Dark Souls 3: The Reviews and Ratings from Critics and Fans
Dark Souls 3: A Guide to the Ultimate Action RPG Experience
If you are looking for a challenging, rewarding, and immersive game that will test your skills and creativity, look no further than Dark Souls 3. This game is the third and final installment in the critically acclaimed Dark Souls series, created by FromSoftware and published by Bandai Namco Entertainment. In this article, we will give you an overview of what Dark Souls 3 is, why you should play it, and how to get the most out of it. Whether you are a veteran of the series or a newcomer, we hope this guide will help you enjoy this masterpiece of gaming.
What is Dark Souls 3?
Dark Souls 3 is an action role-playing game that is played in a third-person perspective. You control a character known as the Ashen One, who is tasked with finding and returning the Lords of Cinder, powerful beings who once linked the First Flame, the source of life in the world. The game is set in a dark and decaying world called Lothric, where you will encounter various enemies, bosses, allies, and secrets. The game is known for its high difficulty level, complex combat system, rich lore, and atmospheric design.
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Why should you play Dark Souls 3?
There are many reasons why you should play Dark Souls 3, but here are some of the main ones:
It is a satisfying challenge. The game does not hold your hand or spoon-feed you information. You have to learn from your mistakes, experiment with different strategies, and overcome seemingly impossible odds. The game rewards your skill, patience, and perseverance with a sense of accomplishment that few games can match.
It is a deep and varied game. The game offers you a lot of freedom and customization in how you play. You can choose from different classes, weapons, armor, spells, items, and covenants that suit your play style and preferences. You can also explore different paths, areas, secrets, and endings that change depending on your choices and actions.
It is a beautiful and immersive game. The game features stunning graphics, sound effects, music, and voice acting that create a captivating atmosphere. The game also has a rich lore and story that are told through environmental clues, item descriptions, NPC dialogues, and cutscenes. The game invites you to discover its mysteries and secrets by paying attention to the details.
The core of Dark Souls 3's gameplay is its combat system. The combat is fast-paced, fluid, and strategic. You have to balance offense and defense, as well as stamina management, positioning, timing, and enemy behavior. Here are some of the main aspects of combat:
Weapons and armor
The game offers you a wide variety of weapons and armor to choose from. Each weapon has its own moveset, damage type, range, speed, weight, durability, special ability, upgrade path, and infusion option. You can equip up to three weapons in each hand (left hand for shields or secondary weapons; right hand for primary weapons or catalysts) and switch between them on the fly. You can also dual-wield certain weapons or use them in two-handed mode for more damage or reach.
Armor affects your defense, poise (resistance to stagger), weight Armor affects your defense, poise (resistance to stagger), weight, and appearance. You can equip up to four pieces of armor (head, chest, hands, and legs) and mix and match them as you like. The weight of your equipment affects your movement speed and rolling ability. If your equipment load is below 30%, you can perform a fast roll; if it is between 30% and 70%, you can perform a normal roll; if it is above 70%, you can perform a slow roll. You want to avoid the slow roll as much as possible, as it makes you more vulnerable to attacks.
Magic and miracles
The game also allows you to use magic and miracles to enhance your combat options. Magic is divided into three types: sorcery, pyromancy, and dark. Sorcery uses intelligence as its main stat and focuses on casting spells that deal magic damage or buff your weapons or defenses. Pyromancy uses both intelligence and faith as its main stats and focuses on casting spells that deal fire damage or inflict status effects. Dark uses both intelligence and faith as its main stats but in a different way than pyromancy, and focuses on casting spells that deal dark damage or drain the enemy's health or stamina.
Miracles use faith as their main stat and focus on casting spells that heal, buff, or protect yourself or your allies, or deal lightning damage or inflict status effects on your enemies. To use magic or miracles, you need to equip a catalyst in your hand (a staff for sorcery, a flame for pyromancy, a chime or talisman for miracles, or a special weapon for dark) and attune the spells you want to use at a bonfire. You also need to have enough FP (focus points) to cast the spells, which can be restored by using an ashen estus flask.
Dodging and blocking
One of the most important skills in Dark Souls 3 is dodging and blocking. Dodging allows you to avoid incoming attacks by rolling or sprinting in any direction. When you dodge, you have a brief window of invincibility that lets you pass through the enemy's attack without taking damage. However, dodging consumes stamina, so you have to manage it carefully. Blocking allows you to reduce or negate the damage of incoming attacks by using a shield or a weapon in your left hand. When you block, you have to pay attention to the stability of your shield or weapon, which determines how much stamina you lose when blocking. If your stamina runs out while blocking, you will be staggered and vulnerable to a critical attack.
Another core aspect of Dark Souls 3's gameplay is its exploration. The game features a vast and interconnected world that is full of secrets, surprises, and dangers. You can explore the world at your own pace and in any order you want, as long as you have the necessary items or keys to access certain areas. Here are some of the main aspects of exploration:
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Bonfires and shortcuts
Bonfires are the checkpoints of the game. They allow you to rest, replenish your health and estus flasks, level up, attune spells, travel between bonfires, and respawn enemies. However, resting at a bonfire also resets any progress you made in the area, such as opening doors or chests, killing enemies or bosses, or activating switches or levers. Therefore, you have to be careful when and where you rest.
Shortcuts are hidden paths or passages that connect different areas of the game. They allow you to skip certain sections of the game, access new areas or items, or create a faster route back to a bonfire. Shortcuts are usually unlocked by opening doors or gates, breaking walls or floors, moving elevators or bridges, or killing certain enemies or bosses. Shortcuts are very useful for saving time and resources, especially when exploring new areas or facing tough enemies.
Secrets and hidden areas
The game is full of secrets and hidden areas that reward your curiosity and exploration skills. Secrets are usually found by examining suspicious objects or locations, such as illusory walls that can be revealed by hitting them with a weapon; hidden paths that can be accessed by jumping over gaps or ledges; invisible ladders that can be climbed by pressing the interact button; fake chests that can be distinguished by their chain position; hidden switches that can be activated by hitting them with a weapon; secret messages that can be read by using certain items; etc.
Hidden areas are special zones that are not part of the main game world but can be accessed by finding certain items or keys, Hidden areas are special zones that are not part of the main game world but can be accessed by finding certain items or keys, performing specific actions, or meeting certain conditions. Hidden areas usually contain unique enemies, bosses, items, NPCs, or lore that are not found elsewhere in the game. Some examples of hidden areas are the Untended Graves, the Archdragon Peak, and the Painted World of Ariandel.
NPCs and quests
The game also features various NPCs (non-player characters) that you can interact with throughout your journey. NPCs can offer you different services, such as selling items, upgrading equipment, teaching spells, or joining covenants. NPCs can also give you quests, which are optional tasks that usually involve finding items, killing enemies, or reaching certain locations. Completing quests can reward you with items, souls, or story progression. However, quests are often obscure and hidden, and can be easily missed or failed if you do not pay attention to the NPC's dialogue, location, or actions. Some quests also depend on your choices or actions in the game, such as killing or sparing certain NPCs, joining or betraying certain covenants, or lighting or extinguishing certain bonfires.
The final aspect of Dark Souls 3's gameplay is its progression system. The progression system allows you to improve your character and equipment as you play the game. Here are some of the main aspects of progression:
Leveling up and stats
Leveling up is the process of increasing your character's level by spending souls at the Fire Keeper in Firelink Shrine. Each level up allows you to increase one of your nine stats: vigor (health), attunement (focus points and spell slots), endurance (stamina), vitality (equipment load), strength (physical damage and heavy weapon requirements), dexterity (physical damage and light weapon requirements), intelligence (magic damage and sorcery requirements), faith (magic damage and miracle requirements), and luck (item discovery and bleed/poison build-up). Each stat has a soft cap and a hard cap, which means that increasing it beyond a certain point will yield diminishing returns. You should level up your stats according to your desired build and play style.
Upgrading and infusing equipment
Upgrading is the process of improving your weapons and armor by using materials at the blacksmith in Firelink Shrine. Each weapon and armor has a base level and a maximum level that can be reached by upgrading. Upgrading increases the damage or defense of your equipment, as well as its scaling with your stats. Scaling is indicated by a letter grade from E to S, with S being the best. The higher the scaling, the more bonus damage or defense you get from having high stats.
Infusing is the process of changing the properties of your weapons by using gems at the blacksmith in Firelink Shrine. Each gem has a different effect on your weapon, such as changing its damage type, scaling, special ability, or status effect. Infusing can alter the performance of your weapon significantly, so you should choose wisely depending on your build and play style.
Covenants and online features
Covenants are factions that you can join in the game by finding their respective items or NPCs. Each covenant has a different theme, goal, reward, and online feature. Online features are optional multiplayer modes that allow you to interact with other players in various ways, such as co-operating with them to clear areas or defeat bosses; invading them to kill them for souls or items; dueling them for honor or fun; or aiding them in their quests or covenants. Online features require you to be online and have an ember active on your character. Embers are items that increase your health and allow you to summon or be summoned by other players.
Tips and Tricks
Now that you have a basic understanding of Dark Souls 3's gameplay, here are some tips and tricks that will help you survive and thrive in this harsh world:
How to prepare for boss fights
Boss fights are one of the most exciting and challenging parts of Dark Souls 3. Bosses are powerful enemies that have unique attacks, patterns, phases, Boss fights are one of the most exciting and challenging parts of Dark Souls 3. Bosses are powerful enemies that have unique attacks, patterns, phases, and weaknesses. To prepare for boss fights, you should do the following:
Study the boss's moves and learn how to dodge, block, or counter them. You can watch videos or guides online, or practice in offline mode or with a friend.
Equip the best weapons, armor, spells, items, and rings that suit your build and play style. You should also upgrade and infuse your equipment to maximize its effectiveness.
Use buffs and debuffs to enhance your damage or defense, or to exploit the boss's weakness or resistance. For example, you can use fire or lightning resin on your weapon, or cast magic shield or sacred oath on yourself.
Summon allies or be summoned by others to co-operate in the boss fight. You can use an ember to summon up to two friendly phantoms, or use a dried finger to summon up to three. However, summoning also increases the boss's health and damage, and allows invaders to enter your world.
Be patient and persistent. Don't give up if you die, and don't get greedy if you are close to winning. Learn from your mistakes and try again until you succeed.
How to deal with invaders and co-op partners
Invaders and co-op partners are other players that can enter your world or you can enter theirs through online features. Invaders are hostile players that try to kill you for souls or items, while co-op partners are friendly players that try to help you clear areas or defeat bosses. To deal with invaders and co-op partners, you should do the following:
Be aware of the risks and rewards of online features. Using an ember increases your health and allows you to summon or be summoned by others, but also makes you vulnerable to invasions. Joining certain covenants can also affect your online interactions, such as making you more likely to be invaded or summoned by specific factions.
Be prepared for combat. Equip the best weapons, armor, spells, items, and rings that suit your build and play style. You should also have enough estus flasks and ashen estus flasks to heal yourself and restore your FP.
Be respectful and honorable. Follow the etiquette and rules of online features, such as bowing before dueling, not healing during duels, not ganking (attacking an outnumbered opponent), not disconnecting during invasions or co-op sessions, etc. You can also use gestures and messages to communicate with other players.
Be strategic and adaptable. Use the environment and enemies to your advantage, such as luring invaders into traps or ambushes, or using shortcuts or hidden paths to escape or surprise them. You should also change your tactics depending on the situation, such as being aggressive or defensive, using ranged or melee attacks, etc.
Be cooperative and helpful. Work together with your allies to clear areas or defeat bosses, such as sharing estus flasks, healing each other, distracting enemies, etc. You should also follow the host's lead and respect their choices and actions.
How to find the best items and spells
The game is full of items and spells that can help you in your journey. Items are consumables or equipment that can be used for various purposes, such as healing, buffing, inflicting status effects, opening doors or chests, etc. Spells are magic or miracles that can be cast by using a catalyst and FP, such as dealing damage, The game is full of items and spells that can help you in your journey. Items are consumables or equipment that can be used for various purposes, such as healing, buffing, inflicting status effects, opening doors or chests, etc. Spells are magic or miracles that can be cast by using a catalyst and FP, such as dealing damage, healing, buffing, or protecting yourself or your allies. To find the best items and spells, you should do the following:
Explore every corner of the game world. The game is full of hidden items and spells that can be found by searching carefully, breaking objects, opening chests, killing enemies, etc. You should also look for illusory walls, hidden paths, secret areas, and NPC quests that can lead you to more items and spells.
Use item discovery items and equipment. Item discovery is a stat that affects the chance of enemies dropping items. You can increase your item discovery by using certain items, such as rusted coins or gold coins; equipping certain equipment, such as the symbol of avarice or the crystal sage's rapier; or leveling up your luck stat. The higher your item discovery, the more likely you are to find rare or unique items and spells.
Trade with crows. Crows are NPCs that can be found in certain locations in the game, such as the roof of Firelink Shrine or the Painted World of Ariandel. They will trade you items or spells for other items that you drop in their nest. You can find out what they want by listening to their dialogue or looking online for a list of possible trades.
Buy from merchants. Merchants are NPCs that sell you items or spe