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Dark Souls III

Developer / Publisher: FromSoftware
24 March 2016
Dark Souls III - cover art
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4.19 / 5.0
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4,246 Ratings / 19 Reviews
#58 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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After the Lords of Cinder failed to meet their duty and link the First Flame, Unkindled Ash are awakened in the Kingdom of Lothric to once again prolong the Age of Fire, or perhaps usher in a new era.
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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
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 Day One Edition
2016 From Bandai Namco  
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Dark Souls III The Fire Fades Edition
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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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Dark Souls III The Fire Fades Edition
2017 From Bandai Namco  
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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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O terceiro e último capítulo da franquia de video game mais importante da década passada é ao mesmo tempo a culminação de tudo o que a equipe da From Software aprendeu até aquele ponto e o momento em que a série demonstrou certo cansaço.

Primeiro, os pontos positivos: Dark Souls 3 é, de longe, o jogo mais prazeroso da trilogia. O combate é muito bem equilibrado sem as limitações do primeiro, de forma a deixar o jogador se expressar com as armas de perfis distintos. A variedade de inimigos, chefes e subchefes exige atenção constante e a jogabilidade nunca fica excessivamente repetitiva. O design dos cenários - embora não tão interconectados quanto no primeiro jogo - é interessante de modo geral e convida à exploração.

Em suma, tudo o que tange o gameplay beira a perfeição em Dark Souls 3. Os problemas começam e terminam na narrativa, muito dependente da mitologia criada no primeiro jogo da série, lotada de referências vazias que gritam fan-service e mais nada. É aí que a From Software deixou claro que precisava tirar essa IP do caminho e focar em novas ideias.
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gabrielctps 2024-04-26T06:18:02Z
2024-04-26T06:18:02Z
4.5
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So much worse than it needed to be
Playing Dark Souls 3 was my introduction to the entire Souls genre, and it was a bad first impression. Overall I had a fairly negative experience, which is a shame because there's a lot that I can appreciate about this game. First and foremost: the exploration. The branching paths, the shortcuts, the sense that there are items and enemies around every corner—it's all quite nice and rewards the player's spacial reasoning skills. The exploration is great for another reason besides gameplay aspects, which is the visuals. The environments are detailed and atmospheric, and items and enemies are placed deliberately to tell you about the world without any exposition. In between long stretches of grueling difficulty, you are sometimes rewarded with peaceful moments overlooking gorgeous views.

That's about where the unaccompanied praise ends though, so let's move to one of my biggest problems with Dark Souls 3: The obtusity and deliberate obfuscation of the mechanics. If you're a return player to the Souls genre or series and you've already immersed yourself in guides and videos and wikis, you may be blind to this issue, but this game makes it so hard to grasp core, necessary mechanics for no reason. Take poise for example. Even after experiencing the mechanic in game, reading the game’s explanation for the mechanic, digging through the game’s code, and receiving comments from Miyazaki himself, people dedicated enough to this game to make an account on the Dark Souls 3 fan wiki can’t agree on what poise does. The reason I know this and the reason it’s such a sore spot for me is that I found the poise mechanic really cool and game changing based on the game’s description and decided to build my character around it. Of course I eventually hit a wall (Dragonslayer Armor if you’re curious), did some digging, and found out that poise doesn’t do anything unless you’re using a “great” type weapon, which I wasn’t. Nowhere does the game communicate this, as is the case with many other game mechanics. This refusal to communicate did not build an interesting atmosphere or give me a sense of mystery or whatever the fuck, it made me frustrated bashing my head into a wall trying to engage with the game's core systems.

Speaking of bashing my head into a wall, that's quite what running back to a boss from the nearest bonfire feels like. Why do I have to run past the same enemies that I've killed 20 times already to get the chance to get demolished again by a difficult boss? And no, the excuses that people give (for some reason) are not valid. It doesn't foster a soul crushing environment or whatever the hell, I felt that plenty getting my shit kicked in over and over by the boss. It doesn't give you a reprieve from the boss; I have a brain and if I want a reprieve I can simply walk away from the game for a bit. What it truly does is waste your time. And speaking of wasting time, let me speak about my most hated aspect of Dark Souls 3: The fucking elevators. Let me recount what happens when you die. Mimics, if they killed you the first time, crawl back into their chest as if they could fool you again. Broken furniture reassembles and places itself back where it was initially. Slain enemies respawn and use their second chance at life to hide behind the same corner they got you from the first time. But elevators, fucking elevators, STAY in the same position instead of returning to their original position. This means that if the path to a boss involves using an elevator, you must pull the lever, wait for the elevator to slowly come down, get on, and wait for it to slowly go back up. So anyway, I would have much preferred if they just put a bonfire before each boss or some such. If a boss kills you particularly quickly or the path to it is particularly long, you could spend more total time backtracking to it than actually fighting it. And if most of your deaths are due to this game's bosses, that backtracking could make up a majority of your entire time playing. It's especially silly that for bosses like the Soul of Cinder and the Nameless King, there are no enemies or interesting gameplay of any kind between you and the boss, but you are forced to play hallway running simulator for 30 seconds before each of those fights anyway. So yes, the fact that this game wastes so much of your time proved to have a very negative impact on my experience.

As for the other aspects of the game, they were hit and miss. This is probably another thing I could bolster with YouTube videos and wiki pages, but the main story as presented in game is more or less gibberish and left no impact on me. The bosses had highs and lows, with some being engaging and interesting challenges (Abyss Watchers and Lorian and Lothric for me) and others being gimmicky romps (e.g. Wolnir and Yhorm). Another thing that would be nice if bosses were their own separate checkpoints is that you could then make them replayable, which I would enjoy for certain bosses. I started journey 2 seeking this experience and quickly realized the game had not done enough scaling for my character to not be incredibly overpowered, so I'm off the game for now. I wish I had enjoyed this game more given its incredible popularity and acclaim, but no, except in small moments, I just didn't see it.
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green_gat 2024-03-28T02:43:24Z
2024-03-28T02:43:24Z
2.0
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Should've been amazing but it's just too tedious. Do you know how many stair knights I killed up in the skies of this world? Many many many. And that boss, FFFFFFF that boss.

Another Souls game that doesn't live up or introduce anything new.

Soooooooo many knights to beat Aldrich. Don't get me started on F--ing Dancer my God, leave me alone.

Good. Bye. F DSIII and FromSoft for Dancer.

(It's a good game but seriously F you FromSoft, I'm not an eighth-level comic book store owner, leave me alone and stop r@ping my soul, JC!

Sooooooo many knights like you don't even understand, SO MANY! Aldrich is impossible! Really needed to tone those fights down, son.

Nameless King...oh My GOD! You have to be a triorigami master to defeat that guy! Can't even properly tank him! You have to PERFECTLY tank him AND borrow the powers of the origami master. It's f-ed up!

You know what? People say this is good and all but F you! I ain't got time for this, sometimes a combat system is simply turned up too high, I can't be dodging every little thing. Really gotta' tone it down.
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catalogueatolic 2023-11-29T00:25:12Z
2023-11-29T00:25:12Z
3.5
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More Fun Than Elden Ring?
My introduction to Soul-like was Elden Ring which I fell in love with. But going back to play Dark Souls 1 and 3... I may actually prefer these more streamlined games. The exploration is more immediately rewarding and the combat is just so fun. Trying to get from bonfire to bonfire is a blast.
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Panza 2023-09-07T23:05:21Z
2023-09-07T23:05:21Z
4.5
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(i'm not fucking around with rating this, AoA and TRC all separately so just treat this as a review of all 3). i literally just finished my second ever playthrough of this about 10 minutes ago. if dark souls is a flawed masterpiece, dark souls III is an even more flawed feast.

i feel like this game's flaws stick out a lot more than dark souls' for some reason, i feel like it might be because it is almost the reverse of that game in the sense that the first half of DS3 is a bit weaker than the last, whereas in DS1 it's the latter half that's weaker. i wanted to start out by listing some of the (very commonly discussed) flaws with DS3.

firstly, the lacklustre and honestly poorly designed areas (catacombs of carthus, farron keep, road of sacrifices, smouldering lake, irithyll dungeon, and the painted world even though that's arguably in the last half of the game). some of these are downright heinous and some of the enemies here (jailers, ghrus, corvian knights) are genuinely irredeemable for me. I could sit here and pick them apart all day but i won't, they're just irritating and not satisfying to brawl with. these areas feel like they lack variety too, with most of them being underground or just bland and dark, without much of an interesting skybox or colour palette. don't get me wrong, they're still miles better than most areas in DS2 and maintain the same philosophy of interconnectivity as DS1 even if they don't reach the same peaks. but these parts of the game can sometimes feel like a slog.

secondly, people talk about just spamming R1/RB to beat the game, and while i don't agree with this at all, i do think a lot of the base enemies are can be pushovers and don't always encourage you to mix up tactics or try new things.

finally, i can't really think of anything else i feel like my first point was really multiple points but anyway. oh yeah the fact that the game is basically a straight line. sure there are branching paths and it's not super super linear but the reliance on travelling between bonfires is upsetting for a dark souls 1 fanatic like me (even though i've surrendered to the fact they'll likely never design a world as impressively interconnected as DS1 again). BUT having said that they did manage to capture the same environmental points of reference throughout the world which makes this game not only feel huge, but provides some absolutely breathtaking views and reminds you of how far you've come.

now that's out the way, oh my god DS3 is like the perfect celebration of the souls series and fromsoft's recent output in general. while it doesn't quite reach elden ring levels of variety, at the time it was a smorgasbord of enemies, armour, weapons, spells, bosses and everything rolled into one. it almost feels as though there are too many items to discover and it's damn near overwhelming, it makes me feel like i could play this game 100 times and still not exhaust the weapon variety and options. this leads to a level of expression i feel was never before seen in the souls series. DS1 was quite restrictive, DS2 had a variety of weapons but handled like shit, whereas DS2 feels like it throws a new weapon at you every 5 minutes. and while i haven't used all of them, all of the ones i have used all felt incredibly balanced and equally interesting. DS3 was also the first game in the series to introduce the weapon skills/arts thing (also in elden ring) and it adds an additional layer of complexity to the combat. it just feels almost like a sandbox with it's variety and perfectly tows the line between goofy over the top weapons and maintaining the subtle dark souls allure of not giving you all of the freedom in the world (and the feeling of being able to wield your favourite boss' weapon is incredible).

i think by far my favourite dark souls homage DS3 pays to the series as a whole is its story and atmosphere. while DS1 (what a surprise) still remains the undisputed king for me of goat atmosphere, DS3 captures a darkness and melancholy that I feel DS1 was only able to achieve through loneliness and emptiness. every you go in DS3 you are reminded that you're simply a tenant in this sick and dying world, and no one around you is happy to be in it. i could go on and on about the incredibly cryptic and intricate story but at the crux of it is a super well crafted metaphor for the series as a whole. I love miyazaki's hard hitting approach to imbuing this entire game with almost a disdain for the player and the fans making this series as big as it is. but rather than trolling us further he uses the DS3 setting and story to teach us a lesson and send this beloved series off with nary a flicker. and the way the writing is able to inject seemingly every story, every boss, every area with this same feeling of pathetic decay is nothing short of mindblowing.

and speaking of bosses, do i even need to say what the true best part of this game is? DS3 is home to some of the best video game bosses in all of gaming. the presentation, music and lore of damn near every boss here is just phenomenal and, in my opinion, leagues above practically every other souls game i've played so far. the main lords of cinder are obviously steeped in melancholy and there any joy you find from felling them is short lived as you are reminded that you are running a fools errand, murdering others who came before you for realising the futility of linking the flame to mindlessly continue the age of fire, most of which becoming a fate much worse than death. the presentation is the stand out here too, with incredible arenas, satisfying movesets and one of the best original soundtracks in any video game ever, i didn't want most of these fights to ever be over. pontiff sulyvahn, abyss watchers, vordt, sister freide, twin princes, soul of cinder, nameless king, gael, just to name a few. while i love soul of cinder being the true final boss in the base game, the twin princes are my favourite. they embody everything great about the game as a whole and culminate in this heartwrenching battle. to think that lothric is merely a teenager and was forced to become a lord of cinder just because of the cycle of the age of fire, deciding against his fate and locking himself at the highest point of lordran employing his brother to protect him, barely able to fight himself. it's so incredibly tragic and also so satisfying to fight them, with some of the best music in the game to boot. "Rise, if you would. For that is our curse."

i won't touch too much on the other bosses but i have to give freide and gael their flowers. for what is one of the worst areas in the game, friede raises the painted world of ariandel to something much more. the story of her and her father is again, so heartwrenching, and she is so damn fun to fight. the arena is dynamic and cool as fuck and the fake out before the final phase never fails to get me. when she rises up drenched in a cloud of black and white i get goosebumps everytime.
and gael is the best bossfight in all of gaming. not too difficult and not too easy, unbelievable presentation in the coolest arena in the entire game, it's a dance to the death and i wish it never ended.

DS3 is incredibly flawed and i'll never pretend it isn't. but my god if it isn't the best send off to the souls series we could ever have asked for. endlessly hopeless yet mostly a joy to play and experience, it's one for the ages and i can't wait to play it again and again.
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Troop133 Dark Souls III 2024-05-25T22:09:07Z
2024-05-25T22:09:07Z
4.5
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9en Dark Souls III 2024-05-25T19:35:04Z
2024-05-25T19:35:04Z
5.0
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Sircastic11 Dark Souls III 2024-05-24T07:48:28Z
Xbox One
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3.5
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grandayy Dark Souls III 2024-05-22T20:50:45Z
2024-05-22T20:50:45Z
4.5
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mtvernon Dark Souls III 2024-05-22T16:19:58Z
2024-05-22T16:19:58Z
4.5
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Kimmu Dark Souls III 2024-05-22T08:55:17Z
2024-05-22T08:55:17Z
4.5
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Homelove Dark Souls III 2024-05-21T18:22:45Z
2024-05-21T18:22:45Z
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needtimetothink Dark Souls III 2024-05-21T07:12:36Z
2024-05-21T07:12:36Z
5.0
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DriedRoseTear Dark Souls III 2024-05-20T06:07:27Z
2024-05-20T06:07:27Z
4.0
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Vertecks Dark Souls III 2024-05-19T19:36:22Z
2024-05-19T19:36:22Z
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spicy_michael Dark Souls III 2024-05-19T06:38:58Z
2024-05-19T06:38:58Z
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HereComesInspiration Dark Souls III 2024-05-18T03:35:28Z
2024-05-18T03:35:28Z
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  • Previous comments (226) Loading...
  • stereoscaper 2024-05-01 00:07:39.591517+00
    That soul of cinder fight with the plin plin plon caught me so off guard, it was me and my 12 year old self fighting at the end of the world, good game
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  • dalem666 2024-05-01 14:53:46.054935+00
    Maybe my favorite game.
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  • marco29 2024-05-10 05:54:47.652798+00
    coming back to it after a few years it's still great, but not as great as I remember

    a lot of the enemies are spammy and annoying, and a majority of the levels are kinda forgettable, though not bad, but the bosses are obviously great (most of them at least)

    also this game looks kinda ugly, it's just so gray/brown and lacking variety. it's not DS2 levels of ugly but I would much rather play other games from them just from this reason alone
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  • altertide0 2024-05-19 21:42:20.681193+00
    Finally got to play this and gotta say. the first three hours were really disappointing. Painfully generic graphics style and stamina usage so easy I am basically panic rolling all the time, and it works. Only good level design and massive amount of (unearned) fanservice remind me that this really is Dark Souls and not some uninspired hack'n'slash. It can still become a masterpiece later on but the first impressions are not great.
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    • ThrashingFairy 2024-05-24 14:11:59.362448+00
      Except the entirety of DS3 also uses the motif of cycles and elevates it into the overall meta-narrative to say that the world/series should end? Interesting how you let that pass for DS2 but not for DS3, especially when that example you provided - "here is Andre, somehow the exact same guy from the first game" - is the same DS2 does for Ornstein in Heide with equally as much explanation. Then it was further contradicted with his appearance in DS3 again.

      Also having to acquire the four lord souls to pass the winter shrine was meh. A nice callback that DS3 does instead that thematically makes more sense is making the phase 2 for the final boss reminiscent of gwyn.
    • altertide0 2024-05-24 16:18:13.968341+00
      I agree that DS2 is not perfect, with The Old Dragonslayer being by far the worst example of fanservice in that game, which is why I said "for the most part". But even here, it is never explicitly stated to be Ornstein, with many (including me) believing that he was probably someone else using the same equipment (similarly to how, e.g. The Lost Sinner is not The Witch of Izalith herself, but only carries her essence). A lot of DS3 is not even that subtle. One could say it's nitpicking, but for me the fact that so many things/people from DS1 make such an explicit reappearance makes the idea of cycles far less believable, since it feels like there really was only one iteration before: the first one. Also, for a world that is supposed to keep losing itself (going hollow etc.) it does an awfully great job at preserving itself. I could go into more detail but that's probably enough discussion for a comment box.
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  • white_calx 2024-05-22 07:27:53.261151+00
    i get that the colour palette of this game can be kinda monotone but i still think it’s by far the best looking souls game. the majority of the game is so oppressive in all aspects (amplified by lack of vibrant colours) that when you do see a splash of colour it’s THAT much more impactful
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  • INoLuv 2024-05-25 19:18:59.844337+00
    I wish bloodborne was as easy to dodge and avoid damage like it is in dark souls 3. Perfect dodging i-frame mechanic.
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