Dark Souls 3 E3 Info

I just got done watching the E3 demo of Dark Souls III. Miyazaki narrated but his assistant played through the starting area of the game. Our journey began in a place called “Wall of Lodeleth“, which was a castle-like area that looked similar to the Boletarian Palace from Demon’s Souls. Initial impressions are striking: the art style of the game looks very much like Bloodborne and we are rather sure the game runs on the exact same engine and there are shared assets.

When asked about FPS, Miyazaki confirmed that the game will run on 30FPS

We progressed through the level fighting undead warriors, knights, a Stone Dragon and the first boss named “Dancer of the Frigid Valley“. The setting is familiar and the enemies have that slight deja-vu effect from a distant memory: The undead warriors were very similar to those in Undead Burg in Dark Souls, and the knights were wearing shiny silver armor that and fought somewhat like the Black Knights from Dark Souls. But it wasn’t until we got to a bridge that the true feeling of Dark Souls settled in: Out of nowehere, a Stone Dragon landed atop a wall in front of us and burnt the many undead to ashes, also blocking the player’s way and forcing him into an unexpected detour he was not ready for.

Miyazaki: “I like to place dragons early on the game”

 

We doubled-back down and into a tower where the torch was lit as visibility was very low, slowly progressing through the castle. A new enemy type with a familiar trick: his torso distorted into a black cobra in an ultimate merge between Sen’s Fortress enemies and Bloodborne’s Vipers. Finally we arrived to a heavy door guarded by two Knights, one spear and the other sword. After defeating them and pushing the door open in a very similar way to Bloodborne’s chalice dungeons, we entered the boss arena for the Dancer of the Frigid Valley. A cutscene showed her dropping into the area where the player was as the doors ominously closed behind her.

The excellent music score and its intensity set the mood for the fight. The boss stood hunched over, almost like an invisible manikin wearing armor. It wielded a flame scimitar and its moveset will remind Game of Thrones fans of a “Water Dancer”. A silhouette trailed behind her marking her swings – I can honestly say she wasn’t like any other Souls boss I have seen. The environment effects were impressive: everything struck by the flame scimitar was set on fire, even the pillars in the area, including the player. The player carried on with a sword and shield combo (yes, shields are back!), and at around 50 percent health the Dancer added an “Ash Scimitar” to her offhand: pulled from right out of the ground and started to spin with them in a flowing whirlwind, absolutely annihilating MIyazaki’s assistant. That concluded the demo.

The following are some of the notable highlights that I think the Souls community would be particularly interested in:

 

Story & World Design

The story in Dark Souls 3 revolves around the “Lord of Cinder“, his resurrection and the Dark Hero trying to defeat him. (A later interview with Miyazaki clarified Lord of Cinder is a general title and there are Lords of Cinder)

When asked about the Lord of Cinder being directly connected to Dark Souls I or II (we’re all thinking Gwyn right?) we were given a very vague answer which essentially meant “It will be open for the player to decide“. We were also given the impression that the story of Dark Souls III would not be directly linked to the previous titles, but again be open to interpretation.

A new feature, epitaphs, are the lore notes of Dark Souls III. These tiny gravestones of fallen knights can be found through out the game and once lit will allow the players to read the epitaphs inscribed on them. Epitaphs tell you about the lore of the game:

This knight fought for the Lord of Cinder

World interconnectivity is completely back. Everything is once again completely connected, as was the case in Dark Souls I. Everything you can see you will be able to explore and go to.

Miyazaki stated that he personally has taken over the world design for the game, and there will be no world hub.

 

Combat & Mechanics

The combat is very similar to that of previous Souls titles, but there are some new improvements, Weapon Arts. First off is “Stances“. It seems that several weapons in the game have Stances that allow for powerful attacks when used. In the demo we saw the Straight Sword have what is called the “Ready Stance“. In this Stance the player holds the Straight Sword in a two-handed fashion (putting away his/her shield) and holds the sword up like a Samurai holding a katana. The hilt is held back by the head of the player with the tip of the blade pointing directly forward. The player was able to Guard Break two shield-wielding enemies with the attack from this Stance. This was the only Stance shown in the demo.

The Greatsword had a new move called a “Lunge” where you hold the blade in two hands and quickly lung forward about half a foot with your shoulder and then can attack quickly with a slicing uppercut that can knock enemies into the air. The Lunge allowed the player to gain iframes through the incoming attack and then punish the attacker with a devastating blow. It was difficult to tell if he actually iframed or not as no health bars were shown on the screen and the player was not staggered during the enemy’s swing.

Certain weapons can be dual wielded. The ones we saw in the demo were called “Legion Scimitars“. The player could wield one and a shield or swap to one in each hand. These swords appear to only be 1 item and therefore should only take up 1 slot in your inventory, even though you can use two. It wasn’t 100% clear, but it sounded like duel wielding is not unique to weapons you find this way, and that these were only one example. The player was able to use a skill called “Spin” while duel wielding that sort of looked like a mini blade tornado and effectively killed 4 enemies at once with it. But it appears to have a delay from the time you start it until the time it fires off, thus making anticipating when to use it key to its effectiveness since the player was staggered when hit on his first attempt to use it.

Bows completely got a revamp. You can now effectively use the Short Bow in close range combat. If fires quickly and is nearly instantaneous.

Miyazaki: “Using the short bow is a bit like being like Legolas in Lord of the Rings. Ok, I’m probably exaggerating a little.”

The Long Bow on the other hand, will have a longer draw, will hit harder and be more effective from range. There were no skills or Stances shown with this weapon so I do not know what they are.

One important thing to note here is that enemies can use Weapons and Stances just like the player. This makes the combat more intense and more difficult as they tend to do it unpredictably. And, Parries and Backstabs looked (graphically) nearly identical to Dark Souls II and are also in the game once again. The timings of them may be speculated to be more alike Dark Souls, but we’ll know more during the hands-on demo in Germany

One of the recurrent complains about recent Souls titles have been the lackluster upgrades. When asked about the upgrade system:

Miyazaki: The upgrade system will be an improved version of Dark Souls II

What that means exactly is anyone’s guess.

We also got to see some Gestures return to the game along with the fan favorite “Praise the Sun“, similar to Dark Souls II. I know you will all love that 🙂

 

 Online and Multiplayer

Co-op and PvP are of course back. Players will summon one another the same way they have in previous Souls titles, through the use of Signs.

Miyazaki said that the matchmaking for co op and PvP will be based on Soul Level. I specifically asked Miyazaki during the demo if Soul Memory would be in the game and it was reiterated that Soul Level will be the only criteria for matching players. There will also be no Dueling Arena and when asked whether there will be unique multiplayer PvP mechanics, Miyazaki said there will be “unique” ones for sure.

No info was given about the Hollowing mechanic seen in the previous two titles, except that it would be slightly different this time around. No details about how.

Summary

The game looks to be a lot like a hybrid between Dark Souls and Bloodborne, if only artistically. The combat is not Bloodborne, there are no dashes or fastness,  this is Dark Souls II movement speed and timings. The improvements to the combat system should make Souls combat more interesting than ever before and help it keep up with the frenetic pace of Bloodborne that we’ve all come to love. The matching of players by Soul Level once again will give many piece of mind and I know we all love the connected world from the first game (as well as Bloodborne). I have no data on Hollowing except that it will be in the game and “improved”. No magic, miracles, hexes or devices were shown.

 

I hope I covered everything. We have more follow up and another demo, so if you guys have questions post them in the comments and we will answer them as soon as I can.


 

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Senior Editor at Fextralife. I enjoy gaming, playing and watching sports, cooking yummy food, watching a good movie and hanging out with Fex.Find more of my posts

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35 comments on “Dark Souls 3 E3 Info”

  1. goober0331 says:

    OK two things:

    1. Article says it is Dark Souls 2 backstab and parries, does that mean there is the backstab window Dark Souls 2 style where you can wiff and get air, and are parries something you have to predict (Dark Souls 2) more than it being instant?

    2. Article says Dark Souls 2 movement speed and timing, so does that mean the movement was rather "floaty", does the player actually have complete control over directing their attacks like in Demon Souls, Dark Souls, and Bloodborne, or was it Dark Souls 2 where it was incredibly inconsistent?

  2. Avatar Castielle says:

    1. This is in reference to the animation. I have not played so no data about the rest.

    2. The movement speed looked consistent with other From Souls games. Again I have not played so I don’t know how it "feels".

    Cas

  3. goober0331 says:

    OK well, Demons and Dark 1 both felt very different to Dark 2, thanks for the reply.

    Any more info on the lack of a hub world? That would be completely new.

  4. Avatar Alkaiser says:

    Did they show off bonfires and other sacrificial stuff?

  5. Avatar Fexelea says:

    They showed one bonfire by lighting it but no menu. Some people don’t realize the hud is deactivated during the demo to avoid spoilers of names and mechanics. Was in Bloodborne too. You have an option in menu to turn it on and off if you wish, which was confirmed by Miyazaki

    There is no world hub, it works exactly like Dark Souls – one large interconnected world.

  6. Avatar DarkNoobz says:

    oh geez. well i hope they decide to make a 3rd IP that is a hybrid between Demons Souls (i think i want that….) and Dark Souls 2. A challenging yet accessible game. I am going to dearly miss Soul Memory and World Hubs.

  7. Avatar BlitzKeir says:

    Interesting, so it’s TOTALLY open now. No hub… no safe haven. Knowing that, it makes sense that you can "sacrifice" to create a bonfire. So you’ll be constantly bleeding resources, huh? I wonder how you restock. Are there bonfires already set in the world? If you can summon one, it stands to reason that there are fewer, especially since "only embers remain". Is there a means of healing besides bonfires? The interconnectedness of the world will be super important now.

    Man, that alone excites me.

  8. Avatar DarkNoobz says:

    Can you give any info if we will be able to free warp like dks2 or have super annoying restricted warping like dks1?

  9. Avatar Castielle says:

    There was one already there (bonfire) in the demo. You still have your Estus Flasks to heal :)

    Cas

  10. Avatar Castielle says:

    No data :/

    Cas

  11. addseo1115 says:

    Interesting posts.
    Thanks for posting.
    Glad to see your posts.

  12. Avatar Argetlam350 says:

    One thing I find interesting, after reading through IGN’s interview of the off hand gameplay, is that they asked about the Giant at the end of the trailer we saw and Miyazaki simply refers to it as the Lord of Cinder. Perhaps Lord Gywn’s soul has returned again like the lord souls did in Dark Souls 2?

  13. Avatar Carphil says:

    Thanks for answering our questions!

    I’m a bit dissapointed to know that combat is more similar to DS2 than Bloodborne, but I won’t lose hope until I actually see some gameplay hahaha

    Again, thanks for sharing!

  14. Avatar DarkNoobz says:

    It shouldn’t surprise you. The game is called Dark Souls 3, not Bloodborne 3 :laughing:

    No joke though, these two IP’s were never meant to be the same.

  15. Avatar Carphil says:

    Yeah, I guess I just don’t enjot DS2 combat system too much, it feels a bit clunky

    DS1 had a slow, but more realistic feel, the way the character swings the weapons and all, DS2 feels too "artificial"

    I just really enjoyed they way they handled BB combat, fast and agressive

    in DS2 I feel like the only times I get hit its when I run out of stamina or the enemy delays too much their attack so I can’t time the dodge, it does not feel so realistic. Anyway this is obviously just my opinion and personal preferences. I’m sure DS3 will be a fantastic game and if they keep going on the same line as DS1 I will most certainly buy it :)

  16. Avatar DarkNoobz says:

    I just really feel like they should have called dks2 "Adventure Souls" and it would have gotten a lot less hate. It’s like Silent Hill 4, it’s not even a silent hill game originally. it just adopted the Silent Hill name to sell units.

    You know? :tongue:

  17. Avatar NPC_invader says:

    Are you a bot? some of your posts look like something a bot would generate.

  18. Freequebec86 says:

    Did you had info for Bloodborne expansion ?

    and sad about no dueling arena :( why ? It was good!

  19. Avatar Castielle says:

    I just came from the Sony party and spoke with Playstation, Sony Japan and From Software. All I got was no one seemed sure, just sometime later this year.

    Cas

  20. Freequebec86 says:

    Thx and damn :(. I was hoping for release real soon.

    Ohhhh well, i didnt re-bought DsK 2, maybe i will now!

  21. Avatar DarkNoobz says:

    Did From confirm that DkS3 will have the Bottemless Box Glitch as a feature in the game again?

  22. Avatar Shadeon says:

    How many gargoyles can we expect to face this time around?

  23. Avatar BlitzKeir says:

    There are five sets of five gargoyles in different colors. You can capture them and make them battle other gargoyles. Gargoyle Souls: Battlemon!

  24. Avatar Shadeon says:

    Or perhaps a Voltron made entirely out of gargoyles?

  25. Plouto777 says:

    No hub huh?
    GOOD, now I only wish they bring back acid urns :twisted:


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