Glad to hear you guys more open to Dark Souls this week. Frankly, I think you should be. As Jeff indicated, this is a game that does a lot of things different. It doesn't follow the direction gaming has been going and it outright defies many of the "rules" of game design. And until I played it for over 30 hours, I never realized how much I think many of those rules need to be questioned.
A few corrections though:
-The game does explain all the stats (including humanity). In the status screen you can hit the "details" button on any stat and it explains what that stat does.
-You can't pause but you can quit to the title screen at anytime and the game brings you right back to the exact place you were standing.
-It is co-op up to 3 players when you are in human form. However you can't pick who enters your game. You lay down a sign and others see your call for help in their world in the spot you lay it down and select it to join (pretty cool idea, if you ask me).