Things Nobody Wants To Admit About Dark Souls
Dark Souls 3 is not a bad game. In fact, it’s great, but when comparing it in the echelon of games that is the Souls series overall, it’s far from the best. But some things needs to be addressed.
I didn’t want to have to include this, but it really does have to be said. And anyone who is even remotely familiar with Dark Souls 3 knows exactly what this is all about. But where is poise? Why the hell does it not exist, considering how it was a major element in balancing the game, more specifically the armour? Why get rid of it? Why get rid of it, but still have the stat in the stat menu as if it exists?
Poise might seem like a tiny little thing when looking at the whole game for some people, but it is very important. For those who don’t know, poise was the stat that directly correlated with how easy it was for an enemy to stagger you. The higher the poise, the more likely you could tank a hit and not be staggered. Simple. Heavier armours had higher poise, giving players a reason to invest in wearing a bulky piece of armour.
By taking it out, there was no reason for any player to choose a heavier piece of armour when you got the same stagger. By removing poise, FromSoftware completely nullified a whole range of armours in their game, making them pointless to use. And what’s worse is that they left the stat in, making players think that poise mattered when the number in the stat screen meant absolutely nothing!
While the ambiguity of whether there will be a sequel to Dark Souls 3 hangs in the air, it was heavily implied that DS3 was going to be the last in the series. Hidetaka Miyazaki was adamant that they were not returning to the game and several interviews made it clear that there was no intention of having a Dark Souls 4. And to that end looking as DS3, it doesn’t feel much like an end.
Instead of tying up the story -as loose as it is- it left more unanswered questions. And while the story telling style of FromSoftware is unique, it doesn’t lend itself to tying up a story and it leaves the world in an ambiguous state with fans not really knowing what happened. And while that can be alright, for the last game in a series to provide no tangible answers and details to the world, is a massive oversight.
True, the game does treat itself more like a second instalment to the first game and completely overlooking the second game in favour of believing it doesn’t exist. But even then, it doesn’t round anything off. It feels like the middle of the story and as if the end is coming later. But if it’s the last in the series, there can’t be a later.
The story of the game and world of Lothric is good and the lore behind it is exceptional as always and If standing as its own game in the series, it can hold a lot of merit. But the game portrayed itself as the climax of the story, the rounding of off the tale. And when judging whether it did that, you have to say it did that poorly.
When it comes to Dark Souls one of the massively impressive things it managed to do in its first title was present an incredibly rich and detailed interconnected world that fit together as if it were a puzzle. The way you could traverse the world and get from one place to another through a series of well placed and executed short-cuts was ingenious and one of many joys of the original.
But when DS2 came along it threw that design philosophy out of the window and adopted its own. So fans were expecting a return to tradition in Dark Souls 3. But instead we got a slight improvement. By removing the hub world of Firelink shrine, the game lost that sense of traversal and the scope of grandeur. Exploration was broken up by jumping back to Firelink to level up and upgrade, ruining the flow of the game.
The biggest disappointment for a lot of people was realising that the game world was as segmented as Dark Souls 2 and we wouldn’t be getting a joyous world like the first game to explore. The way the bonfires worked didn’t lend themselves to the detetched hub world in the same was Bloodborne did and in the end felt more like a tedious return to a necessary area rather than a joyful one to a safe-haven. The game lacked that brilliant sensation of adventuring and suddenly stumbling back on Firelink shrine through a new shortcut like the first did.
Not to mention that some of the levels were linear and lacked the creative ingenuity and woven level design of past games. Levels like Archdragon Peak were far too straight forward, which was frustrating as the game had shown us interconnected levels already with the Cathedral of the Deep.
At least the cut down the load times between the hub world and the game space and didn’t make us wait for hours like Bloodborne did. Silver lining to every cloud
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