Game Review: Dark Souls III as brutal as the last

Apr 24, 2016, 10:31 IST | Jaison Lewis

The brutal RPG Dark Souls is back with its final installment. Be ready to die over and over again

Dark Souls III, on the face of it, is tough. Like die-in-the-first-ten-minutes tough. The magic of the game, however, is your perseverance which is rewarded when you finally defeat that monster blocking your path. The sigh of relief and satisfaction of achievement will get you hooked.

The first monster took us a good eight tries to defeat. Mostly because it took some time to figure out when to attack and when to avoid the creature. People who have played the earlier versions of the game may find it easier to find the patterns, but first timers will take a little time to figure it out. While most monsters are easily recognisable, there are a few who are hidden within low level characters, and as soon as you attack them be prepared to die. This is done to basically kill the player when they least expect it. While it is annoying, it does increase the satisfaction of getting beyond that area. In fact, one of the first encounters of a hidden monsters happens in the first main area, the High Wall of Lothric. We won’t give you spoilers, but rest assured you won’t be expecting it and you will die.

The story, to us, seems to have a bit of a Lord Of The Rings hangover. This includes the initial narration and the way the story is portrayed in the introduction video. It does link everything together, and gives you a cause, the writing got a bit on our nerves. Fortunately, you can chug along even if you ignore the cinder nonsense. 

The game lets you micromanage and design your characters’ appearance with a good number of options. There are character classes to choose from too, we went with Deprived, which basically means you can choose your specialisation, unlike the other classes. There are, in total, 10 classes to choose from. While all classes come with equipment, preassigned stats and clothes, the deprived are set out in the world with a wooden club and a wooden shield. This is particularly annoying when your first monsters appears after around killing 20 plebs into the game. It would also explain why we took so long to kill the first monsters.

Over all, the level design and graphics of the game are top notch. The levels seemed to be layered, mostly going upwards or downwards, depends on where you are. There are predictable areas where you will encounter a monsters. There are areas where you will be ambushed by fast moving animal type creatures.

Speaking of those fast moving animals, if you get caught in a corner with these vicious beasts, just lay down and die. The camera angles get very messy in corners and it is a struggle to see where you are attacking. In some cases if you end up being attacked in a corner while on a cliff, just jump off and die. The camera makes it almost impossible to win in that scenario. You can try but be ready to be disappointed.

You may also want to keep an eye out for those bonfire checkpoints, they mostly appear right before you die. The checkpoints are also made so you can travel between the various checkpoints, so you can easily go and get your weapon enhanced in the Firelink Shrine and fill up on potions to keep you alive before you retry a monsters fight.

There is about 20 hours of gameplay to be had in Dark Souls III, the multiplayer PVP extends the playability further. Multiplayer also makes the game easier to finish, and the rewards seem to be greater. One of the interesting parts of multiplayer are the bloodstains. which show you that a player has recently died there.

There is a Zen to realising everything in the game is designed to kill you and that’s okay. In the end, Dark Souls is all about torturing yourself through difficult levels, only to feel more alive when you make it to the other side. If the developers can somehow fix some of the camera angle issues this game can be truly great, like 5 out 5 great.

Dark Souls III
Video Link:
Rating: 4/5
Publisher: Bandai Namco Entertainment
Developer: FromSoftware
Platform: PC, XBOX, PS4
Price: PC: Rs 1,999; Consoles: Rs 3,499

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