I’ve played about 7 hours of Dark Souls 3 so far and I thought in light of the impending release I’d give some initial thoughts. I’ve been playing on the XB1. The environments are excellent and there seems to be multiple paths to one objective at times. I even found one bonfire that is only accessible by dropping down off a ledge onto another ledge; there is no other way to get there. Graphics look great – perhaps a few jaggies from time to time but overall very good indeed. It is worth noting that on the Xbox One the resolution is 900p upscaled whereas on the PS4 it is 1080p native. Other reports have noted it does look a bit better on the PS4 as a result. You can’t go past the Xbox One controller (standard and elite) for playing Dark Souls 3 on though.
Game mechanics seem faster now. I can still build a shield / sword type character but the hits seem a little bit quicker and dodging definitely feels more lively. The monsters so far remind me a bit of Bloodborne, which is no bad thing. Some of the new game mechanics included the ability to charge your Focus Flask now as well as your Estus (hp healing) flask. It is possible to balance the two now at a blacksmiths as well so if you want to put more emphasis on magic you can have more flasks available to the Focus instead of Healing. So far being a warrior I’ve allocated all of my flasks to the Estus side of things. There is a special power now that you can activate while in two handed mode for each weapon and this uses focus. Works quite well when you need to provide that extra damage.
The plot so far follows the ones we had in the past but you now don’t seem to turn hollow, and appear to be one of the “ashen” ones. You can kindle the flame inside of yourself now, which gives you HP bonuses while you are alive. This also allows you to invite other players to your world. If you die, you’ll lose the flame though.
Bosses so far are very good. One particular boss I am having a hard time with as you have to try and hit some weak points (about 5 or 6 in all) to kill it. This does suggest that they have put quite a bit more thought into how you are to defeat the boss. The typical frustration level is still very much alive in this latest Dark Souls game. Full review to come.