Monday, 4 July 2016

James' Take: Dark Souls 3



One of the few games I have been excited for and played in 2016 so far has been Dark Souls 3 and my God, it was quite a journey. I ended up pouring 90+ hours of my life into the game and enjoyed every single one of them. Being a big fanboy of the series, all I can do is try and write an unbiased review to honour this masterpiece of a title.

The Good Stuff



My oh my, Dark Souls 3. The music, the art style, the bosses, the lore. The music in this title was composed by Yuka Kitamura and Motoi Sakuraba and it is one of the best I have ever heard. From beautiful orchestral pieces to mixing together older boss music to create a new one. Art style meets the Dark Souls expectation of dark medieval but I noticed there was some areas that looked a little bit like Bloodborne. The bosses and lore are almost entirely brand new, with a few references and cameos from DS1 which were not unwelcome.

Gameplay is also pretty standard for a Dark Souls game with the added system of FP or Focus Points to use as mana for spells which is brought on from Demon's Souls. The game feels a lot better than Dark Souls 2 as well, with hard and weighty attacks feeling like they are instead of feeling like hitting your opponent with wet paper towels. New game plus and new game plus plus are also present with their respect rings and difficulty spikes available.



PvP and Co-op is still fun, with a designated PvP area being around the mid-game and people being honourable in the fights is quite nice. Co-op is great, with the addition of mad spirits from the Mound-makers covenant that can attack both the Host of Embers and Environment.

Finally, the story. The first time I beat the game I did the the easiest of the 4 endings and this took me around 30 hours. I had fun the whole way, with an intriguing, addictive and engaging story accompanying me the whole way. The story is based around you, the Chosen Unkindled (sort of a worse version of the undead) fighting all of the Lord of Cinder, great warriors that have taken it upon themselves to link the First Flame and return them to their thrones for the next Linking of the Flame.

The story also has multiple arcs and character quests on the side which can be fun to take you away from the quest for the Lords Of Cinder, and are in their own respect pretty good.


The not so good stuff

Now, there has to be a flaw to this seemingly perfect game. Some areas of the game have some consistent frame rate drops on PC, even on my build which is relatively high end. Otherwise, performance is pretty stable for the rest of the game, but these areas should have been sorted out for consistent frame rates as they are some of the most beautiful in the game.


My only other criticism is that some of the areas feel a little bit too similar to Dark Souls 1, which can be a little bit immersion breaking. Also, a couple of the boss battles seem a little bit too overpowered and can be a little too unfair, however I can forgive it as the game rewards you as it should for defeating it's harder bosses. On the other hand, there is one boss that is hyped up to be a total badass, but when you get to the battle it is really easy with a small trick.

Conclusion

I loved every minute of my time in Dark Souls 3 and I belive I will spend even more time playing it. It is a good starting point for a new player even if they may not understand some of the references from the older games, but anyone with enough skill could pick up this game and play it through.

"I would recommend this game to any fans of the series and anyone who wants a good challenge"

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