Here’s Your First Look At Dark Souls 3 Gameplay

Like those guys who stand by the highway and tease uncoming traffic with such visual delights onlookers have nary seen before, Microsoft has unbuttoned its overcoat to reveal the first gameplay video for Dark Souls 3 [official site]. It’s a tough visual metaphor to keep up so I’ll leave it at that.

The footage comes from Microsoft’s Gamescom briefing. It’s a beaut’, clocking in at about two-minutes – most of which is dedicated to showing some spectacular combat scenes and some of the best enemy character design I’ve ever seen. I’ll shut up and let you watch below:

Demon’s Souls and Dark Souls director Hidetaka Miyazaki, who stepped back from Dark Souls II to focus on Bloodborne, has returned to direct Dark Souls III. The game’s due to launch in early 2016.

70 Comments

  1. GameCat says:

    PRAISE THE SUN \o/

    • RPSsoldOUT says:

      I’m thinking a similarly awesome trailer could have come from DS2 and I feel many people would agree that DS2 was a step back from DS1 in terms of atmosphere and difficulty. We’ll have to wait for more info to see whether they really bring the heat (har har) again.

      Of course I’ll buy it anyway like the good masochist I am.

      • Jokerme says:

        I’d say DS2 has no bosses that can be compared favorably to this trailer’s bosses. I can compare them to DS1 bosses, however. That’s saying something, isn’t it? DS2 was a competent game, but it severely lacked Miyazaki factor.

  2. Garou says:

    Oh yes.

  3. Procrastination Giant says:

    \[T]/ PRAISE THE SUN \[T]/

    Nice, didn’t expect to see (what feels like) equal amounts of Demon’s Souls and Bloodborne influences. Really, really, REALLY looking forward to this.

  4. DarkFenix says:

    A bit early to really tell, but it looks like a move away from the legion of generic large humanoid bosses in DS2.

    • Tim James says:

      So super cool visual design, but kind of boring and annoying to fight over multiple playthroughs.

  5. fish99 says:

    Hopefully a higher bitrate trailer appears at some point, but the game is looking good. Influences there from all the previous Soulsey games, and hopefully a more cohesive world than DS2.

  6. Christo4 says:

    Every other game : shows main character killing enemies left and right, regular badass
    Dark Souls : shows main character getting killed left and right, bosses being badass

  7. Nevard says:

    The volume balancing in this video is awful, I can’t hear the narrator over the chanting.

    • thebigJ_A says:

      They posted the words on the Facebook page. Something about the lords having no thrones is at the end

    • Cunning Linguist says:

      It;s becasue it doesn’t really matter. The narrative is basically this for the entire series:
      [senile voice]:The Dark is Dark and will swallow you! The land is sick and there is no cure! [eldritch laughter]

      It is laughing at you for trying to figure out the “lore”.

      • Rumpelstilskin says:

        this.

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        DantronLesotho says:

        That may be what it appears to be on the surface, but there is actually really detailed lore that the game is chock full of, and is told more through visuals an inferences than regular explicit narrative.

        • Geebs says:

          The great thing about the Dark Souls lore is that it’s all total gibberish to the point of nearly being word salad, but there’s so much of it that it seems like it must add up to something.

          • dedicated medicated says:

            I think you may very well have a point with Dark Souls 2, but the original’s lore is extremely rich, though you do certainly have to look for it and not everyone, understandably, can be arsed. If you do want to put in the time to piece it all together, there’s a vast and epic story there, it’s just told in fragments and in environmental cues. Miyazaki said something along the lines of, “If you design the world well enough, the story should tell itself in silence.’ Clearly, he’s been influenced by Fumito Ueda’s work, and I much prefer this more layered and oblique approach to worldbuilding to something like Skyrim.

          • Rumpelstilskin says:

            When I was playing it (DS1), I thought it barely had any story or lore at all. Because really, if my only possible interactions with a giant beast are killing it and being killed by it (with the latter being the prevalent one by a large margin), I don’t see why I would care about its backstory. But ok that was just me, so I listened to some very expansive lore videos on youtube. And the take home point was that most of the things discussed there ware fans trying to fill in the gaps and figure out what happened. The real in-game story/lore, however obfuscated and hidden, is still just a handful of concepts and a bunch of characters with one-note (usually ‘tragic’) backgrounds, and barely any ‘story’ in a ‘series of events’ sense; more like a menagerie of themes.

          • dedicated medicated says:

            It’s interesting you say that, because my takeaway was almost diametrically opposite. I found a deeply involved, and actually fairly detailed timeline of events. It’s true that the world is a tragic one, and I understand why that might feel a touch one-note at times but, to me, it was tonally consistent with the setting as a whole. Lordran is a bleak, post-apocalyptic environment and you’re not here to save the world, but to end it completely.

            I think where we differ is that where you see mismatched jumble that people are reading too much into, I see a peerless example of Fumito Ueda’s “Design by subtraction” concept. It’s not that I think the story isn’t there, it’s just that elements of it (Velka/Ornstein’s relationship with Smough/Havel’s war with the gods and so on) have been deliberately left partially unexplained. I do very much get the idea from the game’s internal consistency and interlocking facets that Hidetaka Miyazaki knows full well the answers to many of the questions the game leaves unsettled, though. It’s just that I think he knows that (as Neil Gaiman once said), “…it’s the mystery that endures.’

          • Rumpelstilskin says:

            Hmm, haven’t you just said pretty much the same thing as I? I wasn’t arguing about what Miyazaki had in his head (mostly because it would have likely been extremely counter-productive), just about what ended up being in the game. For the record though, I don’t think it’s necessary to have a fully fleshed out story for parts of it to appear cohesive; it’s probably enough to just have a good intuitive grasp of it.

      • Abndn says:

        I guess it may appear that way to a moron. In reality the Souls series is full of interesting lore (far more so than almost every other video game that has “lore”). The trailer is just poorly made from a sound perspective.

        • ninnyjams says:

          Maybe look at the post above yours for a good example of how to talk to other humans.

          • Abndn says:

            He got the answer he deserves. The man is a grade A moron or deliberate troll. Take your pick and treat accordingly. His post is essentially slander.

          • jrodman says:

            Sorry, you have failed the civility test.

        • Unclepauly says:

          Holy crap we don’t need posts like this.

      • banananas says:

        Just for your information: The Dark is associated with “humanity” and Fire with “will” or “willpower”. So go figure…
        (I’m talking about the DS1 lore here. DS2’s story was and still is a contrived mess, imho.)

    • LennyLeonardo says:

      It’s intentional, like Interstellar.

  8. Cunning Linguist says:

    Yes, looking forward to paying AAA price for a troll’s b-game with last-gen technology and dirty hack coding. I love being aggraved by shitty hitboxes while being one-shot and I love spending hours looking up illogical puzzles with arbitrary solutions on wikis. I love not being able to figure out the numbers that the game refuses to disclose because they don’t work half the time…

    Looks like Bloodborne all over, bosses with near-instant and highly questionable AoE attacks, and the classic canned Souls animations that we all love being snapped into. They haven’t even bothered to come up with a new backstab animation, they just copypasted the one from BB. . . The framerate drops and shitty camera in tight spaces will undoubtedly also add to the charm. Oh, and we must have those super-compressed sound effects from the PS2 era where every hit sounds like a watermelon being squashed.

    Apparently From Soft’s solution to the criticism of the clunkly combat is to just speed everything up, because people wanna be “hardcore”. Oh yeah, also put lots of black and grey everywhere, because The Dark is manly and not for scrubby casuals.

    I might just get it when it’s 15 quid on a sale – if the online multiplayer actually works without having to grind for some consumable.

    The most overrated series in the history of gaming.

    • Cunning Linguist says:

      [cue trolls parroting “git gud, scrub’ , “much salt!’ and assorted personal attacks]

      • thebigJ_A says:

        This isn’t reddit or 5chan, mate.

        We get it. You didn’t like the game. No need to denigrate those who did or spam the comments.

    • thebigJ_A says:

      Are you trying to rectify a vitamin hyperbole deficiency?

    • LennyLeonardo says:

      Perhaps you should have a cup of tea.

      • Shakes999 says:

        I was going to go with “Who crapped in your cheerios” personally.

    • ToozdaysChild says:

      Are you mad? You sound mad. You should maybe consider being less mad that people like a thing.

      also git gud

    • GWOP says:

      ” Oh, and we must have those super-compressed sound effects from the PS2 era where every hit sounds like a watermelon being squashed.”

      Oh man, I loved the PS2! Gonna get me some Dark Souls now, thanks for the recommendation.

    • Rumpelstilskin says:

      Totally agree about it being the most overrated game/series since rock, paper, scissors. Essentially it’s a mediocre-to-ok fighting game with massively jacked up damage and intentionally obfuscated narrative and mechanics. Visual design might be the best part of it, though clearly of it got the same attention as the “deep sorrow conveying” Gaping Dragon.

      • Rumpelstilskin says:

        ok it should have read:
        Visual design might be the best part of it, though clearly not all parts of it got the same attention as the “deep sorrow conveying” Gaping Dragon, with “not all parts” linking to

    • Synesthesia says:

      GIT
      GUD
      SCRUB

      But no, really. The first dark souls is a work of art.

      The second was a bit shit, and I have low hopes for this one too. It’s a shame we have to serialize everything. I’d love a new miyazaki take on a new world, but nah. Dank memes gotta sell. Shit.

    • chope says:

      Did you not like Bloodborne m8?

    • Kittim says:

      I’ve got to agree. While I think the level design is exceptional in DS1, it’s a shitty console port requiring 3rd party fan made fixes to be anywhere near a quality PC product. Console owners didn’t get let off either, Blight Town was a slide show on Xbox.

      DS2 is just poor on so many levels. Graphics quality taking a major hit even before release. Charging for the update, never bothering to fix the damage bug where playing at 60fps doubled the damage taken to weapons. Never bothering to do anything about hackers. The list goes on.

    • fish99 says:

      Puzzles? Also all games have hidden stats. None of them matter.

      Even if some of your other criticism are valid, they still have fantastic worlds and enemy design and one of the best melee combat systems. Compare with the totally generic enemies and floaty combat in Skyrim.

  9. dontnormally says:

    can we get a spin-off in a setting that’s not all brown/grey, bloody skulls, spooky skeletons?

    • LennyLeonardo says:

      Bright Souls?

    • Christo4 says:

      That would be cool.
      They did say they wanted to make an open-world game. Maybe the next one will be more fantasy-ish or some sci-fi think with bright neon colors.

    • Syt says:

      Miyazaki is partially influenced by the design in the Berserk manga. I would love to have him do a licensed game based on it (or at least the first couple of books till the first, maybe second solstice). And it would even lend itself to an open world setting that switches between and blends medieval setting and monster grotesqueries.

    • EhexT says:

      They already made that. Bloodborne. If I recall there isn’t a single generic skeleton mook enemy in the entire game, and the only skeleton enemy there is a quadruped (and a boss fight).

    • GameCat says:

      My Little Hollow: Dying is Magic

  10. Litany says:

    That spooky head coming out of darkness boss looks brilliant. The giant city looks brilliant. Undead dragon, brilliant. Urgh my mouth actually went dry watching that. These fucking games man.

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    DantronLesotho says:

    I need this so badly; I haven’t been able to play Bloodborne yet because of a serious lack of ps4, but this will scratch that itch mightily if that deficiency still isn’t rectified.

  12. Psychomorph says:

    PC controls plz.

    • Procrastination Giant says:

      Hmm, but Dark Souls 1 and 2 have perfectly fine PC controls, since they both support xinput controllers like the Xbox pad!

      I honestly don’t understand why pc gaming devolved to the point where keyboard and mouse are considered to be the be all end all of controlls, when in reality it’s a rather shitty way to play most games. It’s obviously an amazing way to control ego-shooters, since you only use about 2-3 buttons, while most of the actual gameplay comes down to aiming. And it’s obviously amazing in mouse driven games… But anything else? I can’t imagine that you see many people complain when a racing game plays kind of badly with keyboard and mouse… or a flight sim… or a fighting game… or plattformers and so on and so forth…

      Dark Souls doesn’t play terrible with keyboard and mouse because it lacks keyboard and mouse support, but because it’s a really shitty way to play third person games in general (which is why the keyboard and mouse mod only gets you so far… and why Dark Souls 2 also plays kind of badly, despite having “good” KB&M support out of the box). It requires analogue movement, not analogue camera control. Also quick access to multiple things at once WHILE moving – That’s simply not something that’s ever going to work all that well with keyboard and mouse!

      • aliksy says:

        You can’t step backwards without turning to face that directions, unless you’re locked on to something. You could do that with proper mouse+keyboard controls. The controls aren’t all that great.

        • thebigJ_A says:

          What? This makes no sense.

          Back pedaling isn’t part of the game. It’s got nothing to do with how good or bad the controls are. You could do it just fine with a controller if you wanted to put it in your game.

      • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

        “I can’t imagine that you see many people complain when a racing game plays kind of badly with keyboard and mouse… ”

        And yet…

      • Urthman says:

        I’ve been playing Dark Souls 1 with a mouse and keyboard, and I think it might almost be cheating. I have such better control of the camera, I can instantly focus on an enemy no matter what direction they’re attacking from. It doesn’t make your character turn faster, but I think I have much better situational awareness and am surprised less easily.

        • Procrastination Giant says:

          But good camera control is all you get when you play with keyboard and mouse, and it’s really the only thing you DON’T need in Dark Souls, since the game never puts you in a situation where you need fast and precise camera movement (or camera movement at all during combat). You only need that extra bit of situational awareness to balance out the clunkiness that results from using a fundamentally sub par control scheme that simply does not support quick and unimpeded access to multiple buttons while also moving around freely.

          It’s certainly possible to play it with keyboard and mouse if you don’t own a controller… but noone in their right mind would prefer kb&m over a controller if they have access to one in this case, because that’s simply what the game was designed for.

          • Urthman says:

            Good camera control gives you much faster and more precise control of which enemy you’re locked onto, which seems like an enormous advantage to me. Also makes it much easier to see exactly where your character is stepping when navigating hazardous environments.

            What you say about access to controls is only true if you don’t bother rebinding your controls properly. With a good 5-button mouse, I can access all the controls more easily than someone with a controller. Let’s see you move, dodge, and swing the camera around all at the same time on a controller.

            I’ve tried playing both ways, and the better situational awareness with the mouse seemed to really outweigh the few times (like navigating tightrope-type environments) the analog movement seemed to make any real difference.

          • SlimShanks says:

            Dark Souls PvP vet here! Nobody who plays the game at a high level uses mouse and keyboard. Never met one, and it really does come down to the joystick. A couple inches is often enough to change the course of a PvP fight. In any case, do yourself a favour and get a controller! You will be glad you did.
            And not that any gamers care about health, but a mouse and keyboard strains your hand and wrist muscles in all sorts of bad ways.

  13. michelangelo says:

    The first frames of the third DarkS I see only like a fusion of 2nd one and Bloodborne (yet that one was great!), and it doesn’ really work… After bad second Dark Souls aftertaste — which story 3th one will probably hardly ignore — it is quite impossible to attract my attention. Maybe laudatory review could do the job? I just don’t know who should write one like that — because what I’ve generally read about the 2nd DarkS did not resonated with my own opinion at all. I was tremendously disappointed.

    • Christo4 says:

      The second game had development issues, with tanimura taking over after shibuya (who apparently kinda messed it up), with only 1 year left of development and having to use all the previous assets in a way that would make sense and that would make the game play like a souls game.
      So i think you shouldn’t fear. DS3 was developed from the beginning with miyazaki and tanimura at the helm and started around the same time as bloodborne, from what i heard, so it should be pretty damn good.

      • JaguarWong says:

        Surprised it took so long for someone to mention this, especially considering how many here didn’t seem to enjoy DS2, but itIt was pretty much made by a b-team.

        People should probably be more concerned that they’ve cranked out what? Five games in six/seven years?

  14. Christo4 says:

    I guess I’ll be the one to say it…
    I thought Dark Souls 2 was actually pretty damn good.
    Arguably, because of development issues (tanimura picking it up after only one year was left of development, because shibuya apparently didn’t make the game properly to feel like a souls game) there are some faults in the base game (one being the inconsistency in areas, the other being some enemies being placed wrong etc.), but, for all it’s faults, i can’t help but like it. It made the weapons and animations feel smoother imo, sometimes in DS1 they felt rather clunky. STR builds were more viable. Enemies are rather challenging at least the first time. No more instant backstabs etc.
    Because of all these changes, i have to say the PvP is a LOT better than in DS1, i loved it. It just feels much better, insta backstabs out of rolls are no longer possible, so you have to play properly better. You can’t parry 2 handed ultras, which i thought was a nice touch. Rolling feels good and you have a nice pacing in PvP, usually (unless you have parry spammers and/or running R1 spammers). I had a lot more fun invading and dueling people, it felt like skill actually mattered more, instead of abusing game mechanics like in DS1 (roll stab, dead angling, stun locking etc.). Also, having some nice weapon movesets like the santier’s spear, puzzling sword, majestic sword, chicken leg that were also pretty viable was quite nice. Whips were also made awesome here, they were viable and a good counter to parry spammers.
    Also, in my opinion the DLC’s of DS2 are some of the best areas in the series and are pretty much a look into how the game could have been if it didn’t have development issues. They have some of the best bosses in the series and the environments are rather well designed. For example, imo Shulva is the best puzzle area in the game so far, with a lot of moving platforms that you have to activate in order to reach places and really nice verticality.

    • Cassius Clayman says:

      After going through this comment section I am quite baffled by the vitriol directed at Dark Souls 2. I’m currently in the process of playing it, right after having completed Dark Souls 1, and it’s quite a good game, in my opinion. A lot of the level design is fantastic(Heide’s Tower of Flame looking especially gorgeous, so far), there are great NPCs, combat is fun, weapons are cool, the lore can be quite compelling, etc. It’s all quite satisfying, really. I don’t understand what impossible standard everyone is holding the game to, because Dark Souls 1 was not, in fact, the greatest advent since sliced bread(As opposed to what these comments would have you believe). It was just a great game with some flaws here and there. Dark Souls 2 is a good game with some flaws here and there. Definitely doesn’t deserve the verbal flogging it’s getting. At least, I’m enjoying it quite a lot.

      • Christo4 says:

        Yeah i agree. Though, it wasn’t as good regarding world building and npc’s is also where ds1 is better. But ds2 also quite fun and has some interesting bosses and areas, not to mention better gameplay imo and a much better port on pc. I think i played ds2 twice as much as ds1, but i like them both. Also, i think ppl forget lost izalith, capra demon etc.

      • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

        Some who started with DeS and then DS suffer from some fatigue that could only be alleviated by a perfect game, and while DS2 was quite nice in my opinion it wasn’t enough for that.

        The most trouble comes from those who started with DS and are now expecting DS2 to give them back the same feeling they had on their first steps in DS. This is obviously impossible but sadly DS2 is already condemned for not being what it can’t hope to be.

  15. Mr_Blastman says:

    Oh hell no! I see where this is headed. Direct 12 required.

    It damn well better not be.