-year-old kid on Fortnite...
Add to that list, "getting your arse handed to you within minutes of first playing a Dark Souls game."
Many gamers give up on Souls and its sister titles, and understandably - it's not just skill required to beat one of these games; it's patience, perseverance and more than a little luck. The franchise is so notoriously difficult, it's spawned its own sub-genre: "Souls-like", games largely designed to test a gamer's will.
But it's more than the actual mechanics of the game that contribute to its difficulty. For such tough gameplay, it's rarely unfair. It requires more than just 'gitting gud', and a big part of the Dark Souls experience is how it makes you feel (scared and flustered, for the most part).
A tricky enemy might be hard enough, but add a grandiose soundtrack, gloriously oppressive environments and menacing enemy designs, and the game requires you to dig deeper into your mental fortitude than any other.