Dark Souls III PC review

The Dark Souls series was left in a rocky formation the last time we saw it in 2014. Sure Dark Souls II was good and all, but it lacked the creativity from Hidetaka Miyazaki that made it so appealing. After skipping out on Dark Souls II to work on Bloodborne, he made his return as lead developer for Dark Souls III, and it shows in this glorious cornucopia of death.

You begin by creating your character and choosing from a variety of different classes. I’ve only had experience being a knight specializing in heavy armor. In typical Dark Souls fashion, you are going to be dying… A LOT. It’s kind of what the franchise is known for in case you were unaware. Due to the enemies’ adaptive AI system, even the weakest of foes can put up a fight if you lose your footing or focus. Not to say the game sets out to make your life miserable, it forces you to want to play better and try things from a different angle. This is something I’ve always admired about the Souls series: nothing ever feels unfair and you are always in control. When I die, I blame my own lack of intuition rather than the game itself. Beating a boss in a Dark Souls game has left me with more satisfaction than any other game to date.

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Whenever you beat an enemy, you acquire souls which can be used to level up your stats and buy gear in the hub area known as Firelink Shrine. There you can also sell items and gear for souls to up your arsenal for some added ferocity in combat. Well, minor ferocity. Upgrading your character and equipment certainly help, but not as much as in other games. Don’t get me wrong, it’ll still assist heavily in beating certain areas, but to say you can upgrade yourself into the ultimate warrior is wishful thinking.

The various locations of Dark Souls III are eerie and reek with mystery. As haunting as they are, the enemies they hold are even worse. Cleverly designed and similar to the enemies in Bloodborne, they all vary in size, strength, and abilities. The levels are designed in a linear fashion with areas worth revisiting and if you look hard enough, you can find secrets that will give you an upper-hand in the heat of battle. For example, you can find a giant at the top of a tower who you can order to throw javelins at unfortunate enemies.

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The story in Dark Souls III is cryptic and told vastly through item descriptions similar to previous entries. NPCs don’t help you out much either as they already assume you know what is going on, which your character probably does, but you don’t. While the main plot is loosely connected to the last two games, the smaller details can be left up to player interpretation.

In case you couldn’t tell by the title, I’ve been playing the PC port of Dark Souls III. I’m running the game with an AMD-FX8350 and an R9 390 (that’s 8 GB of VRAM) and I can barely get above 30 frames per second. It’s even worse when you’re in dense areas. I tested it on Low settings and I only got an increase of about 5 frames. There was even a point in time where I accidentally had the graphics set to low for about an hour and I couldn’t tell the difference! However, there was a patched released recently for the review copies which has improved the performance, so the footage you’ve been seeing in the video review was without the modified patch.

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Final Reaction

Thankfully, these technical flaws did not hold me back from enjoying Dark Souls III. I’ll admit, the only Souls game I’ve played before this was Bloodborne so that was the only game I could compare it to and I was incredibly satisfied. If you’ve been a fan of Dark Souls since the beginning, this latest installment still features the gut-wrenching, heart-stopping, adrenaline-fueling difficulty your black, soulless heart desires.

Rating: 5/5 Atoms

NR 5 Atoms - A

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Joey Ferris
Joey Ferris 260 posts

l love to play games and write stuff about them. I can't play something and not tell anyone how I feel about it. Call it a sickness, because it is.