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SoulsBorne Games Ranked. #2.2

Hello reddit, I hope you all had a lovely weekend!

So, before before I get on with todays review, I got a comment last post, so I thought I would clarify. I jumped from Ranking Dark souls as #4, and followed it by ranking Bloodborne at # 2.1 and not today I am making a 2.2 Ranking.

I did this as todays game and Bloodborne are neck and neck, and BOTH deserve second place, so after passing them back and forth I thought on this one occasion, I would do a joint second place. Hope that clears any confusion.

So, what is todays game? Dark Souls 3. The last game in the Dark Souls Series, and in my opinion the best of the bunch.

Being nearer the top, I have pretty much positives things to say throughout, so we shall start with the bad!

So firstly is the maps. While I LOVE the individual areas, and how they loop back and forth, u/cliffexcellent123 pointed out that the overall game layout is VERY linear (Source) You can see how Dark Souls 1 area's loop back and forth, Dark Souls 2 has multiple branching paths that let you choose while direction to head in (but don't interconnect) and Dark Souls 3 has fairly linear progression with a few extra areas to side track you on. This means that there is less replayability overall, as you will always be funneled the same direction, instead of choosing your own path which you could in the first two (and bloodborne.) The maps in 3 FEEL more like DS1 in their moment to moment design, as each individual areas makes you open up shortcuts back to the same bonfire, instead of putting a new one in, which trick you into thinking the map is as clever as the first one. But it is smoke and mirrors. While I don't mind the change myself, I normally stick to similar progression routes that work for me, other people may find this a turn off.

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The second issue I had was the multiplayer. Dark Souls has stuck to the same multiplayer mechanics fairly closely since the first one and I rarely touch them. However in 3 whenever I invaded, the person seemed to have 2 phantoms helping him at every time. Maybe it was 3 friends who just happened to be the only ones online etc, but I missed invading/ being invaded and having a tenses 1 on 1 battle with them, best player wins. There was always a chance to get someone who has summoned help and that was part of the surprise. But when its every time, casual players who want to get involved don't have a chance.

And honestly, that's all I can think off? The games tone has returned to reflect how Dark Souls 1 felt (as mentioned in the review, Dark Souls 2 had a very different color pallet, which changed the tone) however now with beautiful new graphics. From Software have never been known for there graphical prowess. They always look slightly subpar compared to others on the market, but I love how this game looks, with the amazing grim dark atmosphere ever present as always. It's just stunning, outshining any other game we have discussed thus far.

Also, their half a decade's worth of experience at boss fights SHINES here. Fine, not every fight is the most memorable. However I can't think of one I was truly disappointed with. Even the duller ones had a great reason to be their thematically to tell the story (e.g. Deacons of the Deep) and the rest of the bosses are some of my favorites in the series. >! The Dancer of the Boreal Valley , Pontiff Sulyvahn, The Abyss Watches, Aldrich & The nameless king. !< All AMAZING and a masterclass of challenging bossfights. They crank this up to 11 with the DLC's, with >! Sister Friede, The Demon Prince, Darkeater Midir and Slave Knight Gael !< Stepping it up I had so much fun with all of them, and to me are the highlights to the series as a whole, with interesting call backs to previous entries. >! Yhorm the Giant !< has a similar mechanic to one of the final areas in Demon Souls

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The story itself I thought was average on my first playthrough. Good, but not as good as Dark Souls 1 OR as good as the DLC in Dark Souls 2 (although it was better than the base story in 2) This opinion absolutely changed when added with the DLC. This fight with >! Slave Knight Gael !< ended the DLC, and the story beautifully and I loved every second. It's a fantastic story, but a shame it needs the DLC's to hit its highest peaks.

Honestly, I think minus the overall layout of the world, Dark Souls 3 is the best souls game out of the trilogy. The Bosses, the atmosphere, the graphics and the moment to moment layout and enemy placement is brilliant and you can tell From Software have been learning with every new game, which all accumulates into an incredible game.

It's a very different type of game to Bloodborne and honestly I think they are both as good as one another. The pacing is much better in Dark Souls 3 without the Chalice Dungeons and I prefer the bosses, but the overall world layout isn't as fun or interconnected, with a linear path through the game, which puts both games neck and neck meaning this game is another 9/10.

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