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Dark Souls 3 - Review


The fire fades and awaits its one last lord

In my adventures to find games to play I stumbled upon Dark Souls 3 (DS3). Six years ago, I started playing the game with an old friend but put it down due to finding other games to play at the time. Well, for the past few weeks, I have been playing DS3 and I have to honestly say that I wish I played this game a lot sooner. I love everything that this game has to offer and the builds you can make in the game are amazing.


Pros and Cons

Pros

- Wonderfully crafted story in its world-building and item descriptions

- Challenging gameplay that will make you think about your next move

- Optional side quests that are actually fun

- Many different builds to use and try out

- Beautiful graphics that make the areas amazing and creepy


Cons

- Side quests either have specific or small windows when they are available


Story

Now, I can’t really talk about the story of DS3 simply due to the fact that it’s not told directly to you. The story of the game is mostly interpreted by the community so you will have to take it from there. The remainder of the story is mostly found on item descriptions and its world-building, which is also not told to you directly but just by looking at it you can get a feel for the world. From the buildings you see to the enemies/bosses you fight, it’s all unique in many ways and I love it.


I am someone who loves Dark Fantasy stuff and DS3 doesn’t necessarily need to have a story for me to fully watch. I loved how the world also has a bunch of influences on the Berserk series and I can even see some of the comparisons in the game.


Gameplay

Now whichever Dark Souls game you play, they are all known for their gameplay being difficult in many ways, although it should, of course, be worth noting that difficulty is subjective to everyone. However, I will say that DS3 is a challenging game in its own right. There are tough enemies to deal with around the corner and challenging boss battles that you can go and beat. You are given some tools to help you deal with the bosses and if you have a friend who also plays the game, you can summon them to help you in the boss fight as well.


After you kill an enemy or boss, you will be given Souls. These Souls will give you upgrades to stats. Strength will help you carry heavy weapons more easily - if you don’t meet the proper strength, you won’t swing the weapon properly. Dexterity also helps as it makes you wield more advanced weapons and if you don’t meet the requirements for that, the weapon will bounce off enemies. Endurance will help increase stamina, which gives you the ability to do more actions like attacking, etc. Vigor will give your character more HP, which is good for survivability when fighting enemies or bosses.


I could go on for more about the stats in this game but that is pretty much a whole review on its own for me to talk about. There are soft caps and hard caps for all the stats in the game so there will be a point at which you will get less than the usual level per stat you increase.



There are also a few starting items you can get to help you at the beginning of your run. One thing I have to note is that no matter what item you start with, you can get everything else in the game. Including the item you start out with, whatever you get will only give you what you start out with. Unfortunately, though, there is no master key like in the first DS game. That’s fine as you can travel pretty much to any bonfire at the start of the game.


With that in mind, there are also a ton of different weapons, armor, and builds that you can use in the game. You will have to meet certain stat requirements to use some of the weapons or armor so sometimes you will have to farm for Souls. There is magic in the game but it’s ok for the most part, you can use spells as you do have a magic meter, and doing a magic build is possible but it’s an investment. You will need a high faith level to use some of the best spells and to do damage, thus making you a glass cannon of sorts.


After defeating a boss, you will be awarded a Boss Soul. These special Souls can be used to acquire new weapons. Or you can use them to get extra Souls to get extra stats for you to level up, do note that if you do this you can’t recover the Boss Soul unless you fight it again on New Game+.


There are times when you have to go back to certain areas or explore the world in some way to progress through the story. While you may get stuck, you can explore the world or if you want to look up a guide, there is no shame in doing any of this as some of the info you get is vague.


There are also some side quests and optional bosses that you can fight that can give you some nice rewards. They add things to do in the game and it’s always nice to do other activities in DS3, the game offers quite a few things to do and explore and it’s worth it to try the optional quests.


Although I mentioned that some of the info that the game gives you is vague, well that also applies to the side quests as well. As they either have a specific or small window of them being open and if you progress in the game, you will be screwed over from doing it. You can beat one boss for you to only be locked out of a side quest because you did not speak to a certain NPC on the other side of the map. It’s not the player's fault for this, it’s just FromSoftware never gave you any hints or cues to do certain things.


Graphics and Performance

DS3 is a very beautiful game, the areas you visit look dark and depressing but have some sort of undead-life feel to them all. It makes you want to explore what lurks around every corner. NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 3GB, AMD Ryzen 5 1500X Quad-Core Processor 3.50, and 16 GB of RAM, I experienced no issues while I was playing and got a constant 60 FPS while playing.



Final Verdict

Dark Souls 3 is one of those games that I wished I picked up sooner to play and I am honestly glad that I finally found the chance to experience the game. I had a ton of fun playing it and this has encouraged me to try out the other games in the series. I even went and bought the DLC's which were a ton of fun to play and explore throughout. I highly recommend this game to fans of the Dark Souls series or to those that are wanting to start out with it. There is a ton of replay value to have, and the game even has multiplayer.


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