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Alex Riviello (Birth.Movies.Death.) has explored the new Dark Souls III battle arts system, dragons, and death:
More information.Listen, I only died seven times in an hour.
Bandai Namco stopped by NYC this week to show off an early playable demo of Dark Souls 3, the grand return of Hidetaka Miyazaki to the series after he sidestepped the second installment to focus on Bloodborne. Like Bloodborne, this game is a next-gen only affair, coming to the Xbox One, PS4, and PC early next year, and it’s all the more gorgeous for it.
The first thing you need to know is that the game is absolutely beautiful, full of stunning vistas and creatures. The second? It’s just as relentlessly brutal. It’s been months since I’ve laid hands on a Souls game and my rustiness led me to die time and time again, by everything from knights to dogs to a pissed-off religious acolyte.
Playing the game with an audience is an interesting thing. The pressure of knowing another person is waiting in line can make you do silly things, as it did to the writer in front of me who, after whittling down a boss to a hair of health in an impressive display, handed the controller to me after thinking he had perished in an attack. He hadn’t. I handed it back and he scrambled to save his life but that moment of hesitation cost him his life, for real that time.
Dark Souls would be the ultimate arcade game, really, sucking up everyone’s quarters and attracting a whole crowd of gawkers. The small group of writers gathered talked together about rumors they had heard as we played - there was a shortcut to unlock, and a dragon to find, and wasn’t there some sort of frost giant mini-boss, maybe down to the left? It was the game’s messaging system turned into real life, just the perfect example of how deep and satisfying these games are.
Exploring the medieval castle I found the dragon for myself, which wasn’t hard. It envelopes the top of a number of buildings completely, occasionally leaning over to breathe (incredible-looking) fire at a corridor, a real Demon’s Souls throwback. You need to run through the area quickly to make it through unscathed, and can even lure enemies into the area for some quick kills. Along the way I kept finding these crazed worshippers that ignored me unless I attacked them, which I managed to do until one on the top of a roof splurted some sort of tentacle and smacked me right off of it. [...]