DARK SOULS III
By Michael "Magic Mike" Dumee on April 18, 2016
HAHAAAAA! This is what I, and I'm pretty sure many people with me, have been waiting for! It's been one hell of a wait, but it's finally here: Dark Souls III. As with previous installments in the series; if you don't mind dying a lot, or better yet, if you like dying a lot; this game is definitely your cup of blood-soaked tea. Not only does it provide you with 1001 ways to die, it's been rumored to be the absolute hardest game in the series! And yes, I've had some trouble myself upon starting the game, but now, I'm well on my way to finishing it successfully. I'm not quite there yet, but I'm getting there!
Our story begins in the Kingdom of Lothric, where you (the Ashen One; a warrior brought back from the dead) are once again forced to fight the coming Apocalypse in the eternal conflict between Light and Dark. To win this battle, you'll have to slay the nefarious Lords of Cinder, heroes from times long gone who linked the First Flame. Brought back from the dead, apocalypse, light and dark, kill Lords of Cinder… sounds simple enough, doesn't it. Well, IT'S NOT! When you start playing, you're as weak as one might expect from a newly-risen corpse. But, as you progress through the game, collect items, weapons and armor, you will eventually get stronger. Now, don't get out the champagne just yet, because as you get stronger, your enemies do to. I mean, come on! You're playing a Dark Souls game; you didn't expect it to be EASY, did you now?!
If there's one thing that is abundantly present in any Dark Souls game (besides enemies), it's the items. Dark Souls III features more weapons, shields and other useful items than you can shake a stick at! Even if you had a hundred sticks and a hundred arms, you'd still fall short. Apart from the diversity in items, the characters are also a big plus in this game. Whatever your personal playing-style is, you're bound to find a character to match it. The character builder has been expanded in comparison to previous installments in the series, making it possible to fine-tune your character even better than before.
Now, I've heard people claim that Dark Souls III's bosses are somewhat easy. I would like to take this chance and disagree. Yes, bosses are easier or tougher depending on your level and chosen playing-style, but they are far from easy. But this is what this game is all about; it's more about learning and understanding how enemies move and react, rather than it is about mindlessly bashing at them. That's why I always say: it's better to carefully study an enemies moves and discovering its weak points than charging headlong into battle and bashing yourself silly on everything that moves. I myself had some trouble defeating the second boss. But after studying its routine, discovering when it enters its second stage and what animation played before which attack, I quickly found out what its weak spot was and exploited the hell out of that! That's what Dark Souls III is all about; watch and learn, then attack.
As you start the game, you'll receive a number of Estus flasks. These flasks can be upgraded using Estus Shards and Bone Ash. There are two kinds of flasks; one fills your health, while the other refills your focus points. Focus points are essentially a kind of mana and are used when casting spells. So no more spell uses but a focus pool that is used as you cast spells. Also, almost every weapon have a skill attached; some give you a unique buff while others grant you an extremely cool special attack. Taking all these things into account, one can only surmise that Dark Souls III leans more heavily on RPG elements than its predecessors, which I think is really cool.
Dark Souls III's story is excellent and really helps to emerge yourself into its grim and battle-torn world. The game's graphics are sublime, the controls are intuitive and well-implemented, and the soundtrack is FREAKING AWESOME!!! I just can't get enough of this game. I can truly say that I am addicted to Dark Souls III, I just keep on wanting more and more. To be perfectly honest; not only am I addicted to Dark Souls III, but also to the rest of the Dark Souls series and to From Software's other grand titles: Demon's Souls and Bloodborne. It's the immersive story, the beautiful environments, the cool characters and the fantastic gameplay that make these games my absolute favorites. Dark Souls III is, without a doubt, one of the best games ever and truly a crowning achievement!
I would like to go on record here and say that I am VERY SAD, knowing this might be the final installment in the Dark Souls series. I am excited to see what DLC From Software has in store for us; no matter hwat it is, I am already looking forward to playing it. Furthermore, I can't help being curious what their next game will be and what awesome stuff they will come up with to fill Dark Souls' ironclad and blood splattered shoes. And while it may take a while before this question is answered, in the meantime, there's still enough to be done in the Dark Souls-universe. Now, if you'd excuse me; I think there's a giant undead monster that is just begging to have my axe embedded in its skull. So this is Magic Mike, saying: \o/ Praise the Sun \o/ and spam the Summons!!!