Dark Souls 2 wasn’t – in my opinion – a very good game. It was little more than a poor clone of its forebear, highlighting certain elements that made Dark Souls so damned damned good, but made in a way that seemed like its creators didn’t really understand those elements. PlayStation 4 exclusive Bloodborne made up for all of that, but there’s a lot of expectation for the Souls series itself with its third iteration.
The big defining thing here is that Hidetaka Miyazaki is back at the helm, so Dark Souls 3 should be an exceptional game. It was released in Japan last month, but will be coming to the rest of the world next week Tuesday. Western reviews, however, are dropping now. Here’s what critics think of the game.
Dark Souls III is another punishingly hard game in an era of hand-holding that masochists will appreciate. While enemy AI is laughably dumb, those same enemies can take you down in no time flat. This is a game that forces you to learn its intricacies and quirks, and use them all to your advantage. Sporting a wonderful environment full of color, suffering, death, and a small amount of hope, fans can expect to sink several dozen, if not hundreds, of hours into the game, if they haven’t already. From Software knows how to make challenging games that reward those who invest the time needed to properly engage enemies, and Dark Souls III continues in that tradition.
Sprawling level design, thrilling combat, and masterful indirect storytelling make Dark Souls 3 the best Dark Souls yet, and sets a new standard for action RPGs as a whole.
Any player who’s been through this mill is prepared to die, but once more, that fantastic beacon of hope urging players to press forward and overcome each obstacle is shining as bright as ever. Because that’s what Dark Souls is all about – perishing, persevering, and prevailing.
No game series comes close to doing what Dark Souls does, and Dark Souls III has done it again.
An excellent entry in the fantasy series featuring unique environments, bosses, and a massive wealth of secrets and surprises
If Dark Souls III truly is the last game for now, it makes perfect sense, since it’s just as much of a love letter to fans as it is a culmination of the series. I may not have like this iteration as much as the rest, but it’s still streets ahead of most current action games and deserves a warm spot on your shelf by the bonfire.
Your personal expectations for the series will play a key part in your enjoyment of Dark Souls 3. If you play these games for the intense, controller-clenching combat and the excitement of invading other players’ worlds, then there’s a lot here to keep you busy and happy. But in so many important ways — its world design, its pacing, the technology powering it — Dark Souls 3 falls short of the mark. Do you play for the joy and stress of exploring dangerous, intricately crafted places full of hidden elements and endless side paths? Then I suspect you’ll join me in being a little let down with the direction this sequel has gone in.
Last Updated: April 4, 2016