Dark Souls 3 is a different beast thanks to Bloodborne

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Dark Souls 3

Dark Souls, a game so difficult that it’ll nail your head to the floor while it’s brother Doug Souls looks on and hallucinates about a gigantic hedgehog called Spiny Norman, is getting another sequel.

Like every other sequel, it’ll build on the lessons learnt from the previous games in the franchise, as well as that other game that developer From Software worked on: Bloodborne.

That game was well-received earlier this year, as it threw a few spanners at the traditional setup of going toe to toe with a monster the size of the Greek economic deficit. And while Dark Souls 3 will be as punishing as ever, it’ll also be using a few Bloodborne tricks with new combat tricks up its sleeves, as From Software explained to EDGE via GR:

There are traces of Bloodborne in the combat, too. While the new hero is no Hunter, he certainly seems more agile than before.

The backstep in particular has been sped up, and a longsword is swung more quickly too, with no apparent damage penalty (though enemy health bars – along with the entire HUD – have been disabled here, just as they were at last year’s Bloodborne unveiling).

That increased fluidity is mirrored in the weapon set as well; we find a scimitar on a corpse later in the demo that is, in fact, a pair, and when dual-wielding them, the protagonist strikes with a level of grace and speed unmatched in previous Souls games.

They can also be deployed in a spin attack, a tornado of flashing steel that, when properly timed to account for its wind-up animation and correctly spaced to allow for the step forward at the start, can clear a four-strong mob of enemies.

That move – the logically, if rather unimaginatively, titled Spin – is powered by a new core mechanic, dubbed Ready Stance. It’s a pose you can enter from which new types of attacks are launched.

With a longsword equipped, for instance, the resulting attack is a forward-moving swipe that hits with enough force to break through an opponent’s guard; later, we’ll use a greatsword for a charging upward slash that launches an enemy into the air, slams then back to the ground and deals enormous damage in the process.

Not all the changes are about hitting hard: the shortbow can now be used to speedily chip away at an enemy’s health from mid-range while locked on (adherents to a rangier, more precise school of archery can stick to the longbow).

Overall, there’s been a clear focus on improving the range of attacks at your disposal, and the damage you can dish out.

Dark Souls will always be one of those games that I just don’t get. Sure, the RPG mechanics look interesting enough, but it’s that overwhelming sense of misery and the macabre that gets me down. And I get enough of that just by living in Port Elizabeth.

Last Updated: July 20, 2015

Darryn Bonthuys

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