The latest Dark Souls 3 DLC, Ashes of Ariandel, was accidentally made available to the public on the Xbox store ahead of its release date. According to a report from CinemaBlend, in what publisher Bandai is calling a “logistical error,” the DLC was briefly available for download about three days ahead of schedule.
“Due to a logistical error, the Dark Souls III Ashes of Ariandel DLC was made available for download for a short period of time for Xbox One players. We have since corrected this scheduling error and the Dark Souls III Ashes of Ariandel DLC will now be available on October 24, 2016 at 3 PM PDT for Steam players and October 24, 2016 at 9 PM PDT for console players.”
While it wasn’t officially visible on the store, players who had a Dark Souls 3 DLC Season Pass who were curious about the DLC’s release date, which had originally been confirmed for October 25, were able to manually search for the expansion and were delighted to discover an install button. The slip-up was confirmed and posted to Reddit, and many Xbox One Dark Souls 3 players took advantage to get into the pack ahead of schedule. Twitter was also soon flooded with posts, under the hashtag #DarkSouls3.
Players on Steam and PlayStation 4 also tried to download the Dark Souls 3 DLC ahead of time, but were left disappointed. That said, in light of the leak, Bandai did move the release ahead a day, so they shouldn’t have too long to wait.
Meanwhile, Twitch streamers jumped on the error, loading up their newly-patched copies of Dark Souls 3 to give their followers a sneak peek, many noting that the early release completely eclipsed the third Presidential debate for them and their followers.
So what does Ashes of Ariandel actually look like?
According to players who installed the DLC pack, the download is a fairly light 1.4GB – which, honestly, doesn’t bode well for the amount of actual content. It takes place in a frozen zone known as the Painted World of Ariandel.
When IGN reviewed the $14.99 pack, they called it an appetizer, rather than a full-course meal, and that seems to have been borne out. That said, they still gave the DLC a generous 7.8/10. The difficulty is definitely up to par. Even players who have beaten the game’s final boss will find themselves challenged to survive as enemies dish out an incredible amount of punishment. Learning enemy attack patterns is going to be more important than ever, as just a few hits from a Millwood Knight, think giant Viking warriors, will take a player down, and the local wolf packs can summon an incredible swarm in short order.
The landscape itself can also prove deadly. The Painted World of Ariandel is a land of craggy mountains, sharp cliffs, crumbling snowbanks, and more treacherous terrain than one can shake their walking stick at. Careful movement would be the player’s best friend if it weren’t likely to result in a painful death from the locals. Unfortunately, the beautiful-but-deadly landscape also isn’t very big. There just isn’t that much stunning new terrain to explore.
That having been said, the new content is well-made but honestly thin on the ground. The pack does feature more than a dozen new weapons, a handful of spells and armor sets, and a couple of new bosses, but the DLC should only take experienced Dark Souls 3 players perhaps five to 10 hours to complete. On the other hand, it’s definitely no Wasteland Workshop or Solid Snake voice pack either.
In any case, whether you’ve already got it or not, Dark Souls 3: Ashes of Ariandel will be available on October 25, 2016, for $14.99 USD or included with the DLC Season Pass.
[Featured Image by FromSoftware/Bandai Namco Entertainment]