Dark Souls 3 was announced at E3 2015 and we were lucky enough to get a closer look at the game in a behind closed doors session with Namco Bandai and Hidetaka Miyazaki, the director of the game. While Miyazaki was the mastermind behind Demon's Souls and the first Dark Souls, he took a step away from the series for Dark Souls 2 and lent a hand to the development of Bloodborne. Now he's refocused his attention on the Dark Souls series as Dark Souls 3 is scheduled to release early next year.
In our time with the game at E3 we noticed quite a few similarities between Dark Souls 3 and Miyazaki's last game, Bloodborne. If you're a fan of Dark Souls more so than Bloodborne, don't be overly concerned. Dark Souls 3 is still very much a Dark Souls 3, but it does borrow a few aspects from its PS4 cousin. Let's take a look at how Bloodborne and Dark Souls 3 are similar.
The first thing we noticed about Dark Souls 3 is that the combat was much faster pace than what saw in previous Dark Souls games. While it's not as fast as the combat in Bloodborne there's a definite uptick in the pacing compared to Dark Souls 2. No longer will players be able to sit back and battle one enemy at a time. The enemies will attack in groups just like in Bloodborne, and you'll have to fend them off with quick and agile strikes combined with the more powerful blows seen in previous games.
Weapons will have unique abilities such as the ability to break an enemy's guard. Greatswords can launch enemies into the air that essentially creates a juggle combo of sorts. Positioning and timing are key when using these techniques, and while you won't be attacking as swiftly as you might have in Bloodborne, it's definitely faster than any previous game in the Dark Souls series. You can even use a quick short bow attack in the midst of combat.
High-Speed Enemy Encounters
While some enemies would surprise players in previous Dark Souls games, Dark Souls 3 takes this to an entirely new level. Some enemies would hide around corners in Bloodborne, and that was one of the key sticking points from the Dark Souls 3 demo. Around almost every corner an enemy was waiting to ambush the player. If you weren't quick to dodge away, you were going to take some damage.
Many players already take their time as they move through Dark Souls games, but it seems as though Dark Souls 3 will make that even more common. If you try to run through an area in Dark Souls 3, chances are you'll end up with a train of enemies that will be very difficult to handle. It will almost certainly be possible to equip light armor and run through some areas, but it doesn't seem as though it will be nearly as commonplace as it was in previous Dark Souls games.
More Engrossed Levels
Dark Souls 3 will be the first Dark Souls title built from the ground up with current-generation platforms in mind. That automatically means we'll be seeing more expansion level designs. In the Dark Souls 3 demo at E3, everything we could see was an area we could explore at some point in the game. The castle area was massive in scale and was reminiscent of the large areas in Bloodborne.
In the E3 level there was a massive dragon that died at some point and the ashes from its dead body sprinkled through the air the entire time we were in the level. As the level continued we saw that the dead dragon was not the only one of his kind to inhabit the area. We won't spoil anything, but dragons seem to be a key element in Dark Souls 3.
While there's still plenty to learn about Dark Souls 3, it's definitely taking a lot of influence from Bloodborne. The HUD was hidden during the E3 demo, but stamina seemed as though it drained at a rate comparable to Bloodborne more so than previous Dark Souls titles. Stay tuned to Prima Games as we continue to provide coverage on Dark Souls 3, and if you're looking to get into Bloodborne, be sure to check out our free walkthrough of the game.