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Dark Souls III has been mercilessly slaughtering an uncountable number of players over the past couple of weeks, but based on the latest round of reviews, people seem to enjoy such a fate.
Forbes gives it a 10/10:
Beyond that, Dark Souls III is a game that harnesses nostalgia masterfully. There's no doubt that this is a game that's as much love letter to fans as anything else. There's a bit more exposition, tons of familiar faces and nods to the original game, and a sense that we're travelling back to a place we haven't been in a long time. There's a sadness to this adventure, but also a kind of joy.
The Verge doesn't score it:
But while Dark Souls III doesn't have as much mystery, it does still have the Dark Souls magic. It lifts elements wholesale from its predecessors, including characters like Andre the blacksmith, but its combat feels crisper, more varied, and after spiritual successor Bloodborne did away with shields, less reliant on cowering behind a giant plank of wood. For a fantasy land of impossible monsters and molten gods, its world also feels coherent, like it's been lived in and imbued with its own secret history.
A.V. Club doesn't score it, either:
We don't yet know whether this will be the last Dark Souls game. Dark Souls III certainly feels like a finale, but that pesky cycle (not to mention the series' financial success) means another adventure is never out of the equation. I'm not so sure how well the series will hold up to another reincarnation. With all the constant recycling of ideas, its flame is starting to fade. Luckily, it was such a magnificent fire to begin with that it's still a roaring success even after a little dwindling.
PC Invasion gives it a 9/10:
Dark Souls 3 has a feel and approach that is, after the triumphant success of the series, undeniably familiar. But when this is a familiar feeling of incredible, last-ditch victories over relentless bosses, delight at the peculiar mannerisms of a new NPC, or gazing in satisfaction over a fabulous vista hinting at pathways through extensive and incredibly rewarding levels, it's a familiarity you want to kindle and cherish like a burgeoning flame. If this is really to be the point where the Dark Souls trilogy concludes, it's doing so with a magnificent, immolating flourish.
GameRevolution gives it a 4.5/5:
Through climactic boss fights, bewitchingly forsaken landscapes, and heightened combat, Dark Souls III meets the lofty expectations of the Soulsborne series. Even with minor issues with linearity, framerate, and the originality of level design, Dark Souls III is an outstanding send-off for a seminal trilogy that has influenced and legitimized difficulty in games with unapologetic force. Its undying flames will be felt forevermore.
EGM Now gives it a 9.0/10:
While it's still impossible on a personal level for me to admit that any of Dark Souls' siblings could better it, when taken as a whole, complete experience, Dark Souls III may be the best chapter of the Souls series that From Software has crafted. A fitting way to end, if that will indeed be the fate of the franchise.
Xbox Achievements gives it an 89/100:
The Dark Souls games remain a high-water mark for the action RPG. Uncompromising, occasionally infuriating, yet constantly rewarding for those with the correct level of patience and dedication, Dark Souls III is a fitting end to a fantastic trilogy.
Digital Spy gives it a 5/5:
There's no arguing that the Dark Souls series has mastered the action RPG genre (though The Witcher 3 is a good alternative with a better story). How does Dark Souls 3 match up to the other games in the series? Well, it certainly surpasses the somewhat shonky Dark Souls 2, but Bloodborne is another matter, standing tall with its coherent, strange and sickly Cthulhian world, and subtle story. Dark Souls 3 must bow its head to its Playstation predecessor - but should be proud that it manages to be a gruelling, challenging adventure, pushing endlessly through horror and weirdness.
Kotaku goes scoreless:
Souls games have always thrived on their sense of mystery. You were never quite sure what to expect around the corner. Dark Souls 3 does its best to reinvent and remix what's come before, but the game is ultimately unable to overcome a feeling of familiarity. Given that we're three games into the series and, really, Demon's Souls makes it four it's not a surprise that fighting dragons, demons, and skeletons isn't nearly as interesting as it was the last time. As a sendoff to the series, Dark Souls 3 is a fine one. It's time for something new.
The Washington Post goes scoreless, too:
With its handsomely-crafted labyrinths and rigorously paced combat, (Dark Souls 3) hits all the notes that aficionados have come to expect. Still, I hope Miyazaki's next creation finds a new way to cut against the grain.
Ars Technica doesn't score it:
Each challenge in Dark Souls 3 requires not just the death-by-death reasoning the series is known for, it requires constant, near-perfect execution. Learning to overcome each new villain was just as challenging and ultimately gratifying as it has been for the past seven years of Souls games. Only now, it left me even more breathless than before, with less time and with fewer hoops to jump through and catch my breath in between.
The Guardian gives it a 5/5:
In truth, Dark Souls is un-replicable precisely because of its individuality. Yes, many of its best moments have been felt in other games through the years: the joyful surprise of opening an unlikely shortcut, the rush of dopamine at defeating a long-standing boss, the thrill of upgrading a character and evening the odds, the sense of aesthetic wonder at a piece of grand architecture. But no game has combined them in such an alluring and memorable way, or with such adherence to cohesive vision. Break apart the whole, and the pieces remain, in many cases, best in class. Dark Souls 3 has the best life-like combat system of any video game, for example. And its cathedrals are unmatched. So too is this trilogy.
TechnoBuffalo gives it a "Buy" rating:
In all, Dark Souls III seems like an appropriate farewell to the series. It brings together various elements of the Dark Souls world, tries to wrap up the story's loose ends without straight-up telling you what's happening, and presents the most mature version of the Dark Souls combat so far.
We Got This Covered gives it a 4.5/5:
For fans and newcomers alike, Dark Souls III is a magnum opus of From Software design. You'll celebrate as bosses fall to your sword, gaze in wonder at the landscape's snowy hamlets and towering cathedrals, scold yourself for losing souls to a bottomless pit or eldritch beast, then grab the controller to relive the nightmare again and again.
GameRant gives it a 4/5:
Like previous games offered by From Software, Dark Souls 3 offers a unique experience that blends subtle storytelling, dark settings, and painfully difficult encounters to stand out from the crowd of other action games. The challenge is well worth the countless deaths and hours of practice for players who have the patience, but is likely one that should be skipped by gamers who prefer to get things right on the first try.
Bit-tech gives it an "Outstanding" rating:
All told, Dark Souls III is an absolutely enthralling experience. It clears up the more obtuse elements of the original, while also delivering a grander, slicker game with a smoother difficulty curve that remains utterly uncompromising in the latter stages. It is also a sequel that reflects on its own impossible position, doing it all it can to build upon the groundbreaking original, while admitting that it cannot break that same ground again. Hence while Dark Souls III may not ascend to the same dizzying heights, it does construct a castle where Dark Souls once climbed, and the results is as good a sequel as you are likely to get.
TrueAchievements gives it a 4.5/5:
Dark Souls is a bit of a "marmite" franchise in the gaming industry. While some absolutely loathe it, others adore it and can't get enough. The series had a rocky road with Dark Souls II and had some fans questioning design decisions, but Dark Souls III has reminded the community of why the series has the reputation it does. The game is an undeniable treat for both eyes and ears, and uncovering the lore as you explore the darkest depths is an experience that is unparalleled in many other games. The new FP gauge and weapon arts are great new features, aiming to excite new players as well as to help veterans to discover new ways of fighting, and these are used to great effect in the incredible boss fights. The game might stumble slightly on the way with occasional difficulty changes and linearity of some areas, but this will be quickly overshadowed by the many things the game gets right. It's a challenge that, when overcome, will invigorate your desire to keep going, and when you do, you will be glad you did. Prepare to die once again, Unkindled One. It's a dangerous world out there.
Arcade Sushi gives it a 9.5/10:
Our return to the Dark Souls series was one steeped in joy, anger, frustration, triumph, fear, and awe. It contains so much of the standard elements and mechanics that play to fans familiar with From Software while introducing nuances that once again raise the bar. Dark Souls III is a world that is absolutely fantastic and worth exploring despite dreary conditions and there's a rich variety of options that cater to whatever playstyle you want to bring to your adventure. There is an occasional lack of variety or oversimplification that comes to the forefront when it comes to enemies or locale, but it is often quickly buried in the amazing visuals, enjoyable gameplay, and rewarding lore of the game. If Dark Souls III is the final visit to this series, then it is the apex the series deserves and certainly one of the most worthwhile adventures we've embarked on in a long time.
The Sixth Axis gives it a 9/10:
Dark Souls III offers more of the same intensely difficult combat, ambiguous overarching story, and some striking locales and bosses in the franchises' history. The only real objective criticism on the PS4 version is that the combat doesn't feel responsive enough thanks to the 30FPS cap and frame drops. Dying in Dark Souls III is part of the territory and if that doesn't faze you, then this is an easy recommendation for those with the patience of a saint.
And Digital Trends gives it a 7.0/10:
Dark Souls III is still tough, but it tries harder than its predecessors to avoid turning players away. For the first time, I'm really enjoying adventuring through a Dark Souls world. I don't feel like the game is preparing to laugh at me with a (gotcha) moment of nonsense difficulty the way the original Dark Souls did, From Software's faster-paced Bloodborne. Some may say Dark Souls III is easier than its predecessors. I prefer to believe that it's smarter.