“Dark Souls 3” is the 4th installment of the Souls series, a series which has become famous for having it´s players to die continuously until you get good or give up. And this time around “Dark Souls 3” bring back elements from all 3 of its predecessor, and introducing new mechanics into the games. As for the story of The Lords of Cinder has been reborn. However, since they all left their thrones, it’s up to the player to bring them back.
The scenery of “Dark Souls 3” has a distinct feeling comparing it to “Dark Souls 2”. And that’s because the game brings back the dark and spooky setting which the previous Souls games offered. So fans of the old games should feel right at home, as for frame rates. DS3 does keep the 60FPS setting (frames per seconds) which “Dark Souls 2” introduced, and that make the game a lot smoother and nicer looking than “Dark Souls” and “Demon Souls” 30FPS setting. Dark souls 3 looks great even on the low settings which are something I can’t say many other games I played before.
There are a couple of issues with the games crashing when walking to the bonfire, it seems to be a visual bug caused by the lighting, to fix the bug turn the lighting setting too low. Another issue the game has is some frame dips every once in a while, the cause for it unknown at the moment. I’m hoping it gets fixed on a nearby future patch for it sometimes can happen during combat, and that can lead to your character dying. I personally haven’t encountered any other issue besides those two.
The Firelink Shrine act as your hub where you can spend your souls by leveling up, repairing equipment, buying or selling items, etc. As you progresses through the game you will find friendly NPCs who (after talking to them for while) will head to the Firelink Shrine. And once they are there, the NPC´s will act as a spell shop while they are around. And unlike its predecessors, these shops won’t add more spells to their stores unless you bring them specific items (like tome or scroll, for example). And in-order to find these items (which you need to upgrade the shops) you will have to explore every area you see, also make sure to explore hidden paths for these items. As you might find them there. Another thing regarding DS3´s NPCs, some of the NPCs that you will encounter during your adventures makes an appearance on the previous Souls games.
The starting classes have changed quite a bit by bringing back some of the old classes from the previous games, and introducing new ones. Each class have their own difficulty learning curve, for this review I played as a Warrior, and I do plan to try all classes as I have done before with all the past “Dark Souls” titles. The new classes introduced in Dark Souls 3 are the assassin, the herald and the mercenary. The assassin favors thrusting weapons and sorcery. As for the herald, he is the closest thing to a paladin. However, instead of using a sword, he has a pike, and the mercenary starts with one of the new weapons introduced in this game the twin swords. And when equipped, these brand-new weapon types acts as a one-handed weapon until switching to using both hands (which instead it becomes dual wielding).
The enemy NPC (non playable characters) is a lot scarier than previews installments, some of the enemies NPC will transform before or during battle taking a monstrous form completely making them more aggressive, changing their attack pattern and making them harder to predict. Some monsters will go berserk making their eye glows red increasing their attack speed and damage. Others will act as watch guards, which means if they spot you, they will alert all enemies in large radius to come and attack.
And in DS3 regular enemies can grab you, and the only way to prevent your enemies from grabbing you is to dodge them. As for bosses, they do also change their attack-pattern when their health drops halfway like on “BloodBorne” increasing difficulty. In my case though, I found “Dark Souls 3” bosses lot easier to kill than the bosses on previous games. I manage to kill them most of them on my first try.
The new online system allows for players to choose from many settings, which allow you to play online the way you want. You can choose to play people from different regions and/or put a password so only people you know can be able to join your world on jolly cooperation if you don’t like playing with strangers. You can also select if you want to allow or disallow voice chat between the people who join your world unlike Dark Souls 2 where you needed a ring for voice chat. And if you are into PvP (Player versus Player) there is a nice PvP spot at Pontiff Sulyvahn.
One of the mechanics that make a comeback from Demon Souls is the FP (Focus Points) bar, which determines how many times you can cast spells or use your weapon ability. The FP bar doesn’t regenerate on its own. Even so, you can fill it back up with the help of the Ashen Estus Flask. And another new mechanic allows you to allocate Estus Flasks. And the Ashen Estus Flask let´s you increase the amount of uses from one by sacrificing the amount of uses of the other. So depending on your class or play style makes sure to allocate them correctly running out Estus Flask or Ashen Estus Flask early can get you killed.
There is also a brand-new stat called “luck” which increases the chance of enemies dropping items, and increasing bleed, curse, frostbite and poison stacking on enemies. The frostbite effect is a new mechanic added into “Dark Souls 3”. It acts like a poison with less damage while reducing the enemy’s defense and stamina regeneration, which is quite handy on high defense players and monsters. The bleed damage has changed, and now it works like a living bomb, after stacking it on enemies it will take a couple of seconds before it damages the enemy (the damage is based on a percentage of their maximum health). The poison effect is slow damage over time while the toxic effect is fast damage over time.
So, what would be my take on the overall experience with DS3 then? Well, I enjoyed every bit of my time with “Dark Souls 3”, and the new in-game changes are most welcome. Because it changes the pace of the game, and thus making it more tactical when choosing your equipment and play style (especially in comparison to the previous “Dark Souls” games). I do recommend this game to anyone interested on a good challenge, a beautiful scenery and complex story. I will most definitely play “Dark Souls 3” for a long time to come. As the “Dark Souls” games are well-known for their replay value (and Dark Souls 3 sure ain’t no exception). There are four different endings in the game, to get some of these endings you will require to complete some tasks before ending the game.
+ It delivers a good challenge
+ Beautiful Graphics
+ Huge amount of play style for players to choose from
– Hard learning curve for casual players
– The frame drops occasionally
Sound and music: 4.5/5
Replay value: 5/5
“Dark Souls 3” is everything I would have expected from a “Dark Soul” title, and DS3 is a great improvement from “Dark Souls 2”.
Title: Dark Souls 3
Developer: FromSoftware, Inc.
Genre: Action RPG / Adventure
Resolution: Highest possible for PC
Release date: 2016-04-11
Spent time: 25+ hours
Average grade internationally: 89.60% Gamerankings.com
PEGI/ESRB age rating: 16+/Mature
Price: 60 Euros via Steam
Robin Ek – Editor
The review code was provided by Kinguin and Bandai Namco.
The Gaming Ground
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