Dark Souls 3 The Fire Fades – PS4 Review – by Neitherwing and Eivmoe

Genre: Action, RPG
Developer: FromSoftware, Inc.
Publisher: FromSoftware, Inc., BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment
Release Date: Apr 11, 2016


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Dark Souls 3 has taken what made Dark Souls 1, 2, and Bloodborne great, in collaboration with Bandai Namco to create what now is the epitome of Dark Souls content. Hidetaka Miyazaki is once more behind the directing chair and it shows, his way of visual story telling, in-depth lore and deep well-defined characters makes Dark Souls 3 the most concentrated work yet.

The weapons in Dark Souls 3, and particularly it’s close quarter combat or CQC for short, has been refined to some of the best in the gaming market, easily rivaling complex fighting game’s combo’s with it’s diverse weaponry, spells, shields and armors that make for some unspeakable weapon combo’s and play-styles. Also with the new addition of weapon arts, special moves locked to each weapon or weapon type gives players a new found edge to always be on top of the hordes of enemies they will have to fight through.

However CQC is not the only thing having been refined, Dark Souls has always had spells but never have they felt as satisfying as they are now in Dark Souls 3. The inclusion of FP, something making a return from Demon Souls. A focus bar, a bar that can indicate how many spells you can use before having to gain more FP, either through the two main ways restore it, the new ashen estus which restores FP, or sitting at a bonfire. So shifting the spells from having limited uses, you are now able to focus on what you want or desire, more spells or more healing items giving the player a much bigger say in the pro and con’s of magic.

Spells, weapons they are all things that has made Dark Souls good in the past, but what has been a hit and miss in the past, and remains a hit and miss in the present is the bosses. Nothing as glorious as the bosses in the Souls series. Dark souls 3 does not pull it’s punches as it has a staggering 25 bosses, and four sub bosses, giving you plenty of opportunities to die in spectacular ways, from being juggled with fire swords, having acid dropped on your face, or being hit with the sweet frozen kiss/breath. However overcoming these bosses also great satisfaction that few games can compare. All 25 bosses are happily different from each other with the exception of one boss that was tuned for late game to show the true potential of this said boss with new mechanics thus making it stand great on it’s own two feet and difference itself from it’s counterpart something that FROM has had difficulty in the past.

So weapons, magic, bosses, what is left to upgrade in Dark Souls 3, what more can they do better? Music, level design and enemy design. Music, better, louder, more intense and feels better tailored towards every boss and it’s surrounding, making it a truly unique experience that will get your blood pumping again and again even if has been stopped 30 times before by the boss itself. So do yourself a favor, max that in-game music and enjoy the beautiful composed music that is actually pretty fun to sing along to.

Level Design, Enemy design? You can’t talk about one without the other in Dark Souls, enemies are well tailored to fit to their respected area. However, as every Miyazaki game before there is a swamp area, fuck that! Wait there is two!? Ohh Dark Souls 3 holds no punches indeed from creating large enemies that can easily kill you in two or three hits no matter what will make you question if you went the right way, and most of the time you didn’t. The progression between each area towards a goal or boss is rather linear and straight forward for most of the game, giving you at times option to go to an area kill 1-3 bosses in that area clear it out then go the other way you didn’t to clear that, which happens twice in the game, so it’s very intricate level design of the first game is out the window, but the overabundance of bonfire from the second is out. Dark Souls 3 balances it’s shortcuts, bonfire, and boss placement perfectly, better than any of it’s previous game!

The enemy design changes to each area but there are your common grunts no matter where you go sadly, be it a hollow, skeleton or the staple hollow in armor, they are there but they do not feel overused which makes a great change, from previous installments, and is improved upon in the dlc’s. Ranging from magic caster, armored knights, hollows(undead/zombies), corvians(bird people.), Dragons, thief’s,  or thralls as they are called in the game. You also have returning enemies that was a huge pain or fun from previous game such as havel, dark knights, wheel skeletons, and of course one of the most hated enemy there in the Souls series, Dogs. They are also worse than ever, as they now seem to be able to teleport and leap from under ground to always be able to hit you. If you see one kill it fast or you might be chased to not just the next bonfire but the three others after it.

The DownLoadable Content. The dlc for short, released after the main games release and now following in the Fade to Fire edition, the first DLC being accessible rather early in the game. Before one of the 5 main bosses even. The first accessible DLC is the Ashes of Ariandel, this area focuses on giving you a lot of hints and a story line that you will follow through in the next DLC, and works as the building blocks to that. Slave knight gael offers you the entrance to this beautiful frozen area, covered with new unique enemies, a small story line that reflects the life of a painting. The area has 2 bosses one optional and 1 required to complete this painting and access the second dlc. The strongest point to this dlc is it’s unique weapons and (spoiler alert) 3 phased boss fight. This boss fight alone makes the area worth getting if you don’t already have it. It feels like a Bloodborne boss in a Dark Souls, with quick jumping mechanics and the way it plays out, one of the most unique bosses created in the Dark Souls franchise and redeems a more forgettable area and that the dlc held only 2 bosses.(spoiler end.)

The second DLC, The Ringed City host 4 bosses, among 3 is in the top 10 of Dark Souls hardest bosses personally. The Ringed City is among crème de la crème of area’s, it’s beautiful both showing a representation of the world coming to and end and going in on itself, you have area’s from Dark Souls 2, and 1 here that you can see in the distance, even Dark Souls 3 area’s are among the ones being slowly devoured by time. The Ringed City is entirety of Dark Souls combined into one 3 hour experience. (time may vary depending on skill level.) It’s unique weapons, quest-line, covenant, and bosses makes this a must play through when playing through the game and owning the dlc’s.

All in all Dark Souls 3 is the best of Dark Souls, it’s the peak of the failures and successes of the previous games, having learned and taken what it can, it is well paced, amazing bosses, soundtrack that fits perfectly and the graphic, the controls it is something that will in time become a classic people can look back upon as a great time both at the time and in the future. The DLC makes the game feel more rounded and will offer many hours of extra play time. This game is a definite to pick up for any that is either looking for a challenging game or previous fans of Dark Souls alike.

-High risk reward game.
-Fast action and smooth controls that fit
-Great animation
-Fits any play style
-Great voice acting
-Unique play experience
-PS4 Pro/pc the 30 fps limiter is removed

-Load times are a bit longer on console than high end pc’s.
-Frame rate drop with many enemies and certain weapons or bosses, pc’s a lot moreat risk
-Runs with V-sync no matter what.
-Jailers and their lanterns.

Dark Souls main game 81/100
Ashes of Ariandel. 75/100
The Ringed City 92/100

Neitherwing and Eivmoe give Dark Souls III: The Fire Fades Edition a Drastik Measure 8.3 out of 10 (83)




Written by Eivmoe, stream by Neitherwing with coop player Eivmoe

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