Fresh from the Gamescom show-floor, we have the first two minutes of live Dark Souls 3 (opens in new tab) gameplay. The footage is brief - quite possibly due to its all-too unofficial and slightly elicit nature - and not exactly of the highest fidelity, but regardless, we can glean rather a few juicy details if we look closely enough. Details like these:
1. Either Dark Souls 3 is incredibly easy (unlikely), or the show-floor demo is set to noob mode (much more likely). The feel of the combat – at least in terms of the damage put out and taken - is very similar to the sort of thing you get when you take a high-level Dark Souls character back to an easier, early area in the game. Look at the length of that character’s health bar. Look how he barely burns any stamina for all the rolling and sprinting he does.
2. The combat techniques used all look fairly Dark-Souls-as-standard. No look at those flashy new stances or attacks here, sadly.
3. That said, the game definitely is faster. The armour that character is wearing would make them at least a medium-weight class, more probably a heavy. Yet they’re running and rolling with a great deal of (relatively) graceful ease. This is particularly noticeable when they pull that backward roll at 1:15. It’s a swift movement, and a lot quicker on start-up than a lot of Dark Souls players might be expecting.
4. Regardless of how over-levelled this character might be for the area, that stamina recharge is really fast. Much more in line with Bloodborne (opens in new tab)’s bar than Dark Souls’ traditional set-up. This is a game that wants you to be moving a lot more than before.
5. The character seems to be using the Balder Side Sword - aka. The Baller Swag Sword – or something very similar to it. That combo of long lunge and swift follow-up slashes, which was borrowed for Bloodborne’s cane, is unmistakable. This is very good news. The Balder Side Sword is a beast. Never leave home without one.
6. In terms of visual environmental design, this easily looks Bloodborne-quality. Even in this grainy, shaky-cam footage, it’s pretty clear that texture detail, lighting, and the sheer sense of scale are all greatly improved from Dark Souls. While the architecture and level geometry here very much evoke the original Dark Souls’ early Undead Burg area, the sense of open airiness feels very similar to somewhere like Bloodborne’s Old Yarnham.7.
7. That said, those spiky spires do lend things a slightly different feel. There’s a certain more refined, gothic feel here, that might well be another influence from Hidetaka Miyazaki’s PS4 exclusive.
8. Footage of this demo was very likely not supposed to make it out of the show. Note how the last words spoken in the clip are along the lines of ‘I am not sure if we are allowed to film’, immediately before the video cuts off. Faceless German attendees, you may have just suffered a stern talking to from a PR, but know that your efforts were worth it.
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