Prepare to Die in ‘Dark Souls 3’

“Dark Souls 3” was released to the masses late last month and allows players to journey to Lordran where they will make their way across — OH god did that man’s face just erupt into a mass of worms!? Yes, the series that has captured a massive cult following has returned and it has come back with a vengeance. Usually praised for its intensity and difficulty, Dark Souls is so much more than that. Describing the mechanics of the game can best be akin to launching yourself out of a cannon over and over at a castle, and every time you take a brick down, there is a small celebration and a possibility of recovering lost teeth.

The good game is made great by the level of involvement that players can have in the world. You may come across a massive fight with a creature that is made up of the twisted hollow corpses of the undead and you may choose to pursue why it exists — or not. “Dark Souls 3” takes the amazing approach of show don’t tell and it is all the better for it. The best example is when players come across a character who is locked in a cell, asking to bring a gift to a person at the next area. When players arrive they see the enemies are running amok and the pile of items that they have accrued has the corpse of the person they were looking for at its center.

The story on the surface is rather simple. You are an undead that has awoken like many others in a world where all the heroes and gods have completely gone insane and are trying to kill you. You travel through the hollow world piecing together scrap after scrap of story about the people you are running into and subsequently killing. The Dark Souls series has a masterfully recurring theme of hope that seems to drive you forward, and it is needed after spending what feels like an eternity wandering the beautifully bleak landscape. After spending maybe an hour slogging along and after finally beating the boss in the area, you feel compelled to continue hoping, against any reason, that there is some light at the end of the tunnel.

“Dark Souls 3” is something to keep an eye on for a while. If the challenge and storytelling aren’t a draw then there isn’t much here for you. Should that attract you, however, you should definitely pick up “Dark Souls 3” today and start piecing this work’s story together.

The series has a tagline that is quite fitting: “Prepare to Die.” With “Dark Souls 3,” however, it may be more fitting to update the tagline to “Prepare to Cry,” because it’s the most likely end. If you don’t pick up this game then you are missing out on of the most immersive beautifully bleak stories out there and you might as well be undead yourself.

“Dark Souls 3” is available on PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One for $60.