The Souls series is known for its high difficulty and merciless deaths. When you die in the Dark Souls and Demon Souls games, you’re dead. And you have to start over at the most recent bonfire you visited, or, in the case of the opening scene of Dark Souls III, you return to the beginning.
This difficulty is what a large number of masochistic gamers enjoy. Demons Souls came out in 2009. The original Dark Souls took the action role-playing game further in 2011 and became a stand-out hit, selling more than 2 million units. Dark Souls II came out in 2014, and From Software is now ready to launch Dark Souls III. This obsession with harsh death penalties is becoming more common in games, as it separates the lightweights from real the hardcore gamers. I sincerely hope it does not spread further.
Bandai Namco Entertainment will publish the new game on Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One on March 24 in Japan and April 12 in the rest of the world.
I thought I would give the game a try at the recent Xbox spring showcase event in San Francisco. You start the game with a shield, armor, and a heavy sword. The first enemies you come across are zombie-like skeletons armed with swords. I found that they could be killed with one good thrust, but they were surprisingly fast. I could dodge them or raise my shield to block attacks, but even when I did that, they still got through my guard and skewered me.
I recorded my performance at the Xbox event. Here’s a video that shows just how tough it is to stay alive in Dark Souls III.