Nothing particularly academic this time around. I have been playing Dark Souls 3 for a few days now, and just thought I would share my initial thoughts on the game while still fresh in the memory.
UPDATE: From tomorrow Tuesday, April 18, there will also be a Let’s Play video of these first impressions of the game – so if you are curious then check it out tomorrow evening!
I must say that even after sinking quite a few hours into the game, I am not of the impression that I have gotten very far at all. Of course, this also comes down to a, by now, rather high death count on my behalf. I will get back to the subject of dying in a moment.
Dark Souls 3 does have some story, but this definitely does not seem to be the game’s main focus. This however does not mean the game lack narrative – it is simply a narrative that is not explicitly told, but one we as a player must piece together from what little information we are given. Even if you don’t spend your time trying to figure out the games implicit story, you are still surrounded by very atmospheric and engaging scenery. The visuals of the game are often dark and foreboding, but at the same time somehow beautiful and enticing. There is a sense of grandeur in this game, which really does succeed in making the player feel very small, and, despite playing as the hero of the game, it almost makes us feel insignificantly small. Size does matter. At least when it comes to this portrayal of scale – I often found myself facing a boss fight where my opponent was huge compared to my own character.
I mentioned dying a lot. And I mean A LOT. This game is punishing in its difficulty, and really pushes the player to learn from mistakes and play close attention to game mechanics. Progress does not come easily, which also made me very excited indeed every time I actually did manage to progress. The sigh of relief I feel every time I see a Bonfire is great. This relief is maybe only trumped by the frustation this game can also generate from dying over and over again.
I won’t talk more about the difficulty of the game for now, as I will save this topic for another blog post in near future.
There is nothing particularly revolutionising about this game compared to its predecessors in the series, but it does carry on the legacy of the franchise, staying true to its ethos of challenging players, whilst also delivering what at times strikes me as a surprisingly immersive world.
Players can leave each other little messages throughout the world, one that is frequently seen is “Praise the sun!” – and for good reason. One often finds oneself in some dark and glum dungeon, and to be honest those small rays of light that are sometimes present really can turn ones spirits! Not only that, but these dark menacing dungeons really do stand in stark contrast to the bright outside landscapes we also get to traverse. But no matter how lovely it looks out there, danger is constantly waiting around the next corner, or in the next building – in Dark Souls 3 you really never are safe.
Thank you for reading – I shall continue my struggles through Dark Souls 3.