My First Dark Souls

My First Dark Souls

Posted by on Apr 17, 2016 in Commentary, featured, PS4 |

Dark Souls III is my first serious foray into the Dark Souls series. I did not play past the intro levels of the first two games because I knew they were serious commitments, something I learned from my experience with Demon’s Souls. Now, don’t get me wrong. I enjoyed that game immensely, but I also learned that they were demanding games, requiring my full focus and attention in order to get the most out of them. I wasn’t willing to give both at the time I tried playing them so I stayed away. This is the same reason why I did not play The Old Hunters expansion for Bloodbone until months later.

So, back to Dark Souls III. Coming from Bloodborne, it took a while before I got used to blocking again. Bloodborne’s emphasis on faster gameplay had players using guns in lieu of shields, you see, so blocking attacks was something I had to re-learn. And while I wish I could say that it’s been smooth sailing after that re-learning process, things have been far from it. I’ve died multiple times, which isn’t unexpected, but I’ve been avoiding fights more often than I’m willing to admit. I feel like I’m either missing something from the combat system or I’m simply ass at this game. But I haven’t given up yet. That counts for something, right?

I’m still on my first playthrough. I decided to go full vanilla, and by that I mean I rolled a Knight. Nothing fancy, just a standard shield-blocking, high HP pseudo-tank with lots of strength. I’m not sure if I’m playing it right but I’m going with a blind playthrough so I’m hoping for the best. While it’s working out well so far, it did take me sixteen in-game hours before I could say that. Par for the course for a Souls game, there’s a lot of gameplay mechanics that is left unexplained so it has taken me that long to figure some of them out and use them to my advantage.

I will say this though: none of it takes me back. I was expecting a bit of nostalgia back from when I was playing Demon’s Souls but I’m having none of it. Not even from Bloodborne, oddly enough. What I like so far is that I feel that even minor stat allocations matter, something that I never got from Bloodborne. I stand by the high quality of that game, mind you, but my biggest gripe about it is the lack of build diversity. Diminishing returns past the 50-point mark were not encouraging and, in my opinion, detrimental to the game’s longevity in building a single character.

Anyway, enough about Bloodborne. I’m hoping to get more out of Dark Souls III now that I finally have a better understanding of its mechanics. Whether that means a reduction in deaths is a completely different matter.