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Dark Souls III

Developer / Publisher: FromSoftware
24 March 2016
Dark Souls III - cover art
Glitchwave rating
4.16 / 5.0
0.5
5.0
 
 
2,910 Ratings / 15 Reviews
#64 All-time
#2 for 2016
Welcome to Lothric, where the lands of the Lords of Cinder converge. You are the "Champion of Ash," awoken to return these mighty lords to their thrones. Familiar faces and locations will return in this final installment of the Dark Souls series. Are you brave enough to take on the many challenges that lie in wait? Are you prepared to finally bring balance to the world? Prepare to die yet again.
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JP 4 949776 441029
2016 From Bandai Namco  
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Dark Souls III Day One Edition
2016 From Bandai Namco  
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XNA 7 22674 22052 1
2016 From Bandai Namco  
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XNA 7 22674 12014 2 CUSA-03388
Dark Souls III Day One Edition
2016 From Bandai Namco  
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Dark Souls III Collector's Edition
2016 From Bandai Namco  
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XEU 3 391891 986991 CUSA-03365
2016 From Bandai Namco  
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Dark Souls III The Fire Fades Edition
2017 From  
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JP 4 949776 441036 PLJM 84096
Dark Souls III The Fire Fades Edition
2017 From Bandai Namco  
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XEU 3 391891 992039 CUSA-07439
Dark Souls III The Fire Fades Edition
2017 From Bandai Namco  
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XNA 7 22674 12140 8 CUSA-08155
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Title
I'm glad it's over
I feel like Dark Souls 3 was at its best when it wasn't clinging onto past glory.

Spoilers:

The final boss is probably the best example of what I'm talking about. Dark Souls 1 had you fight a tragic, burnt out old husk of a God who's been bigged up since the game's introduction. It was a poignant, powerful moment to face Gwyn, and it's one of the reasons that Dark Souls 1 is one of my favourite games.

Walk through the kiln again, it's higher res this time. Instead of having the balls to try something different, and to try again to make an encounter as brilliant and memorable as Gwyn as its final boss, in more content to give you it again, pointing inwards and backwards at how great that time you fought Gwyn was. However, the Soul of Cinder lacks personality of Gwyn, instead being an, ironically, soulless impersonation of a far better boss. The Soul of Cinder's boss music is revealed to be a lightly orchestrated version of the melancholy piano track that really made the Gwyn fight hit home for me, but with none of what actually made it hit home for me. Soul of Cinder, however, at least tries to do something different, with the boss's first phase going through some generic starting class's movesets, shifting between the sword of a warrior to the staff or a mage or the flips and fire of a falchion weilding pyromancer. And the more forms it takes to try and capture a past player character, the farther it gets from doing so.

Oh and when you're done, will you link the fire or walk away? Because if you plan on letting the fire fade I hope you did all the silly requisites that allow you to do so where in dark souls one you just walked away from the bonfire.

Don't get me wrong, Dark Souls 3 is enjoyable. The combat feels pretty good, even if r1 mashing with the fastest weapon did manage to seep in from Bloodborne, a game where it belonged, alongside a generally quickened pace of gameplay due to faster, cheaper rolling at higher equipment loads. Levels are well designed, and there's very few bullshit unavoidable deaths despite the atmosphere being tense as ever; mobs are tougher than ever. Perhaps the best moments, though, were the ones that felt the most fresh to me. I fell in love with the Pilgrim Butterflies that fly over Lothric castle late in the game. They left a taste of potential greatness in my mouth that made me wonder what kind've game we could've gotten if Dark Souls 3 didn't have to be Dark Souls 3.

But instead we see our old friends again, Andre greets us at, yes, firelink shrine. We find Ornstein's armour again, Smough's stuff, too, Gwyndolin hangs out of Aldritch's mouth regardless of what you did in Dark Souls 1. Here's a clone of onionbro because we know you guys loved him. Patches I can forgive, but still. One of the few enjoyable experiences I had with a recurring character was the expansion of the crestfallen warrior into a more fleshed out character. Dubious lore questions raised by this Dark Souls 1 fanservice aside, it just feels too easy, cheap and unfiulfilling.

I also need to say that for every toughened mob in the game there's a dissapointing boss, either for its sheer gimmicky nature or its easiness removing the tension and atmosphere of the encounter. Fighting against Vordt of the Boreal Valley and taking a grand total of one hit due to parking in his crotch area had me from tense and engaged to bored and dissapointed in record speeds. The dude seriously might not as well be in the game. He's got great design, but it's wasted. You can't feel it if he doesn't pound it into you with that mace of his. I don't mind easy bosses per se. I think the difficult of the Souls series is important in creating its atmosphere, but that doesn't mean every bossfight needs to be the hardest most gruelling experience yet. But Vordt and a couple of others that are clearly intended to be action packed one on one combat are just end up so flacid due to their easiness.

Meanwhile, stand idly by and wait for one of the gimmick bosses to expose its weak spots. One of the reasons I fell in love with Dark Souls one was that very few of the boss battles were the conventional 'wait for the attack that exposes his big red kick me sign' affairs. For the most part you were free to attack and do damage when you saw fit based on whether you thought you could get away with it. Fast forward to Dark Souls III and you're waiting for Egg Tree to expose his last egg sack and Wolonir to drag his magical bracelets of boss killing out of his fog all whilst avoiding absaloutely fuck all else. Just standing there without so much as a shield up. Yhorm, Giant King (and smallest giant in the game?) needs to be killed with this special weapon that you find in his boss room. No, no, don't just attack him with it, you need to use the weapon art. No, you have to charge it up fully, in case you didn't know that you needed to charge it. And then you need to use an l2 attack, not just a regular attack. And as soon as you figure out that riveting puzzle, yhorm is trivialised.

I read back all my ranting and complaining but I had a good amount of fun with the game. It's not like Dark Souls 2 where I disliked the thing. I liked Dark Souls III. It's a good game. It's just not great, and due to its unfortunate nature of being a game in a series which had previously approached perfection its flaws stand out all the more to me.

How do we break the cycle, Miyazaki?? Let the flame fade.

Probably gonna delete this review soon lol
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Diiny 2016-04-15T03:16:07Z
2016-04-15T03:16:07Z
3.0
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My favorite in the Souls series
The game has the best storyline in all of Souls. It’s not bombastic like Dark Souls 1 not at all. it’s quite the opposite, but my god is it beautiful
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yoyochinese 2022-06-10T15:01:02Z
2022-06-10T15:01:02Z
5.0
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Dark Souls III is all killer, all filler, and I'm dead and stuffed.
Regardless of one's opinion on this or any of the other more recent From Software games, I think it somewhat uncontroversial to say that the somewhat polarized reception of its sequels and successors only serve to highlight the strength of the original Dark Souls. Despite whatever imperfections it may have had, Dark Souls was a game that did so many things right that a lot of people found wildly different reasons to love it. Dark Souls is in so many facets so close to the absolute essential core of what makes video games great that even if another game could get even closer in even one aspect, it would always come at the cost of something else.

Dark Souls III's core gameplay is most similar to the original Dark Souls, but with its animations and character control fine-tuned to perfection; this is the first From Software game where it feels good to simply move around. The game has all of the quality of life improvements that began as band-aid fixes in Dark Souls II. Every level in the game is as detailed, sprawling, and multi-layered as one of Bloodborne's best, yet their arrangement within the world as a whole is as transparent as in the first game. Speaking on gameplay specifically, calling Dark Souls III a "greatest hits" of the series is still selling it short. It's not just borrowing the most memorable situations and set-pieces from previous games, it's picking and choosing elements of the games' systems and structures themselves, and still building upon them yet.

One of my favorite moments in Dark Souls was on my second playthrough, reaching the tower before the Taurus Demon boss fight, and realizing just how much of the world I could see. Picking out landmarks and realizing how (despite being rendered in much lower detail than it would be up close) decidedly congruous the world was, and more importantly how intentional it all felt. The popular phrase when showing a game's scale is to point at something in the distance and say "you can go there", but "there" is often not a place of any import, and the "go"-ing process is rarely anything all that special. One of Dark Souls III's earliest moments is the game giving the player a similar view of virtually every above-ground area of the game, with only a couple of places barely obscured (though one should not assume that the game has nothing to hide, as it in fact has some of the most obtuse secrets in the series). At virtually any point in the game the player can look around, see where they've been, where their goal lies, and think of all the challenges they overcame to get to where they are. While Dark Souls may have had a more interconnected world and the potential for more diverse routes, I genuinely believe that Dark Souls III surpasses it in both level design and in its believability as a space.

While the player's quest is ultimately to defeat all of the Lords of Cinder and link the first flame once more, the bulk of the journey through the aforementioned spaces is spent hunting down one in particular: Aldrich. A web of interconnected side-quests eventually narrows into this encounter, chasing him from the Cathedral of the Deep to Irithyll of the Boreal Valley. A trek that lasts the better part of the entire game ends in Anor Londo, perhaps the most hallowed location from the original game, its cathedral now stripped from its original context, a sort of museum artifact for some invading heretic. The player finds within an avatar of pure consumption, puppeting around one of surprisingly few named returning fan-favorite characters. The message could not be more clear, the anti-climax could perhaps only barely be more intentional, this is an absolutely naked indictment. Dark Souls has to end, because if it continues it will turn to sludge and cannibalize everything you love about it.

The heart of Dark Souls III's narrative is, like Dark Souls II before it, ultimately about the futility of this whole sequel project. Dark Souls II did do the roar, but it also smashed the cake, all the while yelling "Ya like that!? Huh?!"

As Dark Souls III plays its hand it feels more like the game has sat you down to sternly say "listen, we know you like this, and we'll give it to you one more time, but this is it." I personally think that video games' status as commercial entertainment products has been pretty much a disaster for their ability to tell stories, and a side effect of this is that some of the most potent stories they can tell are often bittersweet metanarrative musings on this predicament. Dark Souls III may not be the absolute strongest example of this, but you absolutely could do so, so much worse, and its real triumph is in delivering a compelling version of this story in balance with just being a plain fantastic gameplay experience.

The DLC only makes it more clear, with its principle locations being another world, plagued with rot and its denizens begging for death, and the entire Dark Souls universe compacted like trash. Dark Souls III's world, the "converging lands", was already a kind of new Pangaea, the different continents of the Lords of Cinder merging together into a tangled mess of ravines and canyons. By the end of the Ringed City DLC, everything has compressed together to the point where all that's left is an endless desert of ash. The final goal of these DLC areas, the finale of the entire series, is to help a certain NPC paint a new world. What is this world? It doesn't matter. Giving some clear-cut explanation, like "It's Bloodborne! Or Demon's Souls!" would completely undermine the entire conclusion.

The only thing that matters is that it's new, that it's something else.

One NPC in the Ashes of Ariandel DLC says, specifically, that the player must "make the tales true, and burn this world away."

This is the real curse of a zombie franchise, the lack of any real finality will always give every element of its story a kind of impermanence. Without an absolute true ending, anything in the narrative is up for debate, can be rewritten and ret-conned to suit a new installment. Dark Souls II was itself an admission that its own existence meant that there could be no true tale of the original game, and while it initially tries not to let the cat out of the bag, Dark Souls III's grand anti-climax also invalidates a particular player decision in the original game by canonizing only one particular option.

Dark Souls had to end, absolutely end, so that it could be anything at all.
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ThroughLidlessEye 2022-06-05T00:57:01Z
2022-06-05T00:57:01Z
5.0
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:)
Played this game like 3 times, and I would probably say it is worth it.
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Joeman2 2022-06-03T14:32:14Z
2022-06-03T14:32:14Z
4.5
2
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While Dark Souls III is not focused on innovating, but on consciously retreading old ground, as a matter of its themes, I adore the level design, and I find III vastly better to play than 1 thanks to smoother animations and movement.

Some of the cameo/clone fanservive feels tedious (the character in the Ringed City being an exception), but I feel excited at the thought of playing through Farron Keep, while Darkroot Garden and Blighttown just make me remember the tedium and jank. So I would argue that DSIII refines the series in a way that was very much needed.

In conclusion, I largely agree with the "A Happy Little Disappointment" review, and yet this is my favorite between 1-3, due to still-solid atmosphere and sheer playability.
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worshipamplifier 2022-01-18T11:50:56Z
2022-01-18T11:50:56Z
4.5
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This is my first Soulsborne. I bought it with the intent of finishing it and analyzing it for my education in game design. After 40 hours and defeating every boss, I can confidently say that Dark Souls III is a masterclass in intuitive gameplay, excellent boss design, and immaculately detailed worldbuilding. It is not as hard as one unfamiliar with the series would think, but is still a punch to the gut and immediately demanding, increasing in volume to a glorious crescendo in its final few spectacle encounters. Dark Souls III is one of the most enlightening games I have ever played and I am a better student of the arts for playing it.
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djraccoon 2022-01-11T20:02:46Z
2022-01-11T20:02:46Z
5.0
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Aarseth Dark Souls III 2022-12-03T21:28:35Z
2022-12-03T21:28:35Z
4.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
ThatOneDude Dark Souls III 2022-12-03T18:36:14Z
2022-12-03T18:36:14Z
4.5
3
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
renehawt Dark Souls III 2022-12-03T17:57:15Z
2022-12-03T17:57:15Z
5.0
3
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Favorite
LenaCat Dark Souls III 2022-12-03T11:28:37Z
2022-12-03T11:28:37Z
4.0
2
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
PsychoAct Dark Souls III 2022-12-03T10:02:32Z
2022-12-03T10:02:32Z
4.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
bocik55 Dark Souls III 2022-12-03T07:35:32Z
2022-12-03T07:35:32Z
4.0
2
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
karendrak Dark Souls III 2022-12-02T15:30:12Z
2022-12-02T15:30:12Z
4.5
1
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
IWishYaIWishYa Dark Souls III 2022-12-02T05:56:14Z
2022-12-02T05:56:14Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Rhoax Dark Souls III 2022-12-01T14:01:25Z
2022-12-01T14:01:25Z
4.5
6
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
aki_f Dark Souls III 2022-12-01T08:37:09Z
2022-12-01T08:37:09Z
4.0
1
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
dakotadsmith Dark Souls III 2022-12-01T06:43:48Z
2022-12-01T06:43:48Z
4.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Sulle Dark Souls III 2022-12-01T03:17:43Z
2022-12-01T03:17:43Z
1
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
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CERO: D
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1x Blu-ray
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  • Previous comments (126) Loading...
  • Jackranderson 2022-08-18 00:22:11.286263+00
    Really tedius plat but glad I've finally got it
    reply
    • Convalescence 2022-09-14 20:12:55.228242+00
      I gave up after getting all the gestures, sorceries, and miracles. the idea of grinding even more for such specific drops is such a draining thought to me. I'd rather have my strongest and fondest memories of this game remain more or less untainted by that sort of tedious item hunting.

      still an excellent game tho. best boss lineup in any souls game
    • Jackranderson 2022-09-17 19:03:10.295921+00
      Are you on playstation? If so I can help, just let me know what you need
    • Convalescence 2022-09-29 16:52:01.260948+00
      I am on ps4. I need the warmth pyromancy, wolf ring +0, and the obscuring ring. so i think it's 3 different sets of covenant stuffs?
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  • skoopy48 2022-08-18 21:59:02.306902+00
    Really struggling to engage with this one.
    reply
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  • NickFerrant 2022-09-22 02:41:27.27825+00
    Has the best bosses in the franchise without a doubt but also has the weakest areas in the series imo. Apart from High Wall Of Lothric, i dread going back to the early areas in this game until Irithyl.
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  • Zaphyra 2022-10-03 04:58:19.116763+00
    enjoyed this more than DS1
    reply
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  • ThePsuedo 2022-10-06 15:30:51.998125+00
    Can't rate this higher than Bloodborne because the world design is bland. Still the best souls game though.
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  • ac_church 2022-11-03 14:15:56.090359+00
    literally pulled a fucking muscle fighting the Nameless King. by far the most tries it took me to beat any Souls boss. camera and hitboxes in phase 1 are criminally bad, phase 2 is very cool, but wouldn't take me nearly as many tries if i could fight it directly instead of trying to wrangle the impossible camera in phase 1 first
    reply
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  • ac_church 2022-11-07 12:32:52.388054+00
    Overall i feel the least inspired to start an NG+ in all 3 souls. Maybe i played them too close together, but i'm just too exhausted to go through all the game again, and there doesn't seem to be enough variety in the possible builds and weapons which DS2 offered for replays.
    reply
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    • ac_church 2022-11-10 05:45:59.016394+00
      absolutely! to briefly sum them up for myself i think DS1 is the most well-written and the most inspired, DS2 is a crunchy RPG that is the most fun to play and replay, and DS3 is very good on both fronts, but not quite as good at either as the predecessors.
    • NickFerrant 2022-11-10 11:45:52.013644+00
      Agreed, though when it comes to boss battles DSIII is on a different level.
    • ac_church 2022-11-11 08:11:47.86398+00
      yep, a 100%, it definitely feels like the tech for AI and the variety of moves took a big leap forward between the games, and there are so many memorable concepts and mechanics involved regardless of the technical advances. also the latter half of the bosses gave me by far the hardest run of the trilogy, shit was exhausting, but very satisfying
    • NickFerrant 2022-11-17 04:50:13.979628+00
      Yeah. Midir, Nameless King, Gael, Sister Friede, Champion Gundyr, Twin Princes, The Domon Prince and Soul Of Cinder are all challenging but some of the most rewarding boss fights ever.
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  • Illogic93 2022-11-30 23:24:19.533747+00
    DS1=DS3>ER
    though they're pretty close
    reply
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