‘Dark Souls 3’ Review Roundup: The Game’s Difficulty Is Punishing, But Deeply Rewarding

The official Dark Souls 3 reviews are in, and many are calling it a welcome addition to the series. If you crave difficulty, you will most likely love what Bandai Namco has done with this latest barrage on your senses and reflexes.

Prepare to die in this game, a lot. If that’s a turn-off, you might not want to say that online, as you’ll probably be ridiculed with accusations of being a “casual.”

Many reviewers agree that every entry in the Dark Souls series is infamous for dangling the proverbial carrot in front of you and enticing you to get good enough to advance and explore. Forward progress is your initial reward in this Western RPG, a concept many gamers lament as lost with the eight-bit games of the past.

The game starts with you playing an undead warrior duty-bound to return the Lords of Cinder to their thrones. To do this, you play either a sorcerer, a knight, an archer, or a brawler, and brave your way through beautifully bleak landscapes and difficulty which will make all but the hardcore cry and most likely rage-quit.

The Dark Souls 3 reviewer at Digital Trends admits to having just that experience with the original Dark Souls. He says that every time you close in on a bonfire, which acts as a way-station and a restoration point, all of the enemies you’ve slain return from the grave you sent them to. This means that the safer you try to play it, the more often you’ll be fighting the same enemies over and over.

However, defeating these enemies also earns you souls, which can be used to buy much-needed supplies. The downside for the truly masochistic, according to the Digital Trends Dark Souls 3 review, is that the game is actually slightly easier than previous iterations. Still, prepare to die a lot trying.

That isn’t to say the game is shallow. There is quite a bit of depth, says the Washington Post, but you’ll spend a lot of your time eliminating your incompetence, and most gamers will probably never see the hidden secrets it has to offer.

The Dark Souls 3 replay value, according to the Post review, rests in the fact that you can play it again with the powered up character you used to finish it. The enemies will be that much tougher, though, so don’t expect to be whipping through enemies like butter as you go the second or third time through. Never let your guard down, because this game will send a fatal arrow right through that chink in your armor of vanity.

While the game is beautiful, veterans of the series might recognize the “recycling” of areas from older games. You might not notice, though, since you’ll be busy trying to figure out how to finish off boss fights like the Deacons of the Deep.

The IGN Dark Souls 3 review says that some of the boss fights can be uninspiring, and the frame-rate might dip at inopportune times. Even on PC, the game has a tendency to drop dramatically to around 20 frames per second due to the sheer detail.

They agree that many of the locations in the game appear recycled, like the catacombs and the poison swamp. Thanks to the difficulty, you should learn to love them since you’ll be hanging out in each location a while.

Even recycled locations aren’t enough to detract the hardcore gamer from being rewarded by the thorough exploration which is the staple of any good RPG. The more you wander and persist, the more you’ll find.

The verdict between these Dark Souls 3 reviews is that even though the game’s environments might be unoriginal, the visuals are still amazing, and the difficulty will please gamers craving a challenge they can brag about.

What do you think of Dark Souls 3?

[Image via Bandai Namco]