Dark Souls III Articles RSS Feed | GameSkinny.com Dark Souls III RSS Feed on GameSkinny.com https://www.gameskinny.com/ en Launch Media Network Guy Plays Dark Souls 3 Using Nothing But Raw Meat https://www.gameskinny.com/7ytsq/guy-plays-dark-souls-3-using-nothing-but-raw-meat https://www.gameskinny.com/7ytsq/guy-plays-dark-souls-3-using-nothing-but-raw-meat Thu, 27 Jun 2019 17:04:21 -0400 Jonathan Moore

The input lag was fierce, but popular YouTuber Damien Haas proved that Dark Souls can, in fact, be played and, to some extent, beaten with any input device.

In this case, Dark Souls 3 with little giblets of raw meat. 

While others have beaten Dark Souls using a steering wheel, a Guitar Hero controller, a fishing rod, and even a pair of bananas, Haas decided that since players essentially "play as a zombie" in the Dark Souls games, using meat as an input source was only fitting.

With the power of a Makey Makey invention kit, which can turn damn near anything into a keyboard/controller, Haas set out on his journey. 

Initially, the goal was defeating the game's tutorial boss, Iudex Gundyr, a hefty task for some even with a controller. Things were made more challenging by slippery paper plates and no way of easily remembering which piece of meat did what. 

But, according to Haas, the absolute worst was that the "meat smells like ass." 

I won't spoil much more because it's truly an amazing example of man's ingenious ingenuity and persistent persistence.

When Haas isn't literally beating meat to Dark Souls, he's busy lending his voice to games like Grand Theft Auto V and Fortnite. On top of that, he's a permanent member of the wildly popular Smosh Fam, and makes appearances on Smosh Gaming's YouTube channel

There's no denying that Dark Souls players are some of the most masochistic gamers on the planet. Many, having beaten each of the games dozens of times, seek out creatively absurd ways by which to experience the soul-crushing ARPG franchise. 

Earlier this year, ATwerkingYoshi beat the entirety of Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice on a set of Donkey Kong bongo drums. 


Dark Souls 3 Discarded Bonfire and Ceremony Systems Discovered https://www.gameskinny.com/au3zl/dark-souls-3-discarded-bonfire-and-ceremony-systems-discovered https://www.gameskinny.com/au3zl/dark-souls-3-discarded-bonfire-and-ceremony-systems-discovered Sat, 01 Dec 2018 17:57:21 -0500 William R. Parks

Over the years, FromSoftware's Soulsborne games have fostered a particularly dedicated fan base — one filled with players that are committed to scouring their favorites games for every piece of available lore. Some, like YouTuber Lance McDonald, have taken this a step further, tapping into game files and old builds to be certain that no stone has been left unturned, and he has recently uncovered more from Dark Souls 3.

In his latest video, McDonald showcases a "Cult Death" system (from an alpha version of the game), which was not included in Dark Souls 3's retail release. Under this system, some enemies would trigger a "Cult Death" upon being slain, which would have allowed players to drag the corpse throughout the map.

Further, if the player had joined a "Cult," another mechanic excised before the game's release, they would be able to perform a ceremony and create a "Cult Bonfire" within the corpse. Seemingly, "Cult Bonfires" were to have a similar functionality to the Bonfires fans of the series are familiar with, but the ability to place them at locations of a player's choosing is not like anything featured in any of the "Soulsborne" games.

This is not all that McDonald has unearthed, however, as his video outlines a completely new type of player-built Bonfire with a unique functionality. Using a "Ceremony Sword," players could invite Player vs. Player invasions by "eclipsing the sun" in another corpse-based ceremony. A complimentary ceremony would have allowed players to actually perform the invasion.

Again, PvP invasions are commonplace across "Soulsborne" games, but none feature an implementation quite like this one.

Interestingly, in June 2015, The Know leaked a bevy of information and gameplay details for Dark Souls 3, and all of these elements (the corpse dragging, the invasion ceremonies) were amongst them. Additionally, it is now clear that the Dark Souls 3 display at E3 2015 was, in fact, the Ashen One performing an eclipse ceremony.

While Dark Souls 3 was released to critical acclaim, some players voiced dissatisfaction with its lack of innovation compared to other "Soulsborne" entries. It is, of course, not guaranteed that these ceremony systems would have resolved this complaint. However, they are certainly a unique approach, and it is fortunate that players like McDonald are willing to share them with us.

The aforementioned Dark Souls 3 leaks can be found in-full on The Know's YouTube page.

14 Best Free Themes for PS4 https://www.gameskinny.com/qqxl9/14-best-free-themes-for-ps4 https://www.gameskinny.com/qqxl9/14-best-free-themes-for-ps4 Thu, 12 Oct 2017 10:15:49 -0400 Josh Broadwell


Dark Souls III: Transitory Lands


Download this theme on the PlayStation Store


Here's on for the Dark Souls fan! Saying this theme is dynamic carries a double meaning, as it's probably the most dynamic of the lot. It features your hero walking across what looks like old linen (or maybe parchment). He comes across various environments as he progresses, all of which look like old engraved images, and their deep blackness throws their intricate details into sharp relief against the rest of the scenery. They vary, too, so it's almost entertainment in itself.






When it comes to PS4 themes, it's definitely not true that you get what you pay for. There is a wide variety of free themes just waiting to find their new home on your console, whether you're a fan of RPGs, platformers, sci-fi, or fantasy.


Let us know in the comments which ones you plan on downloading or which ones you'd like to see added to this list!


The Witcher 3: Geralt and Ciri


Download this theme on the PlayStation Store


How is it possible to capture the essence of an entire trilogy and its themes in just one image? Like this. The Ciri and Geralt theme from The Witcher 3 manages to convey the folklore and high-fantasy elements of the entire series through two of the game's most important characters. This particular image from the theme emphasizes Ciri's determination and independence, which, in turn, helps make the game itself stand out. That determination is yours to shape through your in-game choices, an ambitious undertaking on the developer's part that works oh-so-well in action.


Van Helsing


Download this theme on the PlayStation Store


This Van Helsing theme's not just for fans of vampire lore. The game itself combined a wide variety of concepts in an ambitious attempt to merge folklore with science -- adding a touch of RPG goodness to round it all out. The theme conveys those concepts very well.


Apart from the titular hero, you've got a rather bizarre, alien-looking creature and a sinister robot, while giant clockwork dominates the background. The parchment-themed icons add a nice touch too. It's another one that's especially suitable for a Halloween theme, but fans of what goes bump in the night and Diablo-style RPGs can enjoy it year-round.




Download this theme on the PlayStation Store


Here's another one for explorers to check out. The Poi dynamic theme brings with it the bright colors and cheerful cartoon aesthetic of the game itself. Each screen depicts one of the principal characters in a characteristic pose, set against a bright backdrop. It's an excellent way to page homage not just to the game itself, but to the genre it represents, one that -- for many -- formed an important part of our early gaming years. If you're in need of a break from the grittier side of gaming, or just want to be reminded of your platforming days of yesteryear, you could do far worse than this.




Download this theme on the PlayStation Store


That's not all on offer from Grey Box, though. The RiME dynamic theme comes close to one-upping its predecessor. It focuses on the beach from the game's opening scenes, but that's not all. You'll hear the sounds of the waves and gulls, along with being greeted by your ever-present, friendly fox guide. It does a fine job of transferring the game's sense of wonder and the urge to explore into just one scene, and you may be hard-pressed to actually navigate away from it to choose a game.


Dreadnought: Sinley Bay


Download this theme on the PlayStation Store


Here's another theme to satisfy the sci-fi lover in you -- Sinley Bay from the tactical space game Dreadnought. This, too, is a dynamic theme.


Stare into the endless depths of space, and as you scroll through your menu options, you'll see ships cruising slowly by. Combined with the subtle space tones in the background, it really creates an atmosphere equal parts wonder and isolation. That feeling will resonate particularly well with fans of the game since Sinley Bay is where the war-weary renegades train their future leaders to ensure the solar system's freedom -- not a bad little motivator to get you started with whatever game you choose.


Star Wars Battlefront: Leia Organa


Download this theme on the PlayStation Store


And one more Star Wars theme. We know it doesn't look like the "real" Leia Organa, but there's still quite a bit to love about this zooming dynamic theme. It forgoes the flashiness of the Jakku theme in favor of a toned-down approach that lets Leia's determination shine through. Plus, it hearkens back to one of the most memorable moments in the original Star Wars films, with the Imperial siege on Hoth.




Star Wars Battlefront: Battle of Jakku


Download this theme on the PlayStation Store


Here's another one that's sure to please fantasy fans. It draws on the exclusive Battlefront packaging that explores the important lore behind The Force Awakens, connecting the original and new trilogies. Despite its connection to the latest films, it's got something for everyone to enjoy, from TIE Fighters and X-Wings for those faithful to the originals, to the raw fan appeal of such an awesome conflict between Empire and Republic that never could have happened in the first three films. (And, by far the best for some, there's nothing to connect it to the prequel trilogy).




The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies


Download this theme on the PlayStation Store


Tolkien fans rejoice! The Hobbit still has a free theme on the PlayStation store. And it's a darn good one, too. Azog the Defiler takes center stage -- well, right-center if you want to be technical - -in the depiction of the slow, tense build to the film's climactic final battle. However, in the background, you're also treated to the sight of Esgaroth on fire, with Smaugh above. Sure, it's not the happiest of scenes -- but it looks amazing.


Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensword


Download this theme on the PlayStation Store


This Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensword theme offers up a more traditional look in more ways than one. As you can see, it focuses on a dragoon, which, apart from being an important class in FFXIV in general, is one of the series' oldest and most well-known character classes -- thanks in part to FFIV's Kain. More importantly, though, it gives you the chance to admire Akihiko Yoshida's fantastic artwork close up, bridging the gap between the olden days of Final Fantasy and the modern.


Nioh Yokai Theme


Download this theme on the PlayStation Store


This Nioh theme might just essentially be the game's boxart plus a monster. But it's pretty good art, nonetheless. That's because it manages to give you a distinct impression of what the game's all about. The gear and coloration leave no doubt as to combat's central role in the game -- if you had doubts, given that it's a Koei game -- and the otherworldly glaze of Nioh's eyes suggesting that something out of the ordinary will play a significant role in plot and characterization. It provides a bit of intensity for your background and proves the old saying that simple is often best.


Everybody's Golf


Download this theme on the PlayStation Store


If you're looking for something a bit brighter, consider checking out this cheerful Everybody's Golf dynamic theme. It changes scenes depending on which menu you are working with at the time, from the primary one you see here -- complete with golf ball being driven right at you -- to a more urban scene, and a desert course as well. It's a good way to show off the game's cheerful colors and quirky characters juxtaposed in the realistic looking courses. Plus, it's just fun in general.


A Rose in the Twilight


Find this theme on the PlayStation Store


This free PS4 theme might be static, but that doesn't keep it from being wonderful to look at. It perfectly captures A Rose in the Twilight's unique art style - -which is more than enough to recommend it. However, it also manages to convey the game's key themes as well, from the main character's general vulnerability and her giant companion's impressive strength to the narrative importance of the color red streaking through the mysterious castle. It's fitting for a Halloween theme, but definitely worthwhile year round.


Dishonored 2: Karnaca


Find this theme on the PlayStation Store


This free dynamic PS4 theme showcases the natural beauty of Dishonored 2's main setting. It's not the view you normally see while playing, but it is one of the most iconic views of the game, nonetheless. Eschewing the touristy glitz of the main city, this theme focuses on the gently flowing water and the slowly turning windmills instead. It's a nice break from the intense action of the game itself, but the muted tones go far in setting a nice aura for whatever game you're about to play.


Alongside its vast software library, the PlayStation 4 offers a huge variety of themes for you to choose from. But say you don't really want to shell out for a new theme after buying some of the games from that library. Never fear! We've put together a list of the 14 best free PS4 themes to help you out of just such a dilemma. They do a fair job of representing that variety too, from platformers and


They do a fair job of representing the variety the platform has to offer, from platformers and exploration games to RPGs, sports, and otherworldly combat. You're sure to find something you like over the next several slides, so read on to discover your next favorite backdrop for your favorite console.

A Case for Modding: Why More Steam RPGs Need Workshops https://www.gameskinny.com/039jy/a-case-for-modding-why-more-steam-rpgs-need-workshops https://www.gameskinny.com/039jy/a-case-for-modding-why-more-steam-rpgs-need-workshops Tue, 18 Apr 2017 12:00:02 -0400 tofuslayer

In the past, amateur modders haven't gotten the credit they deserve for their ability to create amazing content on a low budget. The assumption that player-created content isn't as good as the stuff that comes from big developers is utter garbage -- and unfounded.

While the Steam Workshop has had some issues in the past, I don't think that's a valid reason to avoid the marketplace forever. Staying away from all Workshop mods because some have had bugs in the past not only doesn't make sense, but it keeps you from having the most customizable gaming experience you can with Steam RPGs. (And really, look at all the buggy content coming from AAA devs these days...)

We've all seen the wild success of Workshop mods for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and Skyrim, and this isn't without reason. The Steam Workshop allows modders to flex their creative muscles and produce imaginative content that big developers don't think of or weren't allowed to create. While there have been some great mods from the Steam Workshop, we need more than just mods for RPGs like Skyrim.

I (along with many others) would love to see Steam Workshop mods for Fallout 4, Dark Souls III, and The Witcher 3, for example. While the mods for these games are on Nexus, I would argue that famous modders like FMPONE have shown us that the Steam Workshop has the capacity to produce amazing game modifications. However, there is a lack of awesome modders like FMPONE -- a CS:GO modder -- for Steam RPGs. I know that for games like Dark Souls III, the lack of Workshop mods is due to a lack of Steam support for the game. Maybe this is out of our hands, but I think there is a need and a demand for mods with verified support. This is why I'm coming out and saying that we need more Workshops for Steam RPGs.

Great Mods Make for an Even Better RPG Experience

I love modding my RPGs, and if you haven't tried it yet, I highly recommend it. You can change anything from your character to the landscape to the sound effects you hear in the game. Mods range from functional texture improvements to ridiculous Staff of Sweet Rolls for Skyrim that turns your enemies into pastries. While FPS mods are cool, there's something about mods for RPGs that can make you feel like a master of your own universe, which is pretty awesome.

Staff of Sweet Rolls Mod for Skyrim by Nebior

Having the ability to completely customize your gaming experience makes an RPG so much more personal and exciting. Steam Workshop mods really allow a player to become so much more invested in the story because you have more control over your world. In addition to the fun and sometimes hilarious mods you can download, there are also really functional mods like this Incandescent Reshade mod for DS3 that adds more color and light, which really helps gamers like myself whose vision is going down the tubes. Simply put, mods make for an all-around better gaming experience.

You Can Never Have Too Much of a Good Thing

If more modders put out content on the Steam Workshop, it would become flooded with more epic content and dilute the amount the poorly-made mods, improving the platform as a whole. Since the Steam Workshop is somewhat limited, it increases our chances of downloading bad mods. If there was a larger selection of content, we'd have better chances of avoiding game-breaking downloads, ultimately giving us the best gaming experience possible.

There is no downside to having a wider range of Workshops and mods to choose from when you want to add new weapons, items, landscapes, and other game-improving mods to your RPG. More content means Workshops would have to put out better content with more efficient support in order to rise to the top. This type of competition would separate the standout modders from the Workshops that push half-baked mods.

King Crusader Armor for Skyrim by JDGameArt

Anyone who has ever gotten sucked into the trap of trying to download all the mods knows that it can be extremely addictive. Gamers can be greedy, and once you start customizing your RPGs to your desires, it's easy to want to have all the textures, new weapons, and map additions. Personally, I can never have enough, and from looking at tons of message boards, I see that there is a demand for more Steam Workshops.

Modders Would Have a Chance to Stand Out

If anything, the Steam Workshop is a great way for modders to gain a following and potentially improve their resumes if they have professional aspirations. There are a lot of RPGs on steam that could really use more Workshop mods. If modders created Workshop mods for the RPGs that could really use some love (like the ones mentioned above...just saying), it would give them a chance to really stand out on the Steam Workshop.

There's so much you can do to mod RPGs with regards to character features, items, and maps. I've seen some really creative mods I never would have thought of, like this Realistic Weather mod for TW3 that gives users snow, fog, and rain. For any aspiring modder, creating a Steam Workshop would be a great way to really showcase your talent to prospective employers. It might be more work to get a Workshop page, but it's worth it for modders who want to stand out professionally.

Realistic Weather mod for TW3 by Wzol

Everyone Wins if Steam Workshop Gets More RPG Mods

There is so much potential in the Steam Workshop for great RPG mods that simply isn't being utilized. I don't know about you, but I need more re-shading options and textures for Dark Souls III on the Steam Workshop (maybe not that crab one from the video above... but I'd like to have the option)! Other RPGs on Steam need the same amount of Workshop mods as games like Skyrim.

We've all known for a while that Nexus has more mods than the Steam Workshop, but I, personally, want to see more amazing mods with official support. If RPG players get more mods and modders get more exposure and a stronger platform, everyone wins.

Stormtrooper Armor for Fallout 4 by stiptikspec

Do you use the Steam Workshop? What games would you want to see more mods for? Let us know in the comments below!

11 Games to Play After the Dark Souls Era is Over https://www.gameskinny.com/thy9k/11-games-to-play-after-the-dark-souls-era-is-over https://www.gameskinny.com/thy9k/11-games-to-play-after-the-dark-souls-era-is-over Tue, 28 Mar 2017 08:00:02 -0400 Serhii Patskan

The second and final DLC for Dark Souls III is coming up fast, releasing on March 28. This is the last piece of content for one of the most groundbreaking RPG video games ever created. And it definitely makes all of its fans extremely sad, as it was one of a kind experience.

But don’t get upset too quickly. There are some great games out there that can bring back all the memories, and maybe you will even find something that can fill the void left when The Ringed City credits roll.

Here we present you with eleven Dark Souls-esque titles that are already available for purchase, or will be released sometime this year. You've probably of some of them, but hopefully others will actually be able to surprise you.

Dragon's Dogma: Dark Arisen

  • Developer: Capcom
  • Release Date: May 22, 2012
  • Platforms: PC, PS3, Xbox 360

Dragon’s Dogma is a much faster and slightly easier game than Dark Souls. However, the enemies have a static level -- and if you come along a boss that isn’t suitable to your level, then you and your assistants will be devastated.

Another distinct feature of Dragon’s Dogma is the ability to climb up on top of giant bosses, which isn’t possible in the Dark Souls games. In general, combat system is the same skill-wise, but stylistically it looks more like a hack-and-slash game. If you enjoy that, then you will love Dragon’s Dogma.


  • Developer: Team Ninja
  • Release Date: February 7, 2017
  • Platforms: PS4

This latest RPG title from Team Ninja, the creator of the famous Ninja Gaiden series, is a great game -- and it actually stands on its own, even without all the comparisons to Dark Souls. Many players have stated that boss fights in Nioh are much harder, and at some points almost impossible.

On top of that, Nioh is a much longer venture than any of the Souls games -- clocking in just over a hundred hours of gameplay. If you like long and challenging games, then Nioh should be your number one alternative to Dark Souls.

Memory Of Eldurim

  • Developer: Liminal Games
  • Release Date: February 8, 2014
  • Platforms: PC

This hybrid of Dark Souls and Skyrim is still in Early Access, and has been for almost three years now. And why is that? Because the team behind this ambitious project consists of only three (very talented) men.

The developers are constantly updating the game and communicating with their fans. So the work is going on consistently, although fairly slowly. New items, weapons, and terrains are being added every few months -- so if you want to play something like that, then be sure to check it out on Steam.

Abyss Odyssey

  • Developer: ACE Team
  • Release Date: July 15, 2014
  • Platforms: PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360

Imagine a Dark Souls game in the setting of Castlevania -- that’s Abyss Odyssey. This game's skill-based combat system is as hard as it gets, and the bosses are merciless. Although primarily a rogue adventure, it also contains some RPG elements, such as item stats and skills.

Another component that makes it a Souls-like game is the vague story-telling, which is a trademark of the Souls series at this point. Here this device is used really well, and creates a well-rounded sense of mystery.

The Surge

  • Developer: Deck13 Interactive
  • Release Date: May 16, 2017
  • Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One

Could you imagine the events of Dark Souls taking place in the future? Well, the same developer that gave us Lords of the Fallen will be releasing that sort of peculiar spin on the Souls games a bit later this year.

This is really something interesting. And if you do get tired of the same setting and weapons, then the new exoskeleton and firearms should reinvigorate your excitement for action RPGs. As the lead designer of the game said:

"People thought of the game as more of a clone, but we didn't think of it that way. We want to add to the genre this time. We want to put [out] something that has never been seen before."


  • Developer: Eneme Entertainment
  • Release Date: TBA 2017
  • Platforms: PC, PS4

Eitr is heavily influenced by the Souls and Bloodborne games. Due to the isometric POV it also hints at the Diablo series, but that may be completely coincidental. Everything else from the combat system to leveling up will be something you’ve definitely seen before, so the game will instantly feel familiar.

Even the health potion refilling is executed at the campfires, just like the Estus Flask system in the Souls games. The last and probably a slightly controversial feature of Eitr is the possibility of overleveling your hero. This problem was solved in the later Souls games, but it looks like the creators of Eitr decided it would work well in their own game.


  • Developer: Aurora44
  • Release Date: TBA 2017
  • Platforms: PC, Xbox One

Ashen has been in development since 2014, and it should be out by the end of this year. The world of Ashen strongly resembles the setting of the Undead Burg, but is much more open and wide.

The protagonist of Ashen is a lonely adventurer who seeks his way home, and he must fight his way through hordes of monsters to get there. The combat is pretty much the same as in Dark Souls, where stamina plays a huge role and it is easy to get killed.

If there is one new game that looks and plays like the first Dark Souls, then it’s definitely Ashen.


  • Developer: Capybara Games
  • Release Date: TBA 2017
  • Platforms: PC, Xbox One

Since the announcement of Below in 2013, it has been proclaimed as the indie successor to the Souls games. The visual style of the game makes the Wanderer feel really small and unimportant in the vast world around him.

The game doesn’t tell you what to do at any point of the story, but it strongly encourages exploration based on intuition -- which is also a huge part of the Souls series in general. With the scarce amounts of items and weapons, Below will really make people feel the unforgiving touch of despair.

Salt and Sanctuary

  • Developer: Ska Studios
  • Release Date: March 15, 2016
  • Platforms: PC, PS4, PS Vita

This little game is nothing else but Dark Souls in 2D format. Death is a huge part of the game, so don’t get mad when you see the dreaded message on your screen -- just hit the replay button and die once more.

From a certain perspective, Salt and Sanctuary is even harder than the Souls games because it is restricted by two dimensions -- whereas in Dark Souls you could utilize the 3D environment to your benefit. But all in all, it’s just as much fun, and will definitely make you salty.

Shrouded in Sanity

  • Developer: Steve Gal
  • Release Date: May 27, 2016
  • Platforms: PC, PS4

If you can’t afford Salt and Sanctuary, then there is Shrouded in Sanity -- another 2D Dark Souls clone that is really cheap on Steam. Except that most of the action takes place inside a haunted mansion instead of the open world.

Another slight drawback of the game is that it is made specifically for wide screens. So if you are a rare owner of a 4:3 monitor, then the game will look skewed to you. But other than that, it’s full of scares and excellent gameplay.

Titan Souls

  • Developer: Acid Nerve
  • Release Date: April 14, 2015
  • Platforms: PC, PS4, PS Vita

This one is for those who want some insane levels of difficulty. Don’t let the cute graphic design of Titan Souls deceive you, as this is one of the most daring games you will ever play.

You are given only one chance to hit your target. If you don’t manage to hit it right -- you die and everything starts over again. Sounds familiar? Probably...but at least in Dark Souls you had some HP and an Estus Flask.


In any case, there will be plenty more Dark Souls clones in the future, and we’re pretty sure they’ll even have the chance to trump the original series, but that is the topic for a whole new discussion. Until then, these upcoming and already released games should be enough to get you by. 

Did we miss any games in this list? Got other Souls-like titles that you love to play and think other fans would too? Share in the comments below!

Dark Souls III: The Ringed City Launch Trailer -- The End of a Franchise https://www.gameskinny.com/igm9v/dark-souls-iii-the-ringed-city-launch-trailer-the-end-of-a-franchise https://www.gameskinny.com/igm9v/dark-souls-iii-the-ringed-city-launch-trailer-the-end-of-a-franchise Sat, 25 Mar 2017 17:14:04 -0400 Marc Hollinshead

The Souls series has seen a plethora of content released to players throughout the years, but it all comes down to this. "The Ringed City" is the final piece of new content to be released for Dark Souls III -- and the entire series as a whole. After what has arguably been a (slightly) disappointing addition in "Ashes of Ariandel," "The Ringed City" looks to address any and all issues players have had stemming from that DLC. 

The main issue in question with the previous DLC was the lack of content. Although we received a superb boss in Father Ariandel and Sister Friede, the DLC felt too short and lacked any lasting appeal -- aside from the Undead Matches that were also added. 

The maps on offer for the multiplayer arena also felt a little thin on the ground. "The Ringed City" plans to expand greatly on this aspect of the game and give avid PvP'ers a much needed boost in areas to battle it out.

For those who don't want the expansion's story to be spoiled through the trailer, all you need to know is that everything you love about Dark Souls III will return in all its glory.

"The Ringed City" will open up to the public on March 28. Prepare yourselves for another heap of death in the meantime.

How do you feel about the Souls series seemingly coming to an end? Relieved? Distraught? Sound off your thoughts in the comments!


10 Best Reviewed Games of 2016 https://www.gameskinny.com/ofkn2/10-best-reviewed-games-of-2016 https://www.gameskinny.com/ofkn2/10-best-reviewed-games-of-2016 Tue, 24 Jan 2017 00:40:28 -0500 Curtis Dillon


And there you have it! 2016 is officially in the rear view mirror and, after a list like that, we can agree it was a heck of a year.


From blazing the trail in Madagascar with Nathan Drake, to building your own world in Stardew Valley -- with a few sausages in between -- 2016 offered up some pretty amazing experiences.


If nothing else, this list proves the sheer diversity in video games these days, what with a racing game, two sports titles, a VR experience, and several indie games. There really is something for everyone on this list and that's representative of gaming as a whole these days. We're spoiled with variety like no other time in history and maybe we should remember that the next time we get mad about Assassin's Creed's next location, or Death Stranding being many years away.


We gamers like to gripe about the little things sometimes, but every now and then it's nice to sit back and take a look at the truly amazing adventures we partake in. Developers spend hundreds, thousands, of hours toiling away on some of these titles and they deserve our thanks every now and then. So hop on to Twitter and send a nice word the way of Naughty Dog, or Playdead, or Increpare. Of course, before you do that you should let us know what your favourite game of 2016 was! And, as always, stay tuned to GameSkinny!


1. Uncharted 4: A Thief's End

Metacritic Score: 93 (User Score: 7.9)

Ahhh Naughty Dog, the unquestionable rulers and masters of the video game universe. Colin Moriarty of Kinda Funny often says that Naughty Dog operates on a level that no other developer even comes close to, and I'm inclined to agree.


The Uncharted series is among the very finest in all of video games, with 2 and 3 being both genuine masterpieces (and the original no slouch either). Then came The Last of Us which, for all of Uncharted's plaudits and achievements, cemented Naughty Dog as a step above everyone else in every way. The Last of Us is one of the greatest pieces of art and storytelling ever, in video games, movies, TV, whatever. It's that good.


So with Naughty Dog returning to Uncharted, and calling it Nathan Drake's last adventure, it's fair to say expectations were high. Well, Naughty Dog proved to everyone once again, that pressure and expectations mean little when you have a story to tell and the chops to make it good. And that it the biggest difference between Naughty Dog and many other developers, they don't just make a video game for the sake of it, they tell stories with compelling characters, the finest dialogue around, unparalleled graphics, and awe-inspiring set-pieces.


Uncharted 4: A Thief's End had all of those elements and more. Naughty Dog presented us with a more mature Uncharted; one we weren't sure we wanted but made total sense when we played it. Gunfights were scaled back in lieu of more exploration, driving sequences, and environmental storytelling. It was the perfect marriage of Uncharted and The Last of Us.


Nathan Drake's final adventure was a thrilling, emotional journey that cemented him, and Uncharted, as gaming royalty. I don't believe we've seen the end of Uncharted but, for now, Nathan Drake bows out on the highest of high notes. What more can be said about another masterpiece from the best developer in the industry? Uncharted 4: A Thief's End was the very best game of 2016, bar none.


2. Inside

Metacritic Score: 92 (User Score:7.9)

We waited 6 years for the next game from Limbo developer, Playdead, and boy was it worth the wait.


It can be very hard for a game to live-up to the expectations of a wait like that, especially an indie game because they are smaller games that tend to only last an hour or two, so that makes it even more impressive when they exceed those expectations. Inside did just that.


Receiving absolute critical acclaim, Inside evolved the formula of Limbo and, some would say, perfected the puzzle platformer. The visuals were perfectly artsy, the animations were highly-impressive, clever puzzles, and the story intriguing and just the right amount of vague. Some could argue that the puzzles in the game left a little to be desired but they weren't the focus of the game, Inside is about narrative, and the tale it weaves will leave you reeling for some time.


4. Out of the Park Baseball '17

Metacritic Score: 92 (User Score: 3.2)

Just like last year, Out of the Park Baseball '17, ahem, knocks it out of the park and scores high on the year's best list.


Simply put, OOTP Baseball series is the go-to game if you want a baseball simulator. I mean, just look at the amount of information on screen (as seen above). The game puts you in the shoes of a baseball GM and tasks you with rising through the ranks, managing finances, trading/scouting, negotiating contracts, and all the standard GM mode affairs. However it's the insane amount of depth that OOTP '17 really shows-off.


For example, you can play as any team, from the major league to the minor league... or any team from the past 150 years. Yep, any baseball team in the frickin' history of the sport. The game doesn't feature any new modes worth mentioning, so unless you were a huge fan, you could stick with '16 and be fine. But for the hardcore fans out there, OOTP Baseball '17 is yet another entry in the finest sports sim around.


4. Forza Horizon 3

Metacritic Score: 91 (User Score: 7.4)

Every year Microsoft releases a new Forza game, be it Motorsport or Horizon, developed by Turn 10 or Playground Games, respectively. And with every passing year, Forza has slowly but surely replaced Gran Turismo as the King of the racing genre -- on consoles anyway.


Forza Horizon 3 is the latest instalment in this amazing franchise, and it genuinely took the series to new heights. Horizon is the more open of the two series', allowing players to drive a variety of vehicles and race in wide open environments. This time around, the fast-action was taken down under to the land of Australia where players got to race in beautiful, exotic locales.


The sheer breadth of activities, tracks and vehicles gives the game a ton of replay value but really the fun gameplay and stunning visuals are the real reason to go on this trip. Playground Games reminds us that driving games can be simply fun for those who aren't masters of the genre. You're up Turn 10, let's see what 2017 brings.


5. Overwatch

Metacritic Score: 91 (User Score: 6.8)

I think we all know what Overwatch is; a stylised team-based shooter from Blizzard. And we all know that it's pretty much unrivalled in the genre.


2016 was looking to be the year of the "hero-shooters," what with Battleborn, Paragon, and Overwatch duking it out for the crown. Now, at the start of 2017, I think we can all safely say that Overwatch wiped the floor with its competitors.


Featuring fantastic characters, slick visuals, and an addictive one-more-match mentality, Overwatch set itself apart from the other hero-shooters. Sure those games tried the same thing but they lacked that special Blizzard-level of polish and swagger. Overwatch is as good as it gets right now on the competitive multiplayer scene, and was voted game of the year by many an outlet.


6. Stardew Valley

Metacritic Score: 90 (User Score: 7.5)

You would have to have been living under a rock to not have heard of Stardew Valley. Releasing in February of 2016, Stardew Valley slowly spread like a forest-fire via word of mouth. The groundswell around this little title was reminiscent of Undertale last year.


What seems like a fairly innocuous farming simulator with charming graphics, Stardew Valley repeatedly peels back layer-after-layer of story and new gameplay elements. Like a cross between Harvest Moon and Animal Crossing, this game created solely by Eric Barone, is a heartwarming life-simulator that threatens to eat-up hundreds of hours of your life.


7. NBA 2K17

Metacritic Score: 90 (User Score: 6.0)

Sometime in the past 5-6 years, 2K's NBA series snatched the crown of the best sports game and refuses to give it back. The series boasts unmatched graphics, career mode, commentary, and pure gameplay.


The caveat with the NBA series is that it's far from easy to just pick-up and play. The controls for the game are deep and quite complicated, unlike EA's Fifa, and that can be a barrier to entry but for those who take the time, find incredibly diverse gameplay that offers many hours of replay value.


The devil is in the details, as they say, and NBA is unrivalled. Every team plays exactly like their real-life counterparts, the crowd looks fantastic, guest-commentators keep things fresh, and many new and tweaked gameplay modes, are the reason NBA 2K17 retains the crown of best sports game.


8. Stephen's Sausage Roll

Metacritic Score: 90 (User Score: 5.6)

Let me guess, you haven't even heard of this one. Well don't feel bad, neither had I. Stephen's Sausage Roll was definitely not a title I expected to come across in the Metacritic best games of 2016 list, and yet here it is.


The gist is; you roll a sausage around a map until you reach the cooking area, and attempt to keep it there, without burning it, until done. Pretty straightforward stuff but if you've played, or watched, I Am Bread or Surgeon Simulator, you'll know it's anything but. The game gives you little in the way of instructions and forces you to figure certain things out on your own, a nice breath of fresh air in the days of over-complicated tutorials.


The ingenuity of the level design and the way the game teaches you things without you even realising are where this game succeeds most. It's a difficult game, but not an unfair one, and you'll be shocked by how very long it is. The game costs $30, which may sound a little much, but there is dozens of hours of content and the game consistently reveals new things and upends your expectations. It was a surprise that Stephen's Sausage Roll made this list but the real surprise is just how damn good it is.


9. Dark Souls III

Metacritic Score: 89 (User Score: 8.6)

Dark Souls was born from the ashes of Demon Souls -- a game that Sony had exclusive rights to but didn't see any potential in -- and what a spiritual successor it turned out to be. I for one would have considered the art of being relentlessly killed to turn many gamers off, but apparently we are gluttons for punishment. Dark Souls was a big success, then Dark Souls II released to less fanfare. Soon thereafter, Sony, releasing the error of its ways, rekindled its relationship with the studio to make Bloodborne. The PS4-exclusive was another huge hit and proved that lightning could strike twice.


Which brings us to Dark Souls III. Once again rising from the ashes, the From Software team resurrected the series from the limp corpse of Dark Souls II, added what they learned from Bloodborne, and created their finest adventure into madness yet.


Dark Souls III is a masterclass is world design, boss battles, visuals, and character progression. Sure the frame rate can wobble here and there, and the difficulty spikes are egregious, but those are two small complaints in what is a fantastic game. From Software, and creator Miyazaki, say that Dark Souls III is the end of the series -- although we will get more Bloodborne -- thus the series leaves us the way it came in; with a mighty punch in the face.


10. Rez: Infinite

Metacritic Score: 89 (User Score: 7.2)

Here we have the only VR game that makes the top 10 list. Rez: Infinite almost didn't make the list however because it is technically a revamped version of the PS2 game, Rez. However Infinite is a significantly improved and changed version of the game that's more than just a remaster.


Rez is an on-rails shooter that pits you as an AI in a computer system, with humans as the enemy injecting viruses into the system to destroy you. Making use of a lock-on mechanic and bombs, you blast your way through many levels of electronica-infused colour spasms that threaten to induce you in a coma.


Indeed Rez: Infinite is an experience like few others; don't get me wrong, many have tried but none have succeeded. Somehow the Rez formula still holds up to this day and just so happens to find new life inside a PSVR helmet.


It's January 2017 and that means it's that time of year when we all get nostalgic for the year that was. We like to take a look back and remember what we played, list our favourite games of the year, and even have a chuckle at the very worst the year had to offer.


So that brings us to the very best 2016 had to offer. It's fair to say a lot of people left 2016 feeling a little disappointed -- at least on the AAA front -- especially when you glance back at the star-studded 2015. However, once you dig a little deeper and look past the Mirror's Edge's, Mafia 3's, and No Man's Sky's, you'll find a lot of great titles that surpassed expectations, or came out of nowhere to blow us away!


Before we dive in to this list of greatness, the games are listed by their Metacritic score. Several games scored the same average, and are therefore ordered by their user score. There is no bias on this list, it's all based on the compiled reviews of critics, but don't be afraid to jump into the comments and let us know what your favourite games of 2016 were!

Nioh is Almost Here, Will it Really be Able to fill the Dark Souls Gap? https://www.gameskinny.com/vnsns/nioh-is-almost-here-will-it-really-be-able-to-fill-the-dark-souls-gap https://www.gameskinny.com/vnsns/nioh-is-almost-here-will-it-really-be-able-to-fill-the-dark-souls-gap Fri, 20 Jan 2017 03:00:01 -0500 Clayton Reisbeck

Last year, the Dark Souls series saw its end, much to the chagrin of many gamers. A series of games that went outside of what was the mainstream at the time, the Souls series helped redefine the modern RPG, and in an industry that was dominated by the fast-paced first-person shooter, Dark Souls was able to show us that a game about slowing down and thinking your way through your problems was something that gamers were very willing to support.

With its end though, we were left with a void.

Some games have tried to capture the essence of Dark Souls, but no game has been able to do exactly what Dark Souls was able to accomplish... until now. Enter Nioh.

Nioh is an RPG developed by Team Ninja that takes place in a fictionalized version of the Sengoku period of Japan. The game follows a sailor named William who is pursuing an enemy and finds himself in Japan. He is enlisted by Hattori Hanzo to defeat the supernatural forces that have begun to cause problems in the area.

After watching a fair bit of gameplay, it is very clear that Team Ninja had the Souls series in the front of their minds while developing this game. There are so many aspects of the game that just feel like they came straight from those games and on top of that, it's clear that they have added new mechanics to the tried and true formula that will feel more than familiar to Dark Souls fans.

The Basics

From the very start, there are some core things that Souls players will recognize about this game. The bonfires of Dark Souls have turned into shrines in Nioh. At these shrines you are able to heal yourself and level up, but each time you do this, the game respawns all of the enemies in the area -- just like in Dark Souls.

On top of all of this, Nioh adds some new capabilities to the mix. From any shrine, you are able to change out something called a guardian spirit, which imbues William with strength and other buffs. You are also able to collect smaller tree spirits that give you even more benefits.

Shrines are also where you are able to summon other players for co-op play. Finally, you are able to change out your ninjutsu and onmyo magic from the shrines, giving you other unique benefits.

The leveling system is also very reminiscent of Dark Souls, where each time you buy a level with Nioh's equivalent of souls (called amrita), you get one point in a selected skill and the price of the next upgrade costs more.

There is a co-op summoning system similar to the From Software series, too, one where you can summon other players into your game to help you fight through whatever level you happen to be on at the time. From what it looks like, there is currently no way to choose who you summon into the game, but that may change before the final release.

As well as summoning help into the game, there is a semi-PVP element here, too. Just like Dark Souls, you will find the locations of where other players have died in a level. But unlike the Souls series, where you can only watch a short spectral version of a character dying, you can actually summon a computer controlled version of that character in order to fight it. Defeating this Revenant, as they are called, will net you one piece of the equipment that that fallen player was wearing at the time of their death.


Combat looks like it would be right at home in the Souls series. You will have to think through your actions before making them. If you just run into combat expecting to slash your way out, you will definitely be punished for it.

As for actually being in combat, things will feel pretty familiar to Souls fans as well. You don't have a shield, but you will be able to block with whatever weapon you have. You have a strong and light attack, but on top of that, Nioh adds in a stance system for every weapon. You have an option between a high stance which deals the most damage but your movements are much slower, a low stance where you move much faster but your attacks only do chip.

You have an option between a high stance, which deals the most damage but slows you down, a low stance, where you move much faster but your attacks only do chip-damage, and a mid-stance between the two.

You have access to a handful of melee weapon types such as katanas and spears, as well as a few ranged weapons like bows, guns, and cannons. You can have one short melee weapon, one long melee weapon, and a couple of ranged weapons equipped at a time. Now I'm not sure if this affects your equip load, but I would be willing to bet that it will.

Level Design

When I think of a Dark Souls or Demon's Souls level, I imagine a decently sized level with a great mix of large open areas that are ripe with enemies and tight corridors perfect for ambushes. Not only do the levels in Nioh have this, they loop back on themselves to give a player working through them a good stretch of challenge as they fight through the enemies contained within it.

Just as the player is really starting to feel the weight of making it through the level, they stumble upon a shortcut that will lead them back to that precious bonfire or lantern. If there isn't a short cut, they may find a brand new bonfire or lantern waiting for them.

On top of this, From Software levels are also some of the most gorgeous locations I've ever visited in video games. The thought of coming out of the Catacombs of Carthus to see the shining Irithyll of the Boreal Valley in Dark Souls III still gives me chills to think about.

These ideas seem to have carried into Nioh.

From the gameplay I've seen, the levels all feel like they took many pages from the Dark Souls design philosophy.

There are doors that can't be opened from the side on which you find them. There are ladders that have to be kicked down before being used. On top of that, I've even seen some clever shortcuts that fit pretty well in the level. I saw someone have to kick a large bucket of water off of a roof to put out a fire that was blocking his path up the hill to the next location. I felt that was a nice touch.

Enemy placement also seems to be something that a Dark Souls fan will find familiar. Ambushes are exactly where you would expect them to be and they seem to be challenging enough to make them feel at home.

If you've been missing the Dark Souls experience and can't wait any longer for From Software to announce Demon's Souls 2, Nioh looks to be the game for you. The combat is just as slow, methodical, and punishing as any From Software title. The levels are just as deep and engaging and the game does plenty to add new mechanics for us all to explore. I am truly excited to see where Nioh takes us.

And for those of you thinking that they want to give this game a shot before it comes out this February, they are doing a "Last Chance Beta" this weekend. Give it a shot and see if it's for you!

What do you think? Have you been missing Dark Souls? Let us know in the comments!

The Top 7 Games of 2016 As Dictated By Me https://www.gameskinny.com/93cuo/the-top-7-games-of-2016-as-dictated-by-me https://www.gameskinny.com/93cuo/the-top-7-games-of-2016-as-dictated-by-me Tue, 10 Jan 2017 07:00:02 -0500 Clayton Reisbeck


And that's it! 2016 really was something fantastic for me in gaming. These games are ones that I feel will stick with me for some time and I can't wait to sink more hours into each of them. It's going to be interesting to see what 2017 is going to hold for us.


What games did you love this year? Am I wrong for loving any of the games here? Let me know in the comments!

Dark Souls III

Developer: From Software


Platform: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC


It's sad to think that I won't be getting another Dark Souls game. While I was late to the SoulsBorne bandwagon, I have absolutely adored my time with Dark Souls III. I've talked before about how I am definitely not the best gamer you are going to find. I'm not the biggest fan of games that market themselves about being extremely difficult. For this reason, I thought I would never be a fan of the SoulsBorne series. But boy, was I wrong.


I started late with Bloodborne, but I immediately fell in love with the game and was hooked. When Dark Souls III came out earlier this year, I couldn't press the purchase button fast enough on Steam so I could finally get into the game.


Everything about this game is something to behold. The visuals are absolutely gorgeous. Every place you travel to in the game is just screenshot fodder (especially the first time you see Irithyll of the Boreal Valley). I was constantly being wowed by the look of this game. The way the game teaches you how to slow down and think through your attacks is one of the most interesting things I've seen in gaming in a while.


We live in a world where games that have quick kill times are the kings of the industry, but this game about slowing down and taking your time has been an absolute hit for years. It really is refreshing.


I think my favorite thing about the game, though, is that there is no obstacle that can't be overcome. Yes, it may take you more time than you thought, but you will always overcome that challenge. It's hands down one of the most satisfying games I've ever played, and I can't wait to see what From Software produces next.


Developer: id Software


Platform: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC


I'm going to get this out of the way now. I have never played the original Doom games. I respect the position they have in the gaming community and recognize the trends that they really started for our industry, but I still haven't gotten around to playing them. That being said, 2016's DOOM may be one of the best games I've played in years.


There is just so much to love here. The fast paced action, the gruesome glory kills, the personality of this silent Doom Slayer, the soundtrack (my god the soundtrack), the variety of weapons, the extremely well designed levels, the list goes on and on. I have just loved my time with this game and I was even late to the party. I started really playing this game around Christmas, but even then I knew I was getting into something special. Every moment I played I realized more and more why id is the juggernaut that it is. 


If you haven't gotten the chance to rip and tear your way through DOOM yet, drop everything you're doing and go get this game. You most definitely won't regret it.

The Jackbox Party Pack 3

Developer: Jackbox Games


Platform: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC/Mac, Android TV, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV


A few years ago I learned about a collection of party games called The Jackbox Party Pack. The collection contained a series of 5 different party games that were played on whatever device you bought the game on. The catch was that you controlled the game with any mobile device you hooked into the website. The games always brought laughter to my living room and gave me and my friends a real good time.


This year, the fine folks brought out the third iteration of the collection adding 4 new games along with a sequel to the previous collection's game Quiplash. I truly believe that this is the finest collection of games they've released yet.


With the previous collections, there were always a couple games that really had my attention but the other games could have been left to the side for me. This new collection, though, has a series of games that I have yet to get tired of. All of them are huge hits whenever I gather my friends over. Whether it's trying to escape from a gameshow loving serial killer, or just trying to make the group laugh with different quips, I have had a hell of a lot of fun with these games this year. The next time you get some friends together and are searching for things to do, The Jackbox Party Pack 3 can definitely liven up that gathering.

Sid Meier's Civilization VI

Developer: Firaxis Games


Platform: PC


Civilization V is my most played game on Steam. As of this writing, I have sunk 120 hours into the game. When Civilization: Beyond Earth came out, I was looking forward to continue my Civilization experience beyond the stars. Unfortunately, that game just doesn't click with me, so I was ready for a new Civilization game that could bring my attention back to the series that had taken up a lot of my time. Enter Civilization VI.


Civilization VI is hands down the most polished base Civilization game to date. It's clear that Firaxis learned from their missteps with Civ V and Beyond Earth.


This new game just feels polished in just about every way (save for the AI. Hoo boy does that need some work). I have already found myself saying, "just one more turn," and then looking over three hours later to find myself still playing. Civilization VI is definitely worth your time if you've been a fan of the series for a long time or are just now looking to get in on the fun.

Titanfall 2

Developer: Respawn Entertainment


Platform: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC


I never played much of the original Titanfall so I wasn't on the bandwagon of wanting this. After picking the game up when it was on sale earlier this year, I can safely say that I wish I would have played the original.


Titanfall 2 has done so many things right. It's campaign is one of the best first-person shooter campaigns I've ever played. Each level had some unique elements that it introduced that kept me wanting more. On top of this, the multiplayer is one of the best multiplayer experiences I've had in a very long time. I haven't this heavily into the fast paced shooter action since my days with Modern Warfare 2. What makes it so good? I think it's the relationship between the fast paced pilot combat and the slower, more strategic, Titan combat. This relationship is just fantastic to watch play out in any match in multiplayer.


I have had an absolute blast with this game and it's sad to think that more people aren't playing it. Sure, the game came out in a really poor time between the latest Call of Duty and Battlefield 1 but I really think that this is the title worth your time.


Developer: Blizzard Entertainment


Platform: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC


I've been watching people play Overwatch since Blizzard started letting streamers and YouTubers play it early. With every person I saw playing it, my desire to play this game grew and grew. Finally this year, I got to experience what may be my new favorite shooter.


Overwatch is a game that I find myself coming back to time and time again. The team based combat really is something that I found that I really got on with. Being able to coordinate with your teammates to get that victory feels absolutely fantastic. The colorful cast of characters bring something desperately needed after years of drab military shooters. These characters feel like a lot of time, love, and effort were put into crafting them. The competitive scene is actually one of my favorite things I've gotten into this year. This is surprising for me as I am definitely not someone who was about the heavily competitive gaming scene. Now I can't wait to get my rank up and climb the ladder in the competitive mode.


On top of all this, we get the world class support of Blizzard behind it releasing free content in the way of new characters, game modes, and new maps. This game is truly something special and something that I genuinely look forward to playing for quite some time.

Pony Island

Developer: Daniel Mullins


Platform: PC


Last year, I was completely blown away by Undertale and was introduced to the concept of the meta game. These are games that play with your mind and bring the person behind the keyboard or controller into the game in a very real way.


This year, Pony Island was able to capture a lot of the same feelings I had while playing Undertale and really show what this new genre can do. This game takes a basic runner game and adds some extremely interesting mechanics and some fantastic storytelling elements to make you question what is truly going on in the game.


If you haven't had the chance to play this game, you owe it to yourself to head over to Steam and pick it up. You definitely won't be disappointed.


Last week I posted an article listing the top games of 2016 as reviewed by us here at GameSkinny. There were some great games on that list, but I wanted to take some time to talk about other games from 2016 that didn't make the list (but I personally love), as well as expound on some of the games on that list and why I thought they were some of the best-reviewed games of 2016.


As I said in that article, I explored many new worlds that have stuck with me as I gamed my way through the year, and there were titles that I got into that I would have never expected myself to even touch. On top of that, some of those games have quickly become some of my favorite games ever played.


So while this list isn't in any particular order, it's a list of games that meant the most to me last year. Let's get into it.

The 10 Most Anticipated Board / Tabletop Games Coming in 2017 https://www.gameskinny.com/gv6qr/the-10-most-anticipated-board-tabletop-games-coming-in-2017 https://www.gameskinny.com/gv6qr/the-10-most-anticipated-board-tabletop-games-coming-in-2017 Tue, 20 Dec 2016 03:00:02 -0500 Ty Arthur


In the ever-expanding realm of tabletop games, there's always more high quality entries on the horizon, and these are just 10 of many, many titles set to arrive next year.


What did you think of our picks, and what board, card, or tabletop game are you most looking forward to playing in 2017?


Want to get started on tabletop gaming and not sure where to begin and what's worth spending money on? Check out some of these excellent entries:


Massive Darkness


From Wrath Of Ashardalon to Descent: Journeys Into The Dark, several of the big, expensive board game series have worked hard to recreate the typical tabletop roleplaying experience in a more structured form.


Adding to that lineup now is Massive Darkness, a board game from Cool Mini Or Not - the company behind the Kickstarter smash hit Zombicide. For 1 - 6 players, this one pits a group of heroes against a dungeon full of enemies but requires no game master, as the rules are built around fighting the environment without a player controlling the antagonists.


Massive Darkness is slated to land August 31st according to Amazon, and will carry a hefty $119.99 price tag.



Elder Sign: Omens Of The Deep Expansion


Finally we arrive at Elder Sign, a board/card mashup game that still has a ton of pieces and a decent level of complexity, but is much easier to learn and setup than the average Fantasy Flight game.


Elder Sign is also notable for being a cooperative game rather than a competitive one - you all want to work towards staving off the apocalypse, rather than battling each other.


While the base game takes place within the confines of a museum, Omens Of The Deep sees the investigators heading into the murky depths of the Pacific and the city of R’lyeh itself to take the fight to the deep one hordes and stop the Great Old Ones from rising.


Just announced last month, there's no official release date yet, but expect one to come soon!


Arkham Horror: The Dunwich Legacy Expansion


Can you tell I'm a Cthulhu mythos fan yet? The Arkham Horror card game is a newer rendition of the complex board game of the same name, offering a really engaging way to explore the works of H.P. Lovecraft.


Diving into a truly classic story that even got a decent (if a bit cheesy) movie adaptation back in 1970, the Dunwich Legacy expansion adds in 156 new cards in addition to two new scenarios to play through with your Arkham Horror crew. This one will be landing in early 2017.



Eldritch Horror: The Dreamlands Expansion


If you aren't familiar with Fantasy Flight games and want to get into serious board gaming, that's the one company you should most be paying attention to in any given year.


They put a ton of quality games covering everything from sci-fi to fantasy to horror, and have become famous for a line of Cthulhu mythos games, including Eldritch Horror, which is a globe-trotting board game for 1 - 8 players that's more complex than the stripped-down Elder Sign.


A new expansion focused the Dreamlands area of Lovecraft's writing is set to arrive in 2017, featuring eight new investigators to employ, as well as two new ancient terrors based on the realm of dreams.





OK, full disclosure: much like Secret Hitler, this one actually just came out this week at the tail end of 2016, but I'm including it anyway because of how fantastic it looks, and because it was originally expected for an early 2017 release.


A totally re-worked re-imagining of the 2004 game (which itself led to the creation of famous fantasy board game Descent: Journeys Into The Dark) this new version is meant to be inline with the updated Doom video game that launched in 2016.


An asymmetrical entry, this edition of Doom is for 2 - 5 players and pits one player as the invading demon hordes versus the other players taking the role of respawning Doom Marines.



Secret Hitler


A very different entry from anything else on this list, Secret Hitler is a party game where you and your closest friends all accuse each other of being fascists until the real Hitler is revealed. What could be a better icebreaker for new acquaintances?


Technically the game has already been released now at the very end of 2016, but it keeps going in and out of availability on Amazon as they run out of product due to the popularity, so it may be until 2017 until many are able to get the full finished version.


Don't want to wait for the finished product? The full rules are available for free download so you can print off your own cards at home!



Must Eat Humans


Billed as a "reverse deck building" entry, there's a certain humor to the fact that the game's acronym is MEH, a decision that Solar Flare Games seems very cognizant of in its marketing.


There's been a ton of zombie board / card games already: Zombicide, Last Night On Earth, Zombies!!!, Zombie Town, etc. etc. So what sets this one apart?


This time around you ARE the zombie horde, seeking to eat the remaining survivors and build up a bigger undead army before they can regroup and wipe you out with superior weaponry.


The game is still in development and is expected out in 2017 to be playable by 2 - 6 players at a time.


Dark Souls: The Board Game


Long rumored but not officially announced until a crowd funding campaign back in April, the devastatingly hard Dark Souls series is now making the transition to the tabletop world.


Playable either solo or in multiplayer co-op mode, the game will have you exploring new tile areas of the bard as iconic classes from Dark Souls and engaging in extremely difficult battles... and yes, you are expected to die and be reborn at a bonfire to tackle those challenges again.


While the Kickstarter campaign estimated an April 2017 release date, Amazon is showing that Dark Souls will be available at the end of July.



Red Dragon Inn 6: Villains


As an old fogey, I remember when The Red Dragon Inn was only a single box set from a then-unknown Slugfest Games. I had to travel far to track down a copy at a game story several towns over after hearing about it via word of mouth. Needless to say popularity has exploded in the intervening years in this hilarious, hard-drinking riff on the typical fantasy party of adventurers.


The sixth base game set is now on the horizon, having just been successfully crowd funded for $130,000, and this time around instead of adding new heroes to lose all their gold via gambling, the game will focus instead on villains like a vampire, goblin king, mummy, and medusa.


The tavern wench is also getting a demonic makeover in this good-to-be-bad sequel. I wonder if Obsidian's Tyranny RPG had any influence here? There's not a specific release date yet, but early 2017 is expected.


Bears Vs. Babies


If the artwork didn't tip you off, yes, this is from popular web comic The Oatmeal, again bringing us some horrifying nonsense shenanigans in the vein of previous card game Exploding Kittens.


Bears vs Babies is a card game where you build handsome, incredible monsters who go to war with horrible, awful babies. Whoever eats the most babies wins! Expect a fast-paced entry where you'll laugh more than engage in any sort of strategy.


Netting a respectable $3.2 million via Kickstarter, this card game is expected to arrive in June of 2017.



While we are focused primarily on PC and console games, most here at GameSkinny are dedicated gamers of all stripes, with more than a few Magic: The Gathering, D&D, or Arkham Horror players among our writers and editors.


We've extensively covered many of the most anticipated video games coming next year, from horror titles to shooters and everything in between. Now it's time to move away from the TV screen and over to the tabletop for a peak into the future at 10 board / card games you should be playing next year!

What Does Ashes of Ariandel Really Bring to the Table? https://www.gameskinny.com/o9b7i/what-does-ashes-of-ariandel-really-bring-to-the-table https://www.gameskinny.com/o9b7i/what-does-ashes-of-ariandel-really-bring-to-the-table Sun, 30 Oct 2016 10:10:49 -0400 Pablo Seara

Dark Souls III: Ashes of Ariandel has been out for a week, and many of us have experienced the newest entry in the Dark Souls universe. But what about those who haven't decided yet? What does the DLC offer them? Quite a few things. 

So let's look at the unique characteristics that Ashes of Ariandel brings to the game.

The Biggest Level in Dark Souls III

The Painted World of Ariandel is the new area introduced in the DLC -- and it's very reminiscent of Dark Souls' Painted World of Ariamis. It is not only the widest level in Dark Souls III yet, but one of the most beautiful. The snowy plains fit perfectly with the gothic style of the buildings we find inside, creating a new, exciting scenery to explore.

FromSoftware steps away from Dark Souls' usual, closed environments and presents wide, open portions of land. There are also parts of the DLC with more verticality, leading to the typical platform sections we are used to seeing in previous areas. The result is a unique expansion which takes between three to five hours to finish, depending on your play style and skill.

Original, Interesting, & New NPCs

The characters in The Painted World of Ariandel let us know more about the story of the painting and other aspects of Dark Souls' lore. Without getting into spoilers, there are some NPCs related to other ones we already know, making for some interesting discoveries.

There's one in particular that is revealed as a mayor player in all of Dark Souls III. Interacting with them will allow you to get new pieces of dialogue with some characters from the outside.

There are also hints scattered around Ariandel that imply a relation with The Pained World of Ariamis, as expected.

One of the Best Bosses in Soulsborne

There are two bosses in Ashes of Ariandel. One of them is just a glorified NPC with a big wolf, but the other one stands out as one of From Software's finest fights.

The first phase is a Dark Souls version of Lady Maria from Bloodborne -- a quick, exhilarating duel to death. The second one takes Ornstein & Smough and adds a little twist to it. And there's also another big surprise I prefer not to reveal.

The multi-phased DLC final boss, alongside its music and scenario, is a pleasure to grapple with -- and even more to defeat.

New Weapons, Armor Sets, Rings, Spells...

Like every other area, The Painted World of Ariandel contains new items. The DLC introduces 13 new weapons, 5 armor sets, 4 spells, 2 shields, a pyromancy flame, and a ring.

Many of the new items are so unique that they add new mechanics to the game. For example, there's a spell that allows you to throw an energy disk like a boomerang. Other interesting objects include a chandelier-like sword, a new torch you can fire-breathe with, and an ice spell -- among other things.

A PvP Arena with Multiple Modes

Finally, Ashes of Ariandel brings a new PvP arena, where players can engage into battle through three different modes. There's Duel, a one-on-one fight without Estus Flasks; Brawl, a free-for-all match; and Co-Op Match, which allows us to join team battles of up to six players.

Having an arena dedicated to PvP only is one feature Dark Souls III was seriously lacking. Now, PvP players have a place where they can enjoy fighting friends or randoms without getting interrupted.

Ashes of Ariandel brings something for everyone -- whether you are a single player or a PvP enthusiast. On one hand, The Painted World of Ariandel is an extremely polished area, with lots of content and lore implications. On the other hand, the PvP Arena is a welcome adition to the base game. FromSoftware keeps surprising us with their DLC content, something other companies and developers should strive for.

Dark Souls 3 Ashes of Ariandel DLC is Officially Out https://www.gameskinny.com/gbl7g/dark-souls-3-ashes-of-ariandel-dlc-is-officially-out https://www.gameskinny.com/gbl7g/dark-souls-3-ashes-of-ariandel-dlc-is-officially-out Tue, 25 Oct 2016 10:40:31 -0400 Lampstradamus

For those of you who were on the Dark Souls 3 train and were waiting for more, the first piece of DLC for the game is finally out, along with a launch trailer

The first DLC, titled Ashes of Ariandel, was reported to be out early on consoles but is now officially out on all platforms.

For those familiar with the first Dark Souls and its Painted World of Ariamis, the DLC takes place in the similar Painted World of Ariandel.

The DLC features new areas, new bosses, new weapons, new spells. and new armors for players to experience. The DLC also features a fan favorite feature for those who thrive on player on player action, a PvP arena.

Those of you who already have the DLC can access the Painted  World of Ariandel by going to the Cleansing Chapel bonfire in the Cathedral of the Deep and talking to an NPC located near the bonfire. 

How to Access the Dark Souls III: Ashes of Ariandel DLC https://www.gameskinny.com/ipwec/how-to-access-the-dark-souls-iii-ashes-of-ariandel-dlc https://www.gameskinny.com/ipwec/how-to-access-the-dark-souls-iii-ashes-of-ariandel-dlc Mon, 24 Oct 2016 18:01:24 -0400 Jared Elliott

FromSoftware has a peculiar habit of making their DLCs difficult to access -- and Dark Souls III: Ashes of Ariandel is set to continue this trend. The Souls tradition places DLC access points smack in the middle of the game, and they're usually carefully hidden to boot.

Fortunately for Dark Souls fans, the unexpected early release of Ashes of Ariandel for Xbox One last week allowed a few brave pioneers to find the gateway to Ariandel ahead of the rest of us. Thanks to these folks, the rest of us have been spared hours of frustration and aimless searching.

Today after 3:00 p.m. PDT for Steam users and 9:00 p.m. PDT for console users, Ashes of Ariandel will be accessible with the help of a new NPC who appears very close to the Cleansing Chapel bonfire. He can be found kneeling to the right of the nearby altar. If you aren't familiar with the bonfire by name, it is found in the building which serves as the central "shortcut hub" of the Cathedral of the Deep - you know, the fancy church with golden double doors and tons of smashable wooden chairs inside.

Speaking with this NPC will grant the player access to Ariandel automatically. But don't worry -- after lighting the first bonfire in Ariandel, the player can easily warp back and forth from the Painted World just like any other area.

While the Cathedral of the Deep is a relatively early-game area, newcomers to Dark Souls III should expect to invest a few hours of gameplay before the DLC content can be reached. For everyone else, "May the flames guide thee" through your journey through the mysterious and dangerous land of Ariandel!

Dark Souls 3 DLC Ashes of Ariandel released early on XBox One https://www.gameskinny.com/w65qk/dark-souls-3-dlc-ashes-of-ariandel-released-early-on-xbox-one https://www.gameskinny.com/w65qk/dark-souls-3-dlc-ashes-of-ariandel-released-early-on-xbox-one Fri, 21 Oct 2016 03:59:41 -0400 Seth Zulinski

Some events, it seems, are doomed to repeat themselves over and over. It's a major part of the story of the Dark Souls series, by developer FROMSoftware...

...and also, apparently, it's release.

Imitating an ahead of schedule release of the Dark Souls 3 base game, Dark Souls 3's DLC Ashes of Ariandel is currently available on Xbox One -- days ahead of its scheduled drop date of October 25th. 

We're not sure how long it's going to be until it disappears from the store, or whether it's already been taken down. But a number of outlets have already used the opportunity to write reviews of the DLC, most of which have been positive. 

If you weren't lucky enough to catch the DLC while it was leaked on the store, you only have four more days to wait until Ashes officially drops. 

Get your runs ready, Undead - the Ashes are falling.

Ariandel awaits. 

Everything There Is to Know About Dark Souls III: Ashes of Ariandel https://www.gameskinny.com/h11eu/everything-there-is-to-know-about-dark-souls-iii-ashes-of-ariandel https://www.gameskinny.com/h11eu/everything-there-is-to-know-about-dark-souls-iii-ashes-of-ariandel Wed, 19 Oct 2016 10:00:01 -0400 Jared Elliott

Anyone who has played a game in the Dark Souls series knows that walking blindly into a new area usually means frustration and certain death. When Dark Souls III: Ashes of Ariandel releases for PS4, Xbox One, and PC October 24, 2016, fans of the series will venture into the unknown territory of Ariandel with enemies and environments never seen before. In other words, the above-mentioned frustration and certain death is sure to be pervasive. But isn't that why we love Dark Souls in the first place?

To ease the passage of eager fans through snowy Ariandel, we've compiled everything we know about the DLC, so beware of spoilers! We'll also cover a few exciting gameplay updates coming to Dark Souls III alongside Ashes of Ariandel. Dark Souls fans can expect some seriously game-changing overhauls, both in the DLC and the main game. Trust us, you don't want to miss these.

The World of Ariandel

When developer From Software dropped the first Ashes of Ariandel trailer back in August, fans noted that the snowy landscape, rickety bridge, and single stone tower pictured above are reminiscent of a land familiar to some - the Painted World of Ariamis, an optional area initially discovered by only the most adventurous and keen-eyed players. If you have no idea what we're talking about, these insights into the trailer should fill you in.

When Director Hidetaka Miyazaki was asked last month whether Ariandel and the Painted World are one and the same, he revealed just enough to stir up some mystery:

[Ashes of Ariandel] is taking place in the Painted World, but it’s taking place in a different Painted World. However, there are some connections between this Painted World and the one from the original Dark Souls. The reason I decided to return to the Painted World is because it matches with the theme I’m trying to describe in the first DLC. Players should be able to understand the reason as they play the DLC."

Similarly to the Painted World of Ariamis in Dark Souls, the world of Ariandel will be separate and removed from the base game of Dark Souls III. Additionally, Miyazaki has implied that the DLC's in-game events will have no relevance to the main plot that unfolds in Lothric:

Ashes of Ariandel is independent from the base game ... The storyline and theme of the base game are pretty much concluded in the base game.

This may be rather disappointing. While the Painted World of Ariamis was geographically removed from Lordran in Dark Souls, the two worlds were inextricably linked by captivating lore elements. In the Painted World, the origins of Crossbreed Priscilla, the various occult items, the worship of Velka, and the painting itself are all tied to the outside world of Lordran. Since Dark Souls was released in 2011, fans have spent countless hours tying up loose ends and creating compelling theories surrounding the lore of the Painted World. It would be a shame to see this crucial element removed from the experience of Ariandel.

Whatever the content of the DLC may be, getting to Ariandel in the first place may pose a challenge for newcomers. Miyazaki has stated that the area will not be accessible early in the game:

Our approach to the DLC for Dark Souls 3 is allowing players to access the DLC once they reach a certain area of the base game  ... Once they reach that area, they always have access to the DLC. But that is definitely not at the very beginning of the game, because of the difficulty level.

The late-game DLC access point for Ashes of Ariandel is a From Software tradition. DLCs for the Souls series and Bloodborne are all accessible about halfway through the main game, for example, and they usually require a quick internet search to find at all. In the Dark Souls DLC, Artorias of the Abyss, the new content is discovered in an area that most players will never find - and if they're lucky, they already found the necessary item needed to spawn the DLC access point in that location.

This isn't necessarily a bad thing for fans, as mystery and exploration are critical aspects of the Souls-ian ethos. For others, however, this may prove frustrating. While purists may scoff, it's well-known that Google is your friend in world of Dark Souls.

The Enemies

The creatures and critters skulking around Ariandel are what we've come to expect from Miyazaki - they are varied and unique, and each is a showcase of From Software's brilliant design team. From monolithic, viking-esque warriors to silent, stalking wolf packs, Ashes of Ariandel tosses some undeniably cool additions into the Dark Souls enemy collection. Luckily, we got to see a few of them in action during the latest trailer (below). What exactly are those creepy things at 3:20?

If not the incredibly cool enemies or smothering atmosphere, the boss battles of the Dark Souls series are its most iconic characteristic. Ashes of Ariandel features exactly two of these - both of which, unfortunately, were spoiled in the trailer above. The first features an Ornstein-and-Smough-esque fight against two opponents - a mysterious warrior known as Gravetender a giant wolf, reminiscent of Sif, which is predictably named Greatwolf. One can't help but think of Knight Artorias and his companion Sif - but whether there is a connection between the worlds of Dark Souls and Dark Souls III remains to be seen.

The next boss fight appears to happen in two stages. First, the player must tackle a mysterious hooded woman who wields a scythe and bears a resemblance to Priscilla from the Painted World of Ariamis. She is quick on her feet, and feels more characteristic of a hunter in Bloodborne than other human-ish enemies encountered in Dark Souls III. We know for sure that she's a threat, but the question whether or not she has any connection to Priscilla is a different story. Sadly, we have to wait until October 25 to find out.

Next comes the grandpappy of all creepy bosses who like to wield giant bowls of lava. Theories abound of this giant creep's identity and origin, with guesses ranging from Allfather Lloyd to Velka, the Goddess of Sin and beyond. Although we can't discern its identity, we can glean from the trailer that this boss is somehow an important figure in its world. The hooded woman refers to it as "father," it appears to be chained to a throne-like chair, and it carries what is very similar to the Lordvessel. You won't have much time to think about the Lordvessel's presence in Ariandel, though, because Mr. Creep is going to smash you with it immediately.

The Arena

Ashes of Ariandel features a new multiplayer PvP area known as the Hollow Arena, which is similar in concept to the Battle of Stoicism in Dark Souls, but includes many new features to get excited about. The Hollow Arena will have two battle modes - Duel and Brawl. Duels are one-on-one fights which end when a player is killed in combat, whereas brawls use a more traditional deathmatch template. In other words, brawls can include up to six players - three per team - and each kill is a points. Whichever team has the most points at the end of a specified time limit wins the match.

The arena itself is a slightly-modified version of the Kiln of the First Flame in the main game for now, but it is rumored that new maps will be released in the future. It is unknown at this point whether a reward system will be included to incentivize victory, like the Forest Hunter covenant did in Dark Souls - though some would say that the souls of fallen enemies are reward enough.

The Patches

No, not that Patches. These patches are more predictable thanks to recently posted release notes, and much trustier. Okay, that's enough with Souls jokes. Levity aside, the updates scheduled for release alongside Ashes of Ariandel on October 25 will include all of the typical fare: bug fixes, microscopic balance tweaks, and the like. Some updates, however, are literally game-changing.

Reportedly, Sword Arts and even some basic attacks are due for an extreme makeover, with animations and overall functions expected to change for many weapons. That's right - the Sword Art gameplay element is going to be revamped entirely, and it's possible that you'll no longer have to swing the greatsword straight up and down like a ninny.

Most notably, poise will receive its long-overdue reconstruction to better match the superior poise system in the original Dark Souls. If you aren't in the know, "poise" is a value given to armor which determines how likely your character is to stagger from an enemy attack. In the Dark Souls poise system, heavy armor has high poise, which makes the player stagger less often. Likewise, light armor has low poise and allows for more staggering, but also allows for faster movement to evade attacks.

Much to the frustration of players everywhere, the poise system in Dark Souls III has existed in name only until now. In other words, heavy and light armors are equally terrible at preventing stagger, which eliminates the efficacy and practicality of using heavy weapons and armor. Thankfully, this will no longer be the case for long. 

You can check out the full list of patches on the Dark Souls wiki page.

Is there anything we missed? Let us know in the comments!

New Info Surfaces for Arena System, Weapons, Armor, and Spells in Dark Souls 3 Ashes of Ariandel DLC https://www.gameskinny.com/c4bok/new-info-surfaces-for-arena-system-weapons-armor-and-spells-in-dark-souls-3-ashes-of-ariandel-dlc https://www.gameskinny.com/c4bok/new-info-surfaces-for-arena-system-weapons-armor-and-spells-in-dark-souls-3-ashes-of-ariandel-dlc Mon, 17 Oct 2016 09:37:00 -0400 Seth Zulinski

Recently four notable Souls personalities (Peeve Peeverson, RBFrosty, Dreadedcone, and iSkys)  were invited to participate in an early access look at the upcoming Arena in Dark Souls 3's DLC Ashes of Ariandel (releasing on October 25th). And that also meant a preview into the weapons, armor, and spells that will be available.

But if watching the Father of Bloodshades' 20-minute exploration is a bit too long for your tastes, never fear -- the TL;DR is below. 

OBVIOUS WARNING: The content both in the video and below contain minor spoilers about the upcoming Arena system, as well as some arms and armor found in the DLC. 

So far, the released content has covered 3 new weapons, 2 new armor sets, a new shield, and a new spell -- though the stats and some of the Weapon Arts/special moves have been forcibly concealed. 

Weapons, Shields, and Spells

The Onyx Blade
Seen in trailers, this weapon may very well be the longest Greatsword in the game -- giving a little more reach to those horizontal GS swings we're all used to. While the Onyx Blade only reaches +5 (and is therefore unbuffable by outside means such as Resins or spells), it does sport a fairly strong Dark buff all on its own (with a cool buff animation to boot).

The Gladius and Smallshield combination seen in some combat trailers, this fast little number takes a standard Straight Sword moveset perfect for infinite R1 spam and pairs it with a new "blocking leap" attack capable of covering a fair bit of ground while keeping your guard up. With a solid dashing thrust and a possibly-magic enhanced "guard break" action, you can be sure we're going to see plenty of this Sword and Board combo in upcoming PvP.

Even better, it's a paired item like Twinblades -- keeping your offhand free for any additional weapons you may want, but having the shield ready at a click of the 2-Hand button. 

The Follower Javelin

While the standard Spear moveset isn't anything to write home about, the Weapon Art certainly is. The Follower Javelin has a (thus far) unique Weapon Art that will launch the spear as a ranged projectile before returning to its owner's hand. Perfect for long range harassment, roll catches, and Estus stopping, the Follower Javelin packs a lot of punch in very little space. 

The Follower Shield

Intricate frontal design on a relatively large frame suggests this is something of a Medium shield, not quite Havel's but a far cry better at damage absorption than your favorite Buckler. Most interesting is its inclusion of the Weapon Art moveset rather than the traditionally favorable parry -- it seems almost built to be paired with some weapon that has a fun and infinite useable Weapon Art...but what weapon could that be? 

Frozen Weapon

Cast with what looks to be a stave/catalyst, this new Sorcerous weapon buff applies Frostbite to the chosen weapon -- opening up whole new worlds in terms of PvP endurance management and offense styles. Given how prominent "rolling forever" is in the current game, the ability to cripple enemy Endurance recovery is a welcome addition to the current roster of spell-based weapon buffs. 


Two new armor sets saw some screen time during the preview. There's the Follower Set, a fair mashup of leather and scale that looks to be in line with "medium armor" sets, and even sporting the traditional "kind of armor but not" fur topping found on Drang and Faraam-wear currently available. Unfortunately, the hat is ludicrous -- a long metal cone rising upwards that's more suited for joke-cosplay than our beloved Fashion Souls. 

Luckily, the Milwood set picks up much of the slack, offering players another shot at a heavier armor set that doesn't look like an oversized Archdeacon crammed into a tin can. Complete with a horned helm, furs, leathers, and a crest emblazoned on the chest piece, this set looks like the wrath of some ancient Norse god put into clothing -- perfect for your Dark Souls Odin cosplay, if you could find some sort of magic spear...

The Arena

The thing many of us are most anxious for in the upcoming Dark Souls 3 DLC, Ashes of Ariandel -- the Arena system finally returns to (and seemingly improves upon) the old PvP slaughterhouse of Dark Souls. For those of us who are getting a little tired of Invading in only to be met by three full Havel monsters lying in wait spamming "Welcome", the new system allows a bit more numerically fair engagements in Duels, 2v2s, 3v3s, and those iterations of a free for all, King of the Hill style Brawl mode. 

There were also selections for "Cooperative 2v2" and "Cooperative 3v3". While the invited players themselves couldn't quite figure it out, we're all leaning heavily towards this being a PvP bracket meant for players that wish to queue together, and wreak havoc on the Arena as a team rather than as a single Chosen Undead. 

For those of you afraid of the inevitable Estus chug, take heart . In many modes Estus seems to be disabled completely (and Ashen Estus severely limited). Others offer but a single sip of Sunny D, reclaimable only by doing most of the dirty work destroying an enemy phantom. 

While you can certainly let your colors fly with your Covenants equipped, there do not seem to be (at least by these videos) any Covenant rewards handed out for vanquishing your opponents. Sorry, Darkmoon brothers and sisters, it seems we're still going to have to get our severed ears the old fashioned way -- by cutting them from Silver Knights in Anor Londo.

Just as Gwyn intended. 

While there's still tons more weapons and spells to check out when Ashes of Ariandel releases on the 25th, this peek into the upcoming PvP addition of Dark Souls 3's DLC is a grossly incandescent ray of sunshine for the reds, blues, whites, yellows, pinks, and purples that have gotten a little tired of the pit in Anor Londo. 

In an age of eSports and competitive gaming, one of the most legendary game series of modern times has given a cutthroat PvP community an Arena. Will Ashes of Ariandel bring with it a burgeoning Dark Souls competitive scene? Only time will tell. 

Until then, though...charge that Dragonslayer's Swordspear, paint your Warden Twinblades rouge, praise the sun, and pass the ammunition. 

It's about to get bloody. 

Game Deals: Final Fantasy XIV, Star Wars Battlefront, Minecraft and More! https://www.gameskinny.com/yuhvr/game-deals-final-fantasy-xiv-star-wars-battlefront-minecraft-and-more https://www.gameskinny.com/yuhvr/game-deals-final-fantasy-xiv-star-wars-battlefront-minecraft-and-more Thu, 29 Sep 2016 07:08:59 -0400 Kat De Shields

Here's your chance to scoop up some older titles you want to add to your collection. Save 30 - 50% off with today's video game deals. 

Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward

The Final Fantasy franchise is self-explanatory. Save 50% when you order this title on Amazon. You can also save 50% off the online version for PS4. 

Dark Souls III

A can of whoop-ass for your console. Buy this game at 40% off for Xbox One and let the rage quitting commence. 

Star Wars: Battlefront 

Save 42% off list price when you purchase this game on Amazon. A must have title for any Star Wars fan. 

Mad Max 

The movie was totally bad ass. Now relive the Mad Max universe on your PS4 at 50% off. "Only the savage survive."


If you haven't tapped into the Minecraft craze yet, here's your chance to enter the block-building unvierse for 32% off. 

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I’m always looking for new awesome products, so please send me your favorites at commerce@LaunchMediaNetwork.com. Also, sign up for our Launch Commerce newsletter to receive the best deals of the week right in your inbox. 

Dark Souls Creator Reveals Three New Projects at Toyko Game Show https://www.gameskinny.com/83kci/dark-souls-creator-reveals-three-new-projects-at-toyko-game-show https://www.gameskinny.com/83kci/dark-souls-creator-reveals-three-new-projects-at-toyko-game-show Mon, 26 Sep 2016 11:09:12 -0400 Jared Elliott

As the world gears up for the October 25 release of Dark Souls III: Ashes of Ariandel, the developers at FromSoftware are busy working on three brand-new projects. During an interview with IGN at the Tokyo Game Show last week, Director Hidetaka Miyazaki dropped a few hints about what to expect from the post-Souls development team:

"So there are several titles that we are currently working on [...] Some of those are dark fantasy, some of those could be a mech [game] - that's one thing. The second thing is that one of the new titles I've been working on will probably comply with the expectations from the fans in straightforward manner."

Miyazaki goes on to reveal more specific details about the above-mentioned projects: The first is a dark fantasy RPG which is likely similar in concept to Dark Souls and Bloodborne, which would certainly "comply with the expectations from the fans"; the second is a new Armored Core title; and the third is a mysterious game that Miyazaki describes as simply "weird":

"The last thing is that another title will probably be a little bit weird. When we actually announce the title, probably fans will react with 'oh, what the hell is this very weird game that Miyazaki has created?'"

Miyazaki disclosed the same information to 4gamer.net back in June, but as the interview was originally conducted in Japanese, Anglophones have had to rely on translation efforts by the good samaritans at NeoGAF. Now, almost four months later, English-speaking gamers can have confidence that this news is accurate.

Because no formal announcement for any project has been made at this point in time, there is no way of knowing when we can expect any of FromSoftware's works-in-progress to be released. Two DLCs are due for Dark Souls III between now and January 2017, so unless Miyazaki has any tricks up his sleeve, we may have to wait until next summer before we see an official unveiling.

Curious about next month's DLC? Watch the first five minutes here!

3 Exciting Revelations From the First 5 Minutes of Dark Souls III: Ashes of Ariandel https://www.gameskinny.com/cx9lo/3-exciting-revelations-from-the-first-5-minutes-of-dark-souls-iii-ashes-of-ariandel https://www.gameskinny.com/cx9lo/3-exciting-revelations-from-the-first-5-minutes-of-dark-souls-iii-ashes-of-ariandel Fri, 23 Sep 2016 05:06:27 -0400 Jared Elliott

Praise the sun! In an unexpected, yet highly anticipated turn of events, FromSoftware has unleashed exclusive gameplay footage of the upcoming Dark Souls III DLC, Ashes of Ariandel. As if that wasn't enough for fans to drool over, Dark Souls creator Hidetaka Miyazaki has revealed some new insights into the content and theme of the DLC. To make sense of all of this new information, it's time to break down the three most exciting revelations within the new trailer.

If you haven't yet discovered the secret insights hidden in last month's Ashes of Ariandel trailer, you may want to catch up there first. Also, be advised that this list contains spoilers. You have been warned!

3. Sif, The Great Grey Wolf, Lives On in Ariandel

For those who read my recent Ashes of Ariandel list, you know that a brief hint of Sif's return in last month's trailer sent my heart soaring. Though his return at first seemed unlikely, we are given something in the new trailer which has already sent my hype train down the tracks -- a huge wolf that looks a lot like Sif. Because Sif died at the hands of the player in the original Dark Souls, a true return may be unlikely -- but with Miyazaki, there is always more than meets the eye.


It appears that the wolf is not alone, either. At 3:38 in the trailer, a mysterious, hooded warrior is seen fighting alongside him. This warrior is reminiscent of the legendary Knight Artorias, who was Sif's companion and battle partner before falling to the Abyss in Dark Souls. Before meeting his fate, however, Artorias shielded Sif from the power of the Abyss, saving his life. The bond between these two characters was undoubtedly powerful, but how they could possibly reunite in Ariandel after all this time is a mystery.


Still, the wolf attacks the player similarly to how Sif did in Dark Souls, albeit without a giant sword in his mouth to swing around. Regardless of the wolf's identity -- if it has one -- the fight itself looks to be a thrilling experience. The wolf virtually bulldozes the arena, blasting snow in all directions with a vicious snarl. Meanwhile, its lone companion chases after the player on foot. This is similar in concept to the notorious battle with Ornstein and Smough - one fast enemy to keep players on their toes, and one slow enemy to clobber them when least expect it. If we're lucky, this fight could be just as memorable.

2. Miyazaki Confirms that Ariandel is the Painted World...Sort Of

In a recent interview, Miyazaki confirmed that the new world of Ariandel is the a same, yet somehow different Painted World of Ariamis from the original Dark Souls:

"It is taking place in the Painted World, but it’s taking place in a different Painted World. However, there are some connections between this Painted World and the one from the original Dark Souls. The reason I decided to return to the Painted World is because it matches with the theme I’m trying to describe in the first DLC. Players should be able to understand the reason as they play the DLC."


And indeed, the newly-released footage offers a few hints for fans who may have suspected it all along. The most notable of these is a boss near the end, which bears a strong resemblance to the half-human, half-dragon Crossbreed Priscilla who resides in the Painted World. Both wield scythes and share Priscilla's characteristic pale skin and hair, for example. Yet, admittedly, the Ashes of Ariandel boss lacks Priscilla's tail and is several times smaller than the Crossbreed we meet in Dark Souls. In light of Miyazaki's ambiguous take on the setting, however, fans may be in for a big surprise. 

1. The Inhabitants of Ariandel are Terrifying

In the eerie, blizzard-like world of Ariandel, some of the most aggressive enemies of Dark Souls III lurk in the distant fog. They come in an assortment of flavors -- spearmen, swordsmen, pyromancers, and one particularly scary hulk who wields a battleaxe larger than your character. Each is equipped with armor which is apparently foreign to Lothric, yet remains unclear in its origin.


One piece of armor -- an iron helmet adorned with deer antlers -- appears atop the head of the aforementioned hulk, who is undoubtedly the most intimidating enemy in the trailer. First appearing at 2:10 in the new Ashes of Ariandel footage, this enemy is relentless in its attack and often catches the player off guard. This is no small concern due to the extreme force behind each swing of its heavy battleaxe. Surprisingly, this guy isn't a boss enemy - just a steep challenge to keep you on your toes.

Speaking of bosses, Miyazaki revealed in his interview that there will be exactly two.

"It’s kind of a spoiler, but there will be two boss battles in the DLC. Just like in the base game, there will be big changes during each boss battle. That’s being emphasized more."


Sadly, it appears that both boss fights may have been spoiled in the new trailer -- the Sif and Priscilla look-alikes. Yet, near the end, the player is seen fighting the creepy, Lordvessel-toting monster that we first saw in last month's trailer. Even stranger, the battle takes place in what appears to be the same arena where not-Priscilla is fought. Could this mystery woman really transform into such a beast? We'll have to wait to find out.

DORK SOULS! A Collection of Dark Souls Spoofs https://www.gameskinny.com/rrc8e/dork-souls-a-collection-of-dark-souls-spoofs https://www.gameskinny.com/rrc8e/dork-souls-a-collection-of-dark-souls-spoofs Fri, 23 Sep 2016 08:44:31 -0400 Jeremy Brown

As much as the dark and brooding stories of From Software's Souls franchise creates very successful action RPGs, their fanbase is much the opposite in their praise. Much of what you'll find on the internet is hilarious, whimsical, and downright stupid funny. In this list we pick out some of our favorites. 

(WARNING: These videos contain spoilers to the Dark Souls franchise, and some will contain language not appropriate for all ages. Viewer discretion is advised.)

ThePruld's classic Dark Souls cinema

This was made using a filmmaking software (most likely Valve's Source filmmaker) to create a hilarious yet brief movie of three friends and their journey across the lands.

Videogamedunkey's DUNK Souls. Get it? It's a play on both the name- yeah you get it.

While Videogamedunkey is most known for his videos on League of Legends and a wide variety of games, but he also has done extensive videos on the Souls series. This video has his signature style with a lot of comedy- while making fair jabs at the series along the way.

Jameserton's Happy Souls

Out of all the animations I've watched, Happy Souls is the best without resorting to the most generic fan jokes. It does focus around Dark Souls 2 (you diehard fans might disapprove) but it also gives it a better identity in the sea of lesser Souls animations.

Iron Pineapple's Kirk Fan Club. This video is so fitting for that name, too. 

Landing on the latest entry, Dark Souls III, Iron Pinapple gives a hilarious video of what hard work and jolly cooperation can give you! The result is- well, you should just watch the video. 

After watching hours of these videos for purely professional needs, these videos had me laughing to the point of almost swallowing my gum. But it just goes to show you the talented and dedicated fanbase that From Software has acquired over the years.

Have some favorites we missed? Let us know in the comments section below, and as always, thanks for watching!