Posted February 11, 2017 by Adam Ghiggino in Feature

Dark Souls III: The Ringed City Preview

Dark Souls III was one of last year’s best games, and like the rest of its series’ ilk, it has enjoyed some substantial post-release content. First came the DLC Ashes of Ariandel late last year, and now April will bring us The Ringed City, which promises a more open-ended adventure to complement the rather linear previous DLC.

The titular Ringed City itself is not the entirety of the new content, as this DLC is billed as a journey to that end location. As the press release states, ‘a lone adventurer descends into the madness of the earth and uncovers the secrets of the past. As players make their way to the fabled Ringed City they will encounter ancient beasts, a new cast of characters teetering on the edge of insanity, new armor, weapons, magic, and at the bottom of it all, a long lost city filled with new horrors for players to overcome.’

While I only had the day at Bandai Namco’s offices to get through several games, I didn’t have the time to really sink my teeth into The Ringed City as much as I certainly will upon its release. I was able to make it through a portion of the opening area, the Dreg Heap, and load up a save to see the bog around the Ringed City itself. The new environments themselves are certainly extremely impressive – from the twisted architecture of the Dreg Heap that continues Dark Souls III‘s apocalyptic themes, to the massive expanse of the city itself, seemingly carved into the walls of a huge valley, of which I only explored a fraction.

The new enemies were the standout of my playthrough, continually genuinely surprising me with their appearance, tactics and moveset. A giant, lumbering figure in robes stalks the wastes around a sinking city – while imposing it seems defenseless on its own, until you begin attacking and realise it can spawn spectral enemies to combat you, from single warriors to small armies of archers. Smaller, crawling enemies scuttle around until you approach them, when they suddenly mutate to grow wings and rush you, necessitating a quick takedown. Another enemy type is a variation on the wizards from previous titles, this time casting volleys of poison gas and other spells in waves as you weave and dodge around them.

Eerie, almost unnoticeable faces peer up at you as you cross tar pits – itself an unsettling image, until you make the mistake of getting close to one of them, as they suddenly emerge from the bog as insect-like monstrosities, that are very dangerous in packs  once they surround you. Creepier still, allowing one of them to grab you is a fatal mistake, as they hold your character in a death grip as they sip their life essence, moaning “I WILL PARTAKE.”

Multiple paths and options were open to me that I couldn’t take due to my limited time with the game, but as always with Dark Souls you can expect all new challenges, from seemingly-impossible jumps to cryptic mysteries and tantalising pieces of lore. Speaking of lore, I’m keen to know more about the Ringed City armor set, which glows with ember while a hole in its chest burns away continuously – it’s very cool.

Dark Souls III: The Ringed City certainly has a lot of surprises and challenges for Dark Souls III owners, looking to complete the experience with what could be the final Dark Souls title in a while, as From Software have indicated. If you’re only now looking to get into the game, it might be worth looking for Dark Souls III: The Fire Fades Edition which will include the original game plus both DLC expansions. The Ringed City is out on 28 March, 2017, while The Fire Fades Edition hits stores on 21 April, 2017 on PS4, Xbox One and Steam.

Adam Ghiggino

Owner, Executive Editor of Rocket Chainsaw. I also edit TV, films and make average pancakes.


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