Praise The Sun - Dark Souls 3 Review

With the return of Darks Souls and Bloodborne director Hidetaka Miyazaki, we see the return of the classic Dark Souls feel which felt very lacking in the second instalment. Developed again by From Software and published by Bandai Namco, veterans of the series will not be surprised by the overarching difficulty and the lack of any direction. Given that Dark Souls 3 (DS3) was developed for this current generation of consoles and PC requirements, we will probably see an influx of newcomers to the series, and if you are a newcomer or someone reading this review to get a gauge on whether or not it is “your” thing you must have one solid attribute, and that is patience. DS3 is arguably the most comprehensive RPG action games on the market.   

Upon returning to its roots, DS3 is not only massive in scale but also decision. Just creating your character has you pondering on what to do and what direction you want to go in. This is not the be all and all though. If you say for example, choose a mage and then feel it is not for you after your first few hours of playing, you can easily spec up in a few different areas and completely change your approach. This is a big reason that the series has always offered you the choice to pick the starting class of deprived. As it sounds deprived has flat stats and minimal starting equipment to give you complete control of how you want to upgrade.

As with all Souls games I opted for a thief. This gives me more stamina but less life. Your life, mana and stamina are all governed by three bars in the top left corner of your HUD and all need to be monitored and maintained at all times in order to succeed. The first thing you learn in DS3 is not to be too greedy and bite off more than you can chew, with the exception of walking, every other physical action requires and depletes your stamina bar and unsuccessful management of this will often result in death. After a basic starting area that consists of a few enemies that are easy for the taking, DS3 then proceeds to give you an example of what's to come as it has done in all Souls games in the past. That’s right! Your first boss, and this must be completed before any form of levelling up is available to you.

Shortly into your adventure you come across your home hub which is more formally known as Firelink Shrine. Here is where most NPC and story related dialogue will take place. Not only do we receive what little direction the game will offer you from here, it is also the only place in the game to level up, upgrade weapons and use vendors to buy and sell. Here is where I must make touch on the use of souls for all those who don’t know, souls are used for EVERYTHING! So basically souls are obtained from slaying thy enemies and from a few different items acquired throughout your journey. Souls are the only true currency in the game used to buy, upgrade and also used to level up. There is no progressive experience bar like other titles. It's all about the risk/reward system, as you will continue to accumulate souls the longer you live. Upon death you leave all your souls at the location of your death and you have 1 chance to return and collect them.

Given DS3 is only on the current generation I would have expected the draw distance to be a little clearer, although the detail is pretty spot on and the upgrade of the blood spray is much better, I feel a little is lacking in the current generation of graphics. There will be argument to this point I have just made but the power of this generation should deliver a little more quality. The musical score on the other hand is absolutely amazing and has the brilliant ability to heighten any and all acts on your journey but no more than when you're in a boss battle.

Combat in DS3 feels very fresh and only tweaked from the previous instalments, so it's not too unlike anything experienced before but just a little more flashy and addictive. I feel that this has been a little inspired from the fluent combat in Bloodborne. Different weapons not only act differently but each class of weapon has its own move sets with some of the more unique weapons having their own move sets. Of course it is not only the weapons in DS3 that governs the efficiency of battle, but all your armour and consumables. Finding a good balance in this area is not only a difficult experiment but also one that is constantly changed and tweaked throughout the whole game. Gear weight also plays a major role in decisions that you make when trying to mix and match the perfect set for the given obstacles in any certain area.

DS3 does a very good job at not feeling linear where in actual fact it really is. Basically the recipe is to discover an area, explore the area whilst unlocking all shortcuts and activating all bonfires, defeat the boss and move on. This is basically a rinse and repeat process and it is with savvy level design and varying enemies that keeps it always feeling new. The feeling of overcoming an area and all its main enemies leaves you feeling content in a way almost superior to any other titles and a lot of the driving factor to push on with this game is that feeling. Not to mention the immersion that is naturally generated by always being on guard, the near fear feeling of leaving the comfort of an accomplished area to one you know nothing about often compels me to leave there on a high note. Just like a glutton for punishment I keep coming back and I always love/hate my experiences.

With all the emotions that is invoked by DS3, the glorious soundtrack and the unique RPG aspects it is not hard to recommend this game to anyone, I know die-hard fans don’t need to be told anything or encouraged to play this at all but to all those on the fence as to whether they may enjoy this, I say try it at least. I must stress patience is a must and there is no shame for newcomers to learn from the veterans by way of YouTube or a Wiki guide. With multiple possible endings and a slew of different approaches, replayability is through the roof, a dead set game for the ages. I would love to hear your thoughts and experiences when it comes to the soul's series so feel free to leave a comment below or make contact across at our Facebook page.

Let the rage flow through you.

To Top