We took an extended look at Dark Souls 3 during our E3 2015 session with the game and the director, Hidetaka Miyazaki. While the game was very similar to previous Dark Souls titles with some influence from Bloodborne, you won't be able to play the game exactly the same as you would previous games in the series. We still have a little while before the game hits retail shelves, but that doesn't mean we can't start analyzing what we saw at E3. Let's take a look at what you'll need to do to make it through Dark Souls 3.
Learn the new Combat Techniques
While weapons have had unique attacks and abilities in previous Dark Souls games, things are taken to the next level in Dark Souls 3. Many of the weapons serve a very specific purpose when you fight certain enemies. For example, the longsword has a ready stance in which your character puts their sword away. This should be familiar to Dark Souls players, but what's new about the ready stance is that you gain two new attacks that break an enemy's guard.
Knights return in Dark Souls 3 and they're very difficult to deal with if you don't use the proper weapon attacks. Greatswords have an upward strike that works very well against the shielded knights if you time your attack correctly. Meanwhile, dual scimitars have a spinning attack that can handle a group of enemies much better than the longsword or greatsword. Learning these new techniques and when to use them will be key in making it through Dark Souls 3 with your sanity intact.
Check Around Corners
While it's commonplace to see players walking slowly through new areas in previous Dark Souls games, you'll have to be even more careful when it comes to Dark Souls 3. At several points throughout the E3 demo enemies would jump out and attack from a hidden position around a corner. There were times when you would move into an open area, but if you didn't immediately look to the right or left upon entering the area, you would take a sword to the back from an enemy that was hiding near the entrance.
None of this is entirely new to the Dark Souls series, but it was far more prevalent in the Dark Souls 3 demo than we've seen from previous games in the series. Players will need to be far more careful as they move through areas. It's also not uncommon to come across multiple enemies at once, similar to the battles in Bloodborne. You may see three enemies ahead, but one more will be waiting to ambush you from behind.
Play Dark Souls 2: Scholar of the First Sin and Bloodborne
The combat and difficulty of the E3 demo seemed like a wonderful mix of Scholar of the First Sin and Bloodborne. Everything from the level design to enemy attack patterns and how you faced off against enemies seemed to take influence from both games. From Software is aiming for six player online multiplayer, just like we saw in Scholar of the First Sin, so it would be a good idea to play through both Dark Souls 2 and Bloodborne in preparation for Dark Souls 3.
Pray to Miyazaki
As with any Dark Souls game, difficulty is the number one draw for many players. That will hold true with Dark Souls 3 as it seems to ramp up the difficulty from Bloodborne, which many people thought was easier than any of the Dark Souls titles. While it's difficult to say this early if the game will be harder or easier than previous Dark Souls titles, it will definitely offer more of a challenge than most other games that release these days. If you want to have the best luck in playing through the game, i may be time to swallow your pride and pray to Miyazaki.
All jokes aside, Dark Souls 3 is shaping up to be one of the best titles in the series. Stay tuned to Prima Games as we continue to cover the new From Software title as the early 2016 release date approaches. For now, you can check out our free Bloodborne walkthrough, or our article detailing how Dark Souls 3 shares quite a bit in common with Bloodborne.