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Dark Souls III

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9

Amazing

Game Reviews from around the web

100

It is an achievement in game design and probably the best Souls game ever created by the masterminds of FromSoftware.

100

In truth, Dark Souls is un-replicable precisely because of its individuality. Yes, many of its best moments have been felt in other games through the years: the joyful surprise of opening an unlikely shortcut, the rush of dopamine at defeating a long-standing boss, the thrill of upgrading a character and evening the odds, the sense of aesthetic wonder at a piece of grand architecture. But no game has combined them in such an alluring and memorable way, or with such adherence to cohesive vision.

100

Dark Souls III is Hidetaka Miyazaki’s final Masterpiece. It evolves the basics and mechanics of the Souls saga until it reaches pure perfection and offers brilliant level design, more variety of enemies, deep character customization, and some of the most epic boss battles we’ve seen in the last 7 years of the Souls saga.

100

As the final game in the series, Dark Souls III delivers a fantastic, no holds barred, 30-hour experience that will satisfy longtime fans. Dark Souls III polishes its gameplay mechanics to a shine, and delivers the lore in droves to those who hunger for it – the perfect mix for an action RPG. Praise the Sun.

100

The pervasive visual theme of death is as heavy in this game as it was in Bloodborne and the boss designs are as creative as anything found in the original Dark Souls. It’s remarkable that Dark Souls III manages to showcase these influences while still being able to stand out with an identity of its own.

100

It is one of the most fascinating games you’ll play this year, or any other, a high-profile game that still dares to go against the grain despite its ever growing popularity.

97

As a gamer, you really owe it to yourself to play this one through, whether you are new to the series or you’ve been around since Demon’s Souls came out and shocked the world.

95

The best Dark Souls game to pick up right now, and a fitting finale for the series. [May 2016, p.58]

Games Master UK

95

Despite its minor shortcomings, I have not played through such a satisfying and complete experience in a long time. Dark Souls III not only is the best in the series, it is also the best action RPG to come out in recent years.

95

Dark Souls III is the perfect ending to the saga and offers a whole new experience and visual beauty that’s greater than Bloodborne’s, even with some technical issues. The multiplayer experience, especially the PvP competitive, is a true wonder. Hopefully Miyazaki and From Software will not leave this unique genre that we all love.

95

If Dark Souls III is the final visit to this series, then it is the apex the series deserves and certainly one of the most worthwhile adventures we’ve embarked on in a long time.

95

Dark Souls III is the latest effort in a formula refined to the maximum extent possible. One of the most elaborate and important games so far this year, which will mark a before and after in the history of this kind of games.

95

From Software delivers its best work so far, a game that makes the Souls series better than ever. It’s no longer surprising, but it’s still an experience you don’t want to miss.

95

Long, complex and full of secrets. Dark Souls 3 is everything we were asking for with very few problems to solve.

95

Dark Souls III is the same old Dark Souls perfected in every way. Challenging, rewarding and, most of all, astounding even when it leans over well-known shoulders. Praise be, Miyazaki-san!

95

If Dark Souls 3 truly is the last in the series as we know it, then it’s a worthy send-off. Weapon arts allow stylish and versatile new moves without tarnishing the purity of the combat system. Lothric’s awe-inspiring locations provide visually stunning arenas for rigorous exploration and fierce face-offs with hosts of deadly enemies and even deadlier bosses. While not all the risky changes land as neatly as others, Dark Souls 3 is a powerful journey and the sequel the series truly deserves.

94

We couldn’t have hoped for a better conclusion to the Dark Souls trilogy. Miyazaki-san was able to give the fans the most gorgeous souls-like experience ever, despite some frame rate issues that affect the console versions.

93

Dark Souls III is one of the best episodes in the series and one of the best soulslikes ever. Wonderful boss design, amazing level design and a great progression system put it at the top of the genre.

93

Miyazaki did it again. With nothing new but using its successful formula, Dark Souls III becomes the best entry in the franchise and a serious contender for Game of the Year. If you’re a fan of the franchise or have played any of its entries once, you will love this game more than you could imagine. From Software has created a true homage to its players.

93

Dark Souls III successfully replicates the winning formula of the Souls series, a wondrous combination of majestic boss battles, incredible layered environments full of secrets, and precise combat that can make other action RPGs difficult to play once you’ve mastered the art. If you’ve never played the series, this is a great place to begin, offering a bit more direction in the early game before opening up. If you’ve already played the series, you can feel confident that From Software hasn’t lost its touch.

92

The rewarding sensation of finally felling that painfully difficult boss or clearing that area after numerous tries is still there and remains Dark Souls’ biggest draw.

91

Overall, I would say DS III was well worth the wait and encourage fans of Bloodborne to give it a go.

90

Dark Souls III rarely innovates, but it experiments within the Souls parameters to grotesque and glorious effect. Another Game of The Year contender, then. [June 2016, p.81]

Playstation Official Magazine UK

90

Dark Souls III is all-consuming, it’ll drive you up the wall, and the sense of accomplishment you’ll get when everything clicks and you go on to finish that final boss… well, it’s simply beyond compare [June 2016, p70]

Playstation Official Magazine Australia

90

Packed with some of the series’ most remarkable areas and encounters, Dark Souls III is an invigorating action-RPG that is undoubtedly one of the best games on PS4. [Issue#269, p.69]

Play UK

90

The only fault one can aim at Dark Souls 3 is its lack of originality, everything else is perfect.

90

We can’t wait to see what he comes up with next. [May 2016, p.104]

Edge Magazine

90

Dark Souls III is the perfect final chapter for From Software’s trilogy. The gameplay combines the best elements from the other games with a faster combat mechanic into one awesome package.

90

I strongly recommend this game even if you’re new to the franchise or a long time fan as it defines what makes the series so great. If this is to be the last in the series, it’s quite frankly a fantastic send off.

90

Dark Souls 3 fires on all fronts providing equal measures of mystery and exhilaration. If this is truly the last Souls game then FromSoftware has ended this series off with a heck of a bang.

90

Refined combat, excellent creature and world design and frequent shout-outs to series highlights make this, in many ways, the best of the lot.

90

It isn’t an easy task to bring a masterful end to a successful trilogy. Yet Dark Souls 3 does it flawlessly. A great “ending” to a great franchise, Dark Souls 3 might feel a bit easier than the veterans are used to, but don’t be fooled – it’s still a Dark Souls game at its core. Hard but fair and a joy to bear.

90

It’s not very innovating, but then again it doesn’t need to be. Without reinventing the wheel, Dark Souls III manages to one-up its predecessor and crown itself the best game in a remarkable franchise.

90

Dark Souls III delivers. It scratches a special itch that only its developer has managed find. So while the bounty of ‘Souls’ games in recent years has spoiled this reviewer, it’s impossible not to enjoy, and recommend the game to both new and returning players. In fact, only Bloodborne players seeking that game’s particular speed and setting may be an exception.

90

While it’s still impossible on a personal level for me to admit that any of Dark Souls’ siblings could better it, when taken as a whole, complete experience, Dark Souls III may be the best chapter of the Souls series that From Software has crafted. A fitting way to end, if that will indeed be the fate of the franchise.

90

For fans and newcomers alike, Dark Souls III is a magnum opus of From Software design. You’ll celebrate as bosses fall to your sword, gaze in wonder at the landscape’s snowy hamlets and towering cathedrals, scold yourself for losing souls to a bottomless pit or eldritch beast, then grab the controller to relive the nightmare again and again.

90

If Dark Souls III is really the last in the series, it’s a worthy send-off for an excellent series.

90

Dark Souls 3 improves upon the beloved franchise in almost every way, and, if it is indeed the final entry in the series, is a worthy sendoff.

90

Dark Souls III is the best that the genius, yet twisted brain of Hidetaka Miyazaki has to offer. This might feel like the Dark Souls game you already played before, but then optimized, smoother and visually more spectacular. Expect epic bossfights, a mysterious story and constant excitement.

90

Six years after Demon’s Souls the series comes full circle. Dark Souls 3 is as intense as merciless. A beautiful conclusion to one of the most influential franchises in recent memory.

90

Some directionless new systems and pandering historic tie-ins can’t undermine its achievements.

90

Dark Souls 3 is the perfect ender for FromSoftware’s praised trilogy. The game combines the best elements from the other games into one awesome package.

90

Even with minor issues with linearity, framerate, and the originality of level design, Dark Souls III is an outstanding send-off for a seminal trilogy that has influenced and legitimized difficulty in games with unapologetic force.

90

Dark Souls III offers more of the same intensely difficult combat, ambiguous overarching story, and some striking locales and bosses in the franchises’ history. The only real objective criticism on the PS4 version is that the combat doesn’t feel responsive enough thanks to the 30FPS cap and frame drops.

90

What I will say is that Dark Souls III has to be the end of the Souls series. This franchise sits so very close to tipping over that edge to a complacency that can easily be seen as mediocrity.

90

Though technically iffy, Dark Souls 3 is yet another example of how worlds should be built: interlocking, beautiful, and interesting. The combat feels quick and fresh, and despite a few bosses that feel unfair, it’s a glorious return to form for the series.

90

Not as surprising as Demon’s Souls, not as timeless as Dark Souls, not as consistent as Dark Souls 2 and not as focused as Bloodborne. But still, Dark Souls 3 is a dyed in the wool Souls game. A gorgeously crafted culmination of design, fantasy and interactivity. And that’s what counts.

90

Dark Souls 3 takes the best of each game to create a fantastic level design, great gameplay, superb artistic direction and great visuals. Already one of the best games of 2016.

90

Dark Souls III is arguably the most accomplished entry yet, refining the core mechanics and cunningly utilizing next-generation hardware to excellent effect.

90

No matter where you place it in your own personal hierarchy this is still an exceptionally well crafted and supremely entertaining video game. Where the series goes from here no one but Miyazaki knows, but if Dark Souls III does nothing else it confirms him as one of modern gaming’s most talented creators.

90

With a faster combat mechanic than ever, better visuals and the same challenging gameplay as before, Dark Souls 3 delivers an adventure that will hook you up for many, many hours. It might not be as good as Bloodborne, mainly because some technical flaws, and a little less appealing world – but it’s close enough.

90

Dark Souls 3 is a long, entertaining, hard-to-beat and visually stunning game. Miyazaki and From Software have done an amazing job creating the best chapter in their popular franchise, a gorgeous experience you’ll enjoy for months.

88

Dark Souls 3 is going to be the most accessible game in the series, while still maintaining the brutal levels of difficulty and reliance on skill. If this is the end of the Dark Souls series, then they’ve chosen the perfect time to bow out.

88

An excellent addition to the Souls series and a huge improvement on Dark Souls II.

85

Dark Souls 3 is a great installment in the Souls series. Comprehensive, challenging and immense, the game does its best to impress with every aspect. Being true to the series, however, the game does have the usual technical issues.

85

Dark Souls III is another punishingly hard game in an era of hand-holding that masochists will appreciate. While enemy AI is laughably dumb, those same enemies can take you down in no time flat. This is a game that forces you to learn its intricacies and quirks, and use them all to your advantage. Sporting a wonderful environment full of color, suffering, death, and a small amount of hope, fans can expect to sink several dozen, if not hundreds, of hours into the game, if they haven’t already.

80

It all adds up to the finest Dark Souls game yet, the lone blemish on this effort being those nagging framerate issues. Dark Souls III is a journey every gamer should take and appreciate…Death is almost assured to come at times, yes. But boy, is it fun.

80

Glaring and recurring technical flaws aside, the game goes back to its roots in both story and gameplay, and will certainly help fans wash the bad taste of Dark Souls II out of their mouths. I can’t wait to see what From has in store for Dark Souls 4.

80

While the game is an absolute masterclass in action RPG design, there is an inescapable sense that old ground is being re-tread. A reliance on geographical call-backs, stock-enemies and series in-jokes muddy the tone and mystique that made its direct predecessors such a joyfully bleak experience. While the superbly visceral gameplay, intense boss fights and improved online features mark FromSoftware’s latest out as one of 2016’s best, Dark Souls 3’s flickering fire is ultimately engulfed by its own bright history.

80

Dark Souls’ tenacious pursuit of gaming idealism, even at three (or five) entries deep, remains a virtuous enterprise. It’s also a show that, no matter how well executed, loses potency with each consecutive performance.

80

On PS4, it runs at least as smooth as Bloodborne did and with much faster load times (with the trade-off of occasionally slow-loading textures.)

80

The most evolved and accessible entry in the series, making a lot of intelligent choices from its faster, sleeker cousin, Bloodborne, when it comes to enlivening combat.

80

The success of the Souls series is largely tied to its capability to force players into a cautious, careful mindset. But in Souls 3, the developers appear to be playing things a bit too safe.

80

In the end, however, Dark Souls III is indeed a proper homage to an excellent franchise.

80

Few titles this generation will match the purity of Dark Souls III as a game. This is as brutal, exhilarating, and compelling as the series has ever been, but it is also laden with the heavy burden of expectation that its heritage brings. Significant, yet minor improvements are made to the established formula, and nostalgia is warmly embraced a little too often, yet this still doesn’t prevent Dark Souls III from being a fine game.

80

Dark Souls 3 relies too much on former glories to reach the heights of Bloodborne or the original Dark Souls, but that doesn’t stop it being another superb adventure.

80

On PS4, the experience is further hampered, with slowdown in multiple locations for a game that can only handle an fps of 30 at peak. The upside is that, at least in my experience, these dips in performance occur in strangely unpopulated areas, meaning you should have a solid framerate when it comes to combat. Make no mistake, however, that console versions are inescapably inferior.

80

This is the essence of Dark Souls III: periods of doubt, followed by great reward. The journey may be rocky, but there’s a throne waiting at the end.

70

In so many important ways — its world design, its pacing, the technology powering it — Dark Souls 3 falls short of the mark. Do you play for the joy and stress of exploring dangerous, intricately crafted places full of hidden elements and endless side paths? Then I suspect you’ll join me in being a little let down with the direction this sequel has gone in.

Game Reviews from around the web

Most games don’t try to break you, don’t ask you to band together and conquer something that seems impossible. Still, Miyazaki says, Dark Souls is made to beaten: “When [we] set the difficulty level… our objective was to make the game possible to accomplish.” It takes time, and it takes effort, but no matter who you are, or how you want to play, Dark Souls wants to see you succeed.

Summary

Dark Souls 3 is yet another example of how worlds should be built: interlocking, beautiful, and interesting. The combat feels quick and fresh, and despite a few bosses that feel unfair, it's a glorious return to form for the series.
9

Amazing

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