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Dark Souls III


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Played 2 hours of it earlier, after it finished unpacking on Steam just after 11.


Initial impressions are very positive I have to say, despite my protestations earlier in the year about this coming only a year after Bloodborne and 2 years after DS2 - and thinking I was a little tired of the format and style - it turns out that I was wrong, and I'm definitely not tired of the format or style of these games and had an absolute whale of a time with it I have to say. Surprisingly I actually felt happy to be back in this world, it felt like returning home after a brief sojourn out the Country to find somebodies slightly moved all your furniture around and re-decorated the house.


The introduction to the game is definitely the easiest and most genteel of all the SoulsBorne games, there is an actual dedicated Tutorial area right at the beginning, with enemies set up in exact positions for you to practice your moves on (just don't ignore the 'turn back' note on the floor :lol: ) with no real danger of being obliterated from behind by some ridiculously overpowered enemy. This carries on into the next area and the first boss, which feels like a 'Souls tutorial boss' rather than something daunting or difficult, it teaches you how to defeat a boss, how to block/roll out the way of a bosses moves, strategise Estus Flasks, when to use an opening etc. It's a far cry from the soul-crushing first-boss in the original Dark Souls that's for sure, and easier than the Cleric Beast in BB, it's by far and away the easiest Souls game to get into.


The hardest thing for me to get used to though, was the XB1 controller, I'm just so used to playing the SoulsBorne series with a DS3/DS4 Controller that I was completely bewildered by the stick placements, button placements and how annoying the Bumpers are considering you use them A LOT, I may have to switch over to my DS4 tomorrow, but I'm not sure if the game will have the correct PS buttons on display or not. I was also incredibly rusty as well, having not played Bloodborne since this time last year which didn't help, I must've died about 5 times on the first boss by doing incredible stupid shit like parrying my shield instead of blocking, using an Estus Flask instead of rolling, shit like that :lol: slightly embarassing really, but as time goes on I'll eventually re-learn everything and it'll be second nature like it was on BB and DS2 before.


It really is fantastic to play it at 60FPS as well, I know people don't like talking frame-rates etc. but it makes such a huge difference, if I went back to play BB on PS4 right now it would feel like walking through sludge, it's crazy how much snappier it makes everything, and the combat is just incredible in 60 frames. The game looks pretty good, it hasn't floored me as such, but it has its moments (God Rays, Dragons etc.) where it's a pretty amazing sight to behold, that melancholy and haunting beauty the SoulsBorne series is known for really comes through in the art design, bits of scenery don't look as polished as perhaps they should be however. The enemy designs are all pretty familiar though really, I've just been facing the usual Zombie-like creatures you face at the start of most SoulsBorne games really, but the 'Venom' transforming creatures definitely give you something to think about and keep you on your toes.


A mention must go to the music as well, even when I just turned the game on and heard it bellowing out through my headphones I got slightly overcome by it, it is just an absolutely fantastic orchestral choir score that really helps the games ambience and made the one Boss Fight I've had so far feel incredible unique and powerful.


So yeah, it's a SoulsBorne game pretty much, but it's more accessible than ever, the combat feels great and the Boss Fights get your blood-pumping like only a SoulsBorne boss-fight can.


And a few pics:











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2 hours in and yep - it's still Dark Souls and still a double hard bastard.


I've levelled up a few times but not really sure where to put points in as usual, so the odd one in health, stamina and strength more or less.

I picked an assassin as the stats seemed pretty good and went with the extra health ring.


I've got as far as the first location you warp to. Met a dead dragon and a very much alive dragon. Also met a couple of transforming enemies which I hope don't respawn as I mostly just chucked firebombs at them. But they probably will.


There's lots of shortcuts presenting themselves and I'm not sure which way to go just yet but a couple of options I haven't tried yet.


I bought the summon stone but haven't used it yet.

I know co-op can be frowned upon in the Souls community but I love the co-op and it makes it a much more pleasant and fun experience for me. Unless you summon in a brand new area and get your co-op buddies to do all the work for you, then that sucks the fun out.


It looks fantastic and plays really smooth too.


I'm already missing some features from Bloodborne and I really hope a sequel to that is next on the list.

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Caved and ordered the Apocalypse Edition earlier using some GAME credit (same price as regular on there and I hate the standard box art). Two bosses left to go on Bloodborne. I'm all for co-op, I've done all but a couple bosses that way in Bloodborne as I find it extremely intimidating to go it alone. 

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@mr lakitu DS2 did indeed have a Tutorial area, but it could be missed. In DS3 there's no way you'll miss it, you wake up in the middle of it. I guess when I said it was more accessible I didn't mean they'd added signposting and an easier difficulty and all that that would entail. I just meant, to me, it feels the most gradual and genteel introduction to a Souls game to date, there isn't too much there to confuse you or trip you up, it's all designed to get you used to the controls, comfortable and feel at ease with the games inner-workings.


Anyhoo...played another 3 hours earlier today.


Started off at the Bonfire opposite the Dragon in the High Wall of Lothric area, did a bit of a exploring, a bit of grinding to get my DEX level up a bit so I could use the Longbow I got yesterday, bought some Arrows from the Handmaiden at Firelink Shrine then went back and cheesed the dragon by sniping him with arrows until he flew off :lol: got a lovely large chunk of Titanite and some other goodies as a reward, already love the Loot and weapon variety in this a whole lot more than Bloodborne.


Came across a Chest after this, I was cautious, swung my Sword at it and what do you know, it turned into a fucking Mimic and ate me alive :lol:, I was ready for it next time though, so got me ol' arrow-sniping boots on again and sniped it from a Balcony, it glitched through the floor (pic below) which helped. It dropped a bloody good Axe that does +100 Dark damage, so definitely worth getting 




After this I was just exploring a lot, trying to find where to go and what to do really, came across a couple of dead ends, but eventually I managed to find the way, cautiously made my way about (cheesed a big fucker with an Axe by Sniping him with Arrows from afar :lol: - he did almost kill me by swinging his axe through the Ceiling though :o), and unlocked a Shortcut which meant I could get to these new areas from the 1st High Wall of Lothric Bonfire in about 30 seconds of running.


Did a bit more grinding here, died a few times trying to take out the Knight enemies, but eventually managed to better them. Noticed in this Courtyard area there was two huge doors at either end, I decided to go to the one that looked like a Church first and joined my first Covenant (Way of Blue) which is cool. I figured the Doors at the other end must be the 2nd boss, quickly ran back, levelled up at the Bonfire at the Shrine, then travelled back to the Boss door, only had about 500 Souls on me, so I thought I might as well give it a go...slew it first time, it was a piece of piss.


So it was a fruitful and fulfilling session all-in-all, I'm about Level 20, 5 hours in in total, on to the next area tomorrow...



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First impressions: It's Dark Souls! Nice gentle start. I chose the Knight class and the Life Ring. I don't really like using a shield in DS unless I have to so I've been playing as a 2H sword user.l I love the powerful charge uppercut you can do if you hold down LT and then press the attack button. When I came to the forking path I followed the path that said "turn back" (as you do in Dark Souls) and that ice enemy took out half my health in one hit, so I ran back. Mild spoilers. The first boss is a standard DS melee boss fight, albeit the second half of the fight is a little more annoying than the first. I killed him on my fourth or fifth try. A bit faster than the Taurus Demon way back when. Now I've just been running around the new Firelink Shrine which is a base camp of sorts with a blacksmith and a merchant. 


In short: It's Dark Souls! Oh and it looks really really good.

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17 hours ago, Blakey said:

Came across a Chest after this, I was cautious, swung my Sword at it and what do you know, it turned into a fucking Mimic and ate me alive :lol:

Yeah.....this just happened. Even after having read this post and knowing what it would be.

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It is an incredibly photogenic game, I can't stop taking screenshots :lol: it's a cathartic break from the stress and tension of the game for me.


Had major problems with the Tree Testacle boss though, must've died about 4 or 5 times, could do the first phase easily enough, but the second phase in the pit I just couldn't find a decent enough opening to get in and swipe at the arm and then get back out without taking major damage. Eventually managed it in co-op though after the 3rd attempt, first time I've had to use Ember in the game, luckily I only used 3 and they're available to buy via the Handmaiden as well if I run out.


Played another 3 hours today, 8 hours total, Level 24.


Went back to the High Wall of Lothric initially just to see if I could unlock a cell door I saw earlier now, it unlocked and I saved an NPC, who gave me a side-quest.


After that the whole rest of my time was spent exploring the Undead Settlement, a cool environment that reminded me of RE4/The Evil Within and that bit in Bloodborne that's like that.


A more challenging area for sure, with some big enemies that can batter you if you're not careful, eventually made my way round though finding another couple of Bonfires which helped and found the boss door for the Tree Testacle, after I defeated him I did a few mazey runs to collect some more items and then called it a guy, could've sworn I met Onion Bro from DS1 too...


More tomorrow.

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I spent an hour running around Firelink Shrine trying to figure out where to go next. In the end I gave up and googled it. Turns out I was supposed to warp to a new location from the bonfire... Fair enough.


I explored a bit and encountered such lovely things as a fire breathing dragon and that weird giant rat creature that was possessing the first boss. Seems like it's going to be a proper hardcore game.


I might try to branch out a bit more in this game, use a variety of weapons as well as faith and sorceries. I played a pretty straight melee character in the first two games.

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I might do what I did in the first game and start a new character as I've lost so much progress and don't feel strong enough just yet.

I'm also in the same situation that I was in the 2nd game where I feel too blind so I might read a guide for the first few areas in case I'm going the wrong way.

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@Hendo You can only see Summon signs if you're filled with Ember (essentially Humanity/Human Effergies), if you're not filled with Ember you're Hollow and can't see Summon signs. You get Embers as items littered around levels and when you defeat Bosses, although they've been nowhere near as plentiful as they were in DS2 and BB for me so far.


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I think the summoning in Bloodborne is handled better and also having gone back to BB, the health item system and the chance of getting health back in BB is better too.


I'm just in that awkward early stage that I've been in every one of these so far where I don't like feeling lost and weak.

However getting summoned is a damn good way to grind without the risk of losing everything so I might just do that for quite a while.

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I can't actually remember how the Summoning is handled in Bloodborne now to be honest, although I definitely agree that I'm missing the chance of getting your health back after you kill an enemy, I find myself being really aggressive with some enemies when I forget myself (maybe subconciously I think I'm still playing BB) lose a load of health then for a split second think 'why didn't I get my health back...ahh this is Dark Souls' and then missing BB slightly.


I think that's the only thing I'm missing about BB though, I wasn't as enthralled with BB as others were and preferred DS2, so I definitely feel more at home in DS3 and am already enjoying it more.


It's always incredibly terrifying and daunting in these games when you feel weak and like pretty much everything could kill you, there's these guys that can stamp on you with a huge pot in the Undead Settlement and the first time I saw them I almost shit a brick, I think I am at about the right level at the moment though, but getting Summoned is a great way to level up if you need it, I may do that later on to get up a few levels, still got quite a few Souls from the environs I can use to level up if needs be too.

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Managed a few hours on this - started as a sorcerer and after struggling initially, have managed to find a good sword and shield and get a second fire on the go, and my first lift opened up giving me easier access to an area which i'm hoping to explore later.


It seems more difficult than DS1 or Bloodbourne - doesn't seem to be afraid of chucking in a few bastard hard enemies at you from the off-set.

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Played another 3 hours earlier, 11 hours total, now Level 34.


Made decent progress again today, spent a while exploring the Undead Settlement again, making sure that I'd found everything there was to find and mopping up any remaining items I'd missed. It's a good job I did as well, because I found a whole new area accessed half way up a tower (you have to roll off the lift) with a HUGE Troll fire enemy with a massive Hammer, luckily Onion Bro was there to help me out and we soon put him down in no time. 


After that I fully explored this new bit of the Undead Settlement , found a few more goodies and the path looped back to bring me out right near the entrance to the tree boss, so that was very handy, still got a few items I can see in a ditch at the bottom but every time I tried to get down there I died straight away from the fall, so I'll leave that until later I think.

After this I took the lift down in the tower, ran past the Ice enemy down there that was tough as nails, opened the door and found a new Bonfire and area 'Road of Sacrifices'. Very interesting new enemies in this area, won't spoil it, but they caught me by surprise and I found them pretty tough, especially if you let your guard down. 


Eventually got through this area to another Bonfire, found the Blue Sentinels Covenant there and then made my way down into a Forest/Swamp (Crucifixion Woods) which reminded me of the Forgotten Woods from BB quite a bit, have to say this is by far the  least interesting area I've found so far, and I actually got a bit bored with it for the first time. The enemies were quite dull and boring here really, just generic Zombie-like enemies with poles, put them down easily, had to be careful I didn't aggro the giant enemy crab though. 


Made steady progress through this area, nothing too surprising (apart from a pit I fell down in to which had this mad enemy that killed me in 1 shot - made sure I didn't fall down there again) and reached a boss area, quite a cool boss this and it's set up reminded me of some Zelda bosses of old.


Died about 10 times trying to defeat the boss, didn't find it hard, just a bit cheap really, if I got close to her at the wrong time I just got one shotted, eventually embered up and went in with another guy, we beat her first time after this.


Had a tiny bit of a poke around the next area, but had the Boss Souls on me, so made my way back to the boss bonfire and called it a day.


I'll put up a few more piccies later, more 'Dark Souls 3 diaries' tomorrow :D

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I've been avoiding reading other people's posts because I know you are ahead of me (Blakey you are definitely ahead of me anyway!) but I ran into that chest mimic you guys mentioned. I found the second bonfire in that area. I increased my faith and intelligence to 10 so I could cast faith and sorceries. I bought the healing spell, it's pretty weak but it saves on estus for a few hits. I'm going to buy the soul arrow sorcery next because I need something to gimp enemies with from a distance and to aggro them. I have two weapons that are stronger than the basic Long Sword i am currently using (Lothric Knight Sword and Uchigatana) but they both require higher dexterity to equip so I'll focus on increasing my dex for a few levels.


Apart from the chest mimic, I also found what appears to be an NPC locked in a jail cell and I also had a second encounter with that giant shadowy rat/scorpion enemy on a rooftop. So it's fun in all directions.  I'll be back on later tonight, I'll try to make more progress!

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