The recent presentation of Dark Souls III has proven that the series can still draw a lot of attention. For several years, developer From Software has been operating around a fixed pattern, yet each time it manages to transform adult men and women into drooling teenagers. It was no different this time. The presentation of the game in the rooms occupied by Namco Bandai was hosted by no other than Hidetaka Miyazaki himself, the founding father of the series. His presence was a nice touch, especially considering that the developer was recently promoted to CEO of the company, so he could have easily delegated one of his employees to participate in E3. Naturally, him being there is not automatically a guarantee of quality, but it goes to show that Miyazaki still enjoys doing his thing. To me, such an approach has always seemed crucial in the case of Dark Souls.
As for the game itself, which is probably what you're most curious about, it is... well, it’s the next installment in the series. No more, no less – From Software is not preparing any revolutionary changes, but it puts a focus on the evolution of the various elements of the universe it created. Is this method of small steps enough to meet the expectations of the fans and surprise them again? This I don't know yet, but I can say that I am intrigued...
Apocalypse on a completely new scale
Usually, a presentation of a new From Software’s game starts with an outline of the overall premise and plot, and a laconic description of the world. In this case, we only know that the story will revolve around a character known as the Lord of Cinder, who is most likely someone who was able to "link the fire" (like Gwyn from the first Dark Souls). The game world will combine its two essential characteristics: an apocalyptic atmosphere and a “withered beauty". This concept was best exemplified by an image of bizarre, decayed trees morphed together with human bodies, and lit by a faded sun. I could also see a corpse of a dragon. Miyazaki made a remark about most reptiles of this kind ending up dead. Soon, however, we stumbled upon a living one, whose fiery breath effectively prevented our hero from continuing his journey. The Japanese developer said it was his favorite scene – a dragon for a good start to scare the living heck out of the players and singe them a little bit.
As we already know, Dark Souls III is to be the first installment in the series released exclusively on the current-generation consoles as well as PC. For this reason, the developers will be able to expand the scale of locations, and implement new visual effects providing a deeper sense of immersion. The former is not about the game map becoming significantly larger, but rather about its architectural scale and vision. In the demo, we could see a castle with slender, crumbling towers looming in the distance; it’s the same structure that appears in the trailer (this location is called the Wall of Lodeleth). The game is going to restore the principle according to which sooner or later we will reach each point visible on the horizon. Individual areas will also be linked in a manner similar to the one featured in the first Dark Souls, which will surely please those who were disappointed with the "scattered" locations in the second installment.
Dark Souls III at E3
Dark Souls III was not featured in the exhibition halls. In turn, Bandai Namco prepared an installation at the entrance to the event. A scene taken from the game portrayed a character known from the trailer standing over a corpse with a massive sword plunged into its heart. Every now and then, a fountain of black goo would spurt from the wound. Miyazaki, the author of Dark Souls, explained at the presentation that the scene was relevant to the plot of the third part in the series.