Dark Souls III Review

From Software are back with Dark Souls III and The Kingdom of Lothric brings visuals to a new level. Offering some of the most awe inspiring and jaw dropping landscapes the series has ever seen. For a game that is focused on gameplay over visuals, it’s refreshing to see a new landscape open up as you progress, even if it’s just to take your mind away from all the killing for a brief moment.

Exploration has been opened up more so than in any of the previous Dark Souls games. Encouraging players to explore every nook and cranny of Lothric, with treasure and loot in abundance. One of our biggest requests after playing Bloodborne was to have a wider arsenal of weaponry once again, and thankfully Dark Souls III delivers with more loot than ever seen before in a Souls series game.

Developer From Software also play homage to previous Dark Souls games in the form of loot, lore and even locations. All of these moments that I experienced throughout my playthrough continued to add a smile to my face, even after the moments of pure frustration didn’t dampen my delight at the acknowledgment of past games.

Newcomers to the series expecting to jump in will still be faced with the challenges and frustrations that all players have to go through. Side quests can be missed in a instance as to can optional locations, so for newcomers and veterans alike, you will have to keep your wits about you.

It’s no surprise that Dark Souls III’s combat is the most fluid and diverse in the series. Taking the new combat system directly from Bloodborne, and adding classic Dark Souls elements led to a very satisfying combat system.

Weapons are now more broad in variety. Previous Souls games always delivered a plethora of weapons but most ended up being replicas of other items, with just minimal differences in aesthetics. With Dark Souls III this is no longer the case. The weapons now have very unique special abilities, often helping in specific situations or against certain enemies. We found ourselves often changing weapons based on the area alone. Which in-turn made the arsenal feel bigger and contain much more variety than what we’re used to seeing in Dark Souls.

One of the more progressive changes to the way Dark Souls III plays is with magic and spell use. You can now allot Estus flasks to your liking, instead of just having one that heals you, you can now chose to take ones that give you mana back. This simple change allows the Sorcerer, Cleric and Pyromancy users of the world to have a very similar experience to that of any melee class. Just like the weaponry and armour in Dark Souls III, the spells are plentiful and from our experience, extremely cool to play with.

The enemies in Dark Souls III are diverse and well fitted to their locations in the game. Some new enemies will frustrate beyond belief initially, and there are a multitude of traps scattered about which will lead to your death when you first reach a new area. But the enemies never became repetitive. Dark Souls III allowed it’s enemy types – both old and new – to breathe and force us to adjust to their different attacks, keeping us on our toes throughout.

Darks Souls III is a huge game, featuring an impressive amount of bosses including some which are optional. Each boss is unique in its own right, hitting hard and challenging the player from beginning to end, not letting up at any point. More often than not, bosses will take place over multiple stages. At times you’ll run out of flasks but just manage to grab that final hit, only to then discover that the fight’s not over. A feeling that can’t be described any other way other than gut wrenching.

Dark Souls IIIs PVP system has also been improved, more often than not you will have mutiple people entering your world. Not only to kill you though, but people will also be summoned to defend you as well. These battles can be long and drawn out, but just like the rest of Dark Souls 3, the feeling of accomplishment when you banish invaders from your world is fantastic.

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Dark Souls III is one of the most challenging games we’ve ever faced. The classic one step forward and two steps back scenario – seen in previous games – is ever present in III. But the rewarding feeling you get after clearing a zone or killing a boss you’ve been on for the past few hours is one that will never get old. If this truly is the last Souls game, then Dark Souls III is a fitting end to the series.

5/5

We tested the Dark Souls III after purchasing a retail copy, and it’s available now for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC.

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