If you're anything like me, then you (a) salivate at the prospect of getting frustrated, bloodied, and ultimately obsessed with Dark Souls 3 (and can't wait until next week for it) and (b) you've sold most of your worldly possessions for lifetime supplies of Cheetos and girl scout cookies. If the binge eating part applies to you, then I would suggest therapy, it did wonders for me. If however you do still have a few pennies to rub together and you absolutely can't wait until next week for Dark Souls 3, then here are a few games that should scratch that itch.
Dragon's Dogma (Xbox 360, PS3, PC)
While Dragon's Dogma may not have the signature difficulty that the Souls games are famous for, it's atmosphere aesthetics seem to jump out from the same storybook. Much like the Souls series of games, Dragon's Dogma is the child of Western mythology and a Japanese development team; the clean and elegant creatures that typically inhabit works of high fantasy are gone, and their dirty, dark, and creepy counterparts have come to replace them.
Dragon's Dogma offers a wide range of ways to play, including the three traditional fantasy classes (warrior, mage, and rogue) and the ability to cross-breed those classes, allowing the player to be a sword-wielding mage or a warrior with a bow. The game's pawn system also allow you to create your own AI companion and for you to recruit three other companions that other Dragon's Dogma players have created.
If you're looking to satisfy your need for an open-world game with a dark fantasy theme, then definitely give Dragon's Dogma a look.
Lords of the Fallen (Xbox One, PS4, PC)
Lords of the Fallen clearly draws a lot of influence from Dark Souls, but tones down the difficulty for a wider audience; enemies aren't quite as deadly, the player isn't so weak, and the game even allows for bonus multipliers of the game's currency at times. The game is like a more flamboyant version of Dark Souls; the hero is bigger and meatier, the enemies have a more extreme character design, and the story is even more obtuse.
Lords of the Fallen is like a hamburger, and Dark Souls is a bit like a cut of filet mignon. Of course hamburger isn't quite as refined and tasty and a nice cut of steak, but a good burger will certainly satisfy the carnivore inside of you.
The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings (Xbox 360, PC)
Even though The Witcher 3 is out and winning over pretty much everyone, Dark Souls players should feel a bit more at home in this more linear chapter of Geralt's story.
Much like the other games on this list, Assassins of Kings is a bleak and dismal fantasy adventure that follows the witcher Geralt of Rivia through some of his adventures with witches, crazy kings, and slime monsters that live in your flooded basement.
Many may call The Witcher 2's combat system clunky, and many are definitely right. At first all of the rolling and parrying may put off some series newcomers, but after a few hours you start to get the hang of it any every fight with even the weakest of enemies can get your adrenaline pumping. Taking on hordes of enemies is nigh impossible in this game; picking off your foes one or two at a time is crucial for survival. Any Dark Souls player worth his salt will feel right at home here.