– Kyle Tander
To start things off let me just admit that I’m not much of a Dark Souls veteran. Until recently I had only ever played the first Dark Souls, but maybe that’s the way it should be. I’ve heard a lot of people say that the third is much more of a sequel to the original than Dark Souls II ever was.
Now let’s talk about the differences between the two. You’re more than likely wondering which one is harder, and so far I would say III. Don’t get me wrong the original Dark Souls game is difficult, it had its fair share of moments of shear agony and rage quitting, such as; Sen’s Fortress and Blight Town. Even though I did end up rage quitting at Sen’s Fortress, I still find that it’s the easiest out of the Dark Souls games I’ve played, to me these moments were a lot simpler to get to and general enemies were a lot easier to overcome. In general Dark Souls III has harder basic enemies as they seem to be a bit more unpredictable, like those goddam knights in the High Wall of Lothric.
Time to talk similarities, and stay with me here, there are quite a few to discuss. The original game tended to have more of sandbox setting were you could walk to all areas from the central hub, or after boss fights, whereas I’ve heard II felt more linear. So far Dark Souls III has that same quality to it as the first, you know, that awful quality that makes you feel like a minnow in a land of giants.
Boss fights are very much cut from the same cloth and are as brutal as ever, if not maybe more so. The Dark Souls boss fights were challenging and made you think on your feet before you made the decision to attack, but they were way easier compared to the bosses in Dark Souls III. The bosses in the third have second stages, where once you get them half way down on health they change tactics and become more aggressive. It’s the kind of game mechanic that gives you nightmares. Which is interesting to mention, because fear seems to be a strong driving force in this game. In most cases bosses look scarier than they actually are, so they psych you out before you even initiate a fight.
The tone of the Dark Souls III has definitely been heavily influenced by Dark Souls, as you feel the same dreadful atmosphere of there being no hope. You are literally thrown into deep end straight away with a boss fight in the first 10–15 minutes.
From what I’ve played it looks like From Software have seen what made some fans upset with Dark Souls II and rectified those problems by making Dark Souls III feel more like the original game. Just remember… when playing Dark Souls III “death is your reward”.