Dark Souls III : Brutality at its Finest

Prepare to die, again! Dark Souls III is coming, and it is bringing with it everything you want, ne crave, from the Dark Souls universe.

Developed by From Software & published by Bandai Namco Entertainment, the third instalment of the brutal blockbuster franchise sees you going toe to toe with fearsome beasts and battling across a twisted, dark and brooding world with an array of weapons and magic.

The trademark sword and sorcery combat and RPG game play will have fans of the series feeling right at home. Newcomers like me, well, you're in for a steep, but attainable, learning curve.

Aussie Gamers Express was granted a special sneak peek at Dark Souls III before release and I was lucky enough to be the one with the hands on the controls. I got a taste of the brilliance and brutality still to come with the Cemetery of Ash level. I'll steer clear of any of the story elements so as to not spoil anything. 

Visually Dark Souls III is gorgeous. Its dark overtones highlighted with splashes of colour draw you into the world. Looking out over a valley is near on breathtaking with an impressive draw distance. I found myself looking around taking it all in, many times once I had cleared out an area 

Character models look brilliant. One thing I love is the attention to small details. As you'll see on one screen shot below, I was hit in the head with an arrow, and that is where it stayed. When standing still your chest moves as if breathing. Enemies are detailed and frightening in their appearance.  While a wraith patiently waiting for you may look and feel like an easier target, more than one and you're in trouble. Once you see the boss around the next corner you're starting to wonder if you should have stayed in bed this morning. 

Controls are pretty standard for a third person RPG style game. One thing I did notice is it felt a lot faster than previous titles. Sword play, defence and evading are all fluid and precise. The faster speed appears to make it a little easier to take on groups of enemies, cutting them down with smoothly animated sword slices. I definitely couldn't blame my constant deaths on poor controls. 

Now there is a bit of an elephant in the room with the difficulty of the Dark Souls games. While the difficulty is there, so is the reward. I died, a lot, (as you can see below) and usually this would be enough for me to hang my head in shame and walk away but something made me keep on persisting. 

This went on for around 45 minutes, each time ending the same way, but when I finally did beat them, oh the joy, I near on jumped out of my chair. Hands were raised and self praise might have been given. 

Dark Souls III may just be the most accessible game in the series to date. The faster pace, seamless controls and stunning visuals will appeal to a much wider audience. I cannot wait to get my hands on it for a much more in depth play through.  

Be sure to check out my gameplay video below and keep a look out for more screen shots and info as it becomes available. 

Dark Souls III is coming to PS4, XBOne and PC April 12 2016
Pat (Snoogan512)

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