Dark Souls 3 is the final game in the Dark Souls universe. The original introduced a vibrant, if decaying, Age of Fire. Dark Souls 2 made you think on the people inhabiting that world. Dark Souls 3, however, will lead you to wonder if what you do has any meaning at all.
At least, it will if you decide to do the lore dive. This series is nothing if not consistent with how it gives players information. Namely, it doesn’t. Which makes for hours of entertainment outside the game learning about the world and its inhabitants, but does not really help you figure out what you should do within it.
Despite the difficulty of delving into the story, Dark Souls 3 ramps up the spectacle of the world in great degree. Bosses again range from knights to monstrosities, and each one feels unique in its presentation and difficulty. Regular enemies can and will continue to get the better of you, even after you figure out their patterns. They will swarm and overrun you, or ambush you when you are not expecting it.
Combat has received a major overhaul in Dark Souls 3. Patience and perseverance will still see you through, but as a whole combat is faster and more fluid than in previous installments. Weapons also got a massive change; each weapon has a distinct skill, giving you a special attack. While punishing, your special attack can also leave you open to counter-attacks if you miss. Spells are a lot more accessible now, since the allotment system of previous games is gone. It has been replaced with, for all intents and purposes, a mana bar. But the trade-off is that you can only refill the mana bar at the expense of your health potions. There is a finite number available and you must choose how many to allot to each type of flask.
Social interactions remain mostly the same. (Seriously ‘Try Jumping’ guy, we get it. You have nothing original to add. Just stop.) There are a large number of covenants you can join to help other players both with boss fights and against other players. Invasions still occur, with players jumping you at the end of a long session between bonfires just to infuriate you and make you lose your progress. As an added twist, there is now a covenant that allows you to be basically a loose cannon. Either side of the fight can summon you, but that does not mean you are beholden to help them. Someone might summon this covenant expecting help, only to be stabbed in the back while defending against the original invader. It definitely adds a bit of consternation when deciding whether or not to summon ‘help.’
As the ending of the series, Dark Souls 3 offers a lot to delve into. The world is rich, if decrepit. The enemies varied and difficult. This is a fitting send off for a series that has reintroduced the concept of ‘difficult but fair’ to the gaming world. It is certainly an enjoyable way to say farewell.
Justin enjoys most games. He is currently learning the ins and outs of competitive modern Magic while enjoying all sorts of other gaming mediums, assuming he can find the spare time.