Dark Souls 3’s New Combat Is Faster And More Fearsome

Dark Souls 3 [official site] is in the shadow of a giant. The giant probably has a wound for a face, not a single leg to stand on and spends his days dragging his torso around the ruins of a throne room. After one slightly uneven sequel, the Souls series has returned to the guidance of creator Hidetaka Miyazaki. Rather than replicating what worked so well four years ago, however, From Software are tweaking their design. The architecture of the world is immediately recognisable but combat is changing.

After half an hour with the game, I’m half-way convinced it might be able to step out of the shadow of its predecessors and find a new sun to praise.

When the announcement came that Hidetaka Miyazaki would be acting as director of Dark Souls III, after concentrating his efforts on Bloodborne during production of Dark Souls II, there was much rejoicing and praising of the sun. Although much improved in its Scholar of the First Sin incarnation, Souls II was a disappointment – as much of a disappointment as a very good game can be. Its world didn’t cohere thematically and architecturally, in the way that the first Dark Souls had, and it was easy to assume that Miyazaki’s absence was responsible for the rough edges and occasional gaps.

A great part of me has always wanted to reject that assumption. Games as large, complex and beautiful as Dark Souls are collaborative efforts, and to ascribe an auteur role to a single person seems too neat to be realistic.

It’s fair to say I felt like a right chump when I got my hands on Dark Souls III last week and immediately saw that it was back in the safest of hands. Half an hour with an early stage of the game doesn’t mean the whole thing will hold together, sure, but that half hour reintroduced the maze-like verticality and scale that I’ve been craving since closing the door on Lordran.

Miyazaki is back but Dark Souls III isn’t seeking to re-establish the status quo. It’s an altered beast, as was obvious even before I got my hands on a controller.

In previous Souls games, my characters always felt like they were wading through air grown thick with decay. Even a mostly-naked, dagger-wielding backstabber carried a weight – possibly metaphysical – that made movement sluggish. It’s a sensation emphasised by the roll; the most agile move in your repertoire sees you dashing yourself against the floor. In these dark fantasies, everyone is wearing concrete shoes.

Dark Souls III is faster. Surrounded by enemies of the regular undead variety, I was harder to pin down than in previous games. There’s still a wonderful sense of momentum to strikes and parries, but recovery times from swinging, lunging and rolling aren’t quite as punishing. That’s not to say the game has become a hack and slash power fantasy; clambering across rooftops, I found myself attacked from all sides, often by a group of enemies whose variations were implemented to cause maximum distress. Example: a knight who lumbered about with a gargantuan weapon was in the company of a sidestepping, combo-striking bastard, forcing me to switch from defense to offense rapidly and repeatedly.

Knights are terrifying again. Their relatively innocuous appearance hides fearsome strength. They’re common enemies but they demand absolute concentration as they’re more than capable of capitalising on sloppiness or over-confidence. That’s Dark Souls in a nutshell.

Along with the increased speed, combat has been tweaked through the addition of secondary stances for each weapon type. Similar to the switch from a one-handed to a two-handed grip but only applied for as long as a button is held down, the stances provide alternative attacks. Dual-wielded sabres perform a spinning strike that leaves you vulnerable for an uncomfortable period but can make short work of grouped and unprotected enemies. With a sword and shield, I was able to knock enemy shield’s aside as they circled me, lunging for the jugular as soon as it was exposed. Greatswords allow you to ‘uppercut’ enemies into the air and while there’s no reason to expect Devil May Cry style juggling and aerial combos, there are certainly more herding and crowd control possibilities.

Also, watching an enormous bothersome knight flailing into the air and landing on his arse is extremely cathartic.

The move to new tech (no previous-gen console releases this time around) is partly responsible for the stunning scale of the Wall of Lodeleth, the area that surrounds the player. Dark Souls had a way of submerging the player in its map – it entombs you – and Dark Souls III seems to have recaptured that. As soon as I moved to the edge of the rooftop that contained the solitary bonfire in the demo region, I was pleasantly bewildered to see an enormous spire towering above and a cluster of similar spires below. Cities upon cities, and labyrinth castles and spires hammered like nails into the world. Immediately, the visual storytelling and sense of being in a coherent and yet surreal place is as strong as it’s ever been in the series’ history.

The environment is heavy with the kind of unobtrusive lore that is one of the great strengths of Souls. Miyazaki’s narrative designs have been making audiologs and bloody graffiti epitaphs look unimaginative or years, and the corpse-trees and liturgical prostrations of the undead demand to be unpicked. The hollow worshipping ashes and ruin, or the damned praying for salvation? An enormous dead dragon forms a startling centrepiece to the cult-like activities around the wall, flakes of ash escaping from it in flurries like an awful black snow.

The extraordinary design of the world carries across to the larger creatures as well. The Dancer of the Frigid Valley, a boss that I failed to reach but saw a fellow journalist actually defeat, is a long-limbed female knight that seems half-puppet and half-ghost. That’s ignoring the other half which is entirely focused on killing you, with attacks that make excellent use of the uncanniness of her animations. Limbs have joints where no joints should be and the looseness of the Dancer’s spine makes predicting where her dervish-like strikes will land extremely difficult. Importantly, she is predictable, eventually, but the strange nature of her form must first be understood.

From Software are also promising improved RPG elements (which they damn well should be considering Dark Souls is the best RPG ever made), allowing for a greater range of viable character builds. To that end, there are changes to ranged weapons as well as the new stance modifications for melee attacks. Shortbows can be used while moving (even rolling). These improved abilities should allow for a more flexible approach but, From claim, won’t make the player character overpowered. You’re still up against formidable opponents – the knights are trickier than ever – and the variety in weaponry should allow for an increase in enemy variety as well.

There has been talk, from the developers, of Dark Souls III as “a turning point”. Whatever might come next, and this is unlikely to be the end of Miyazaki’s dark fantasies in this particular form, my brief hands-on with Dark Souls III left me feeling confident that this might be a fitting statement on which to close the trilogy. Not just a return to form but a subtle reformation, it’s already looking formidable and I’ve spent the day since playing re-running those first steps and slaughters in my mind. It’s already made a home there.

74 Comments

  1. meepmeep says:

    Knights are terrifying again.

    Oh, goody. Everything great about Demon’s Souls was encapsulated in the Red-Eye Knight in 1-1 and the first Black Knight in the Undead Burg. Glaring back at you from within their helmets. Not advancing towards you. Just standing there, daring you, guarding something unknown on a route you don’t need to take.

    And, like a fool, you took up their challenge, to be reminded yet again how much you still had to learn about combat.

    • Captain Joyless says:

      I hear this a lot, but I was able to kill the Dark Knight in Undead Burg with nothing but power attacks from a Zweihander. Staggered him each time.

      I think having the Black Knight Sword so early made the game too easy for me.

      • meepmeep says:

        Yes, but to wield the zweihander you’d have needed to have levelled up an absolute minimum of 10 times, which is well ahead of where you’d expect to be when you first encounter and take on that knight. Even getting the Zweihander is tough for a new player, being at the back of an area you’d likely have run away from when you first encounter it.

        Neither knight I mentioned is tough and scary, except when you first come across them with minimal experience (both in character and in player), minimal equipment, and minimal game knowledge. And that’s the point at which these games are the best – and in particular Demon’s Souls, which extends that period of frailty over the first half of the game.

        • Kitsunin says:

          Funnily enough, while that first knight killed me once, he mostly did a very good job at teaching me how awesome parrying is. Even though my mace was barely chipping the tiniest amount off his health, it was easy to notice how obvious his swings were, and from there it was a simple case of parry-WHAM parry-WHAM and he was toast. Which is kinda what I love about Dark Souls, the very deliberate way its design can be taken advantage of in such a manner.

          • Kitsunin says:

            And yet I had already obtained the ring it was guarding, by dropping down from the earlier ledge, heh. Yup, exactly why I love Dark Souls.

        • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

          “except when you first come across them with minimal experience (both in character and in player)”

          And that clearly shows why DS was so magical and DS2 so “bad”, most people never played a souls game before and the first steps in DS had a different flavour.

          All souls games up until now present some advantages and disadvantages, not one of them is better in my opinion unless DS3 proves to be the perfect mix and finally put those debates to rest.

      • Setheran says:

        I think that highlights one of the other strengths of these games – by taking the time to explore, experiment and try a new weapon you’d discovered, you earned yourself an advantage over an otherwise tough enemy.

      • WiggumEsquilax says:

        Dark Souls’s difficulty was determined by what equipment you used. Deliberate imbalance was the name of the game, allowing the player to determine their own comfort level in real time. Zweihander was the easiest of easy modes, so it’s not surprising that you didn’t struggle.

        • SlimShanks says:

          In all RPG’s, the difficulty is largely determined by your equipment. It has nothing to do with comfort level, it’s just an RPG. Building an effective character is a core skill. Also, the Zweihander is far from the best weapon. I wouldn’t even put it in the top 10. Great for sqooshin’ bitches though.

          • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

            I think he meant it as a mix of moveset ( which is for some people the most important “stat” ) and general usability, which is something that not every RPG does.

            In souls games many weapons can still be viable even just because of how they act.

          • SlimShanks says:

            I see what you are getting at, but I don’t think that was his point because the Zweihander has an awful moveset. Very slow. I think he was just trying to invalidate the experience of someone else to feel cool, but maybe I’m reading too much into it.

          • Unsheep says:

            People say DS is the most “difficult game ever” and yet they go around one-shotting enemies with a Zweihänder and killing bosses in five or six hits ! It makes the game easier than most other RPGs.

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            basilisk says:

            Unsheep, I still think that presenting DS as being a particularly difficult game is extremely misleading. Because honestly, it’s not. It certainly does not mess around and is very casual about punishing you for even small mistakes, but if you want to look for ways to tone down the challenge, they are there and they are plentiful.

            When I first played it, I was expecting something nightmarishly hard because of its reputation, and was very confused when this was not actually the case. And I’m in no way “good” at playing DS.

          • Rumpelstilskin says:

            I would agree actually, it’s not as much difficult as punishing, which is arguably “worse”, since ultimately instead of learning skills and coming up with creative solutions you mostly (not solely of course) just learn patience and obedience.

  2. Dale Winton says:

    Dark souls 2 was not a disappointment. Stop saying it was. Thanks for listening

    • Anguy says:

      Yep, DS2 was great. Certainly not as brilliant as part 1 but still a very very good game!

    • thebigJ_A says:

      Lots of us were (are) disappointed. Therefore the game is a disappointment.

      I played a hundred hours of it or more. I love the game. It’s worse, though, in many ways than the first.

      I happen to be listening to a Souls podcast at the moment, old episodes that came out back when people were still waiting for and speculating on DkS2. You hear them talk and remember feeling as excited and hopeful and it hits home how disappointed you really were.

      Elevators from tops of windmills going *up* and ending up inside a lava castle says it all, really. DkS1 is a big holistic wold with attention paid to every detail. If you can see it you can bet its there for a reason. That item is there for a reason that fits with the world, expands the lore.

      DkS2 needed emergency repairs after the first head of development dropped the ball (or more kindly had a different vision than they wanted) and they had to scramble to make the game a Souls game at all.

      It’s astonishing they did so well, but that it falls short in so many respects makes it disappointing while still being quite good. I can’t bring myself to play thru it again now after months have passed since my third. I can absolutely go back and play through the first.

      • ZippyLemon says:

        Would you mind elaborating on what you know about the principal design lead “having a different vision”? I haven’t heard about this and am what you might call interested.

      • Viroso says:

        I’d say that absurd world of DS2 is the only thing I disliked in it. But overall I liked 2 better. More enemies, cooler places, better bosses. I disliked most bosses in DS1. The good bosses were really good. But then a lot of bosses were so weak. Like Seath, the Gaping Dragon, the Centipede Demon, those big axe swinging guys. Horrible boss that one. Friggin Bed of Chaos.

        DS2 had weak bosses too but at least their fights were short. I dunno, DS2 was hella good as a game. I think people who are more into lore, people who watch all the youtube videos explaining the lore, maybe they were a bit let down, I can see why. But, as a game, I found DS2 to be so much more fun.

      • csbear says:

        Dark Souls 2 was a good, and possibly a great game in a bubble. The original Dark Souls was the greatest RPG (I feel) ever made, so yes, a lot to live up to. A big part of DS1 was a cohesive world where going from one area to another totally different area still felt seamless.

        Right from the start of DS in the jail cell at Northern Undead Asylum and just up to Firelink Shrine bonfire, I was playing with my mouth agape. Such an immersive, scary, and beautiful game…

      • SlimShanks says:

        Basically, the way they changed stun locking is a damnable sin.

      • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

        You make some good points, yet no one ever bothers to list all the things that DS2 did better.

        There are many examples i can make, but for this time i want to make it short and list the simplest, yet strongest one: a primarily PvP player already knows which game is best, and even with my strong PvE fixation DS2 taught me that a PvP covenant would be great fun, while i loathed even the slightest mention of it in DS.

        • thebigJ_A says:

          A game can be better in many respects and still be a disappointment if it doesn’t fulfill expectations, or if the things it does worse are important enough.

          I wasn’t at all bashing the game, which is better in many respects. It’s just that in the respects that people of my persuasion consider to be what made Dark Souls unique and great it did worse.

          I’m merely refuting the silly refutation in the comment is replied to. Lots of people consider the game disappointing, therefore the game is disappointing to lots of people. A flat denial adds nothing to the conversation.

      • A Gentleman and a Taffer says:

        DS2’s problem is a lack of cohesion. The moment to moment gameplay is as good as DS1, and some of the tweaks to PvP, character building and enemy movement are a definite improvement. The main criticism I have of DS2 is it feels like a collection of levels and gameplay ideas built in isolation then stitched together without thought The level transitions jar, like you mention, and gameplay mechanics like the bonfires are repeated without the same explanation of why they fit in the world, so they feel like what they are: gameplay mechanics deployed by a designer, rather than another weird and original concept to be uncovered as you explore a unique and strange land.

        It’s the ‘Best of’ album to DS1’s concept album. DS1 is always the best game, but DS2 arguably has better parts. I felt like it knew this, though, and was almost a celebration of what came before, adding a level of playfulness and humour (in terms of gameplay and how it makes endless jokes at the player’s expense by subverting your expectations) that I didn’t necessarily get from DS1.

        Either way, very excited about number 3!

    • Daniel says:

      Hear hear!

    • ToozdaysChild says:

      I’m afraid it was, actually.

      It’s not a BAD game, not by any stretch of the imagination. If you include the Crowns DLC (and possibly Scholar, which I haven’t played yet) you could even call it a GREAT game.

      But it still wasn’t as good as DS1. It was a good or a great game riding on the coattails of an Unforgettable, AMAZING game.

    • TheMopeSquad says:

      It was disappointing, it didn’t feel like a new game it was like an expansion, it felt rushed and half assed.

    • Tim James says:

      I’m sorry, it says it was a disappointment right here in the article template.

    • Unsheep says:

      For me DS2 was an improvement in terms of gameplay because it addressed the biggest issue I had with the first game; the tedious backtracking just to get a special item or to talk to NPCs. There was also more dialogue in the game. However the first game had more interesting bosses and more complex level design.

    • Unsheep says:

      Since virtually everyone in the gaming media and the gaming community thinks Dark Souls is 100 % flawless means ANY sequel is more than likely going to be a disappointment.

      This is a consequence of reviewers and gamers not judging all games equally, scrutinizing some games much more than others. There were plenty of technical flaws in Dark Souls that were never even mentioned in any of the Big reviews.

      However a good reviewer should acknowledge ALL the flaws s/he comes across. The weight of these flaws is subjective but the reviewer should have enough integrity to admit to seeing a flaw. If they lack the perceptive ability and gaming experience to spot a flaw their usefulness and legitimacy as a reviewer is diminished.

    • HERP DERP NANOMACHINES says:

      It had improved gameplay in a lot of ways but it was very disappointing in just as many (weirdly haphazard light mechanics, pointlessly difficult mob placing, blatant unoriginality)

  3. csbear says:

    “They’re common enemies but they demand absolute concentration as they’re more than capable of capitalising on sloppiness or over-confidence. That’s Dark Souls in a nutshell.”

    Truer words were never spoken… The amount of anger directed towards my monitor was not due to the more difficult bosses, but due to these commoners killing me off because I was in a rush to get somewhere.

    And yes, Dark Souls is the best RPG ever made. This is coming from someone who is a lot more fond of the conventional RPG genre such as Fallout 1,2, Planescape:Torment, Baldur’s, Pillars, Divinity:OS, Shadowrun: DF, Ultimas, etc.

    • geisler says:

      Dark Souls isn’t an RPG. Nice copypasta of titles that are though.

      • ToozdaysChild says:

        …It’s a Game in which you Play a Role.

        So, yeah. Pretty sure that makes it an RPG by definition.

        Unless you meant Rocket-Propelled Grenade, in which case, yeah, it’s not one of those.

        • geisler says:

          Thanks for the info, you’re pretty up on all this stuff aren’t you?

        • baozi says:

          By that definition either every story driven video game is an RPG or almost no video game is an RPG.

          • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

            Doesn’t change the fact that there are far too many interpretations about what constitutes an “RPG” and one is free to adhere to any one of them.

            Making your own character with your own build is enough for some people, but one thing is for sure, no single school is right.

            In this light, ToozdaysChild at least gave a literal definition.

          • Machocruz says:

            I lean towards the latter. Most video games, even most of those in the genre, you merely control an avatar, a game pawn. You don’t infuse the character with your own interpretation of their traits, at least not one that the game environment recognizes. It’s the writers, animators, and mo-cap performers who get to do the role-playing, if anyone.

      • LennyLeonardo says:

        I love copypasta.

        • LennyLeonardo says:

          Arguments about what “RPG” means: not so much.

          • geisler says:

            I already attempted that to some other uninformed morons below, not gonna copypasta myself :’).

  4. XhomeB says:

    I think it’s quite disappointing that the combat feels “faster”, as it translates to the player’s movement. In Dark Souls, choosing, say, a Knight in heavy armour meant something. You felt the character’s weight. He moved slowly, clunky, and I loved it.
    I’ve seen approximately 15 minutes of DS3 gampeplay on youtube. Oh boy. Either they buffed the player’s level massively for the purpose of the demo, or they decided to flat out copy Bloodborne. A guy in heavy armour kept running around, rotating like a prancing pony, and it looked STUPID. In Dark Souls, I would have to farm like crazy to make him move so fast.

    • SlimShanks says:

      I too am somewhat concerned about this. I was actually hoping that characters in heavy armor would be slower than before. Like you said though, these could be high level characters. Or maybe those armors are lighter than they look. Ultimately, I just want the game to keep its very deliberate pace. I thought DS2 combat was a little too fast in PvP…

      • jonahcutter says:

        Deliberate pace is exactly one of my favorite aspects of Dark Souls. It adds so much to the atmosphere and tension. I very much hope they manage to preserve it.

  5. geldonyetich says:

    That’s some gorgeous concept art, but can I see the screenshots?

    Those are the screenshots.

    … THE FUTURE IS HERE!

  6. Rumpelstilskin says:

    Ok I never read that 50 best RPGs article (since I generally consider “X best Y” articles profoundly, and often exaggeratedly, biased click-baits), but Dark Souls the best RPG? Visual style, fighting mechanics might be good (though personally I think neither is as good as people think of it, but I admit it can be debatable), but RPG leveling mechanic was a mess, and magic system was pure embarrassment.

    • Derman says:

      If we judge the game by how well it does the “role playing game” part of the RPG, it’s one of my favorite RPGs ever. It’s one of the few games where I’ve given my character a complex personalty and motives and where the character build has been tied to those traits. The game’s choice/consequence is surprisingly deep for such a simple yes/no dialogue system.

      If game is an RPG only when it has stats and number based character building then sure, Dark Souls might not be the RPG ever. It’s still pretty good one.

      As far as I know, that RPS list is based on the “Role Playing Game” definition, not the stats and numbers thing people usually associate the genre with.

      • Rumpelstilskin says:

        I think you were able give your character enough personality and motivation mostly because the devs made exactly 0 of those themselves. But hey, it worked, so good job. Where I disagree though, is that is that it’s fundamentally wrong to judge an RPG on its mechanics. I think “RPG” is exactly that – playing a character/role via a game system. Making “deep” choices is not playing; it’s filling out a questionnaire.

      • baozi says:

        Really? What choices can you make besides influencing a few side characters and choosing one of two endings?

        • jonahcutter says:

          There’s various little subplots around that you can choose to follow. Basically it comes down how and when you encounter the npcs, and who you kill or don’t. And you can kill all of them, as far as I know. Also which npcs you may summon to help you can affect their various fates at times.

          It builds a personal narrative. It doesn’t influence either of the endings, no. But if you are roleplaying the experience and paying attention to the tales the npcs tell, it adds a good amount of nuance and depth.

    • vahnn says:

      Agreed. I always have myself a giggle when I see people say this. System Shock 2 was more of an RPG than the Souls games are.

      Some of the greatest games of all times? They’re definitely near the top. But RPGs, specifically? Not quite.

      • geisler says:

        Same here, i would be more forgiving if they would call it an ARPG i guess. Which in the end is basically a non-RPG in contemporary sense, now that almost every action game has some “RPG” gimmick with almost no true mechanic relevance. Mostly the RPG elements in these games are a superficial layer to create the illusion of progression and choice. Mechanically however, no noteworthy RPG systems are at work in the combat, an thus your “RPG” choices are void.

        To answer the guy above that thinks anything in which you “play a role” is an RPG; The reason why all this is needed to label something an RPG, is because of its roots in tabletop PnP. All games labelled RPGs up to the turn of the century (and in most cases well beyond), had in some way systems in place that were translated from the PnP format.

        • Derman says:

          I’m just pointing out that people might interpret the term RPG differently. IMO, directly translating it as “role playing game” won’t work since pretty much every game you can imagine is an RPG in some way. I just thought RPS might have used that definition since in that area Dark Souls happens to be one of the best I’ve experienced.

          Mechanically speaking it’s nothing spectacular but gets the job done. Definitely not worth “the best RPG ever” title if we base it purely on those aspects. I have no idea what the official RPG genre definition is so can’t judge the accuracy of the list.

        • Machocruz says:

          Action game with some RPG gimmick (i.e. stats) is essentially the origin of the subgenre, starting with games like Dragon Slayer and Tower of Druaga.

        • Unsheep says:

          Solely playing “dress-up” with a character doesn’t really match my definition of an RPG either. You can do that in most action games, let alone sports and racing games.

          How we define a game is important because it steers our expectations, what we look and don’t look for in a game. This is especially important where reviews are concerned. If the reviewer lacks the gaming experience to correctly identify the genre or sub-genre of a game it will most likely lead to a negative review.

          A related problem is that most reviewers seem to completely ignore what the developers and publishers themselves have said about their games, and instead impose their own definitions onto the game, the credibility of which is dependent on the reviewers gaming background.

    • A Gentleman and a Taffer says:

      Personally, if it has +5 Hammer of Much Bashing, then it’s an RPG. And DS has SO MUCH +5ing of things and crafting and what-not. Levelling. Fantasy setting. Dungeon crawling. Adventuring in the truest sense. Don’t understand the argument myself. The only argument against is the fact dice rolls are replaced by real-time action, but you’d be making a lot of RPGs genre-less if we take that as a definition.

      • Rumpelstilskin says:

        Well I didn’t say it wasn’t an RPG at all, just not the best RPG like ever. Leveling never felt like something truly exciting; it was full with hidden obscure stats and diminishing returns. No skill trees, unlockable abilities, etc. And magic was just several tiers of magic missile with varying damage and casting times – I mean come on, you can do better than that, can you?

        • Kitsunin says:

          Yeah, but you’re assuming “Best RPG of all time” means “Best RPG mechanics of all time”. If you take that statement literally, it means “Best game which is an RPG of all time”.

          • Rumpelstilskin says:

            Kitsunin: I get what you mean, but I think games are ultimately defined by their gameplay. If you liked a game very much, it’s probably because you liked its core gameplay loop. And in DS1 that would be.. using weapons I guess? So that would make it the best ‘slasher’ maybe, but not the best RPG.

          • Kitsunin says:

            Its moment-to-moment gameplay is very much like Monster Hunter, I guess, though it does have a decent amount more RPG theming and mechanics. So what genre is Monster Hunter? Action-RPG. The list is very inclusive of action-rpgs, so…

        • thebigJ_A says:

          There were too many magic missiles, yes, but to say that’s all there was to the magic smacks of someone not having tried the magic. Hidden Weapon, Vow of Silence, Emit Force, White Dragon Breath, Undead Rapport, Power Within etc. etc. would disagree.

          There aren’t really many hidden stats (none off the top of my head. Poise etc are all explained) and only diminishing returns when you hit the soft caps (and capping stats has been done forever).

          Special abilities were tied to weapons when they weren’t spells. It was all about the gear, which is no less valid a way to do as RPG than having tired old skill trees.

          • Rumpelstilskin says:

            Well Hidden Weapon is obviously PvP-only, and the rest are miracles and pyromancy. So as a mage you’ll pretty much only have magic missile (and multiclassing doesn’t really work in this game). Compare that to magic systems in true RPGs, like DnD games or Pillars of Eternity. Even the Witcher had a better system.

          • thebigJ_A says:

            They’re spells. I’m sorry I didn’t list out all the int spells, but there’s a wiki for that. Yes the only based spells have lots of magic missiles, but there’s plenty of others, go look for yourself. Lots of different spells. Why one being for pvp matters I’ve no idea

            And Ofc there’s no multi classing in a classless system, but you can absolutely do an int/pyro, str/fth, etc etc. build. It’s as flexible as any I’ve seen.

            It’s only not really an rpg if you’re the sort who thinks there hasn’t been an rpg since wizardry. It’s also a very good action game but the two don’t have to be mutually exclusive.

          • Rumpelstilskin says:

            Unless you think that “5 delayed magic missiles” and “magic missile fan” are somehow fundamentally different from a vanilla magic missile, I’m afraid no, there were no other Int spells. As for PvP, I just never cared about it, and in the context of this particular discussion, I don’t think it was ever RPGs’ forte, and thus it makes no sense to take it into account.
            You could multiclass in DS, theoretically, but it was totally impractical for many reasons, especially when mixing caster builds.

    • Spacewalk says:

      I wonder what Garry Gygax would have to say about Dark Souls if he were still alive.

      • jrodman says:

        Hard to say for sure, but it seems like he had no patience for games (or fiction) that stuck to one mood all the time.

  7. Geebs says:

    VERY EXCITED

    DS2 was a great game, and often a very pretty one, but it never matched up to the atmosphere of DS1.

  8. banananas says:

    *Praising intensifies*

    Sorry, couldn’t help myself there. :)
    This all sounds glorious! As a matter of fact I’ve just recently (finally) started a pure STR build in DS1, and I’m once again completely amazed by the sheer amount of detail, love and singular intent which went into the creation of that gem.
    Oh, I’m so looking forward to this. I might even be tempted to pre-order…

  9. Archangel says:

    Is combat still just going to consist of nothing more than one hundred perfectly timed butt-pokes in a row?

  10. Thathanka says:

    DS is my favourite game of the past 25 years
    I absolutely hated DS II when it came out
    Surprisingly though, having played Scholar through to the end, I have a new love for DSII in its re-imagined guise. It’s actually Bloodborne which I have no interest at returning to and which I don’t think will stand the test of time.

    I don’t think I can possibly wait for DSIII – God, I hope this melds the best of its predecessors

  11. zarthrag says:

    I completed Demon’s Souls as well as Dark Souls. DS2 just wasn’t up to snuff – especially when it came to piecing the storyline together (DS1 was quite….a sad tale.)

    So… we’re just giving SotFS a blanket pass now? Nevermind paying for the game twice, fracturing the online playerbase, and just adding a ton of extra enemies and adding additional enemy spawns…just because?

    I *pre-ordered* DS2 …sight-unseen. I feel a bit miffed that I’ll probably never get to play Bloodborne. SotFS made me restart my game, and I now feel sorry for doing so. DS3… Even if it gets a PC release…. I just don’t know.