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Dark Souls 3 - 6 Years Later

How to rate games on steamsteamed buns filling ideas DARK SOULS™ III review during my time with elvin ring i couldnt help but reminisce about some of the older games in the soulsborne franchise but more specifically the one that got me interested in the series in the first place that being dark souls 3. so with eldoning bringing in newer players and dark souls 3 approaching 6 years old i thought it would take some time today to talk about the game and all its features as not only is this one of the best in the whole series its perfect for newer players that just got introduced to the soulsborne games with elden ring as i believe it provides the smoothest transition into these games thanks to its similar mechanics with that out of the way like the video if you enjoy and lets get started and so it is that ash seeketh embers so dark souls 3 is the third in what we assume to be the final part in the dark souls series the fire that lights the world is once again fading and its our job as the ashen one to rekindle the flame just like with many of the soulsborne games the plot is quite vague and will continue to get more obscure as we continue but dont worry about the story so much now as well discuss that a bit later as for its gameplay it has mechanics taken from past games but it also introduced unique mechanics that were carried over into elven ring most of the areas to an extent are quite linear but do include many classic design decisions included in previous games like illusionary walls multi-level floor plans and shortcuts these have been a staple of the franchise since the very beginning and its no different in dark souls 3. where the game does differ though is in its moment-to-moment gameplay as dark souls 3 introduced the fp bar for magic weapon arts for all weapons and the ability to heal while moving among many other changes its clear from the footage that elven ring and dark souls 3 are very similar to one another especially when compared to the previous games which is why i believe if youre here strictly for the gameplay alone then theres no perfect place to start than with dark souls 3. now that the basic synopsis is finished lets go a bit more in depth on those previously mentioned topics so before we even begin we have to pick our class there are 10 starter classes all of which have different stats to allow for different ways of play as you approach the end game in new game plus the starter class matters less and less but it can make the early game a bit easier by choosing one that fits your preferred play style one of the benefits of the dark souls series is that many mechanics classes and styles are the same so it makes you feel comfortable in its gameplay without even starting the game this is shown in the starter classes as each of these classes were not only in previous games but also future titles so no matter what game you plan to play theres always going to be your go-to starter class where this ideology falters of course is in its stats as while most of these stats are consistent across the series there is the occasional one that does get a change vigor attunement and endurance level up the health fp and stamina bars respectively vitality increases equip load allowing you to wear heavier armor without fat rolling as well as slightly increased physical and poison resistance strength dexterity intelligence and faith are all combat stats that can grant you the ability to hold specific weapons and do more damage with the help of scaling and the final one is luck which increases item discovery and curse resistance there are some smaller additions to these stats like dexterity decreasing how long it takes for you to cast the spell but thats the basic gist of each of them each of these stats gives the player the opportunity to really shape their build to their liking but id be lying if i said all of them were useful luck and its many other iterations have always been useless to me as items are still quite plentiful without increasing their drop rates and many of the items you do use are considered static those are items that have set spawn locations like boss weapons rings and many consumables obviously having a 99 in luck as opposed to one is quite a drastic change but is it really worth wasting a level on it especially when in the early game when you can level up quite fast by far my least favorite stat in dark souls 3 is vitality increasing physical and poison resistance is nice but once again is it really worth a level plus armor can provide similar benefits for less work this means that this stat is strictly for increasing equip load which is an atrocious decision the quip load obviously has its benefits but wasting a level on it to increase it by 1 is a complete waste of time this also makes it harder to partake in fashion souls as many times an outfit will look nice but will put you over the 70 equip load causing you to fat roll this sounds like a weird thing to complain about but ive never cared about stats on outfits even in souls games so while i dont mind when the game takes away my defensive capabilities once my fashion is ruined is where i have to draw the line in all seriousness though vitality isnt a useless stat its just more confusing because dark souls 1 literally had a much better way of handling it as its tied to your stamina stat this is the same for elven ring so at least this was changed in future titles the rest of the character creation is the same as the other games where you customize your characters appearance as well as choose a burial gift that you are given upon starting the game speaking of which we can now get into how the gameplay actually functions once the game begins if youve played any other dark souls games regardless of whether its older or newer this layout should feel right at home to you left and right for your left and right hands down is for the quick select inventory and up is for spells the game also has classes of weapons to further develop your playstyles like small and fast weapons which can be scaled with dexterity or slow but hard-hitting weapons that can scale better with strength magic is also split into three schools which are sorceries pyromancies and miracles sorcery skill whether with intelligence miracles are better with faith and pyromancy is a mix of both when finding either a weapon or spell a list of numbers will be shown at the bottom which are a minimum stat requirement for them to be used a lack of intelligence or faith and a spell will not even make the spell appear and a lack of strength or dexterity on a weapon will allow the player to still wield the weapon but it greatly reduced damage ive always been a fan of melee build so majority of the footage in this video will be me using my old build that i started on my first playthrough which was just a pure strength build usually accompanying strength is a set of large armor which more often than not has a lot of poise poise has always been a unique and confusing mechanic to wrap your head around as sometimes it seems like it does nothing but something at the same time at least for dark souls 3 poise helps with hyper armor a mechanic that allows you to power through an attack and continue your swing poise can also affect enemies as sometimes they can power through your attacks this is mostly seen in larger enemies but depending on your poise and the weapon you use to attack them you can still stagger them should an enemy or boss be staggered this will either lead to a free hit or two or sometimes can lead to a riposte which deals massive damage repasting an enemy can be done after a parry as well but that is a little harder to land regardless poise is a very weird mechanic and one i still havent been able to understand but i dont really think too hard about this stat is what really matters though is the weapon youre using just like in any souls game all weapons are viable but its clear that some weapons are just better than others finding the weapon that works for you is incredibly important as at least in my opinion i find more success sticking with a weapon rather than upgrading a complete new one just because its better against a specific boss such as in this fight against gale here where i found that because of the timing of my weapon and how long iframes last on a dodge i can dodge the first attack swing to get some free damage then have enough time to immediately roll out of the next attack and perform another for free damage if i would have used any other strength weapon this attack string wouldnt be possible most of your success in boss fights does come down to memorizing the bosss moveset but its also just as important to understand your own limitations so you can prevent the fight from lasting too long however there is nothing wrong with switching weapons and equipment if you desperately need to and the game almost encourages this by giving you tons of upgrade materials titanite is the material used in all upgrades many weapons will require standard titanite whereas other weapons like magical equipment and boss weapons will require twinkling titanite or tight knight scales the highest upgrade is plus 10 for the larger batch of weapons while the other weapons that use other titanite upgrades will only go to plus 5. this is because more often than not these weapons have unique abilities or movesets that set them apart from traditional weapons making them unique items the easiest way to find titanite is to hand in the appropriate ashes to the handmaid at firelink shrines you can purchase them but even if you cant find these ashes the drop rate for these is incredibly forgiving as in areas like smoldering lake or lothric castle not only were enemies dropping lots of titanite but loot drops found on the ground containing titanite were everywhere the third additional method to finding titanite is either from the little lizards around the map or the big ones that you can kill as for magic just like in previous games while you can upgrade the chimes and staff that use the magic you cant actually upgrade the magic itself this is of course done by leveling up the respective stat that being intelligence and faith spells can be acquired just like weapons can which are from merchants drops and bosses but you can also find tomes that you can bring to merchants allowing you to purchase more spells from them but magic also underwent the biggest change within the series with the introduction of the fp bar in past souls games magic was not taken from the fp bar when it set a flat number given to the spell itself so on one hand we have a magic system that has unlimited uses as long as you have fp which can be refilled thanks to ash and estus flasks and the other system that gives the player limited uses but removes the fp allowing you to mix and match however you want without worrying about the cost of course the question then becomes which is better and honestly its a tough question to answer not only do i rarely use magic in these games but both do have their own benefits in the case of dark souls 3 it allows you to have a steady supply of magic whenever you want but it also comes at the cost of your estus and your stats no matter the starting clash your fp bar is going to be low so its important to level this up but now that means you have fewer points going into other stats on my current strength build i prioritized health stamina and strength which is only three skills when using magic its important to level up both attunement and stamina so you can cast more spells health for obvious reasons and then intelligence or faith depending on the magic bringing us to four however if you wanted to dabble in both miracles and sorcery or if youre just trying to use pyromancy then you need to level up the other stat bringing our total to five thats a lot of stats to keep track of meaning youre going to be weaker for a larger part of the game thanks to having average stats and 5 skills as opposed to above average stats and 3. furthermore you need to allocate the flasks you have so you can have a good amount of healing and magical flasks available too many on one side either means you can cast more magic but cant heal as often or heal more but at the cost of less magic although to be fair given the play style and health that magic builds have if youre getting hit youre most likely dead anyway this also runs into the issue of leveling up those said flasks because the item s dishard will give you more flasks up to a total of 15 you can mix and match but at the beginning you dont start out with that much and depending on how many of them you find you may never even have enough making the experience less than enjoyable but magic builds are still viable in dark souls 3 and they always have been but its clear that theyll become more powerful much later than their melee weapon counterparts however if youre willing to play along with the added challenge magic is a blast to use and a really humbling experience if youve only used melee weapons the final category though we havent discussed yet in terms of weapons is ranged and to be fair i dont really have a lot to say about them ive always felt that ranged weapons were really just gimmicks used in challenge runs but if you do want to use them the option is there dark souls 3 has standard crossbows and bows but also heavier versions called grepos which ill admit are pretty fun to use if you do plan to use only ranged weapons for a build be prepared to use the same weapon for a very long time as not only is there not a large amount to choose from that just being seven bows seven crossbows and three great bows many of them arent found until the latter half of the game all of these spells weapons and armor though do allow the player to mix and match not only their build but their fashion giving them the opportunity to really play how they want but to even start this process we have to go to firelink firelink shrine is the games base of operations you can level up sell items upgrade weapons and talk to npcs similar to equip load dark souls 3 changed mechanics that probably really didnt need changing as to use all the aforementioned mechanics you have to go back to firelink which is done by resting at a bonfire and teleporting to it this in general is not a major problem but its definitely an inconvenience when you have to go to a bonfire to teleport to firelink do all of your business then go back to the bonfire just to teleport back to where you left off after finding the right weapon for you though the next step is to infuse it collecting certain pieces of coal and returning them to the blacksmith can unlock new gems you can infuse with standard gems like sharp and heavy can increase the scaling on a weapon while more unique gems like blood and chaos can add ailments to the weapon these not only have gameplay benefits allowing you to really push the damage on your weapons but also further your preferred build such as a bleed-only playstyle of course while this is great we really do only care about the boss weapons after defeating curse erotic greatwood a very early boss in the game youre given a transposing kiln that will allow you to spend bottles in return for getting their magic and weapons each also has two items to buy so that makes 46 weapons in total the player can acquire the problem is that youre only able to get one soul to unlock all these items so if you want to get everything youll have to get the first half on the first playthrough in the second half in new game plus once again elder ring would fix this issue by giving you the chance to duplicate them is this starting to get old i am sorry but its incredible how many quality of life changes actually exist in that game but ill stop bringing it up once you take all of this into account you can really see how much your damage is affected by this upgrades and infusions are really where the majority of your damage is going to lie as my exile greatsword was a weapon with 148 damage and a c in strength but now ends at 600 damage with an a in strength one thing i really appreciate about this game is that as long as youre willing to look around the map youll find all the items you need this also leads into the next section which is the level design dark souls has some unique elements of its level design that really set it apart from other games the main feud just being the secrets in form of illusionary walls or hidden locations as well its unique addition to traps first location you start in is the cemetery of ash and while you might feel inclined to go straight ahead if you take your time and look around youll find a large crystal lizard that gives you some early titanite while this isnt a huge secret it may be something that the player may never find as theyre so focused on going straight ahead in the next area which is a smaller section of lothric castle you can find numerous areas that you may not have found if you didnt look around enough but technically these arent hidden they exist in the games world and are right in front of the player they just need to look around a bit this is in stark contrast to some areas that are completely hidden smoldering lake is a completely optional area that you may never find when entering the catacombs of karthus you need to cross a bridge that you can fight a boss named wolmir who upon defeat will break the spell sealing the door to irithyll however if you went back to that bridge you can break it this is really effective for when those skeletons start to chase you across the bridge but if you wait long enough a prompt will appear allowing you to climb down that broken bridge into smoldering lake most devs wouldnt even try to hide content that probably took months to complete but from software is so confident and has no problem making an entire location some players may never even see but as cool as the level design and combat are whats more exciting to talk about is the bosses dark souls 3 has 25 bosses throughout its main game and dlc making it actually the lowest of the trilogy with dark souls 1 having 26 and dark souls 2 having 41. so you would think due to the low number the team focused on quality rather than quantity and barring a couple of them youd be correct dark souls 3 has an exceptional lineup of bosses and one part of these bosses that need some praise is the gimmicks or rather the additional elements added to the boss fight to clarify a bit a good example is the ancient wyvern which is a giant dragon except this boss is located just beneath a drop-off point allowing you to one-shot them with a plunge attack this addition to the fight is much different compared to the standard 1v1 and a flat arena like vort who does change up his moves a bit when entering the second phase but the fight is still the same out of the 19 bosses in the base game four of these bosses have an addition to their boss fight in the form of a weakness weve already talked about the ancient wyvern in his weakness but the other three are great wood wolmir and yorm greatwood is a rotting tree and his weak spot is the white pus that grows on his body youll more than likely have more issues actually hitting the weak spots than getting hit yourself because you cant lock onto them this makes the fight quite tough for mages especially if you dont have any daggers or swords to back you up or any spells that do aoe damage for the most part though his moves are quite slow with the only one to look out for is the hand thats brought from his stomach high king woolners weakness is the bracelets on his arm furthermore due to his large size many of his attacks have a long wind-up and low combo so dont expect woolner to swing two or three times the blackness that surrounds the back of his body can be quite tough to get out of especially if you arent aware that hes going to charge you halfway through the fights but for the most part its really just about hugging his arms and getting in as many hits as possible once you do destroy a bracelet an animation will play that immobilizes woolner for a bit giving you enough time to run over and get working on the next one as for yorm he has the largest health pool in the game at around 27 000 however he falls into this category due to his massive weakness well get into the lore of this item later but theres a sword in the boss room called storm ruler that is intended to be used in this fight hitting his legs do close to zero damage so it forces the player to use this weapon the hardest part about yarm is actually knowing that you need to use the storm ruler as to my knowledge is never explained to the player that there is even a weapon made to kill him plus the weapon is located at the other end of the boss room behind him so youre more than likely focused on the giant in front of you rather than the item on the ground what i do appreciate about this fight though is that despite the crutch weapon yorm is still a tough fight as its main damage requires a charge up and will only do a couple thousand damage at a time meaning youll have to repeat this action quite a bit its obvious though that these weaknesses were meant to help the player but that doesnt mean theyre the only kind of additions a few other bosses have their own twists on the standard bossfight but are meant to hinder the player instead to start this off we have the abyss watchers they dont have too many things to exploit they are weak to lightning but nothing drastic to really swing the fight in your favor about 20 seconds into the fight another one will spawn making this a very difficult 2v1 however another 20 seconds later a third one will spawn but actually help you but he isnt really an ally more of a third party as hell attack you just as much as he attacks the others the abyss watchers can all be parried reposted staggered and backstabbed but good luck finding the time to actually do that or even the proper move to perry since they seem to love sweeping across the floor when youre far away after the first phase is done hell then charge up and use some fire attacks thankfully no more enemies spawn so its just a standard 1v1 but that doesnt mean the fight is any easier as his damage is incredibly high the other is the dragon slayer armor on its own its already a tough fight with a boss carrying a large shield that blocks all damage in a large axe that not only does lightning damage but also comes with a large amount of moves for both long and short distances but by far the most annoying part of this fight is the butterflies outside of the arena as theyll either shoot out these toxic balls that whittle away your health or a large laser that could one shot you if youre not careful since the butterflies are outside the arena and cannot be locked onto you just have to deal with them and that makes the fight way harder than it would have been otherwise so its clear that a good chunk of the bosses have some variety to them that are either intended to hinder or help the player but while in this case its quite obvious to tell what these additions are meant to do some arent as simple going back to the beginning we have the first boss eutyx gundyr who is one of the many bosses in this game that can be parried assuming this is your first playthrough youre more than likely not focused on parrying and more likely just trying to survive once he enters half health hell go into his second phase which will transform into this black mass this phase is definitely going to be tougher for first-time players as it hits hard and has some awkward timings to keep note of but during this phase hes actually weak to black firebombs which coincidentally is a burial gift you can receive in the character creation menu taking into account all the burial gifts we can buy all of them are either easily acquired very early in the game going to be obsolete in a couple hours or just not worth it at all thats why the black firebombs have always been my go-to as even though i never really use throwables it at least has its uses within minutes of starting the game the reason this addition isnt as simple is because some players may not parry udyx or know of his weakness in the second phase so depending on the level of knowledge the player has and their current playstyle this fights addition may actually make the fight more harder than it seems three great examples of this are pontiff the old demon king and champion gundyr pontiff always starts the fight with the same move so as long as you get the timing down you can get some early damage in thanks to being parriable however he is still a very difficult boss so that section between this attack and the second phase can still be an uphill battle speaking of which his second phase can be extremely hard to manage as he creates a spirit version of himself it does help in the sense that it will tell you the move that pontiff is about to do but the spirit can also damage you so you can possibly be hit twice however assuming youre fast enough and you have a weapon with enough damage you can completely eliminate the spirit version of him while hes summoning it bringing it back to a 1v1 as for the old demon king he wields a large hammer and does a ton of flame moves you can exploit his large size by going underneath him but he does have quite a few moves that will prevent you from getting too close he also has many different fire attacks such as the meteor shower and a ring of fire all of which can take a large chunk of your health away or even outright kill you if you arent careful also this fire attack he does where he spits out a line across the ground seems to clip through the environment which makes this even more annoying the biggest problem with the demon king is getting close enough to him while also trying to avoid many moves he has that counter this style of play to make matters worse hes completely resistant to fire so pyromancers are going to struggle the most with this fight thankfully pyromancers can use spells like poison mist boulder heave and some black flame spells which are attacks he wont be resistant to plus most of these can be acquired before you even meet him or even found in the area hes located in as for champion gundyr he functions somewhat on the same level as udyx minus the second phase his second phase is a much higher damage and more aggressive version of the first but he can once again be parried and this continues even into the second phase the problem here is that all these additions depend on a bunch of factors that as a whole either make the fight easier or harder having a shield that can parry makes these fights much easier as to post to not having one but on the other hand having a slower weapon can make the fight tougher such as with pontiff or gundyr or in the case of the old demon king your entire build can be practically useless just by them existing however despite these i really love these decisions a lot it creates discussion about the bosss difficulty allowing them to not fall into the same pit that the deacons of the deep fall into where everyone unanimously agrees that theyre easy it also creates that spark that some may need to keep playing these games ive created many characters in this game ive made strength dexterity sorcery and pyromancy builds and each time theres always one boss that gives me more trouble that the previous build didnt such as with the abyss watchers who were quite trivial when i used the melee weapon but when swapping to magic they became tougher as they were too fast for my spells it just goes to show not only how great these bossfights are in general but how unique they are once you switch up your playstyle it makes the game feel fresh again and gives you plenty of reasons to keep playing however this fun factor cannot be said for all bosses some of these individuals suffer from either an awful route to the boss room or the infamous camera this walk that ive dubbed the walk of shame is the route you must take from the bonfire to the boss room every time you fail sometimes its right next to the fog wall without much interference sometimes its a long walk but a shortcut can prevent any issues however some bosses like with yorm and aldrich require the player to travel a very long distance to reach them not only does this take away from the actual time you could be fighting the boss meaning youll be learning less from them over a longer period of time but most of them are riddled with enemies that can either kill you on the way there or do enough damage to warren to heal that you could have saved for the boss thankfully though this really isnt that big of a problem as dark souls 3 compared to the previous games is actually very forgiving when it comes to its bonfire placement as for the camera anyone whos ever played a soulsborne game can come to the agreement that the toughest enemy in the game is the camera this usually comes up in discussions when talking about dragons or giants as theyre the main reason as to why the camera refuses to cooperate since the enemy is large the most optimal place to do damage is behind or underneath them this has been a tactic in every game in the franchise making this the go-to method to defeating larger enemies the problem is that the camera hates this such as when you fight the storm drake later on in the game its legs have damage reduction so you have to hit it in the head for maximum damage but depending on where the storm drake is and what move it does it can completely screw with the camera causing you to be confused as to where you are or just outright unlocking from the target as much as i hate this its been a problem since the beginning so when you see a giant or a dragon you already know what to expect that doesnt mean its a good thing but at least you know ahead of time that the camera is not going to cooperate the same cannot be said for one specific boss in this game oh dear another dogged contender the twin princes have the most unfair combat this game has to offer and that wording is extremely important to a degree all bosses have some level of unfairness to them whether its delayed attacks or massive combos but in the case of the twin princes but more specifically lorian its a combination of inconsistency and camera tracking that makes this almost too difficult to handle many times when you die you know that the reason you died was from your own mistakes such as when you died when the boss was at one health because you healed during an attack youre the only one to blame for this action and despite how infuriating it is to have happen you know theres no one but yourself to blame but with the twin princes i would respond and reflect on my decisions and come up with nothing as a good portion of my deaths was from things out of my control lorien is a  __  and thus has to stumble around on his knees so to close the gap between him and the player he has to teleport this might be one of the most atrocious moves this game has to offer lorian has quite a few different attacks a side swipe a thrust and a slam attack when he teleports then reappears one of these moves will come out sometimes its not even these moves and can either be another slam that is much longer or even this short range slash attack the problem is the lack of knowledge given to the player on this move most of the time hell start his teleport by holding his sword up but on occasion he will pull it back like hes entering a thrust or move it to the side implying its a side swipe but neither of these could happen take this example here where lorian holds up his hand and teleports but when he reappears he does the long slam attack after this move he then teleports again with the same hand going up but does the slightly faster slam attack instead or even in this example where once again he will raise his hand then does a swipe but then goes right into the thrust motion only for it to be a slam attack again to add even more problems he has this plunge attack in his arsenal where he lands on top of the player in my years of playing this game i dont think the camera has actually ever tracked this move once not only is it problematic that the move exists at all but lauren will occasionally stop his two hit side sweep and only just do one so he can teleport to do another move which of course includes this attack and yes the teleport will unlock the camera if youre unlucky enough lorian has almost zero consistency meaning the player needs to dodge on reaction to the move rather than anticipating the move he literally starts his animation with the problem is that due to the different timings of these moves you can barely even do that the thrust and side swipe are a bit slow which will give the player more time to react but the pounce and slam attacks are not and almost happen immediately so you cant even dodge on reaction as if you dodge too early on the thrust youll be hit but dodge too late on the slam and plunge and youll also be hit if the animations were consistent then this wouldnt be a problem and would force the player to read lori and react accordingly if he winds up with the thrust then you have to wait a moment before dodging or if he starts getting up before teleporting then you can expect a slam attack and react accordingly but then this goes back to the problem earlier where lori and mix and matches move so its impossible to predict what hell do however despite all the criticism i still love this fight in fact i might rank it in my top 5 along with many of the other great fights in this game the addition of lothric in the second phase further increases the difficulty making it a truly uphill battle and even though lothrics moves are just as annoying as lorian sometimes there are still ways to avoid them and theres also the added benefit of being able to damage lothric on top of lorgan if you hit the right spot as for lori and his major weakness like any boss in this game is time every failure in victory the player gains new information from their fight and yes while lorian doesnt really provide you much of that most of the time after a while you will be able to master him theres even a way to prevent lorien from teleporting without the use of glitches that just involves you being in a specific spot in relation to the boss and hitting him enough times to prevent him from using another attack you can even avoid the majority of lothrics orbs by other being extremely far away from the duo which causes lorien to walk closer before teleporting or when lothric releases his orbs you just focus on lorians moves as for the most part they attack at the same time despite its extremely annoying mechanics this is still one of my favorite fights in the game this lineup of 19 bosses is exceptional each of them is unique in their own way even when its literally the same fight twice the presentation of these fights is also spectacular as these cutscenes really show how menacing these bosses are and im glad they didnt overdo it this time on the cutscenes as instead of having all the main bosses get one its only a select few making them feel more unique and exciting as a cutscene implies that the boss is truly going to be something worth fighting its due to this variety and uniqueness within the bosses that makes me come back time and time and again as by simply changing to a new weapon you can explore a whole new side of these fights you would have never seen before and its truly one of the strongest parts of dark souls 3. seeing as weve covered everything else and ive definitely delayed it long enough i think its finally time we talk about the story earlier in the video i said that if youre a newcomer to the franchise and your first game was elven ring then the next game you should play to have the smoothest transition would be dark souls 3 where this argument is completely destroyed is when talking about the story obviously if youre here to experience the story then you should definitely start with dark souls 1 to get the full picture but if youre really not in the mood to play the previous games for whatever reason and just want to play this one then for the most part you really dont need to understand too much there is quite a few characters and references to past games that will lose their impact should you skip ahead though like seaguard and sigmar andre being present in both games the soul of cinder music theme being a slight altered version of gwyns theme and the backstory of the abyss watchers making very little sense if youre unaware who artorius is but the great thing about the dark souls games is the time frame between them all three games take place at different times and at different places so most things that will occur in the previous games wont have too much relevance in future titles so you probably can get away with playing just the third game but i of course do recommend starting from the beginning speaking of which to explain the story of dark souls 3 we need to go back momentarily to dark souls 1. at the beginning of time there was a world that was shrouded in gray fog giant trees and everlasting dragons and there was an age called the age of ancients eventually fire was created and within the first flame was the souls of lords four people being nito izalith gwyn and the pygmy consumed these souls and became lords the pygmy is quite easily forgotten according to the text but he is responsible for all human life while the other three band together to overthrow the dragons and usher in a new age called the age of fire this was a prosperous time for the world as the kingdom of lordran was created for all the lords and their acquaintances but flames cant last forever fearing the age of fire would come to a close gwyn would link himself to the first flame thus becoming the kindly needed for the flame to burn longer every dark souls game has the same exact plot relink the flame and continue the age of fire where the games differ from one another though is when you take into account who we the player are and why the fire isnt being linked in dark souls 1 we are the chosen undead who is referred in a great prophecy is the one who will link the fire and succeed gwyn in dark souls 3 however we are the ashen one since the age of fire is still going on in dark souls 3 that means the canon ending for the previous games that are characters linked to the fire but one thing to remember is that were not the only ones who tried to link it we meet a ton of other undead who have risen thanks to an undead curse but were the only ones who have actually succeeded in dark souls 3 we didnt succeed as the ashen one we were tasked with linking the flame many years ago but failed however due to unique circumstances we are forced to come back and try again all the dark souls games take place at different times remember so different kingdoms and nations have been built over time across the games you go from lordran to draenleic to now lothric but there is tons of other kingdoms that were probably built between these games meaning there is a lot of people whove linked the flame this is relevant as the current person to link the flame next is lothric the young prince of the kingdom lothric except he refused to link the flame because lothric refused the bell of awakening has awoken some of the previous lords from different times so that they may relink the flame again but they also refused it was a last ditch effort the bells of awakening re-woke us because all the lords refused to link the flame were then tasked with taking their souls and using them to link the flame ourselves to help us with the linking of the flame is the fire keeper because in this game we actually start with a maiden but already this poses an interesting question why are they refusing is it out of self-interest or is there something else going on what seems to be that the lords simply just dont see the point anymore many of them come from different backgrounds and possess different ideologies which ends up making their reasons entirely different the abyss watchers are a squad of troops or are dedicated to combating the abyss this underworld of darkness where nothing good ever comes out in fact woolner was consumed by the abyss which is where we go to fight him when we touch his chalice it said that the abyss watchers served in the name of artorius who also had the same objective of combating the abyss except just like artorius they too were also infected by said abyss which is why they fight each other as their comrades are under the influence of the abyss and must be stopped they are now a fragment of the group they used to be and are too focused on stopping the abyss from consuming themselves that they have no time to link the flame jjorn was the descendant of an ancient conqueror and was tasked with commanding the people and serving as their blade and shield many doubted him though so he created two weapons that were able to slay him which is the storm rulers we use in his boss fight however four women who would eventually become the four hand monsters we find in the profaned capital triggered a curse that created the profaned flame this flame engulfed yorms kingdom and killed everyone he then took it upon himself to put the profane flame to rest ultimately sacrificing his life and becoming a lord of cinder why he refused to link the flame again is unknown but its assumed that he most likely just wished for a swift death so that he never has to think of how he failed to protect the people of his kingdom but now that hes awake again he has to sulk and live with his failure once again aldrich was a former cleric who began to see visions of a deep sea this made him delve deeper into these visions and caused him to go a bit insane developing a habit of consuming humans among these humans were also children and theres also a theory going around that henri and horus were the only two kids to escape his grasp he would then somehow become lord of cinder but upon being revived he refused he saw more visions but not of a deep sea but of complete darkness and decided to see the age of darkness through by refusing to link the flame within these images of darkness he saw images of the old gods like gwyn and his children so he sought out to devour them which is why he traveled to honor orlando and killed gwyndolin we know this because of the signature mask aldridge has and in the final case of lothric he was born of an agreement between the king and queen of lothric where they planned on having a child perfect enough to survive the linking of the flame and become a lord of cinder but in doing so they produced a curse its unclear what the curse really is but its caused lother to be extremely frail and weak and made lorien a mute and a  __  since the two are linked they both need to link the flame together but whether it was because of the curse his brother or something else entirely the two ultimately decided to refuse which is what set the games plot in motion this is more or less a summarized version of the events but you get the main idea theyre incredible backstories and are all unique enough to make the discovery interesting as the abyss watchers refused out of a lack of purpose yarn refused because of his own failure and despair and lothric probably out of spite for the curse and the rules of being a lord that were put onto him from birth the only issue once again is that its told through item descriptions dark souls has always been about creating its world through the items we find in game and this argument has been around for ages but for my personal thoughts on it ive never liked the item descriptions as the main source of lore i deal with it since its going to be like this for the foreseeable future but if i had to choose id prefer not to as many things are still left up in the air due to the small amount of text you can fit in the item description the dark souls series has some of the best lore ive ever read but the way its uncovered has always dampened the experience not only can it be a slog to read through all the text but many people wont even bother to read it or even know that it exists at all going back to my previous video about eldon rings story which by the way thank you all for the support on that video and if you havent seen it i highly recommend your due if you confused about the story but in that video i got tons of comments asking me how i even came up with everything i said in the video and it made me realize how many people dont actually know where the lore comes from its not their fault though because dark souls at least to me is the only game ive ever played where the lore is strictly through item descriptions and its because of this uniqueness that causes many people to cast aside the information thinking its just some flavor text like i said the lore of dark souls is incredible but its delivery of said lore has always been awful speaking of awful another major debate within these games is the npcs the biggest argument being that the game needs a quest log to keep track of the npcs and their quest lines and that they dont explain where they go the first part is something ive never agreed with too many games hold the players hand when it comes to quests so when a game finally forces me to find things on my own i feel more invested in the story most of the time in other rpg games you can skip through all the dialogue without a care in the world as the game will give you the exact location anyway but dark souls forces you to listen making you actually invested in the story without you even knowing it however the latter half of the argument i agree with to an extent the main issue though is the lack of information most npcs dont tell the player where theyll go next making it even harder sometimes they give hints but its nothing concrete for example before this massive swamp the player must crawl through early in the game theyll encounter horus and henry they give you some backstory as to why theyre there but there isnt much more to it than that thankfully most of the npcs in this game will show up at firelink shrine so itll be hard to miss them but once at firelink anri will talk about trying to defeat aldridge so she at least gives you some clue as to where shell be but what she doesnt tell you is that you have to meet her in smoldering lake and then at irithyll before you can meet her at the boss room now ill admit this is probably a bit biased as henry has ties to one of the later endings in the game which is extremely complex but another good example would be secret you meet secret on a required path so itll be hard to miss him the first puzzle of his is also not too bad as well as he appears near the direction youre heading so youll still end up crossing paths afterwards though is where things take a turn his next location is inside this well hes apparently been tricked and pushed inside so we have to help him get out so we need his armor now technically the proper way to do this is to progress through the story normally and find sigward but then actually end up getting tricked as its actually patches but theres still a chance you can mess this up by climbing the rafters first which leads to the other side of the walkway where he traps you on so he doesnt appear if you screwed this up like i did intentionally for this playthrough youll need to trigger patches to spawn by using the tower key and getting trapped by him there you then need to go back to firelink find him upstairs and then buy siegwards armor off him id like to point out that ive done this questline a dozen times or so so i know all the intricacies to it but as a new player you may never even meet patches and even if you do you wouldnt know that hes actually the culprit since if you cross the rafters first then he obviously wont appear so you obviously wont know to buy his armor off him unless you look at his inventory thankfully the rest of the questline though is somewhat straightforward as he shows up in irithyll which is once again a required path and then the last location will be in the irithyll dungeon which he says is his next location finding the exact area of where he is can be a bit tricky as its not only hidden youll need a set of keys to unlock him only then can you finish his quest line where the two of you defeat yorm together this is the same for a majority of the npcs most of the time its straightforward but theres always those one or two steps that give you zero information to clarify as well even though his location in irithyll and the dungeon arent too hard to find if you dont get him out of the well he cant continue his journey so you may pass through these areas then come back to find secret in the well and be even more confused as youve already gone through the area he was going to spawn in it seems like it was intended for the player to rescue him first and then cross paths with him later which is why he never explains where hes going but once again if you do this backwards theres almost a zero percent chance youll be finding him as always though i do want to mention that for the most part whether its npcs or item descriptions i dont necessarily mind them im also having the game push me to learn the lore or to make me think when it comes to npcs but sometimes it does go a bit too far getting back on track to the story once the lords are all defeated we can start the ending after gathering all the souls on the lords we can now use the bonfire to teleport us to the kiln of the first flame and this is without a doubt one of the most gorgeous places in the game its so rich with lore as just the environment itself tells a story this whole area is covered in buildings and rubble all of this is from past kingdoms and dynasties that have existed since the beginning of time itself but by far the best part of this area is the boss the soul of cinder is the final boss in dark souls 3 and probably has the coolest backstory in the whole game which is that its us well sort of the soul of cinder is the manifestation of all the warriors whove linked the flame meaning our characters from dark souls 1 and 2 are a part of this group we are essentially fighting ourselves as well as a dozen other warriors this is further reinforced by the soul of cinder doing dodge rolls something only the player can do and also has the ninja flip which was from a ring in dark souls 1. this boss flight in general is really great as he has an entire arsenal of weapons from magic to melee and he isnt afraid to use all of them once the second phase hits he just switches back to the coiled sword which is the same one weve stuck in the bonfires this entire time and he duels us gwyns theme also plays during this fight which is such a great homage to the past games and makes you feel nostalgic about your journey through the trilogy it is one of the best boss fights in the game and is the best way ive seen a game and a series after this though we do get some endings of which there are four the first is the most obvious and that is the linking of the flame however one thing to note though is the flame itself compare this cutscene to dark souls 1 and its clear that it doesnt have that same spark anymore the game is implying that what we are doing is just delaying the inevitable and that the flame will die no matter how hard we try so whats the point in delaying it the second and most likely canon option is the age of dark we finally snuff out the flame and usher in an age of darkness its gone on too long the flame keeps going out and nothing is getting better so whats the point in continuing by stopping this age we can at least start something new and just see what happens within the age of darkness the world is completely black and it is so dark that my torch couldnt even light the ground near me this sounds quite grim but it doesnt seem all that bad as the fire keeper reassures us that the flame will eventually return but probably not in our lifetime there is an alternate to this ending where in the few short seconds you can move around if you attack the fire keeper youll simultaneously snuff out the flame but also take the flame for yourself possibly out of power or of self-interest the fourth ending called the usurpation of fire is easily one of the hardest in the game to complete as the wiki has a 12-step guide on how to achieve this ending its extremely complex but sees the ashim one become not a lord of lothric but a lord of londor its unclear what or where londor is but it seems to be a land filled with hollows it has many ties to characters and places in past games and would have been a great dlc if we ever got that its also a nice alternative as the game always seems to give the player two choices one of darkness and one of light but this gives us a sort of loophole as both occur at the same time its a nice ending and has been the start of many theories allowing the playerbase to paint their own picture of what londor truly is speaking of painting a picture we can now talk about the dlc dark souls 3 comes with two dlcs ashes of ariendel and the ring city a bit disconnected from the main story the two dlcs do tie into one another ashs very endel starts with the player entering the cleansing chapel and finding an old man on the ground this is a man named gail who offers us this piece of a painting and upon touching it sends us into the painted world of ariandel this isnt the first time a painted world has existed in the series but its definitely a first for this game basically these paintings are of other worlds father ariendo created this painted world for those who had nowhere else to go such as the followers of pharyn who are the followers of the abyss watchers after the abyss watchers became lords of cinder their home became infested with rot and poison so they sought refuge in ariandel its unclear what sparked the initial decision for father ariendel to make the painting but it could be a combination of the age of fire slowly fading away and an attempt to revive the old painted world of ariamis but these painted worlds are actually quite ironic as they have their own rekindling of the flame instead of the darkness consuming the world theres this rot that takes over the painted world and to prevent this rot from taking over we need flames to burn it away thats why gail made us enter the painting because the lady he serves is stuck in here and we need to set fire to the painting so that she may see flame and continue her painting its interesting as just as the world of dark souls is rotting away thanks to the people keeping the flame lit oriendo is running away because they refuse to light the flame as we roam through the painted world well come across the church with a nun named freda sitting alone shes the main reason this world refuses to heal all the bird-like creatures called corvians made up their minds to burn the painted world and thus remove all the rot from the world but frida convinced father ariandel to not burn it she also tells us to constantly leave and that we should not meddle in her affairs assuming we dont listen we can meet her bodyguard wilhelm and upon defeating him drops a key that leads to an attic which has the little girl that weve been trying to find our job is now to show her flames which isnt exactly the most descriptive objective but its quite easy to assume that it somehow involves the main boss of the dlc speaking of bosses ashes of ariandel comes with only two the first is the optional boss champions gravetender who halfway through the fight will summon his giant wolf and the other boss is sister freda after killing wilhelm she tells us to leave and not come back but if we keep exploring the painted world we can find a hidden lever that opens up a secret area behind the church that reveals the true location of father ariandel its also here where we get to see how he was able to suppress the flames from spreading in the painted world and thats by flailing himself and using his blood to smother the flame the boss fight then starts as we take on sister freda and after her death father ariendo goes mad with rage and reignites the flames that were meant to be suppressed simultaneously burning the church and also reviving sister frida you then have to fight the two together and as if that wasnt bad enough she gets up again and has a third phase where she transforms into black flame frida this is an incredibly tough fight not necessarily damage wise but just a length is trying to conserve your estes for three whole phases is such a pain however upon defeating her a third time she will finally be dead we discover from her bossel that she was the first ash to enter the painting before sending us into the painted world gail tells us in the beginning that two ash will bring the flame back to ariandel were the second and frida is the first that line of two ash bringing the flame back was not meant as to ashs cooperating but rather their inevitable battle that would spark the flame the world needed after this fight assuming you have the next dlc you can take this bonfire in the boss room to the drag heap where the ring city begins ashs very endel is a pretty short dlc it can take anywhere from two to four hours to complete depending on how tough the bosses are or how much you want to explore on its own it seems a little hard to justify its 15 price tag but these days you get less content for more so i cant be too upset plus its meant to be played with the ring city as for the ring city this is the final dlc for the game and is just as good as the previous one it has double the bosses compared to the previous dlc and also comes with new locations and lore the ring city is a city at the edge of the world quite literally if you remember from the story section we talked about those four lords from dark souls 1 being gwyn izalithnito and the pygmy well so thanks for helping create the age of fire gwen created a city from the rest of the world that belongs to the pygmy remember the pygmy was the creator of humanity and is thus our ancestor so our bloodline originated here not only does that mean the pygmy was here but also the original dark soul is here as that was the soul the pygmy obtained during the age of ancients another being of importance that is located here is philianar one of gwyns children before we actually enter the ring city we must go through the drag heap which we can actually see a glimpse of from the kiln of the first flame its a piece of land that has been filled with ruined civilizations that have all become morphed into an ash-filled wasteland this area like many of the places in the souls games are just great to look at these games are really tough but theres always those moments of bliss in between them where you can just look out into the horizon and are left in odd how wonderful it looks to get to the ring city we must fight the first boss who are a duo of demons this fight is actually quite tough as you fight them as a duo but then have to fight the last one as a more buffed up version of itself called the demon prince its once again another unique take on the standard boss fight and was a really cool twist the first time around afterwards we can make it to the ring city and its extremely elegant its also very dangerous the person behind this is the large figure in the back who is a part of the spears of the church a covenant in the game who is dedicated to protecting philly nor to get to villiano we have to defeat half-light our second boss of the dlc and probably the most unique boss in the game as havoc can be replaced by a player due to this games age it most likely wont happen anymore but on release it was quite common to actually be summoned as the boss for this fight which is such a genius idea after half flight is dead we can come face to face with villianor who leads to the final boss but before we get into that we have to talk about the secret boss of this dlc dark eater madeir who originally was just a simple dragon on a bridge but becomes a full boss if you find the secret room he is undoubtedly the hardest boss in the whole game he has these extremely high damaging moves that can one shot you most of the time and his fast speed makes a lot of them hard to dodge plus hes a dragon so he has very high damage resistance in his legs and his held is over 15 thousand only being beaten out by sister freed in yorm which just in case you forgot one contains a weapon used to defeat the boss and the other has three phases of health getting back to filling our when we touch her egg it shatters and it seems to accelerate time to a future version of the ring city one that is destroyed and covered in sand and ash some have also claimed that this isnt the case and that the ring city we see in game is just merely an illusion and we just broke that illusion but whats for certain though is something definitely happened as we walk in this barren wasteland we finally find gail gail was tasked by his lady the painter with finding a suitable pigment for her painting which was the blood of the dark soul and the best place to get it is the ring city the ring city is populated with pygmy lords who have all descended from the original pygmy owner of the dark soul meaning all their blood has traces of the dark soul within it the problem is that the pigment needs to be suitable for the painting which is why he took their blood but after years of gathering blood it started to dry up so he consumed it hoping it would still retain a liquid state there is a theory about this and one i find incredibly interesting and its that gail knew this state of madness he enters because of the blood would happen so he left clues around the ring city like these tattered pieces of cloth from his cape to guide us to him so that we may kill him take the fresh blood from his body and then give it to the painter so she can use it in her painting i cant confirm whether that is true or not but it is such a good theory gails boss fight is objectively the best boss fight in the whole game from the arena to the combat to the lore building around this fight its all just perfect what really sealed this decision for me was that gail is the final boss of the game if you play the game now technically the soul of cinder is but as someone who played the game on release the ring city is the final piece of content we ever received so technically the final boss was gail and its such a good send off to not only the game but the series as the final boss isnt some god or significant figure but just a nobody who worked tirelessly to get stronger just as we worked tirelessly to also get stronger our strengths then clash at the literal end of the world with only one of us coming out alive once we defeat gail we can go back to the painter and give her the pigments which he thanks us for nothing comes from this and its unclear what will happen in the future but just like many of dark souls plots it has been the topic of many theories within the community some say its just another world but some say its more meta and that this new world would be created in the same way the original world of dark souls was created implying that the original game is also in a painting sadly unless another game in the series gets created there will never be a confirmed answer to this so i try not to dwell on this too much both ashes of ariandel and the ring city are fantastic dlcs their decision to make their own story its own separate narrative but have lore that links back to the main story was incredibly well done and really shows just how good the writing of this game is the boss fights level design enemies and gameplay are just great honestly i have nothing negative to say about this content as a whole it was not only a great way to end the series of dark souls but for new players it will serve as a great change of pace to the overall flow of the main game as for my final thoughts dark souls is one of my favorite games in the franchise and easily the best in the souls trilogy its combat flows smoothly from fight to fight it has gorgeous levels and locations and a compelling narrative that seeks to question the original games stories and while there were some contentious additions to the game there are such minor issues that they dont even come close to plaguing the overall experience the series as a whole is phenomenal and its because of this game that i was able to experience it and i couldnt be more thankful with that weve finally come to the end of the video and if youve made it this far thank you it felt great to boot this game up again and if im being honest it probably wont be the last time i do it either its such a unique game that i always find reasons to come back and play it such as today where the main motivation was just to be able to tell all of you why i love the game so much regardless thank you all for watching like the video if you enjoy and subscribe if youre new and as always thank you to my returning viewers for coming back to another video also during the production of this i hit over 100 000 subs so once again thank you all for that as usual though take care everyone and goodbye Music you fun co op horror games on steam Dark Souls 3 is one of the best games in the Dark Souls Trilogy and the Soulsborne franchise, and with the game turning 6 years old I wanted to take a look back at the game and all of its wonderful content.___________________________________________________________Timestamps: 0:00 Intro 0:51 What Is Dark Souls 3? 1:54 Gameplay 13:44 Bosses 27:06 Story 40:40 DLC 49:33 Outro ___________________________________________________________ Music in Order Courtesy of the Dark Souls 3 OST 0;00 Premonition 4;06 Firelink Shrine 9;55 Secret Betrayal 13;45 Abyss Watchers 18;35 Pontiff Sulyvahn 20;25 Dragonslayer Armour 22;51 Lorian & Lothric 27;12 Epilogue 37;47 Soul of Cinder 40;42 Secret Betrayal 44;12 Spears of the Church 47;39 Slave Knight Gael 48;38 Premonition Outro: Orca Vibes - Gypsy - - ___________________________________________________________ Hope You Enjoyed #DarkSouls3 #Gingy #DarkSouls steam race games 3 chime steam whistle mlb steams reddit top adult steam games steam games not detecting controller