OK so it won’t come as much as price to people that I am not a fan of the first Dark Souls video game. I critiqued the game for having a flawed design which sold you and relied on one thing: difficulty. Dark Souls tried to create a game which profited in on difficulty in an inept way as creating something that was lackluster and not cohesive enough to be considered a game in its own merit. All the game tried to do was essentially say “Hey Look At Me, I’m super difficult” and while the storyline was certainly intriguing and ominous, it did not push the thematic elements that make a game great. Dark Souls III has actually changed all of this. It has grit, real difficulty, better animations than any of its predecessors, and really creates a game that I had a blast playing.
The storyline picks up in another universal dark world with the Lords of Cinder and how these undead want to kill these evil spirits. It’s a game that really pushes a dark ambiance similar to Bloodborne (another game I thoroughly enjoyed) and one that simply delivers in terms of its execution along with the dynamic soundtrack mix per area.
I really found myself feeling that suffering that Dark Souls unimpressively tried to do and I finally had a revelation to myself: this is the real Dark Souls I have been waiting for. After the Dark Souls II downgrade and FROM Software public downgrade deception practices, I had little faith in Dark Souls III graphically at all. I felt it would be piss poor just like the convoluted mess that Dark Souls II was (though its map was much bigger). I was wrong, and I’m glad I was. It’s rare that a game manages to surpass my expectations and actually delivers on a lot of its promises. It’s actually – for quite a change – actually dark! In the literal sense dungeons are much more dark in terms of the lighting system – a primary complaint I had with the Dark Souls II nerfed graphics. Sure Dark Souls III isn’t entirely perfect. Enemies can feel a bit dull sometimes and swarm the player a bit randomly, but I always felt entirely challenged by it all. It was visceral and real, all while being begrudgingly difficult for the right reasons – lack of my skill in the game’s world as a Knight.
The character creation kit was poor but the game’s mechanics are solid in terms of the combat. There are no guns like Bloodborne and the enemies don’t have repeated animations which created the utterly boring Dark Souls and Dark Souls II experience in bulk. I found myself actually being frightened by the enemies than seeing them as scripted garbage in the game world. They did not feel clunky at all, and the first boss was more of a revelation when he transforms into a towering nightmare of black dragon-like deformed form. Grinding for souls is the toughest thing about the game as a whole, and when I reached roughly 250K souls, I was actually proud of myself being a level 32. I’m still playing right now and each time feels more formidable walking into the unknown.
Graphically Dark Souls III is the best looking Dark Souls game ever, and delivers on much of the broken promises FROM decided to make in Dark Souls II. It played beautifully on the PC and at 1080p it mostly took a maximum of 2.7 GB of RAM so if your PC has a lower GPU VRAM wise – you’ll have to scale your settings down and compare/tweak. The game however is nicely optimized in my opinion and we didn’t struggle with a GTX 970.
Dark Souls III has surprises much similar like the nuked dragon sequence of Dark Souls II. It really made the game world come alive, and this is the real experience I have been asking Namco Bandai and FROM to deliver since the dawn of time. It’s really a game I can see people paying $59.99 for even if it will sort of make them miserable dying over and over again. The pain actually makes sense this time around and not like a cheap gimmick much like its predecessors. This is a journey a lot of people should take.