With the release of The Ringed City (the latest and last Dark Souls 3 DLC) I thought it was high time I got back to dying repeatedly. Ashes of Ariandal, the first DLC released for Dark Souls 3, came out about five months ago but I’d never gotten around to playing it.
I’m really glad I have now because as far as quality goes, this is one great expansion to the Dark Souls universe.
The world is new and very icy. At times your line of sight is heavily affecting due to the blizzards and wind blowing through. Snow drifts are aplenty. The monsters are pretty unique and will definitely take some strategy to take them down. They recommend a character who is a minimum of level 80 and that feels pretty accurate to me. Even my axe and shield character (with backup bow) at level 120 found it quite tough in a couple of areas.
It seems this DLC has reinforced the idea of mini bosses. Not quite the big bosses you are use to dealing with (you have those as well), these mini bosses are bloody tough solo and require a fair bit of patience. Plus they seem to pop up at the most inconvenient times, usually to support the normal enemies you’ll have enough trouble with. Throw in some environmental hazards to deal with and you really will have your work cut out for you making it to the next bonfire.
One hint I’ll give you that does not spoil anything: in dark places use a torch in your off hand to light the walls. It actually took me a long time to find a crucial object in the game purely because I spent my time walking around in the dark and didn’t see it.
How long is the DLC? Well that depends. If you are playing solo like I did for most of this campaign you can expect it to take 10-15 hours to complete. I’ve talk to some Dark Souls veterans who played co-op and they complained it was too short. You could run through the first DLC pretty quickly if you have help. I felt it was a good length and worth the money (especially if you’ve bought the season pass which includes the 2nd DLC, The Ringed City).
The final boss fight is fantastic and worthy of the Dark Souls mantle. The other great bit of news is that if you have downloaded The Ringed City as well you can immediately begin play of the latest DLC once you’ve fought the end boss of Ashes of Ariandal.
I’ve loved all the Souls games (including the original Demon Souls) and this is definitely a worthy expansion to an already amazing game.
Reviewed on Xbox One.