Dark Souls 3

Much thanks to the YouTube peeps called The Know for spreading the good word. But seriously, can we really believe them that these are actually leaks, and not intended to hype us up? I’m on the latter. But that’s besides the point. Dark Souls 3 is believed to be release next year and a lot of people prolly just shit their pants.

I’m not going to repeat what they’ve “leaked,” as several other websites have already did. Instead, I’ll just pour out some of my thoughts that no one would ever give a damn.

10 Starting Classes

They make it sound as if it’s a big deal. Personally, it isn’t. We’re definitely getting a knight, a sorcerer, a cleric, maybe a pyromancer comeback. Unless they’ve decided to follow Bloodborne’s unique take classes.

12 Locations

Now this is interesting. Locations throughout From Software games have been incredible and fascinating. Rich with lore and dark places to explore, such as New Londo, Heide’s Tower of Flame, and so forth. And in the latest-gen console, we can expect these 12 to be huge and much bigger than the original Dark Souls will ever be.

15 New Bosses

Sounds too few, eh? Dark Souls 2 had a shit ton of bosses, many of them are humanoid douche bags. Bloodborne bosses were, interesting, lore-wise and detail in design, but for some reason they’re missing that flare . Let’s face it, without bias or prejudice, Dark Souls 1 had the best bosses throughout the whole Soul series and Bloodborne. Artorias, Sif, Manus, Gwyn, amazing lore, amazing background music, and an amazing boss to ogle at — I’m looking at you, Quelaag.

45 New Enemies

Those better not be re-skinned hollowed farmers, knights of something-something, and ultra sized machete-wielding trolls. Please, please, make them unique.

60 Minutes of Cutscenes

This, for some reason, seems to be bothering people. From Soft’s games have always delved into minimalist structure, and the one hour worth of in-engine cutscenes makes it sound more story-driven than ever. That has never been the strength of the series we love so much, it’s the minimalist storytelling where the entire community works together to piece the entire puzzle is what gives us this illusion of sophistication that’s so fucking alluring. A story slapped on our faces, doesn’t sound good, indeed. But, I don’t know, maybe each boss will get an intro and we will get to appreciate the locations more when first introduced in a cutscene. Let’s assume each boss and location get a 30-second intro. My math is horrible but I count about 12 minutes at most… yeah, there’s still a lot of time there. Game intro will probably have at least 5 minutes, and we’ll probably get 2 endings with 5 minutes each at most. That’s about 28 minutes total. Some people have speculated that NPCs will get their own cutscene intros. We might as well assume that some bosses might be able to change forms mid-battle and get a cutscene for it. Then there are 15-30 seconds of trigger events. So yeah, I don’t think there’s anything to worry about here.

Something about Sacrifices

Okay, this one actually sounds cool. Dragging bodies and sacrificing them to create bonfires and invade other worlds sounds a whole lot more interesting than just writing “Help Me” on the floor. From this point on, we don’t really know anything and due to the lack of info, I can’t think of anything cool, I just know it will be damn it! Creating bonfires sounds fishy, almost as if to dare players into some trap. This leads me to believe that there are no permanent bonfires throughout the game. We create one bonfire, we’ll keep respawning there, until the next bonfire is made. Or maybe, restarting the game after quitting, would extinguish the bonfire — forcing us to stay in the game without reloading. It’s possible then, restarting after a quit would take us back to a bonfire, instead of the spot we saved and quit. Makes sense since players have been known to exploit save and quit tricks to get out of nasty spots and access shortcuts. It’s almost a nod from the developers, “You don’t fuck with us, we fuck with you.”

Heat Up

Speculation is that Heat Up is similar to Demon’s Souls World Tendencies. How you progressed through the game, would affect certain things. In this case, switching bosses. If this were the case, it works as an advantage for players who cannot beat a boss. Though I imagine the process would be painful. You know how From Soft’s “Risk and Reward” philosophy. It’s also possible that Heat Up is just a term, where bosses actually have a second form — whether they go morphin’ time with low health or they get a new filled up health bar right after the first one depletes to zero — which would be a bullshit experience. Their redeeming factor would be the rematch the boss starts in its second form. And NG+ totally screws that over. But, we’ll see.

Sword Fighting Arts

Basically, we get melee magic, or, actually skills — as in, RPG term “Skill.” This could make the game easier, since, we have a whole new trick up our sleeves. At the same time, it’s worrying how difficult the game will be with the inclusion of this.

What we can hope to expect

— A half-nude chick attached to some morbid motherfucking insect/arachnid.

— Expect handicap matches. Two-in-ones like the Throne Watcher and Defender, Ornstein and Smough, Maneaters and Gargoyle, or three-in-ones like the Ruin Sentinels or the cleverly named Shadows of Yharnam. It’s going to be a bitch if From Soft has come up with something far sinister than anything mentioned so far.

— An epic one-on-one final or penultimate boss battle against a human. Let’s look back a bit, Demon’s Souls had fake Allant, Darky 1 had Gwyn, Darky 2… I don’t know, I’m going to say the Burnt Ivory King. Bloody had Gehrman, or however you spell it.

— A great, vast world, and the more we explore, the smaller it becomes, making it even more awesome.

— More information is believed to be revealed in E3 next week. I will be there. I just hope my sponsors would allow me to wander, and I hope for Wi-Fi access.

— Prepare to die.

Five hours in Yharnam

Bloodborne fucking rocks!

It is the reason to get a PS4, if you haven’t already.

We received the Bloodborne package on Friday night, either as a thank you (for a badly written, prompt game review) or intended as an actual review (which we can’t anymore, cause of the badly written, prompt one) and then we spent the better part of Saturday in the office playing it.

As the headline suggests, I’ve managed to play Bloodborne for a measly five hours. Not enough time. It’s not much game time, but trust me on this, the experience so far has been rewarding. Like, rags to riches kind of reward, emotionally and spiritually – not, physically. Okay, that was a terrible thing to say…

Anyway as much as we can tell, Bloodborne is an unforgiving beast if you’re a slacker. The game requires you to be aggressive, at the same time, tactical in your approach as players are required to balance out offense and evasion as both are limited for a short time. If you’re used to hiding behind shields in previous Souls games, then you’re 100% fucked, so better start dodging good. If you look at it this way, Bloodborne can be the Souls’ training wheels for dodging. But not a great deal, since these two games have different game mechanics.

The city of Yharnam, in a way, is a labyrinth,  a massive puzzle as players run around opening shortcuts, finding treasures, and discovering interconnected routes. While there were games in the past that had been described as having a repetitive level design, grass-grass-oh, a mountain-grass-grass-and-more-fucking-grass, Yharnam doesn’t stray too far. The city’s Gothic feel is pretty much the same, stairs, hallways, and everything else you would see in a city, but by all means, Yharnam is not repetitive, far from it. The city constantly keeps players on the edge. Enemies lurk in corners, and while fending off a frontal attack, there will always be a chance that one or two a-holes have managed to sneak behind the player. Some bosses, such as Father Gas-whatever-you-pronounce-it, who moves in such incredible speed and attacks like a real motherfucker. Just, check out those YouTube vids of that fight. Damn, and that’s only the second boss of the game – or first, depending if you fought the Cleric Beast beforehand.

What I really liked about in the game is the absence of bullshit things to do. You’ve got games like Dragon Age: Inquisition that adds an illusion to game-length by making you run around like a fucking idiot, chasing after shard-thingies or connecting dots to make a picture. Yes, they yield rewards too, but they’re like payments after a job you hate. Collecting them is like collecting stale checks where you need to undergo a couple of headaches to fix. The very least, the blood shards, the gems, and all the stuff you just happen to pick up in Bloodborne, are all wonders that can be used immediately that makes a huge damn difference. That extra 1.5% damage increase from an item you just found? Worth it. Collecting useless shit for two hours to gain that 20-40% elemental resist? … Maybe worth it, in the long run, but those hours spent doing basically nothing, is never worth it. Bloodborne is brutal and relentless, but with mercy, their reward system is fast and efficient without making the experience a chore.

I’m not really sure how to close this post. So, here’s something from YT, the OST of the first/second boss of the game. Also, this game seems to have drawn influence from Lovecraft, which is always sweetens the pot.