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Dark Souls III: Ashes of Ariandel

24 October 2016
Dark Souls III: Ashes of Ariandel - cover art
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Snow = Painted. Huh.
Apparently, the Japanese word for cold, snowy, or something along those lines was mistranslated in the FromSoft offices as "painted". It made sense in the first Dark Souls because you travel to a snowy world through a giant painting. In this case, the Painted World of Ariandel is another snowy place in Dark Souls, so the painted aspect doesn't make any sense. Was the original title for Cainhurst Castle the "Painted World of Gothic Castle?"

All jokes aside, the setting of the first Dark Souls III DLC extension is a snowy world called the Painted World of Ariandel. It's one big area covered in snow with tons of alarmingly grotesque creatures that seem like they are praying for death. The land is filled with dilapidated architecture and is subject to many avalanches. At the end of this area, you unlock the DLC's boss fight near the beginning of the area. There is only one area in this DLC and there is only one boss. It's a fairly large area with quite a grand boss, but they've got some nerve charging full price for DLC with only one area and only one boss. I'm convinced that they were concerned that they couldn't charge what they wanted for this DLC pack with this minimal amount of content, so they decided to pad everything.

This is especially the case for the boss, Friede. She's a hard enough foe as it is, but her fight has three phases with three separate health bars, four if you count the gank boss second phase with Ariandel. It is the ultimate Dark Souls endurance boss and it is one of the most exhausting parts in the franchise. Unfortunately, it isn't the gratifying type of exhaustion. It makes me think that FromSoft implemented this challenge at the end of the DLC so people wouldn't complain about it being too short.

Overall, this DLC pack is fine because it's more content from a game that I already like. The cynic in me is the one who feels cheated by the length of it and the boss is inexcusably long.
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Erockthestrange 2021-03-23T23:42:29Z
2021-03-23T23:42:29Z
6.5
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Solid DLC
Ashes of Ariandel seems to have received a lot of flak when it was first release, and its understandable if we consider that its a relatively short area that takes about 2 to 3 hours to beat, and people felt that it was asking too much. Well i only recently played it, grabbed it in the season pass for the game, so i guess that my thought is also distorted since it came cheaper to me, but i had a good time in here.

Its on par with the standard set by the areas of the main game, with a very bleak mood, and you always feel like the odds are stacked against you given how many hordes it throws at you.. The bosses present are also memorable, and it adds a lot of new weapons and spells that add build diversity to the game.

I have some reservations in the way that it tries too hard for Dark Souls 1 nostalgia, and how at times some of its level design feels unfair, but these are issues i take with the base game as a whole. Its very easy to recommend to someone who enjoyed the base game.
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Threntall 2022-09-20T19:54:46Z
2022-09-20T19:54:46Z
4.0
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Mixed Bag
Level design isn’t that great . The Champion isn’t very fun to fight either. But Sister Friede is an incredible boss.
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yoyochinese 2022-06-11T00:31:17Z
2022-06-11T00:31:17Z
3.0
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already reviewed dark souls 3 further down the list. this is just focused on DLC playthrough.

Ashes of Ariandel

big open snowy battlefield new enemies like big wolves and viking warriors. fun level design and entertaining new fights and scenario's. there are new items that i genuinely got excited to find, but overall they're not too amazing. the graphics and world design is beautiful. some really difficult sections as usual. there are sections where it seems you can choose multiple paths, lots of branching options, interesting scenery and villages to explore.

the bosses: champion gravetender is kind of shit, its just Sif and some NPC humans to fight. not much to say. its Sif from dark souls 1. Sister fride is a really fun fight, with amazing cinematic and moving dialogue. it's similar to ornstein and smough in that its 2 vs 1. its a really intense fight, and sister firede has amazing ninja mechanics that are fun to learn and master. the has multiple stages and eventually turns into blackflame friede. Really hard, but fair. and satisfying in the end.

a short, well added bonus to dark souls 3.

7/10
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darkrecollections 2020-09-03T23:04:30Z
2020-09-03T23:04:30Z
3.5
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I finally got a chance to play the Dark Souls III DLC, which is funny because its been over 2 years since I beat Dark Souls III. I just had no interest in buying them for this game since I didn't really like Dark Souls III as much and heard the DLC's for this game weren't as good as the previous games. So I eventually was able to get a hold of the Fire Fade's edition from my library with the DLC and beat both these. Ashes is the weaker of the DLC, and I'll even go as far as say its the weakest Souls DLC ever put out. Its basically just one big forest area of ashes, that looks more like snow. The enemies consist of generic knight/viking guys and wolves. There are only 2 bosses in this DLC and it can be beaten in around 5 or 6 hours. There are only 2 major areas in this DLC to explore and none of them are particularly big, in fact, this feels more like a side area you would have seen in another Souls game, that's how small it is.

I guess I should just get to the bosses, since the areas or enemies just aren't unique or interesting enough to talk about. The first boss is a generic guy, who is not much tougher than a NPC invader, who summons a giant wolf when you get him down to half health. The Wolf is just a pushover, it feels like a buffed regular enemy and he has nothing on Sif. So its essentially just a lore fodder boss. The other boss is just frustrating, she's a priestess with a scythe who has 3 separate phases, the first is her unbuffed where she just does basic attacks and combos, the second she summons a giant guy who has a pot of fire he smashes at you, the 3rd phase she buffs into a super aggressive asshole who just spams attacks at you and gives you no breathing room. I was playing as a strength build and my weapon was just way to slow for this style, she would just get too many cheap hits in and I couldn't defend myself. I had to actually summon to beat her in this form, something I never needed to do for any other bosses in the Souls series. She honestly felt more like the type of boss suited for Bloodborne.

So overall, this DLC is just a letdown. Its not terrible, it has some okay design, and the Sister Friede boss definitely is among the top 5 most challenging Soul's bosses. But what we get is just an average designed area that doesn't have too much to explore, new enemies who don't really stand out design wise, no new interesting NPCs, and 1 lore fodder boss who is a pushover, and another boss who just drags out too long and is almost unbeatable with certain types of builds. Hell even if Friede started off in phase 3 and that was the entire boss fight, I still wouldn't care much for this DLC, it just feels like complete filler and adds nothing interesting. When I played all the Dark Souls 2 DLCs and Bloodborne's I felt they all added significant content and great bosses, this on the other hand doesn't add anything essential and the only redeeming quality is Friede adds more challenge than any boss in the core DS III core game offered, but Friede really isn't a fun challenge unless you are a build with a fast attacking weapon.
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jweber14 2018-05-11T11:24:07Z
2018-05-11T11:24:07Z
3.5
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I'll try to keep this cruel and quick; this dlc is a bit of a mixed bag. Outside of a really interesting final boss, some cool weapons, and an enhanced PvP mode, I can't really think of any other reasons to recommend this... I feel like both the world and narrative feel contrived (I'm not even sure if there is much of a narrative here outside of the relentless Dark Souls 1 fan service). There were some interesting enemies to fight, like the ominous tree ladies within the blizzard struck plains and those crazy claw knights you encounter in the village area. But idk, the locations, and most of the other enemies are just meh....

We all care about bosses though right? The final boss(es) is dope and very challenging, she easily fits in with the cast of awesome bosses from the main game. The hidden optional boss however... Ehhh, kinda felt phoned in, it was literally just an NPC enemy and a stronger version of those large wolves you encounter early in game (it's like a... giant wizard wolf?....). That boss fight felt pretty off to me, but hey; the weapons in this game are no joke! Throwing spears, a fire blowing torch, duel wielding scythes, an axe that creates tremors and my personal favourite; the Vega Claw/Rapier combo! >:D I'm not too into PvP personally, but for those of you who are you now have new toys to play with and a dedicated arena to duke it out!

So yeah there's not much more to this package worth mentioning. If you're just craving some more Dark Souls and better PvP options then this'll be your jam, there's some cool ideas here if you're willing to look around for them. This just wasn't of huge consequence to me, unlike Bloodborne's The Old Hunters DLC which was not only a great stand-alone experience but reinvigorated my passion for that game. Touché.
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PaperbagWriter93 2016-12-03T18:48:38Z
2016-12-03T18:48:38Z
3.0
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SufferBombDisease Dark Souls III: Ashes of Ariandel 2022-10-03T01:27:51Z
2022-10-03T01:27:51Z
4.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
nostalghia Dark Souls III: Ashes of Ariandel 2022-10-02T19:56:49Z
2022-10-02T19:56:49Z
3.5
1
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Zaphyra Dark Souls III: Ashes of Ariandel 2022-10-01T18:23:46Z
2022-10-01T18:23:46Z
2.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
aman624 Dark Souls III: Ashes of Ariandel 2022-09-27T20:23:49Z
2022-09-27T20:23:49Z
3.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
serpedi Dark Souls III: Ashes of Ariandel 2022-09-27T15:48:31Z
PS4
2022-09-27T15:48:31Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Threntall Dark Souls III: Ashes of Ariandel 2022-09-20T19:54:46Z
2022-09-20T19:54:46Z
4.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Alpha27 Dark Souls III: Ashes of Ariandel 2022-09-20T18:00:16Z
2022-09-20T18:00:16Z
4.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
boolus Dark Souls III: Ashes of Ariandel 2022-08-28T08:19:59Z
2022-08-28T08:19:59Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
vznsofjohanna Dark Souls III: Ashes of Ariandel 2022-08-27T15:05:19Z
2022-08-27T15:05:19Z
3.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
zaelost Dark Souls III: Ashes of Ariandel 2022-08-24T09:30:37Z
2022-08-24T09:30:37Z
3.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
FilipLastname Dark Souls III: Ashes of Ariandel 2022-08-20T10:13:15Z
2022-08-20T10:13:15Z
2.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Dumbfish97 Dark Souls III: Ashes of Ariandel 2022-08-19T00:28:35Z
2022-08-19T00:28:35Z
4.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
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  • Previous comments (14) Loading...
  • moonisharp 2022-01-11 07:04:23.198796+00
    These areas suck so much ass
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  • otonhm 2022-01-26 07:50:21.17434+00
    Don't get the hate honestly, I like the level design well enough, and the bosses are great.
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  • Cheating_Squid 2022-04-09 08:41:45.602087+00
    Those viking enemies are tough as nails to fight and are super interesting. Sister Friede is insane, enough said. Overall a decent area, slots into the base game nicely, its like mid tier which is saying a lot because DS3 is remains consistent as hell throughout.
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  • ThrashingFairy 2022-04-09 11:33:05.447149+00
    I think it's a little overhated, but it's definitely their weakest DLC for a (good) Souls game imo.
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  • chood 2022-04-13 18:11:46.082137+00
    It's way overhated. Not as good as The Ringed City, but the setting, enemy design, bosses, and level design were all great still.
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  • jente53 2022-07-05 12:37:30.499292+00
    Don’t get the hate for this either. It’s oppressive as hell, though - probably the most oppressive area in the entire franchise (still haven’t played through all games, though), both in atmosphere and difficulty. Was relieving to get to the bosses, as they were way easier than the areas themselves.

    Started off killing wolves for ten minutes, only to be surprised by a giant one bringing more small wolves in. Then the ninja guys and the giant vikings killed me several times. The ominous trees and the flies made for a grim terrain, then jumping around on janky branches being bombarded by archers with infinite range, only to be met by giant ice crabs at the bottom. Just kept getting more oppressive, holy hell. Then culminating in what I guess is the start of the next DLC, getting ganked by random lasers from the sky that I have no idea how to deal with.

    Overall I found the design questionable at times, but I’m adept enough at these games now that I thought it was a fun challenge. Can understand why some people dislike this, though.
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  • GaryDoesStuff 2022-08-04 17:17:57.35829+00
    15 dollars for a boss with a bonus area
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