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Dark Souls 3 – Too much Bloodborne, not enough Dark Souls, but that’s okay. Mild Spoilers

Content of the article: "Dark Souls 3 – Too much Bloodborne, not enough Dark Souls, but that’s okay. Mild Spoilers"

Dark Souls is a series I have a lot of history with. Even before I was properly able to play this series, I was addicted with it. The lore, the world, the game design, it was so much fun for me to read about. When I got a good PC a couple months back, the first thing I did was play through the Dark Souls games (partially again).

I should clarify that at this point, I had already played Dark Souls 1 and 2. Those games could run on potatoes, and that's exactly what I did. Those two games are among some of my favourite games ever made, and while 2 justifiably gets a lot of flak, I still love it. Dark Souls 3, however, was the forbidden fruit. It ran like trash, which made it absolutely unplayable for me, which is exactly why I was always so hyped to play it when I upgraded.

I think part of my problem with Dark Souls 3, however, were my expectations. I expected it to be another Dark Souls, but coming fresh off the heels of Bloodborne, it was very obvious that they still had its bloody taste on their lips when making this one. It handles a lot like the same, it's fast, enemies are fast and big, poise is fucking dead and gone. Build variety? Majorly cut back on. Miracle builds? Well just like they literally didn't exist in Bloodborne, they figuratively don't exist here. While Dark Souls 1 and 2 were focused on slow fights and strategy, Bloodborne and Dark Souls 3 are more focused on speedy, think-on-your-feet gameplay. While I can see the appeal, it's personally not for me, especially when I'm playing an ARPG.

Read:  I'm struggling to decide which version of World of Warcraft to play.

I'm spitting a lot of hate for this game right now, but I do have to say that I still loved a lot of it. Because for every excruciatingly-designed boss, there was more expansion to the world that I'd come to love. For every Bloodborne-like enemy, there was shameless fan-service to fill the void, and boy am I a sucker for shameless fan-service.

When I first fought the Soul of Cinder and I heard the gentle piano piece from Gwyn, followed by his signature kick, I had immediately forgot about every annoying aspect of the game. It was very much the same with every other call-back: Havel, Trusty Patches, Onionboy, Lucatiel, Creighton – all of them warmed my heart to see.

So yeah, while it wasn't exactly what I was sure I was going to love to bits, it still gave me a lot of smiles and enjoyment, and from the ending I took (snuffing out the First Flame), a sense of satisfying closure with the franchise. Is it perfect? Is it perfectly faithful to the series? Not in the gameplay aspect, but I still love what it offered.


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