Review: Dark Souls 3

Review – Dark Souls 3

Publisher Developer Reviewed On Release Date
Bandai Namco FromSoftware PlayStation 4 April 12, 2016
Dark Souls 3

Dark Souls 3 is undoubtedly the hardest game I have ever played. But beyond the pain and agony,  undeniably frustrating and inevitable, Dark Souls 3 grants an escape from reality. No matter how dark and gloomy the atmosphere may be, it serenades the individual with beautiful music that washes away any sense of anger and aggression that was gained throughout the experience.

FromSoftware’s latest title is set in the world of Lothric and places gamers into the body of an undead being who has been resurrected. The main objective in this third-person RPG is to destroy monsters and beasts that are spread throughout the world and collect their souls which are used as in-game currency. Although there is more than 100 hours of gameplay in Dark Souls 3, it doesn’t require knowledge of previous installments, and those who are familiar with the series will have an easier time grasping the game’s harsh realities.  

Death is frequent and comes without warning

Dark Souls 3 provides the individual with one sure thing: Death is frequent and comes without warning. Lots of things can kill you in Dark Souls 3, like barking skeleton-dogs or fat-laughing-magicians, but I found my lack of patience to be the culprit of my demise in many scenarios. Even though I died more than I’d like to admit, each challenge in Dark Souls 3 felt more rewarding than the last. Each victory, whether it be against something big and strong or something small and weak, gave me some kind of self-gratification that made me feel more alive and for lack of a better word, a “man.”

Each defeated enemy that was stabbed in the back or taken down from above made me feel like I was untouchable and the master of my own universe. Sure I died a lot, but Dark Souls 3 helped me gain personal confidence that I can transfer into everyday life, which is sorta weird when you think about it because it’s a video game. I could have easily gained self confidence by reading a book or speaking with a therapist, but only through killing monsters did I achieve something that I could not have gained through literature or conversation.

It’s like walking through a beautiful blossom trail

Like previous games from the franchise, Dark Souls 3 is atmospheric and full of mountains and wonder. Throughout my experience, my curiosity couldn’t help but wonder what was beyond a particular mountain or trail. And even though I couldn’t reach the farthest mountain, due to the fact that Dark Souls 3 isn’t an open world game, somehow, not knowing what lay beyond the areas of unknown felt OK. I didn’t need to explore and reach some vast open area. Instead, I appreciated the fact that I was able to take-in the world from a glance. It’s like walking through beautiful blossom trail: full of the most wonderful things you’ve ever seen in your life, but you’re not allowed to touch anything – you’re only allowed to observe the beautiful scenery for what it truly is.

The wonderful sounds of sorrow and woe

For many years, the game industry has been blessed with a variety of amazing soundtracks. Music in video games is supposed to give the world life and it’s supposed to give the player a sense of atmosphere. Dark Souls 3 music composers, Motoi Sakuraba and Yuka Kitamura, managed to successfully implement a variety of instruments into each score which add a sense of sorrow and woe to the world. Stringed instruments like violins and cellos add a beautiful sense of admiration while traversing down a path less traveled, while strong vocal presence and harmony’s invigorate one to rise to greatness after being defeated. Dark Souls 3 possesses the best soundtrack I’ve heard in quite some time, and I suspect that I will continue to listen to the musical score even after I have completed the video game.

Final Say-So

Like I’ve said before, Dark Souls 3 has to be the toughest game I have ever played. But it completely removed me from reality for quite some time and placed me into a world full of sorrow and woe. And even though that may not come off as pleasant, personal growth of self confidence was gained from my experience – which is something I would have never have expected to achieve with Dark Souls 3. The musical score blended well with the atmosphere and projected a sense of reverence which made me want to explore more than ever. It also gave me some form of hope, even in the face of imminent defeat and death.    

Score: 10/10

Dark Souls 3 was reviewed on PlayStation 4 using a retail purchased copy

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