After about 2-3 minutes into Dark Souls III I met my first boss, not random, it was meant for us to cross paths at this moment, and at that exact moment I knew I had made a huge mistake trying to do this review for Dark Souls III in time. However, I survived, not only that battle but all the other ones at well. No controllers was broken, no TV screens was shattered and no foul language was... well, some foul language was spoken, actually, a lot of foul language was not only spoken but yelled, but the weirdest part of this whole circus was the share enjoyment I have had reviewing Dark Souls III on the Playstation 4
If you don't know anything about the Souls series by now you are not into the series, you are either scared away from it not even having tried one before, or you have tried one before and you absolutely hated it. That is the only reason you would consider yourself a gamer today and not having followed the continuous rise of this masochistic series. This is the third in the Dark Souls series, and similar is the Demon Souls game and the Bloodborne game, however this release seems similar to the first Dark Souls game if I was forced to compare it to any of the previous games. However, Dark Souls III is a fine toned machine by now, the hiccups and faults from previous games seems to have been ironed out and perfected in most cases and left is a well oiled machine that feeds on your emotions and your sanity.
Let us briefly run through the story here, without any spoilers, because as weird as it may sound to some Souls fanatics, the truth is that the story in the Souls games have never been interesting to me. The interesting part of the Souls games has strictly been improving and trying to learn from my multiple mistakes and deaths, even though there have been times where I wanted to turn the games off and never return to them ever again, only to leave me thinking about what I could be doing different and a few hours later picking it back up and going at it again.
You see there is something so crazy about this series, the punishment and lack of tutorials or help would probably be looked upon as something negative in any other game series, but for some reason that magic something that keeps pulling you back into these games is the reason so many of us love taking the punishment and lining up after its done to have another go.
Dark Souls III however seems to be a lot more cohesive with telling its story to you. I felt that I could more easily interpret why I was doing what I was doing and not having to try and piece together every tiny piece of conversation to try and glue together something similar of a story or background as to why I was progressing. As mentioned earlier though the story has never been the reason for me to try and finish one of these games but it is nice to have the story as a backbone to the punishment at least.
Sometimes I wished I could just walk around Dark Souls III without having to concern myself with being attacked, only to take in all the amazing surroundings this game comes equipped with, because Dark Souls has never looked better. Every area comes with its own unique flavour and traversing between the areas and backtracking at times gives you a great opportunity to try and take in as much of the amazing structures as your eyes can possible musters.
The way the weather reflects on the surroundings and the way you can almost smell the damp and moist swamp is incredible, while the claustrophobic tight and narrow dungeons can make you almost hyperventilate. All the right people has been put in charge of graphics and design in Dark Souls III and the love they have for their work truly shines through throughout the entire game. It is one amazing visual experience. Now throw in the amazingly eerie soundtrack and sound effects and you got yourself a beautiful experience ahead of you. Although it is worth noticing that I experienced a few areas that suffered from some frame-rate issues.
The gameplay is another aspect of the series that I feel personally has been toned and tuned to perfection with this third release, the way all the different weapons handle and control and the way the weight of your load-out punishes or rewards your play-style gives every player the ability to play through the game however they are most comfortable.
Despite what some holy fanatics claim there isn't a “one” way to play the Souls game, you just need to find what works best for you and just keep throwing upgrades into it and you can easily have the game move and control just the way you like. Either you want to become a dual wielding powerhouse or a spell caster, it is all there for your choosing, you can just as easily be killed with one wrong move anyway so it doesn't really matter.
The boss battles are just as unique and amazing as ever, the enemies and creatures you encounter as just as viscous and mean as ever, and the bonfires are just as scarce and precious as ever. This is still a Dark Souls game, nothing has change on the bare basics of the game, the only thing that has changed is that it is starting to go from a really good experience to an incredible journey. Dark Souls III almost had me at tears, it had me almost broken, and I almost gave up at times, but somehow I managed to pull through and the rewards just kept getting bigger and better each time.
And once I conquered the game I just wanted more. Dark Souls fans, this is still your game, newcomers to the series, you are free to jump in here and take part in this experience with so many of us, and maybe you'll also understand why so many of us praise the sun, I mean praise this game so highly. Dark Souls III is an amazing journey from start to finish, and it is not one you should miss out on.