I'm a little obsessed with this series. I'm not someone who delves into the lore of the Souls franchise or reads up on the various meanings and references that Miyazaki and the team at From Software beautifully blend into their games. I'm someone who just adores the feeling of navigating these worlds and learning the layout of the lands like the back of my hand.
What I learn about the plot in the Souls series, I discover for myself in-game. But it's strange, I really don't replay games at all, but I've replayed every Souls game along with Miyazaki's most recent masterpiece, Bloodborne. The gameplay in this series is breathtaking, and From Software's design make Souls one of the most immersive video game franchises ever created. But which is the best? Which title does Dark Souls 3 have to live up to?
Dark Souls 3 & the From Software Legacy
I still remember almost accidentally picking up Dark Souls. I went to my local game store with enough money to purchase a brand new game. I wasn't too sure if there was anything out, but I was in desperate need of something new. There was one copy left of a game called Dark Souls and after looking up its review scores on Wikipedia, I decided that this was obviously a must-buy that had slipped past me.
Upon arriving home I realised why this was such a niche product - it was f%$king hard as hell. I can't remember the exact moment that Dark Souls hooked me, but once it happened, I couldn't stop. I had over 100 hours put into Dark Souls and two playthroughs and I couldn't believe that I wasn't ready to put it down - this was not how I played Video Games. The Souls series is unlike anything out there and every game in the franchise has its own individual worth.
There are so many different games and versions in the Souls series you can purchase along with From Software's other masterpieces, and some of the re-releases feel like new experiences:
- Demon's Souls
- Dark Souls
- Dark Souls: Prepare to Die Edition
- Dark Souls 2
- Dark Souls 2: Scholar of the First Sin
I'm biased when it comes to deliberating the worth of these games and the fact that From Software are making Dark Souls 3. I adore them all and I continuously want more. But I think there's a lot to be said for the first game you play in this series. It's the one that introduces you to the world of Miyazaki's creation that I think you feel more closely linked with.
Therefore, Dark Souls is still my favourite game in this franchise, followed closely by Bloodborne (I really liked the alterations to the original formula). Demon's Souls comes after that, even though I'm in the middle of playing [Dark Souls 2: Scholar of the First Sin](tag:2768294) and I think it's one of the best games you can buy on XBOX One or PS4.
Will Dark Souls 3 Be On Par With Dark Souls 2 With Miyazaki Not Directing?
Dark Souls 2 is the least liked version out of the Souls series. Miyazaki wasn't in charge, merely in a producing role as he worked on Bloodborne, and the game certainly doesn't have the vision and direction that he lends to his works. That being said, Dark Souls 2 is still an exceptional game with review scores that other developers can only dream of. If Dark Souls 3 is only equal to the level of Dark Souls 2 - I'll be totally fine with that.
Be sure to let us know what you think of the Souls series in the comments below! The community around this game are a dedicated bunch and we love to voice our appreciation for From Software's work and Hidetaka Miyazaki's genius!