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Dark Souls 3 was released recently on April 12th, 2016. It is been buzzed about for the last few years as fans eagerly awaited the final installment of the Souls series. Having some time with  it myself this week, I can definitively say that this is one of the most exciting and fun action RPGs I have played. I’ve never had any experience with any of the Souls games other than this one. I also played Bloodborne in 2015 and was completely blown away by it. After completing Bloodborne, I learned about the eventual release of Dark Souls 3, and hoped for a “Bloodborne 2” type game in this final Souls game. And I got exactly what I had hoped for. From what research I had done before the release of DS3, the developer Fromsoftware stated many times that this game would be like if Bloodborne and Dark Souls 3 had a baby.

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There are many similarities, and many differences. In some ways, Bloodborne was easier. In Bloodborne you could regain a small portion of health if you hit your enemy in a certain amount of time of you being hit. You also could carry up to 20 “blood vials” as well as encounter more of them to equip in the field. In DS 3, in the true fashion of survival horror, your Estus Flasks are only restocked after you visit a bonfire.

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I think that Dark Souls 3 is a game that is absolutely a breath of fresh air. Every single encounter you have with an enemy is challenging. It forces the player to become more skilled and tactful in each fight. You can not rush your way through this game, and you can’t play carelessly. It forces you to strategize, and become better. Dying in this game is not an indication of failure, instead it is an indication that you need to get better, to learn and re-approach the problem. Dark Souls is notorious for its difficulty. It is such a gift to have a game like this in today’s world of gaming. In the 80’s and 90’s we had many examples of games that were pretty difficult to complete. Today, games have become much easier. Which in some ways it is great, because it accommodates for more casual players who are now participating in gaming. But it can be at the expense of game developers wanting to take a chance, and make their game more challenging. I truly hope that more developers today take notice of the example that the Souls series sets, and takes a chance to challenge their players. Intellectually, emotionally, and morally.

 

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