Dark Souls III review

I’ve never played a Dark Souls game. Two reasons really, one is that I’ve never really thought it would appeal to me, the other that everyone who plays it says that it’s bloody hard. It’s like eating spicy food. I like a bit of spice, but when it becomes painful, what’s the point?

So Dark Souls III promises to deliver more of the same, only better, in the realm of Lothric with a dark, broody world and lots of enemies and huge bosses that will kill you very quickly. The reward is, of course, eventually killing that boss after he’s speared or slimed or kicked or stomped you time and time again. The Lords of Cinder are your main enemies here and they’re briefly introduced in the opening sequence, before you see their influence in the world as you make your way through this RPG.

After creating your character by choosing their type and then being able to alter how they look (they all look rather ill, like a YouTuber who’s been chugging energy drinks for a week after a long session) but you can equip them with a ‘burial gift’ which basically counts as a perk from the start before you begin equipping them with new armour, swords, shields and all kinds of items that can make them more durable. You then move through the world, reading runes that tell the story and putting pay to all kinds of monsters and wraiths that all want you dead.

Having never played a Dark Souls game, I found the controls very odd indeed. Using the shoulder buttons to attack and defend is just completely at odds with anything I’ve ever played, and for a game where combat is king, I did feel like the controls felt so clunky, and that’s partially why I died. Even blocking and rolling out of the way sets an uninterruptable animation into action which actually makes the game seem pretty old. I don’t mind games being hard but if the controls are letting me down it just gets frustrating. Feel free to say a bad workman blames his tools, my skins’ pretty tough.

The game does look gorgeous though. This Japanese take on a fantasy world is as strange as you’d expect, but the scenery is breath-taking at times, and the imagery around the people and monsters you’ll see in the game and during cut-scenes is really compelling! Music is also amazing. The orchestra and choir is as good as anything you’ll hear in any movie or video game and is truly epic. I’d say it even beats the epic grandeur of Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings movies.

There is PvP in the game if you want it, but to be honest, I didn’t get involved in that because fighting other gamers in anything other than an FPS, beat ‘em up or FIFA just isn’t my thing.

I’m in a quandary here. I see other reviews and everyone raves about the game. Yes, the world is amazing with a tonne of things to think about and question as you walk the murky lands, but the game just doesn’t click for me. It feels, tough, unwieldy and counter-intuitive which, for me at least, means I just can’t get along with it. Like people who say they don’t like cucumber, I know I’m in the minority but I’m going to give Dark Souls III 7 out of 10. Let the rants in the comments commence!

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Dark Souls III

Dark Souls III

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