This giveaway is now closed
To celebrate the launch of our review of Dark Souls 3 for PS4, Xbox One and PC we are giving away in conjunction with Numskull and Bandai Namco a Heat reactive Mug & a Dark Souls 3 fire T-Shirt
Question is simple: In which year was Demons Souls release in Europe, for PlayStation 3?
Send your answer to firstname.lastname@example.org with either A, B, C, D, E or F, please include your name.
Now for the Review Enjoy
Dark Souls III, technically the 4th game in the Souls series of games developed by FromSoftware, the go to name for hard-core games that you will most certainly die in. Combining all the knowledge the company has gathered through Demon Souls, Dark Souls and Bloodbourne this release is set to be its crowning masterpiece for the company. While some fans were a bit dissatisfied with Dark Souls II, myself included, can DS3 be the fiery goodness we need it to be?
Following the Dark Souls Lore, there is a cycle of Darkness and Fire, with each game focusing on different characters, DS3 focuses on the Unkindled One/Ashen One, the player. While Gwyn was seen as the Lord of Cinder this game follows the deaths of the other Lords of Cinder who helped to light the fires before but are now Hollow/Dead/Walking husks of what they once were, mostly insane and killing anything they see within their domain.
Set with the task of felling the 4 Lords, bringing their ashes back to the Firelink Shrine, you will be sent to several locations; Anor Londo, Lothric, the Grand Archives and more, with many areas being similar to previous locations in the series, sometimes from different angles or degradation. Traversing the lands you will hunt down the Lords, defeat them, take their ashes and continue on. In the hopes you can stop the coming apocalypse, the sun slowly becoming dark and the world falling into disarray.
Your first playthrough will last you around 20 hours, however there are quite a few side bosses and characters to meet along with 3 possible endings to unlock. Once you have completed the game you can continue to play or move onto New Game+ to restart the world with harder enemies and bosses whilst keeping your character.
Brining in mechanics from Demon Souls, Dark Souls is a culmination of the entire franchise at this point, trying to add in all the best parts while taking out parts that fans didn’t like. Running with B, as well as dodge for quick pressing, A for interactions with items or menus, X for item use, Y for swapping to Two-Handed, Right Bumper for attack, Right Trigger for Heavy Attack, Left Bumper for guarding and Left Trigger for special attack.
FP now replaces spell uses, acting like a mana gauge that can be replenished with Ashen Estus flasks. Used for Sorceries, Miracles, Pyromancy and Special Attacks, this gauge can be lengthened by improving your attunement stat and is used universally by all characters due to its variety of uses. A welcome addition/change in my mind as the uses mechanic felt out of place to me, the special attacks are also quite useful with the multitude of unique weapons.
As you play through the game you will collect Souls, both the currency for trading and the exp used for levelling up back at Firelink Shrine. You can also find hard souls scattered about, housing between 50 and 80000 souls to be sold or crushed for their value. As you go through the game you will need increasing amounts of this, from enemies giving around 10 souls on death to 2300 at end-game. Whenever you die you will drop these souls on the ground and if you fail to pick them up and die yet again they disappear.
Most mechanics from previous Dark Souls are still in this release, weapon imbuing and enhancing, durability and repairs, Estus flasks and more. You will come across Ashes to give to your shrine maiden to increase her stock, along with an NPC who can be sent out to scavenge for new items. Again there are NPC’s for Sorceries, Pyromancy and Miracles, though it is possible to miss some of these or have them die to your actions in game. Warping is granted at almost the same time you get to Firelink Shrine, similar to DS2.
Overall Thoughts and Feelings
Like others games in the series the environments are filled with ambient noises combined with the sounds of enemies. The music only ever kicks in during cutscenes, boss battles or entering new areas which can leave a lot of the game feeling empty but you will die soon enough to feel even emptier. When the music does pop up it is beautifully done, fitting the bosses and the areas they are set against.
The difficulty is still quite high in this release, with even the cannon fodder enemies causing you grief. While many bosses are designed in fashions that make Co-Op the “casual” option they are horrendously difficulty in single player, with plenty of lunge attacks on top of magic to hail on your sorry ash. On the subject of summoning allies, it still doesn’t work most of the time, the amount of times “Unable” has popped up has angered me greatly.
With all the great things the team have done with DS3 it still suffers from glitches and hiccups here or there. Aside from summoning there are graphical glitches where you can see through the ground, getting stuck in certain areas, being “pushed” which can lead to death and Driver crashes (which only seem to happen with this game). Aside from that a lot of information needed in game is either hidden too deep or must be researched online, like what Covenants do for you, what items do before using them or what the different types of Phantoms mean. While it is great the game doesn’t hand hold you it can be quite impression breaking when something is not explained in the lore or spoken clearly to the player.
Overall Dark Souls III gets a 9/10, it is the best in the series in my opinion, feeling more reminiscent of Dark Souls I which really put it in view. Fixing bad mechanics, adding in loved ones, streamlining a lot of gameplay and story to become easily accessible while still keeping the core difficulty. The story is still not explained too well, with many players scratching their heads, on top of the language used in game causing some confusion. The bugs and annoyances really add up, hopefully these are fixed with patches and DLCs as it is so close to a 10/10.