-The game is coming to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in 2016. PC is also listed, but is accompanied by the word “negotiable.”
-The game will support “1-4 players,” meaning it’s possible you can summon more than one friend or there might be a player-versus-player element.
-10 playable classes, all available from the beginning of the game.
-45 new enemies, 15 new bosses. Characters and monsters from previous games are not included in that count.
-100 new weapons and 40 new armor sets with returning equipment not counted in that number.
-60 minutes of cutscenes, mostly in engine, rather than pre-rendered.
-There will be around 12 areas in the game.
-Will change the way you interact with players online. You’ll now participate in “Sacrifice Ceremonies.” You can drag bodies around, choose where to sacrifice them, perform the ritual, and visit another player’s game. Doing this makes you a target for other players. These will also change your game, such as a sacrifice creating a bonfire at the location you choose to sacrifice the body.
-Light sources and enemy layouts have been changed.
-Boss battles have a new “Heat Up” factor that “completely change” boss battles based on undescribed factors.
The game will add “Sword Fighting Arts,” which including “Rush In” and “Circle.” The former is a sacrifice attack that allows you to dive into an opponent and take damage while delivering a huge hit, while the latter sounds like a dodge move.
This follows an earlier rumor that Dark Souls 3 would appear at E3, the video game industry trade show happening June 16-18, 2015, and later launch on Xbox One, PS4, and PC. When contacted for additional information, publisher Bandai Namco declined to comment.
Dark Souls 3 Mixes the Best Elements of its Predecessors (Interview)
The Polygon team is joined by Michael Chang and Nicholas O'Leary of Namco to discuss how Dark Souls 3 will evolve from its predecessors.
BY CHLOI RADAfter almost two months with nothing but the hands-off E3 demo to refer to, it felt great to finally play Dark Souls 3 last week. It's as tough and engaging as ever, but unfortunately, access to attributes, stats, inventory, and other info panels were barred off, and everything was super simplified to streamline the preview process. There was no way to check up on things like equipment load and poise, how the heavily speculated bonfire mechanic will be implemented, or even how hollowing and humanity work.
While the demo did an otherwise incredible job showing off the web-like level design, tone, and grandeur of Dark Souls 3's world, it left a lot to be desired in the way of Dark Souls' more technical aspects. It’s still very early, so that’s forgivable, but until we learn more, here’s a list of the things we know and the things we want to know about Dark Souls 3.
Things We Know
1. Combat is quicker...maybe
As those who saw the gameplay trailer from Microsoft’s Gamescom conference might have observed, combat in Dark Souls 3 is notably quicker, but it’s more Demon’s Souls than Bloodborne. There’s nothing like Bloodborne’s regain system to encourage you to play aggressively, so even with a dex build, that shield will still be your friend. Rolling is fast, sure, but I have to wonder if this is simply for the sake of the demo, given how simplified everything else was.
2. Weapon Arts add new moves
The newest addition to combat in Dark Souls 3 is Weapon Arts, special attacks that can be used by getting into the Ready Stance with the controller’s left trigger. The spinning attack with the dual scimitars seen in the Gamescom trailer is an example of this, as well as the image leaked before E3 that depicts the player character performing an upward swipe that thrusts enemies into the air. Based on a number in the upper left corner, Weapon Arts as they are now is a limited resource, like Estus Flasks, which reload at bonfires.
3. Critical attacks intact
Shields are affected by the new Weapon Arts mechanic. In order to use Weapon Arts, you need to either two-hand a weapon or equip a “Kite / Round Shield” in the left hand. Instead of shield bashing, using the left trigger with the larger shield causes your character to emit a powerful blast of energy as they enter the Ready Stance, which stuns nearby enemies. You can see this in the Gamescom trailer. If you want to parry, you’ll need to have a “Small Shield” equipped. The shield classifications are in quotes because it’s unclear to what extent the shields in Dark Souls 3 will be limited in this regard.
Finally, backstabbing: it’s back, and the animations are similar to, but more fluid than, the backstabs in Dark Souls 1. All of this combines to form a combat system that feels comfortably in line with what I want from a Souls game, but still excitingly new in a way that doesn’t remove from the core of what makes doing battle in this world so complex and satisfying.
4. Levels are interconnected
If the Wall of Lodoleth area I explored is any evidence, coupled with Miyazaki’s own promise back during E3, then the world of Dark Souls has returned to its carefully-crafted interwoven self. My trek from the first bonfire to the demo’s boss lead me up and down narrow stone stairways and decrepit ladders, along sunny rooftops, and into dark basements, all filled with armed hollows and hostile knights of all sizes and strengths. At one point, I found a shortcut to the boss that involved jumping down a ledge onto a wooden plank overlooking a war-torn plaza, and then rolling past the two knights guarding the boss room. Another player I spoke to found a different shortcut, apparently involving an elevator that I never located.
Missing these things didn’t feel like a loss to me, but a plus for Dark Souls 3. After being left disappointed by Dark Souls 2’s abrupt and relatively linear levels, Dark Souls 3’s return to branching, layered, maze-like worlds is one of the most exciting things I can name about this upcoming sequel. I’m happy to know that when Dark Souls 3 launches, there will be plenty more for me to do and see in the massive castlescape of Lodoleth and beyond.
Another thing that’s exciting to see is the use of Bloodborne-style fog walls. In Bloodborne, the gothic counterpart to the Souls games, boss rooms aren’t marked by fog walls the first time you encounter them. Like Bloodborne, the fog wall in Dark Souls 3’s demo only appears once you’ve triggered the boss, but have not defeated it. I loved the unpredictability and horror that stumbling unknowingly into a boss added to Bloodborne, so the possibility that this could be carried over to Dark Souls 3 is exciting.
5. You probably won’t be building all the bonfires
It seems a big point of speculation and even concern is the bonfire-making mechanic. This hasn’t been demonstrated yet beyond a cinematic in the Dark Souls 3 Gamescom trailer. In any case, like previous Souls games, bonfires in Dark Souls 3 are still pre-existing checkpoints that you can light and rest at. In my playthrough, there were two – the starting one and a second that I found later. Like I mentioned earlier, though, elements like leveling up, hollowing, and humanity were not on display in the preview, so the only function the bonfire had in this demo version was to refill Estus Flasks. Beyond that, we can’t confirm much.
Speaking of fire, torches work the way they do in Bloodborne. You don’t need to light them from an existing source and they won’t go out after a limited time. Praise the Sun!
Things We Want to Know
1. How will multiplayer work?
Co-op and PvP are huge parts of Dark Souls so there’s no doubt they’ll make a return in Dark Souls 3, even if Miyazaki hadn’t confirmed it himself at E3. But will there be anything new about the way multiplayer works? Will Dark Souls 2’s Soul Memory system carry on in Dark Souls 3? What kind of co-op and PvP-focused covenants can we expect?
2. Will there be dungeons?
Chalice Dungeons were a new and interesting way for players to farm for items, fight optional bosses, and engage in jolly cooperation with their friends in Bloodborne. Will a similar system be implemented in Dark Souls 3, or perhaps even something new altogether? Maybe something similar to the Battle of Stoicism?
3. What kind of attributes can you level?
Attributes differed slightly between the first and second Dark Souls, and in spiritual successor Bloodborne. We haven’t gotten a look at any stats screens for Dark Souls 3, so we’re not sure how leveling works yet. There’s no reason to believe anything has changed significantly from previous Souls games in this department, but with the possible bonfire-building mechanic and the new Weapon Arts system, who knows what From Software has in store?
4. What’s up with bonfires?
Seriously, how does that bonfire-making mechanic even work? Will you get limited-use fireplace pokers to create them, and how will created bonfires differ from pre-existing ones? How does the ability to create a bonfire tie in with Dark Souls lore about Firekeepers? Will player-created bonfires provide special boosts that normal ones won’t? Can you still warp between bonfires, and will the ability be earned? Will there be a hub world players need to return to in order to level up, like in Dark Souls 2, or can we level up at the bonfires again?
5. How does humanity and hollowing work?
You could talk endlessly about Dark Souls lore, but no matter your fan theory, we know a few things for sure: the flame is going out again, the Undead curse is still a thing, and there are hollows everywhere. In the demo I played, dying and returning to the bonfire didn’t make you go hollow, but I think it’s safe to assume this was part of the super simplified preview build.
At this relatively early stage, there are still a ton of things we can ask and speculate about: how many bosses? What kinds of status effects? How many ring slots? Pyromancy? Spells? Covenants? Returning characters? Estus-only healing, or do Lifegems make a return? Weapon durability? Starting classes? What’s with the little Solaire symbol in the top left corner?
Dark Souls 3 Release Date Revealed for Japan - GS News Update
From Software announces release date for the latest entry in the Souls series, but we're still waiting to hear about the western and PC date!