I’ve said this before but it bears repeating: I don’t speak a word of Japanese. Because of this, i have no idea what the two commentators are saying. If any Japanese readers feel like adding context, feel free to add a comment below. With that out of the way…
There hasn’t been a proper “thief” class in the souls games since the original (Dark Souls 2 had a “bandit” class instead, though i’m not sure how the two differ) which may be why it was chosen to be the point of focus for this video. Or maybe it could be the best example of how Dark Souls 3 plays with and against the advancements From made when making Bloodborn.
Too understand my thoughts on this footage, you need to understand how i felt about the game before watching this. See, while i’ve always been excited for this game, upon my first impressions it looked like From was beginning to suffer from annualization. I wasn’t too happy with Dark Souls 2, and while Bloodborn seemed to have been far better (i still haven’t played it yet.) releasing it only the year after felt like a bad move to me. And here we are, the next year with a new Souls game on the horizon. And first impressions of the game didn’t help. Early game play footage showed obvious copy and past blood effects from Bloodborn (i said i didn’t play it, not “i haven’t obsessively watch game play footage”) and the combat looked faster and less methodical that previous games. While none of this made Dark Souls 3 look bad, it did make it seem like the franchise was loosing it’s luster and would soon fall into the same rut as Call of Duty and Assassins Creed.
So, did this footage change my opinion? A bit, yeah. By focusing on a faster/more nimble character, From seems to be trying to show how this new installment in the franchise will learn from Bloodborn, as well as how they plan on keeping it rooted in the Souls tradition. One of the main complaints i’ve heard people level at Dark Souls is that it’s combat is clunky. I agree to a point, but not to the extent that i’d hold it against the game. However, i’ve heard from a few of these people (most notably Joe Parlock of Destructoid) say Bloodbourn helped them understand the appeal of the Souls games (although Parlock still holds he doesn’t “like” the series. Didn’t stop him from going back and beating both Dark Souls 1 and 2 though). From this footage it looks as if From have taken the smoothness of that games combat and put it in here more to counter than complaint from being issued hear as well, more than just adding it in because it would be easier than recreating Dark Souls 1’s combat. However, this also looks like it’s going back to the more defensive game play Dark Souls had. You don’t seem to regain health by attacking like in Bloodborn, which encouraged players to press the attack in that game. While the speed has defiantly increased, i’m happy to see that it doesn’t seem like from is just palette swapping their games like too many publishers have been doing in order to release a new game ever year. No, from the looks of this this is a game informed by its predecessor, but made by a team that knows both what’s makes the two franchises different and what parts of those differences make each franchise special. And as this is a faster character, maybe this is just meant to be the most similar to Bloodborn in order to attract fans from one franchise to the next, and thus your basic “Knight” and “Warrior” classes may help reinforce the idea that Dark Souls 3 wont be just “Medieval Bloodborn” the same way Bloodborn wasn’t simply “Victorian Dark Souls”. We wont know for sure how the game is until we get our hands on it, so look forward to this being release March 26 while i cry in a corner over not being able to afford a PS4 yet.
Edit: in a recent conversation Joe Parlock stated that while he still thinks his original criticisms of the Souls games hold true, he wouldn’t say he doesn’t like the games anymore. This was an error on my end, my apologies.