Dark Souls III - First (Second?) Impressions
  • POSTED BY Joel Castro on Sep 25, 2016

    Yeah, this is actually the official second time I’ve played this game, but the first didn’t really count cuz A) it was a rental, and B) I had forgotten a lot of the game since I first played it. So, let’s get with what these impressions usually entail:

     

    Pros:

    – The visuals are more hauntingly beautiful than ever, and that’s saying something.

    – Individual level design is intelligently crafted and includes a lot of useful detail.

    – Story and lore are deep as hell, with great ties to older games for veterans, as well as being a good standalone tale for newbies.

    – Gameplay is as top notch as ever, focusing on methodical tactics as well as aggression.

    – Revamped magic system allows for better spell management, as well as relishing the new amazing weapon skills.

    – Boss battles are incredibly designed with haunting tracks accompanying each battle.

    – Online mechanics are more refined and easier to use than ever.

     

    Cons:

    – Framerate still has a tendency to drop during more demanding moments.

    – Overall progression feels more linear than usual.

    – Hitboxes can still feel a bit off. Better than DS2, but still a bit wonky.

    – Elemental weapon infusions are CRAP!

    – Not sure mad phantoms are the best idea for a Souls game.

    POSTED BY kaenna on Sep 29, 2016

    I would agree with most of your points to be honest. Things such as the weapon abilities and the slight changes to the combat system really improve the game and add an extra layer of depth. I also loved how diverse the various areas are. I know you haven’t finished the game yet so I won’t go into too much detail, but there are some truly breathtaking zones. A couple of them I entered and was amazed.

    On your linearity point this is something me and a friend brought up when we played the game and I feel that it ties into the level design. The original Dark Souls game was really intelligently put together, as you progressed for hours, opened a shortcut and were back where you started. In essence the entire game fit together incredibly well and it made sense. However it also provided the Player with far more options. Firelink shrine itself had a multitude of routes that you could take and despite one being the obvious “correct” path, the options were still there.

    Another key point to note is that bonfire warping wasn’t enabled until Anor Londo which was relatively far into the game. This meant that all of the previous areas had to fit together conveniently so that the Player could backtrack without spending hours retreading content they had cleared. The use of shortcuts between areas opened up the world more and more until you could run between areas as you pleased. In a sense Dark Souls 1 was a multitude of paths going in all directions, but which eventually joined back up with each other at various points.

    Dark Souls 3 on the other hand has Firelink Shrine as an entirely seperate entity from the rest of the world. I know it isn’t a major deal but it means that warping is required from the get go, and because of this the world jsut doesn’t seem to fit together as well as it did previously as it doesn’t particularly need to. The way I imagine it, is that Dark Souls 3 is more of a long line where the Player is clearly progressing onwards from A————->Z with a couple of offshoots on the way. There is very little backtracking required, and when the Player does want to revisit a previous area they are almost pushed into warping as walking would simply take an obscene amount of time.

    It isn’t necessarily a bad thing, and I do still believe that Dark Souls 3 has some of the best level design and level layouts that I have ever seen, but I feel that in terms of an overarching style, I preferred the Dark Souls 1 method. Indeed it could be argued that warping as a feature enabled the devs to try building a more linear world, but personally I prefer the Dark Souls 1 method of multiple zones which all connect together eventually.

     

    POSTED BY Joel Castro on Sep 30, 2016

    I’ve been almost everywhere in the game, apart from a few optional areas I’ll likely get to in New Game +. Everything is absolutely fantastic so far. I’m currently stuck on the Dancer of the Boreal Valley. Holy crap, she’s tough! I struggled with a few bosses (Pontiff Sulyvahn and Aldrich were especially frustrating), but this is something different. I can never read her attacks as well as I should cuz they’re all so fluid and graceful. I’m better at reading stranger movements, which seems weird, but it’s how it works for me. Hoping I can beat her soon.

    POSTED BY xsuicidesn0wmanx on Sep 30, 2016

    If you think that one is bad, try the optional boss Unnamed King later on in the game. I watched my buddy via shareplay trying to beat that one and he was getting destroyed. I think he finally beat it but it took a few hours a night for a whole week. Surprised he didn’t break his controller.

    You're all zombie thigh-fat people brought into animation by some evil force of forceful evil!!! - Happy Noodle Boy.

    You're all zombie thigh-fat people brought into animation by some evil force of forceful evil!!! - Happy Noodle Boy.

    POSTED BY Joel Castro on Sep 30, 2016

    I’ve heard about the Nameless King. Yeah, I’m not looking forward to that one. I’ve heard the horror stories.

    POSTED BY kaenna on Sep 30, 2016

    Dancer can actually be accessed super early in the game as soon as you can enter that room. A friend of mine beat it on a really low level character which impressed me. Nameless King is pretty insane but I’ve seen some people who just seem to click with that fight and beat him with no issues.

    You probably already know, but with the Dancer you can run off behind the pillars when she starts spinning around like crazy, that really helps!

    POSTED BY Joel Castro on Oct 01, 2016

    I finally beat her last night. Had 9 Estus and got down to about 6 during the fight. I got her moveset down and stuck to bug bites to bring her down so she wouldn’t punish me. Now I’m at Lothric Castle. Red Knights can go die in a hole.

    POSTED BY Joel Castro on Oct 05, 2016

    Oh, I just had the most hilarious boss encounter. A dragon that you can literally one-shot. It’s quite the trip to get to, admittedly, but it died after I did a plunge attack on its head. I wish I was kidding. I can’t stop laughing at how absurd that is.

    POSTED BY kaenna on Oct 06, 2016

    That dragon boss is excellent. I couldn’t quite believe it, I spent the next few minutes expecting it to rise from the dead and annhilate me hahah

    • This reply was modified 3 years, 7 months ago by kaenna.

    POSTED BY Joel Castro on Oct 06, 2016

    Lol it was truly a magnificent thing. But The Nameless King….dear god. I thought I was prepared. I was dead wrong…about 10 times total so far.

    POSTED BY Joel Castro on Oct 07, 2016

    Aaaaand I finally beat the game!!! Though I didn’t get to beat The Nameless King (kept one-shotting me), I managed to find almost every single area in the game. Review will be written ASAP. I have loads to talk about.

    POSTED BY xsuicidesn0wmanx on Oct 07, 2016

    How far did you get on The Nameless King? He get off the dragon? Once you get that far you really only have to dodge his attack twice, maybe 3 times at most. Just need to keep your distance for the second half and be quick to run as soon as you see the dragon elevate early on.

    You're all zombie thigh-fat people brought into animation by some evil force of forceful evil!!! - Happy Noodle Boy.

    You're all zombie thigh-fat people brought into animation by some evil force of forceful evil!!! - Happy Noodle Boy.

    POSTED BY Joel Castro on Oct 07, 2016

    I got him off the dragon, but every time I get a few hits in on him, he surprises me with an attack while I’m recovering stamina. Not exactly an easy fight, though I wouldn’t call him unfair at all. I just need to work on reading his tells better.

    POSTED BY Joel Castro on Oct 08, 2016

    My review of the game is up now, everyone. Hope you enjoy

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