How Dark Souls 3 combat is changing post-Bloodborne

Excited for another slice of deliciously-punishing Souls action? Of course you are. And while From Software has confirmed Dark Souls 3 won't be the final entry in the series, it will aim to be the most efficient action-RPG the Japanese studio has ever created. In an excerpt from the latest issue of Edge, the team breaks down how the Gothic PS4-exclusive Bloodborne has fundamentally changed the combat at the heart of the new Souls experience...

There are traces of Bloodborne in the combat, too. While the new hero is no Hunter, he certainly seems more agile than before. The backstep in particular has been sped up, and a longsword is swung more quickly too, with no apparent damage penalty (though enemy health bars – along with the entire HUD – have been disabled here, just as they were at last year’s Bloodborne unveiling).

That increased fluidity is mirrored in the weapon set as well; we find a scimitar on a corpse later in the demo that is, in fact, a pair, and when dual-wielding them, the protagonist strikes with a level of grace and speed unmatched in previous Souls games. They can also be deployed in a spin attack, a tornado of flashing steel that, when properly timed to account for its wind-up animation and correctly spaced to allow for the step forward at the start, can clear a four-strong mob of enemies.

Not all the changes are about hitting hard: the shortbow can now be used to speedily chip away at an enemy’s health from mid-range while locked on (adherents to a rangier, more precise school of archery can stick to the longbow). Overall, there’s been a clear focus on improving the range of attacks at your disposal, and the damage you can dish out.

The latest issue of Edge, with Dark Souls 3 on the cover, is out now. Download it here or subscribe to future issues.