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Filed under Reviews, Video Games

Dark Souls 3: A Timeless Masterpiece that Could be Considered One of the Best

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Dark Souls is a series that is known far and wide. At this point, it’s almost a household name in gaming. The series spans over three games (so far) and it is known for a variety of things: a lore rich world, nightmare fuel character designs, and some running jokes that fans of the series can never let die. The thing it’s known most for, though, is its ridiculous difficulty. The series is so difficult that many of people have put the games in their “hardest games of all time” lists. Though to most people, including myself, the third one is the hardest. I will touch upon this later in the review, upon some other things, but first a synopsis of the plot.

In Dark Souls 3, you play an undead called the Ashen One. Most of the land is revived as well as five lords called The Lords of Cinder. You must slay four and return their ashes to their thrones in order to rekindle the world’s flame and continue the age of fire. That’s pretty much the Sparknotes of the plot.

The story of Dark Souls 3 is amazing. Most of the story is discovered in the lore and discovery within the game. I won’t go into too much detail because I feel the story is so great that you must discover it for yourself. There is a lot to discover and the story continues right off of Dark Souls 1. On top of that there are 4 different endings, and 3 that give you achievements for discovering. 3 of the endings are very easy to get while the last is rather tedious. Other than the tediousness of the of the last ending, the story is great.

The combat system is also well executed and one of the best I have experienced. Battles are fast paced, and you can get overwhelmed easily, so you have to plan for every possible outcome and attack accordingly. Of course, there are things that can be cheesed and exploited but it doesn’t take away from the rest of the combat. One down side of the combat is that some people don’t actually use the combat and instead max out their magic based stats to use the best spells and miracles, one-shotting almost any enemy in the game. Also there are some enemies that you may think you can handle only to then find out too late that they are far too difficult.

Another amazing aspect is the customizability. Your character is completely custom allowing you to customize their gender, age, height, and body contortions. This allows you to make really cool looking characters or horrifying monstrosities. On top of that customizability, you can mold your character to use whatever you want them to. You can start off with a base build the game gives you such as a knight, brigand, cleric, or wizard which give certain stats and items at the start of the game. The alternative is to become a deprived, where you are given the weakest armor but afforded the most customizability, having the lowest stats possible so that you can mold them to your whim.

One of the other great aspects, and personally one of my favorites, is the scenery of the game. Dark Souls 3 has so many scenic areas that it’s ridiculous. I cannot tell you how many times I turned off the HUD of the game so that I could immerse myself in the imagery of the game and take snapshots of the many beautiful views.

Some things I have mixed feelings about are the boss fights. These fights are hard as they’re meant to be. I mean, they are boss fights, after all. However, you can find yourself in a really easy area but the boss is disproportionately impossible compared to the rest of the area. They could also be on the other end of the spectrum where they were ultra easy in super hard areas. Also, when you go in for new game +, there are some easy bosses that get ridiculously hard to the point of becoming infuriated. There is one thing I can say about the bosses, and that’s when you kill one, you feel like you’ve come over a great, extravagant trial.

Another mixed bag is the multiplayer. You can summon players to help you in dungeons, get invaded, or just summon players to fight. Now, here is where the issue lies: invaders. Certain invaders hack the game so they’ll be invincible or have weapons that hit you even when you are well beyond range. Or you could have an experience like I had where someone invades you only to act entirely passive. In fact, one person even messaged me and offered to help me with the boss of the area after he let me kill him and rest at a bonfire. So, your online experience always depends on the other player. It could either be fun or you could hate it and always want to play offline.

Some people have issues with certain mechanics, such as the lack of a pause or an easy mode. In my opinion, the lack thereof make the game more fun and difficult. This also, I feel, weeds out those looking for a casual gaming experience and leaves those who are in it for the long haul.

Dark Souls 3 is amazing and I could talk for hours about this game, much like Sonic Forces. But of course, I am very limited on what I could write since this is the school paper so I must come up with my judgement. My judgement is that Dark Souls 3 is one of the few games that could be considered a masterpiece. Of course the game isn’t for everyone, but those who don’t like to play it have to admit that it’s world is beautiful and it’s story is great. I feel this is one of those timeless games so I am giving it a 10/10. For the gameplay, the story, and the beauty. This game is such an adventure.

Dark Souls 3: A Timeless Masterpiece that Could be Considered One of the Best