It’s ruthless, it’s unforgiving, and it’s amazing. That is how I would describe Dark Souls III to anyone who hasn’t managed to play the game yet. This is coming from someone who hasn’t played much of the previous Souls games. I will even go as far as saying that as of now it is the best game of 2016.
Dark Souls III starts off a lot more forgiving compared to the unforgiving difficulty as the game progresses. The start of Dark Souls III is a great way of teaching any new Souls players how the game will play out. As you progress through this opening level, you will reach your first boss. This boss is easy in Dark Souls terms, but will still provide a challenge as well as a small taste of what to expect as you progress through the game.
Whilst on the subject of bosses, I want to compliment the team for the boss fights. I feel the days of “boss fights” are sadly a dying feature in modern video games. Like most gamers out there, I’m a big fan of difficult boss fights that challenge us, and that’s what Dark Souls III does. There’s no “weak point” or any tips on how to beat the boss, you have to figure out the advantages the boss gives you, and use it against them to defeat bosses. I admit, I died… a lot. Even with early bosses, I was being handed a whooping quite quickly, and it may or may not have taken me 23 times to beat one of the earlier bosses, but we will not go any further about that.
Dying in the Dark Souls III boss fights are obviously quite annoying, but what I noticed during these fights is that I would take new knowledge I gained from each fight to use in the next fight. Each boss fight would end with the boss having noticeably less health, while I shouted “NOOOOOOO, so close!” (okay it may have been worse than that.) It’s what made these boss fight so fun though, each boss seemed so beatable but victory also seemed so far away. The feeling of success after beating a boss in a video game is a feeling I’ve been missing in video games, but Dark Souls III brings it back in a huge way.
There will be people who will complain about the difficulty of Dark Souls III, and the lack of sliders or difficulty options. I can kind of see their points on how they want to enjoy the experience, and manage to actually feel like it’s possible to even beat the game. However, as I’ve been mentioning so much, I feel Dark Souls III brings back everything missing in video games. Difficulty of a video game is one of those things missing today, there’s been many boss fights in the last few years that were QTE’s or 1 hit kills. We need to move away from those kind of bosses, and embrace what the dev team are trying to do with Dark Souls III. If you want an easy game, then I recommend playing the other 95% of the Xbox One/PS4 library that will give you the easy game you are looking for.
Combat in Dark Souls III is also excellent, and again due to the difficulty, you can have close encounters with pretty much any kind of enemy in this game. I’ll admit, I’ve been playing a lot of Bloodborne recently, so using a sword and shield seemed strange, and took some time getting used to. Once you’re getting the hang of everything, it’s a blast to play. Each level introduces a new enemy, and with a new enemy comes a new pattern you will need to examine and use against them. Not only does this mean there’s an amazing level of enemy variety, but it keeps the game interesting away from the boss fights. I feel many games suffer from repetitive enemy design, which can lead to a game becoming repetitive quite quickly.
Dark Souls III is an RPG so leveling up and finding new gear are essential if you even want to have a chance against the enemies as they get tougher and tougher as you progress. You can level up by collecting Souls, and using the Souls to improve one of the many options to level up. You can increase health, stamina, and even your luck at finding good loot. Acquiring the Souls can be quite the task at the start of the game with the low amount of Souls for killing enemies, so the game can become a grind when leveling early in the game.
Dark Souls III is a fantastic, almost flawless experience but there’s a glaring issues that holds back the game from perfection which is the framerate issues. The game runs very well at the start, and there doesn’t seem to be many issues other than some small yet forgettable issues. As the game progressed I found the whole experience being ruined because of these slowdowns during very intense battles with enemies.
The Final Verdict
While the framerate issues were annoying, and did have a slight effect on my overall impressions of the game, Dark Souls III is without a doubt the best game of 2016 so far. I enjoyed pretty much everything about the game, the bosses, the enemies, the level design, the soundtrack, everything was just amazing. If it wasn’t for the issues with the framerate along with some other smaller issues, then Dark Souls III would have been a 10/10 game. Even with these issues, it’s a must buy game which I recommend everyone should buy on release date.
+Bosses and the fights
+The challenge Dark Souls III presents with its difficulty
– Framerate issues.
Final Score: 9.5/10