Dark Souls 3

Dark Souls 3:  Much like real life, a big club and a lot of trial and error will get you through most things in life.

I have to tell you that I am a big fan of the series and what will be said will be a bit biased. The unique nature of the games has hit a soft spot amidst the unoriginality of games as of late. That being said, these games are not for everyone. I don’t mean that you have to be an “I only play hardcore games” player to enjoy them, but the reputation of being Nintendo-hard is a big gate that not everyone wants to jump into. That and some people really don’t give a shit about stabbing things with a sword. Those that do just might find the reward is well worth the price of admission even if you end up throwing the controller at your cat.


Just move slow, be aware of your surroundings, keep your shield up, and kill everything that tries to kill you. Easy, right?

Dark Souls 3 is out and after spending about 30 hours in, I still have no clue what the story is or any connection to the other games. After wading through a tutorial level and reaching the hub known as Fire Link Shrine, you are “the Ashen One” sent on the difficult task of bringing back (killing) the Lords of Cinder by a woman known as the Fire Keeper. As with the rest of the Soul’s games, the Lords are deep past layers of levels designed to murder you again and again with bosses sprinkled in between. There’s a bigger story in there, but it’s mostly told in the snippets of lore you get from item descriptions (yeah I know) and the layouts that the levels tell themselves.


Dark Souls 3 pulls the strengths from the other games in the franchise resulting in a leaner and much more refined game. Combat is much faster this time around and much more varied. There are a ton of weapons that each have their own style as well as a unique skills that can be triggered using focus points; a feature that also works with magic pulled from Demon Souls. Most levels are not linear having different paths and shortcuts that you can unlock a la Bloodborne. Risk vs. Reward is still big here so those nice items tucked away in the map may be guarded by even more difficult enemies or vicious traps. Once again, being aware of your surroundings and patience pays off rather than charging in like an asshole. The difficulty is a motherfucker, but half the fun is breaking a level down as you die over and over again, getting a little smarter as you progress a little further. One more plus is that this game is fucking gorgeous and performance wasn’t a noticeable issue at any time. That’s not to say it isn’t there, but I just didn’t notice any of it as others have been reporting.

I don't know why he won't stand up and kick him or something.

Multiplayer works by using summoning signs that players can either use from others or place themselves. The different covenants (factions) offer either co-op or pvp where the reward is souls that are used to level up your character or by items. This innovative multiplayer, as with From Software tradition, is broken. When it works, it’s great. When it doesn’t, you are continuously getting failed summoning errors in long stretches. Heaven forbid you lose connection to the server in the middle of a fight which will kick you out of the game. Get prepared to get the “failed to receive calibration” cascade that comes after. Further down the road, we will probably see a fix for it, but it currently adds unnecessary frustration to a game designed to be frustrating.

Overall, the game is great and one of the best in the serious despite the wonky multiplayer. It has some of the best fights of the series, fantastic level design, and serves as a great end to Dark Souls. Fans of the series should love it and those wanting to cut their teeth with something tough and something new should find it a solid jumping point. For those that make it their first jump in this style of game…well…try not to break your controller.