After being beaten senseless by some crystal lizards and weird slime-monsters, our author is finally ready to talk about his experience with Dark Souls III.

Dark Souls III

Dark Souls III by FromSoftware on PS4, XBOX ONE and PC

The first Dark Souls didn’t have an edition called ‚Prepare To Die‘ for nothing. But at this point, with a recent play through of Dark Souls II and Bloodborne fresh in my mind (I just got my PS4 after Christmas), I didn’t feel the anxiety and difficulty of FromSoftware’s latest installment in the Souls-Series as much as I did before.

Did I actually get good at Dark Souls? Or has the franchise lost it’s edge by this point?

Well, after talking to some of my friends who played the new one, as well as the others, it appears to be rather the former. They got their teeth kicked in from the word GO! But I digress!

A (for me) easy FromSoftware game is still demanding, utterly intimidating, and, once in a while, a real kick in the balls. This game is most certainly the pinnacle of the Souls-Game formula with the dense, yet huge environments from the first game, the refined mechanics of the sequel, and the fast and exhilarating speed of Bloodborne’s combat. Going back to the interconnected areas of the beginning of the series is especially nice after the detached environments of Dark Souls II. What it lacks, is the necessity of diving right back into the action after an enemy hit to recover health, requiring a more tactical approach to every encounter, as even the weakest enemies can catch you off guard, knock you off a ledge, and make you question every one of your life decisions after being kicked off of the roof of the Cathedral of the Deep for the tenth time that hour.

So after some cheap deaths, a lot of dead-ends, and one or two somewhat recycled boss fights from either the first Dark Souls or Bloodborne I finally had the sense of making progress. Something that these games were always bad at telling the player.

2016-04-28_DarkSouls3_PictureWith 40 hours into the game (or what FromSoftware calls a ‚sample‘), I haven’t even scratched at the halfway-point. But having beaten 5 mandatory, 2 optional and one of the big Lord-Bosses, I think the game has given me a good look at all mechanics and many tricks it’s got up it’s sleeve. But you never know. And that’s the beauty of it. You may have the combat down, the new weapon arts, or the environments. Nevertheless, behind every corner lies a new abomination, ready to take a shot at your squishy bottom or delicious neck. So don’t get too confident in your abilities as a player, as one moment of unwariness can dick you over real fast.

With Dark Souls III just being basically more of Dark Souls, the question I have to ask myself is, if the series might be losing it’s mojo at this point. On the other hand, the day I booted it up and started playing, I did so for 10 hours straight. So there must still be some life in there. But please, FromSoftware, try something different next! You seem to have so much talent for design and gameplay.

PS: Praise the Sun!

For more, follow me on Twitter @TheAncient_EU

Dark Souls III is out now on PS4, XBOX ONE and PC.

Beitragsbild: Kevin Wendlandt
Foto: Bandai Namco Entertainment Inc.