From Software Tagged Articles RSS Feed | GameSkinny.com From Software RSS Feed on GameSkinny.com https://www.gameskinny.com/ en Launch Media Network 7 Fun Facts About Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice https://www.gameskinny.com/1fdfx/7-fun-facts-about-sekiro-shadows-die-twice https://www.gameskinny.com/1fdfx/7-fun-facts-about-sekiro-shadows-die-twice Mon, 18 Mar 2019 11:09:57 -0400 Sergey_3847

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There is More Music in Sekiro Than in Dark Souls

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FromSoftware's music composer Yuka Kitamura revealed in her interview for Game Informer that there will be a lot more music in Sekiro than ever before.

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In Dark Souls games music appeared in short snippets or only during boss battles, but in Sekiro the music will accompany players throughout the entirety of the run.

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Each character has its own musical theme, and the goal of the composer was to create a score with a focus on traditional Japanese setting. This task turned out to be rather difficult, simply because the orchestral soundtrack usually used in fantasy games is not very suitable for Sekiro.

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Since Sekiro's events take place during the Sengoku period, known for its bloody conflicts, the score is imbued with a pinch of brutality.

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Will you be playing Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice on the day of the release? Leave your feedback below in the comments section, and be sure to check back soon for more related articles here at GameSkinny.

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Corrupted Monk Could Be the Hardest Boss

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Reportedly players who already tested the game said that Corrupted Monk could be one of the game's hardest bosses. Here are a few tricks that this boss will try on you:

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  • The fight has 3 phases
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  • He will block most of your attacks
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  • Some of his own attacks will be unblockable
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  • During one of the phases he literally becomes invisible
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  • Each phase increases intensity and number of attacks
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Can you imagine beating somebody as powerful as that? After these reports many players will most likely stop spreading rumours that Sekiro is an easier game than Dark Souls.

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Activision Helped FromSoftware Develop the Tutorial

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Tutorials are not what you'd expect to see in a game by FromSoftware, which is known for extremely hard games. But in an interview for EuroGamer, Hidetaka Miyazaki acknowledged that:

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These things generally aren't our forte, but we do need some support, and Activision is providing that. One reason we're working with Activision is they hold our creative vision in the highest regard. From has editorial and directive control over the game and the game's contents; after you press the start button, it's all up to the From team.

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Activision also serves as the game's publisher in the west, which is another change for the famed Japanese developer. Previously its games were distributed by Bandai Namco.

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Sekiro Has Several Endings

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In an interview for Japanese gaming outlet Game Watch, Hidetaka Miyazaki also said that Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice will have several endings. This means that during the walkthrough players will stumble upon certain story points, which will force them to make decisions, which will eventually lead to one of the endings.

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So if you want to see all the endings, you will have to finish the game several times. It's not a bad thing at all. There is a chance that by making different decisions players will reveal new content, which is always a good thing.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/c/a/n/canvas-61340.png","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/c/a/n/canvas-61340.png","type":"slide","id":"195633","description":"

Chained Ogre is Hidetaka Miyazaki's Favorite Boss

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One of the teaser-trailers for the Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice shows one of the bosses - Chained Ogre. In an interview for Game Informer, Hidetaka Miyazaki revealed that this is his favorite boss in the game.

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Although Sekiro developer decided to give up on the idea of battling extremely large bosses, Chained Ogre turns out to be a rather big opponent. In the trailer you can see that his fists are as large as that of the main protagonist's head.

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This doesn't mean that all bosses in the game are as big as this one, but it's just a fun observation made by the fans of the game.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/4/9/5/4950ed6b351700dd-1200xh-5b32b.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/4/9/5/4950ed6b351700dd-1200xh-5b32b.jpg","type":"slide","id":"195632","description":"

Here's Why Sekiro Won't Have Multiplayer

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Robert Konki, the producer of Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, revealed why the game won't have multiplayer in an interview for DualShockers. According to him, the decision was made in connection with a number of restrictions, which the multiplayer component imposed on the development team.

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In case of multiplayer, when creating a new boss, FromSoftware would have to take into account that two or more players could attack the boss, but these players would have completely different characteristics, abilities and equipment, not to mention all sorts of classes. This would make the development really difficult.

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As a result, the developer decided to go in a direction that would not limit its vision of the game, so the team focused entirely on the single player mode. In this case some boss fights resemble a complex puzzle rather than a classic battle with an overpowered opponent from the Souls games.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/p/4/d/p4d0fci52yclwdmwkebcxg-80d48.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/p/4/d/p4d0fci52yclwdmwkebcxg-80d48.jpg","type":"slide","id":"195631","description":"

Sekiro Was Inspired by the Tenchu Series

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In the latest exclusive interview for Variety Hidetaka Miyazaki, the FromSoftware president, revealed information about the source of inspiration for Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice. Here is the full quote:

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A lot of influence came from Tenchu. We even pondered upon making Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice a part of the Tenchu series at first. Of course, after that we researched and referenced many other games as well; however, I think the largest influence was from Tenchu.

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This also confirms the words of certain employees of FromSoftware, who said that Sekiro eventually turned into a completely different game than it was supposed to be at the beginning of development.

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Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice comes out March 22 on PC, PS4, and Xbox One. This is the first major project for FromSoftware after the release of Dark Souls 3 in 2016.

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It also marks a significant departure from the developer's trademark Soulsborne genre, and this time it will try something that is more related to the traditional action-adventure and stealth genres.

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A lot of information regarding the development of the game has been kept under wraps for the entirety of the development process. But now you have the chance to learn a few new and exciting things about Sekiro, which you might have missed.

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Here are seven fun facts about Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice that will hopefully give you a different perspective on what to expect from this new title. This also means that you should be aware of some spoilers ahead.

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Dark Souls Creator Interested In Developing Battle Royale Game https://www.gameskinny.com/upqd3/dark-souls-creator-interested-in-developing-battle-royale-game https://www.gameskinny.com/upqd3/dark-souls-creator-interested-in-developing-battle-royale-game Sat, 09 Mar 2019 10:17:08 -0500 William R. Parks

Between the acclaimed Dark Souls series and Bloodborne, From Software has thoroughly established itself as a studio that can deliver stellar single-player experiences. However, a recent interview with Hidetaka Miyazaki, president of From Software and the creator of Souls, indicates that the company may have its eye on something a bit different in the future.

When asked by the Telegraph about his opinions on the battle royale genre and live service games, Miyazaki had kind words, stating that "these games are definitely fun." He went a step further than mere compliments, though, indicating that From Software is "definitely interested" in exploring development of these types of experiences and would "love to take a crack at them someday."

That said, as those that are familiar with the studio are likely to expect, Miyazaki emphasizes that a battle royale or live service title developed by From Software "might be a bit different" than what is currently available. Indeed, it might be hard to imagine the studio releasing a title in the vein of Fortnite or Destiny 2.

While these words from Miyazaki are clear in expressing some level interest in exploring multiplayer-focused experiences, fans that may be concerned about From Software abandoning single-player games need not panic yet. That is, in the interview with the Telegraph, he states how important he believes diversity is in game development:

Regardless of what From Software is doing, we need people making battle royale games and live services and we need people making single-player focused experiences. We feel that this diversity is what will keep everyone going.

As such, it seems that as long as there is room in the market for more single-player games, fans can expect From Software to continue releasing them. Of course, this commitment can be seen with the release of the company's upcoming single-player action-adventure title, Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice.

Even still, some fans will certainly find the prospect of a multiplayer-focused From Software title exciting. Indeed, a live service or battle royale game that is executed with the company's notable attention to detail could be a thoroughly enjoyable experience.

More from Miyazaki's interview can be found on the Telegraph's website.

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Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice Has Multiple Endings https://www.gameskinny.com/vmp2w/sekiro-shadows-die-twice-has-multiple-endings https://www.gameskinny.com/vmp2w/sekiro-shadows-die-twice-has-multiple-endings Fri, 01 Feb 2019 10:24:40 -0500 William R. Parks

As players gear up for the release of Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, From Software's upcoming shinobi-fueled action-adventure game, new details on the title continue to emerge. One such aspect was recently confirmed in an interview with Hidetaka Miyazaki, the game's director and president of From Software, and it focuses on Sekiro's ending.

Specifically, Miyazaki was asked, when speaking with Game Watch, if there are different possible conclusions to Sekiro based on certain playthrough conditions. Miyazaki confirmed that indeed, there are multiple endings, and accessing them is "even more rooted in the story" than in previous From Software games.

While this point was not expanded upon in the interview, fans of the studio's recent titles will not find it surprising that Sekiro features a number of finales. Bloodborne, for example, has several endings, and each must be individually accessed by completing a full playthrough. That is, players must start from the game's beginning for every one of the endings they wish to view.

One of the ways that this 2015 title kept players interested after finishing it was a NG+ system. Under this system, each subsequent playthrough of Bloodborne, up to the sixth, featured enemies with increased health and damage, and Miyazaki has confirmed that Sekiro will also use a system that makes continued play more challenging.

As a result, many players will likely wish to experience the new title multiple times just to test their skills against more difficult opponents. For these players, getting to see a multitude of endings may just be icing on the cake.

While From Software has confirmed some details about Sekiro's story, including information about its protagonist and setting, the contents of any of its conclusion are unknown at this time. That said, if the company's previous titles are any indication, those endings are certain to be grand in their scope.

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is still nearly two months away from release, and players are, no doubt, champing at the bit for this highly anticipated game. While these fans wait for its release, it may be advisable for them to brush up on their combat prowess, as From Software has indicated that the title will be "extremely difficult."

Miyazaki's interview with Game Watch, as translated by Reddit user Zelda_2017, can be found on Reddit.

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Metal Wolf Chaos Heads West with Metal Wolf Chaos XD https://www.gameskinny.com/2l13o/metal-wolf-chaos-heads-west-with-metal-wolf-chaos-xd https://www.gameskinny.com/2l13o/metal-wolf-chaos-heads-west-with-metal-wolf-chaos-xd Mon, 11 Jun 2018 14:02:16 -0400 Erroll Maas

At their E3 2018 press briefing, Devolver Digital announced that From Software's 2004 Japan-only Xbox exclusive title, Metal Wolf Chaos, is receiving a remaster known as Metal Wolf Chaos XD. It will see a worldwide launch for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC in 2018.

Metal Wolf Chaos XD will have upgraded visuals, refined controls and gameplay, a brand-new save system, and 4K and 16:9 support for modern displays. The cheesy, over-the-top English dialogue Metal Wolf Chaos is known for will also remain intact.

This announcement comes after Devolver Digital previously teased Metal Wolf Chaos by uploading an image the presidential seal seen in the game via Twitter.

Metal Wolf Chaos XD's official release date was only revealed to be 2018. It is currently unknown if the game will receive a physical release. Interested players can also visit the Metal Wolf Chaos XD website for more information. 

Stay tuned to GameSkinny for more news and info on this remaster as it develops. 

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Why I'd Love to See a Demon's Souls Remaster https://www.gameskinny.com/5jxbo/why-id-love-to-see-a-demons-souls-remaster https://www.gameskinny.com/5jxbo/why-id-love-to-see-a-demons-souls-remaster Thu, 31 May 2018 12:52:29 -0400 Pleeb Boy

Now that Dark Souls: Remastered has dropped, it's really got people thinking about the Souls series again, myself included. I've long yearned for Demon's Souls, the first title in the series, to get a shiny, new coat ever since the PlayStation 4 was announced. Originally, I thought it would be a good idea to have Demon's Souls come out on the PS4 before Dark Souls; however, now that interest in the series has been rekindled, it's the perfect time for the lesser-known title to rear its head. Before we get into that, let's look at a little bit of the history behind Demon's Souls and how it came to be. 

Originally, Demon's Souls started out as a successor to King's Field; however, the project was failing, and ideas began to stagnate. Then Hidetaka Miyazaki came to direct the project, having previously worked on the Armored Core series. Miyazaki wanted the project to have the feel of older games and force players to figure out information for themselves rather than just being able to look it up.

The game wasn't necessarily intended to be difficult but did turn out that way due to its own design philosophy. Preferring visual storytelling, FromSoftware made every environment detailed and told most of the story through locations and item descriptions rather than huge amounts of exposition. The game only released in Asia at first, in February 2009, with the idea that a Western release was too risky, as the game was so different from popular games at the time. After this, it gained traction on the internet and was published in North America by Atlus USA in October 2009 and eventually by Bandai Namco in June 2010.  

Now let's discuss what would be some nice additions to Demon's Souls should it be remastered for PlayStation 4. The reason it is very unlikely to come out on any other platform is because Sony holds the rights to the game and very rarely sells their assets. Whilst it's a sad reality that we probably won't see the gothic fantasy title release on any other platforms, we may get the game on PS4 as it would mean every Souls title would be available on the console.

Demon's Souls came out in 2009, meaning the graphics and visuals are pretty dated. The art design and world still look stunning to this day, but they would look even better with a complete graphics overhaul. Dark Souls Remastered got the 60fps-and-higher resolution treatment but would have looked even better with the addition of dynamic lighting and cloth physics, as well as all the other things that would come with a complete reworking of the game's graphics.

If whoever remastered the game chose to do this, it would be great accompanied by an updated character creator. Later games in the series have a detailed character creator that could easily be implemented into Demon's Souls. With new graphics, it would be a shame not to be able to show off a character with giant green lips and an electric blue ponytail.

Lastly, it would be great to play on dedicated servers with a password system. They could even make the password system more immersive by adding it as an in-game item, like the King Rings in Dark Souls II. With the servers having been shut down for the game on PS3 earlier this year, it would be awesome to be able to play it with people once again.  

So, what do you think? I think this is the perfect time for the earliest game in the franchise to be re-explored. With new people being brought to Dark Souls: Remastered, I'm sure some of them are itching to play Demon's Souls now more than ever.

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Top 5 Best Dark Souls Mods of All Time https://www.gameskinny.com/8x5es/top-5-best-dark-souls-mods-of-all-time https://www.gameskinny.com/8x5es/top-5-best-dark-souls-mods-of-all-time Mon, 26 Feb 2018 16:03:29 -0500 Sjaak den Heijer

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I will stay behind, to gaze at the sun.

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That wraps up our list for the 5 Best Dark Souls mods of all time. I wish all of you good luck on your travels through Lordran, and may the flames be with you. These mods should make your playthrough as awesome as it gets and help you get everything out of Dark Souls that it has to offer. If you've got a great mod yourself, be sure to share it in the comments below. And as always, stay tuned to GameSkinny for more awesome gaming content.

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Your very first Dark Souls playthrough is an awesome experience and a fond memory for many people. Dark Souls Prepare to Die Again by FTRichter tries to recreate this experience for veteran players. This mod changes up enemy spawns, item locations, and even adds in some content cut from the game. The best thing about this mod is that it's all done by hand; enemy placements and item locations are put in cleverly and in a calculated way. This mod is the closest thing you can get to a first playthrough and is a must-try for any Dark Souls veteran.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/4/4/6/446-1373690229-ccd95.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/4/4/6/446-1373690229-ccd95.jpg","type":"slide","id":"180180","description":"

Dark Souls HD Texture Pack

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If you're planning on visiting Lordran once more before Dark Souls Remastered, you definitely want to use the Dark Souls HD Texture pack by Toology86. This mod replaces almost every texture in the game. All the textures are handcrafted and are at least double the resolution of the old textures. It truly helps show off the beautiful world FromSoftware managed to create with Dark Souls and makes it shine like it never did before. 

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Lava Eyesore Fix

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Lost Izolith has to be everyone's least favorite non-skippable area in Dark Souls. The area feels rushed and incomplete, and it leaves many things to desire. Luckily, the Lava Eyesore Fix by Ryazard makes this area a bit more bearable by removing the horrible glow the old lava in the area has. This mod is very simple but a must-use whenever you play Dark Souls. Trust me, you will want to use it.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/1/2/7/1273-1495559984-65567.png","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/1/2/7/1273-1495559984-65567.png","type":"slide","id":"180183","description":"

Dark Souls Input Customizer

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Let's be honest, we all had a moment where we got frustrated by the sometimes clunky controls of Dark Souls. Maybe you wanted to roll but accidentally jumped off a cliff, or perhaps you wanted to do a kick only to find yourself getting parried because you did a regular attack. The Dark Souls Input Customizer by MethanHydrat finally solves these problems. This mod allows you to bind any action to any buttons on your controller, keyboard or mouse. This mod is super easy to use and makes life just a little bit easier and more fun while playing Dark Souls.

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"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/1/3/4/1348347842-064be.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/1/3/4/1348347842-064be.jpg","type":"slide","id":"180182","description":"

Dark Souls Flora Overhaul

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The world of Dark Souls is, according to many players, a peak in design from both a technical and an artistic perspective. But after seven years, the graphics certainly are a bit outdated. This is definitely noticeable in the flora of the game. Grass and bushes are very low in resolution, usually composed of two 2D sprites placed on top of each other. The Dark Souls Flora Overhaul by Vurt fixes this and replaces almost every piece of flora in the game with new models and much cleaner textures with higher resolutions. Any lover of nature should use this mod.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/t/h/u/thumb-1920-317234-8570f.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/t/h/u/thumb-1920-317234-8570f.jpg","type":"slide","id":"180186","description":"

Oh, hello there.

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With Dark Souls Remastered on the horizon, a lot of players have been returning to the original Dark Souls to prepare themselves, and for good reason -- the original Dark Souls remains a masterpiece to this day. The game's excellent level design, innovative combat, and challenging nature elevate this game to one of the best RPGs of all time. So if you're planning on returning to Dark Souls as well, here are five mods we've selected to make your return to Lordran an even better experience. Keep in mind that you will need DSfix by Durante to use any of these mods.

"}]]]>
Dark Souls Remastered: Why It's a Good Thing https://www.gameskinny.com/yg6lz/dark-souls-remastered-why-its-a-good-thing https://www.gameskinny.com/yg6lz/dark-souls-remastered-why-its-a-good-thing Tue, 16 Jan 2018 12:53:43 -0500 Sjaak den Heijer

Dark Souls Remastered just got announced, and the whole internet is going crazy about it. The biggest reason for this is that the Nintendo Switch release will give players the opportunity to play Dark Souls on the go. Obviously, we’re all excited to play Dark Souls with the quality of life improvements the remaster is going to bring, but in this article, I want to talk about why it is a great move for Bandai Namco to release this game.

What do the companies gain?

First of all, the hype around Dark Souls Remastered is quite big because the release date of May 25 isn’t too far away, and the hype is very unlikely to die off or last too long, meaning the sales will definitely benefit from it. You can bet that a lot of Switch owners will pick this up since many hardcore Nintendo fans never got a chance to play any of the Souls games. Apart from that, Dark Souls Remastered will also serve as a sort of bridge to fill the gap between From Software’s upcoming releases, giving us something to make the wait a little easier.

What do the players gain?

With the release of Bloodborne and Dark Souls III, the Souls community has gained a ton of new members. Dark Souls Remastered will give these players, who haven’t played the first Dark Souls game for some reason, a chance to experience its well-crafted world and its grimy atmosphere.

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With all that said, this is a win-win situation for everyone, and it’s obvious that I’m very excited for the release. I can’t wait to experience Lordran again in all its might and glory and with an all-new look. For more Dark Souls news and all things gaming, stay tuned to GameSkinny.

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Bloodborne Comic Series 'The Death of Sleep' to release in 2018 https://www.gameskinny.com/oyw76/bloodborne-comic-series-the-death-of-sleep-to-release-in-2018 https://www.gameskinny.com/oyw76/bloodborne-comic-series-the-death-of-sleep-to-release-in-2018 Wed, 01 Nov 2017 16:25:56 -0400 Erroll Maas

Titan Comics, known for their comic series based on video games such as Dishonored, Assassin's Creed, and Wolfenstein 2, has revealed that they have a comic based on From Software's PlayStation 4 exclusive game, Bloodborne,  titled The Death of Sleep, releasing in February 2018.

The art for the comic is being created by Piotr Kowalski, who also drew for the Dark Souls comic series and the Wolfenstein 2 tie-in comic, and the story is being written by Alex Kot.

The comic will see a nameless hunter arrive in Yharnam to slay the grotesque creatures which plague it. It is currently unknown if the comic will follow the story of the game or take place at a different time, but in the press release writer Alex Kot stated:

“There will be mystery, the weird, the eerie, the horrific and the bloody – and there will be an undercurrent of decaying romanticism (…) Ascend with us, Hunters old and new. And do remember: one has to seek Paleblood to transcend the hunt.”

Bloodborne: The Death of Sleep will release in February 2018. The video game, Bloodborne, is available on PlayStation 4.

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Was The Ringed City DLC a Good Way to Wrap Up Dark Souls? https://www.gameskinny.com/1tb49/was-the-ringed-city-dlc-a-good-way-to-wrap-up-dark-souls https://www.gameskinny.com/1tb49/was-the-ringed-city-dlc-a-good-way-to-wrap-up-dark-souls Wed, 12 Apr 2017 18:49:19 -0400 Marc Hollinshead

The Souls franchise has made a huge impact on the gaming community, both for fans and the wider public. From humble beginnings in Demon’s Souls, it eventually transitioned to Dark Souls 3, the final game of the saga. The game's Ringed City DLC was the final piece of content for not only that game, but the entire Souls franchise.

But was it a worthy ending? Did it wrap up the Souls series as deftly as possible and leave fans with a good taste in their mouths? Yes it did. In fact, The Ringed City is an exemplary case of a series ending on a high note. 

The Ringed City Ties Up Loose Ends

Souls is unique. Its cryptic lore, punishing boss fights, and diverse environments can swallow you whole. And all of those things have been laboriously crafted to provide a memorable experience across five vast games.

With the initial release of Dark Souls 3, the true ending to the lore of Dark Souls was already lying in wait for players to discover -- but there was still more content to come. While The Ringed City, the second and final DLC of the installment, may not have the actual story ending within, it did gave loyal fans real closure on a sentimental level.

Three of the core aspects of the series -- its lore, boss fights and environments -- were studied, refined, tweaked, and reworked to create what we have in the final DLC. Described as “Dark Souls greatest hits” across the Internet, The Ringed City was a final jaunt with the Ashen One to let players experience everything that they so dearly loved over the years in a concise-yet-meaty expansion.

Let's talk lore...

There's no doubt that unless your brain is a machine which can process information at an alarmingly quick rate, The Ringed City probably left you with a lot of questions after defeating Slave Knight Gael. Personally, I felt like the world had so much left to reveal, and my somewhat primitive method of thinking found it difficult to piece together what I had just witnessed. 

So many of us had no idea at first that we'd actually just seen a great ending.

That is what Dark Souls does so exquisitely well. It divulges a rich and incredibly deep story, but it isn’t spoon fed to you as a player. More questions will certainly arise from your romp in The Ringed City, but collating everything you know from the series will enable you to form your own version of events.

The places you have come to fear the most

Death is ubiquitous in Souls. You can never escape it no matter where you are, and the environments throughout the franchise have been pivotal in keeping it that way. A variety of traps litter the landscape throughout your journey in each of the games. And with The Ringed City being the final piece of content for the series, FromSoftware had only one more chance to unleash their creative side.

That “Dark Souls greatest hits” phrase is pandered through this aspect of the DLC most of all. Glorious and godly cities, poisonous swamps, crumbling catacombs -- The Ringed City basically incorporated every environmental trope of the saga into a few hours of gameplay. It’s quite remarkable how this was done, too.

Of course, not everything we've seen in past games could be included in a DLC. But it's clear that FromSoftware knew what Souls lovers held dear and gave them a final opportunity to experience fresh renditions of them -- laser-firing angels and all. 

Bigger, better bosses

Any true Souls fan knows that the most crucial aspect of the series is its boss fights. This can regularly be make or break for Souls content, The Ringed City was no exception. Good thing it excellent on this front, too. 

Facing crowd control fights, options for PvP mid-battle, chaotic blood-gushing madness, and an altercation against an abyssal dragon, the Ashen One essentially had to muster all the skills gained throughout their entire expedition across Lothric in order to prevail. Slave Knight Gael was, without a doubt, one of the best Souls bosses ever conceived by FromSoftware.

Taking what made each individual game great across the franchise (including Bloodborne), Miyazaki and his associates quite literally went crazy with the last ever boss of the series. After two solid hours of getting clobbered, tears of joy marked the end of the series for yours truly.

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, “Dark Souls greatest hits” is what The Ringed City felt like it was set out to be.

Since this was the final piece of content for the entire beloved franchise, FromSoftware had their work cut out for them. Exceptionally rich (yet cleverly concealed) lore pulled us in and wouldn't let go as we unraveled a story that's spanned several games. We tiptoed through dangerous environments where one toe out of place had us embracing eternal pain. And we faced monstrous bosses that any gladiator would cower at.

These three gameplay elements are what make Dark Souls, and The Ringed City did its best to distill them into their purest forms -- albeit with a few stumbles along the way. FromSoftware did their best to stick to their roots and cater to all those fans with an insatiable lust for more Souls. Aside from the added angelic hazards and celestial arrow barrages, The Ringed City was Dark Souls through and through. Nothing more, nothing less. 

Did it need to be revolutionary and totally divergent from what it was? No, not at all. This DLC did what it said on the tin -- and from that standpoint, it wrapped up the Dark Souls franchise as well as it could. Loyal fans were given something exceptional to end their time in this universe, and that's all we could ask for. 

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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!

 

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Dark Souls' Final DLC will Bring an End to an Era https://www.gameskinny.com/n6pv1/dark-souls-final-dlc-will-bring-an-end-to-an-era https://www.gameskinny.com/n6pv1/dark-souls-final-dlc-will-bring-an-end-to-an-era Fri, 27 Jan 2017 05:36:24 -0500 L.A. Skywalker

For years, the Dark Souls franchise has been a punishing trial for sadistic gamers across the globe. Since From Software's original release of Dark Souls in 2011 (excluding spiritual precursor Demon's Souls), the trilogy has taken many on a difficult ride through Gothic inspired worlds of macabre themes and grotesquely wonderful monsters.

Dark Souls is widely acclaimed as one of the more difficult yet rewarding series to touch the world of action-oriented RPG's, the Souls series has done its part in opening the eyes of game developers everywhere. Now, with the release of a second Dark Souls 3 DLC, titled The Ringed City, the Souls series will finally bring a close to an age of fire.

For those unaware, the Dark Souls series has always played prophetically with the themes of light and lark, largely in relation to fire being a central component in the bringing or vanquishing of life.  In the last installment of the franchise, the player is referred to as the "Ashen One," literally being born/reborn from the ashes in the opening scene of the game. As the player progresses, more and more lore is cryptically revealed through NPC's, item descriptions, and environmental clues. Depending on their character's actions, the player is left with a variety of end-game options, dictated completely on what to do with the fire that shapes the world. The importance of fire, both being ignited and extinguished, becomes more apparent as one progresses through the game.

In the first DLC of the third installment, titled Ashes of Ariandel, the player is transported to a "painted world," a cold place that acts as home for forlorn souls, intent on escaping Lothric (the world of Dark Souls 3). While the gameplay is punishing and the story remains engaging, the events and actions taken in this "painted" realm seem to have no bearing or impact on the overarching world in which it sits. As such, there is no sense of weight or finality, leaving some players sour. And even though this painted world was a beautifully crafted snowscape of challenges, it left the player wanting a more concrete ending to such a beloved series.

Hidetaka Miyazaki, the game's director, knew from its inception that there would be additional DLC, thus this lack of weight and finality was deemed justified. Here enters The Ringed City, From Software's final DLC for Dark Souls 3.

"The close of the age of fire," begins the recently released announcement trailer. The line is ominously narrated over a fading "Darksign," an in-game item that grants rebirth to those afflicted with (carrying) the item. The narration continues, mentioning The Ringed City as being "at [the] world's end. Past this heap of rubble."

What is interested to note is that when this last line is spoken, the scene presented is one of twisted and crumbling buildings, much like the environment of the Kiln of the First Flame (the final area of Dark Souls 3). There are striking similarities regarding this area and the environment teased in the announcement trailer. So, should these two environments be one and the same, there is a promising chance that The Ringed City may take place partially, if not entirely, in the world of Lothric. That hollow feeling (pun intended) left after Ashes of Ariandel may be satiated, as this time players won't be diving into "painted" alternate realms

It should also be noted that if The Ringed City has roots in the final area of Dark Souls 3, then accessing the DLC may require the player to follow a specific story line for a unique ending.

The trailer goes on to display a few unique monsters and weapons, a glimpse at a probable boss, and a rather large woman woefully embracing what appears to be the shell of a hatched egg. As with all announcement or teaser trailers From Software releases, so too come theories.

This woman, donning a white gown and simple circlet, is thought to possibly be Gertrude, a divine character that has yet to appear in the game, aside from snippets of lore. Other theories predict that she may be tied to Crossbreed Priscilla, an optional boss from Dark Souls, who has partial dragon parentage. This could also tie into the egg she is holding, as dragons are hatched from eggs in the series. Regardless of the theories, there is no surefire way to pin down her identity, nor the origin or importance of the hollow egg she holds.

Regardless of the verdict on The Ringed City, March 28th is set to be a bittersweet day for the Dark Souls community. Whether you were intent on stubbornly braving the trilogy alone or invading others to shove a dagger through a back, Dark Souls will remain a great example of teetering on the line between reward and punishment.

The Ringed City is set to be $14.99 at release, but only the bundled version is currently available at $24.99.  The bundle includes both DLC's and is available for purchase for Xbox One, Playstation 4, and PC.

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3 Enigmatic Geniuses Who The Gaming Industry Just Wouldn't Be the Same Without https://www.gameskinny.com/sx4s1/3-enigmatic-geniuses-who-the-gaming-industry-just-wouldnt-be-the-same-without https://www.gameskinny.com/sx4s1/3-enigmatic-geniuses-who-the-gaming-industry-just-wouldnt-be-the-same-without Mon, 14 Nov 2016 07:41:34 -0500 Clayton Reisbeck

There are a lot of game developers out there. If you pull up the Steam store's front page, you'll see games being released on a daily basis. With crowdfunding, early access, and a number of other avenues for devs to create games, it seems that everyone these days is putting out their own playable vision.

But in this ever-expanding industry, there are a select few who are masters of their craft. These developers could very easily be called geniuses, or prodigies. But what classifies them as such? Some would say it's their ability to write a story. Others would say that the systems and mechanics they implement into their games to make them function flawlessly.

Whatever it is that puts them echelons above the rest, these developers have left a lasting impact on the gaming industry. And gaming will never be the same because of them.

Satoru Iwata

Last year, we lost what many considered one of the gaming industry greatest minds. Satoru Iwata was the President of Nintendo -- and if you look back through this man's history, you can see why someone would call him a genius. Stories about his work date back to before the release of Nintendo's FamiCom system.

Satoru Iwata was such a force for Nintendo that when the president of the company was about to retire and needed a successor, he appointed Mr. Iwata even thought it meant breaking the family-held nature of the company.

The history of Satoru Iwata has many stories that define him as a genius. I think my favorite of these stories is from the era when Pokemon: Gold and Silver were being developed. Iwata was able to create tools compress the entire game map from Pokemon: Red and Blue onto a GameBoy cartridge for Gold and Silver just under one megabyte.

One of the best moments from playing Gold and Silver was finding out that you had a whole second game ahead of you after beating the first set of gyms and beating the Pokemon League for the first time. So to learn that this was done by a man who truly had a passion for creating things for people to enjoy is amazing to me. Mr. Iwata, you will be sorely missed.

Hideo Kojima

The only Kojima game I have ever played is Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. I know that this is probably shocking to hear, as I am someone who is tasked with writing about video games and being pretty knowledgeable about them as well. But even though I haven't played any of his other games, I know his legacy. Hideo Kojima is known for making some of the biggest budget games ever and creating stories that people have adored for years.

There's something to be said about a man whose exit from a company and the supposed scandal around it was mainstream news for weeks. The controversy between Kojima and Konami was everywhere, and lots of fans thought it would be the end of Konami as we knew it. 

Almost every serious gamer knows what sort of greatness to expect from a Kojima title. Perhaps the most enigmatic developer in the industry today, Kojima is hailed for his captivating dialogue and incredible storytelling. Nearly every title he's ever produced has been iconic in some way -- the Metal Gear Solid series, for example, is the pinnacle of what gamers look for in stealth games. 

Not only did Kojima revolutionize MGS and carry Konami on his shoulders, but he made his fans lose their minds over a single conceptual trailer when he announced his solo title Death Stranding at this year's E3. He's so good -- and so widely respected -- that his fans support him no matter where he goes. It will be interesting to see what he does now that he's struck out on his own and doesn't have to answer to Konami's wishes.

Hidetaka Miyazaki

I've talked before about how the Dark Souls series is one of the most satisfying games I've ever played. What seems like the true gauntlet of hardcore gaming is actually one of the most accessible games I've ever played. And all of those games (well except for Dark Souls II) were directed by Hidetaka Miyazaki.

I put Miyazaki on this list because of what he has done for FromSoftware. When Miyazaki came to FromSoftware, he was just a programmer. He worked on the Armored Core series but then found out about the (then failing) Demon Souls franchise. At the time, Demon Souls was not resonating with its Japanese audience. Miyazaki used this to test out his own ideas for the game -- saying that even if his ideas failed, there wasn't much backlash to be had as the game was already on the rocks.

But as you probably know, his ideas worked and worked well -- because when I think of today's iconic games, the Souls/Borne series sits among the best ever made. And without Miyazaki, we wouldn't have any of these and the ideas they presented.

And that's it! There several are people I could have included on this list that many others would have agreed with. But these three gaming geniuses are the ones that spoke most to me. Even though they've done some pretty brilliant work already, it will be interested to see what else develops going forward, and who else steps onto the scene as an enigmatic gaming icon. If I was to put my money on where to look, it would definitely be the indie gaming scene. But until then, two of these will be interesting to watch and see what they put out next.

What do you think? Who else should be included in the list of gaming geniuses? Let me know in the comments!

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Now That Dark Souls Is Over, What's Next for From Software? https://www.gameskinny.com/apux8/now-that-dark-souls-is-over-whats-next-for-from-software https://www.gameskinny.com/apux8/now-that-dark-souls-is-over-whats-next-for-from-software Sat, 05 Nov 2016 14:48:55 -0400 Pablo Seara

Dark Souls III: Ashes of Ariandel marks the beginning of the end for the franchise; after the second DLC planned for next year, Miyazaki and From Software do not intend to continue the series. They are moving on, leaving behind the titles that made them legendary... However, we shouldn't feel hollow; in fact, the future might be brighter than ever before.

We are all wondering what From Software is going to do next, after such an exemplary trilogy (and both Bloodborne and Demon's Souls). With their creative power, and no strings attached, they can work on whatever they want. It is up to us to guess what their next step is going to be. But be wary, some bonfires have been already lit, leaving some hints on what they are working on.

Three New Projects Announced

In an interview with 4gamer.net, which is in japanese and was translated by the fine users of NeoGAF, Miyazaki revealed that From Software is already working on three different games. The translation basically says the following:

The first project is an action role-playing game with a dark fantasy setting similar to Dark Souls, but approached from a "different angle."

The second project is a reboot of an existing franchise, with ideas inspired by Dark Souls and other previous franchises.

The third project is a brand new IP that’s "something different from what the company has been doing previously" and is "a bit weird."

Bloodborne 2 and Armored Core?

The first project looks like it could be the sequel to Bloodborne, which would be great for those wanting a spiritual successor of Dark Souls. It could also be another game similar to those two, but placed in a different setting. Could it be set before the middle ages? Or even in the present? A Dark Souls with modern weapons could prove very interesting.

The second project is, in fact, the reboot of Armored Core, From Software's most prolific franchise. Miyazaki confirmed this in a round table last September. It is the first game Miyazaki worked on, which makes it a special series for him. As stated before, they will take ideas from Dark Souls to give a new direction to the hardcore mecha games.

Finally, the third project is a complete mystery, and probably the most exciting one. It looks like they are going to make a completely new IP, different to what they are known for. This could mean getting into new game genres they haven't touched, like platforms, shooters, fighting games, or literally most things...

What about Nintendo Switch and PlayStation VR?

Regarding the upcoming Nintendo Switch, Nintendo has confirmed that From Software will be one of the numerous developers on board with their newest hardware. We can probably expect their newest games to release for the console, or even be an exclusive.

Finally, in a promotional video, From Software confirmed that they are working on PlayStation VR. This could mean one of two things: one or more of the new projects could support VR or they could be VR games, perhaps the weird project Miyazaki talked about?

Dark Souls III still has a second DLC planned for next year, but there is no information about it yet. After the great reception of Ashes of Ariandel, we could expect nothing less than good from the last entry in the franchise. In the meantime, we can only speculate, and think positively about a new, brilliant era to come out of From Software.

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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.

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Dark Souls 3 DLC - Ashes of Ariandel Review https://www.gameskinny.com/ujv5f/dark-souls-3-dlc-ashes-of-ariandel-review https://www.gameskinny.com/ujv5f/dark-souls-3-dlc-ashes-of-ariandel-review Wed, 26 Oct 2016 10:00:01 -0400 Autumn Fish

Ashes of Ariandel, Dark Souls 3's first DLC, dropped for Windows PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One overnight. If you're picking it up, you can expect a wealth of new Player versus Environment (PvE) content to explore alongside a fully functional Player versus Player (PvP) arena complete with multiple modes of play.

Since Ashes of Ariandel comes with two major new features, we are similarly splitting this review into two sections. The first covers the new PvE content, and is a reflection of the overall score we gave to the DLC. The PvP arena covered in the latter section has its own score. Refer to our unique Rating System for more information on review scores.

Ashes of Ariandel Review: PvE Content - 8/10

Overall, the new PvE content is a lot like exploring the pre-existing areas in Dark Souls 3. While poking around, you'll find unique new weapons and spells, a few extra Titanite Slabs, new enemies, and even a couple new bosses. The level of polish found in Ashes of Ariandel is easily equal to if not above and beyond that of the base game.

To iterate, the new area that comes with the DLC is the single biggest level yet within Dark Souls 3. Ashes of Ariandel has some of the best level design I've ever seen in a Soulsborne game. From Software masterfully combines a sprawling, open environment with the condensed, vertical levels they're well known for. The presentation is a wonder to behold. They've really hit the nail on the head with this new area.

While exploring Ashes of Ariandel, you'll come across various new enemies. A few of these baddies have shiny, new AI to learn and overcome. For example, the new winged monsters actually fly across chasms in pursuit rather than flutter around. Before now, winged enemies in the Soulsborne series have been cursed with only the illusion of flight.

Ashes of Ariandel Review - PvE Content Review

Humanoid enemies show off new weapons and armor that you'll stumble upon while exploring the DLC. In the first encounter alone you'll see two new weapons, a shield, and an armor set. It becomes immediately clear that the new weapons aren't mere clones of existing ones. From Software put a lot of work into them and I absolutely love everything I've seen.

The 2 new bosses in Ashes of Ariandel are thrilling to fight. They took Dark Souls 3's overarching theme of posing multiple threats in a boss room and cranked it up a notch. All together, you're looking at draining 5 of those hefty health bars if you want to complete the DLC. To top it off, the final battle is one of the toughest and most exciting fights in the game.

The new NPCs found in the DLC are a breath of fresh air. Dark Souls 3 originally disappointed me with a lack of NPC recognition. Maybe I was hoping for too much, but I really wanted more from Andre, the Shrine Handmaiden, the Firekeeper, and Irina, among others. While your time with them are short, each NPC in Ashes of Ariandel feels like a real character that exists within the world rather than serve the all-mighty Champion of Ash.

Ashes of Ariandel Review - PvE Content Review

From Software has always made excellent DLCs for Soulsborne games, so it comes as no surprise that Ashes of Ariandel hosts some of the best PvE content they've ever created. I sincerely hope they continue and improve upon this trend for Dark Souls 3's second and third DLCs.

Ashes of Ariandel Review: PvP Arena - 7/10

The arena is another beast entirely. First, before you may even access it, you must defeat Ashes of Ariandel's optional boss, as detailed in our guide. This naturally bars most characters from the arena until their build begins to take shape.

You can access the new arena from the Undead Match option at the Firelink Shrine bonfire. There are 3 unique arena modes to take part in. Password matching lets you to set up battles with your friends. However, as it stands, there's no way to head into the arena with a group to fight randoms.

In the arena setup menu, there's even the option to change which map you want to play on. Unfortunately, this option is currently greyed out as there's only one map. It's such a tease right now, but at least we can expect more maps in the future.

Ashes of Ariandel Review - PvP Arena Review

In the arena, you can reliably Duel randoms and friends without getting interrupted. Estus Flasks are forbidden and Ashen Estus are limited to half your total. Each Duel has a 3 minute time limit and the last man standing wins. Pretty standard stuff.

Next up, you can join in on no-stock, free-for-all Brawls. The match will end after 5 minutes. Everyone starts with one Estus Flask. Killing another player awards you with another Estus Flask -- but only if you're empty. If you die in a Brawl, you'll respawn a few moments later with another Estus Flask to your name. You can set up 2-Player, 4-Player, and 6-Player Brawls. The player with the most kills wins.

Finally, we have what From Software calls a Co-Op Match. It's Dark Souls 3 lingo for Team Battles. You can set up and join 2 versus 2 and 3 versus 3 matches here. Much like Brawls, there's a 5 minute time limit, and you respawn if you die. The team with the most kills wins.

Ashes of Ariandel Review - PvP Arena Review

The arena should have honestly been in Dark Souls 3 from the start. However, now that it's here, group and team battles are bound to evolve the PvP meta in neat new ways. Of course, Dueling will remain largely the same, but I'm excited to jump into a Brawl or Co-Op Match with a caster.

The arena feels lacking in a few ways, however. For one, there is no leaderboard to speak of, let alone a scoreboard for the match. There is no system in place for distinguishing team members at a glance -- instead, your covenant phantom colors are used. And unfortunately, there are no tangible rewards whatsoever (in the form of souls or covenant items). There is an honor system, though I've yet to figure out how that works.

Despite all that's missing from the arena, it's a long overdue and welcome addition to Dark Souls 3. With easy access in Firelink Shrine, I anticipate spending many-a-day duking it out with the lot of you.

Verdict

The Ashes of Ariandel DLC adds a wealth of welcome new content to Dark Souls 3 -- and the patch which released alongside the DLC also adds a bunch of changes fans wanted. Not only does the Ashes of Ariandel DLC bring even better PvE content than we previously had to the table, it introduced a suspiciously missing arena. Whether you're a fan of PvP or just a sucker for the game's single player adventure, there's bound to be something in store for you with Ashes of Ariandel.

How are you enjoying Ashes of Ariandel so far? Have you had a chance to try out the arena? Let us know what you think of Dark Souls 3's first DLC in the comments below!

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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!

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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!

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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 "Digit" 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! 

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Dark Souls 3: Top 4 Rings for a Dual-wielding Warrior Build https://www.gameskinny.com/wk7ux/dark-souls-3-top-4-rings-for-a-dual-wielding-warrior-build https://www.gameskinny.com/wk7ux/dark-souls-3-top-4-rings-for-a-dual-wielding-warrior-build Fri, 15 Jul 2016 11:13:37 -0400 John Robson

Ever pondered which rings in Dark Souls 3 are the greatest for your dextrous, dual-wielding warrior? This article has you covered. Soon, your fingers will be covered in gleaming metallic bands making every nearby undead green with envy -- or was that flesh rot?

Check out these other top 4 rings articles for different classes:

The greatest rings are based on how generally useful they are in the campaign, and sadly have nothing to do with PVE and PVP. That said, the top 4 rings for a dual-wielding warrior build are as follows:

4. Hornet Ring

The Hornet Ring increases critical hit damage -- meaning parries and backstabs -- by 30%, making this ring especially useful for a dual-wielding warrior character. This is especially true of backstabs, as players will want to circle around due to limited defence.

The Hornet Ring is found in the Untended Graves at Dark Firelink Shrine after the boss, Champion Gundyr. Keep moving right as you approach the entrance to Firelink -- past a black knight, there will be a headstone with the ring next to it.

3. Pontiff's Right Eye

 

Because attacking quickly and somewhat aggressively is important due to the fact blocking isn't possible, this ring can be very useful. Boosts attacks to a maximum of +15%, as long attacking continues.

The ring is located in Irithyll of the Boreal Valley after defeating the giant Sulyvahn's Beast, which attacks after passing the halfway point of the bridge. Defeating this enemy gives you this ring.

It's possible to completely avoid the enemy the first time you meet it, through the barrier on the other side of the bridge. Keep sprinting and once you're through the barrier, the creature will disappear. It will appear again later in the water-filled area past Yorshka's church, where you can fight it and receive the ring. It's recommended fighting it the first time, though, as the encounter is tougher the second time due to the water.

2. Ring of Favour

Increases max HP by 3%, max Stamina by 8.5%, and max Equip Load by 5%. While those figures might not sound much, that extra stamina, especially, is a tremendous help for characters utilizing smaller weapons more rapidly.

It's a guaranteed drop from one of the "Sulyvahn Beasts" near Archdeacon Mcdonnell, a large completely still character in the corner of a basement area filled with shallow water. To reach McDonnell, start from the Pontiff Sulyvahn bonfire. Go through the door and through the courtyard full of Giants (only two are alive). Enter the building used to reach the Silver Knights, before the sloped rooftops. On the ground floor, before going up the stairs, strike at the wall on the left to reveal a ladder leading down.

You will face a difficult encounter facing both Sulyvahn Beasts together. Using a bow to draw the one on the left's attention is best. Proceed to move into the corner where you descended to avoid alerting the other. Once one is defeated, you can deal with the other fairly easily.

1. Chloranthy Ring

The Chloranthy Ring increases stamina regeneration by 7 points per second, making a serious difference when swinging smaller weaponry rapidly, or needing to recover.

The ring can be located in the undead settlement. After defeating the fire demon with Siegvard, use the staircase in the house on the right. Use the nearby bridge to enter a home on the left. Go past some enemies and the two larger enemies, Evangelists, to discover a roof. Run across the roof to the left to find a wooden platform. From there, drop down onto a stone tower. Enter the tower and be careful, using the ledges as you drop down. The ring is behind some barrels and crates on the ground floor.

There you have it. Those were the top 4 rings for a dual-wielding warrior build in Dark Souls 3.

Some honorable mentions include:

  • Havel's Ring
  • the Covetous Silver Serpent Ring
  • the Hunter's Ring
  • the Covetous Gold Serpent Ring

Am I right? Am I wrong? What are your favorite 4 rings for dual-wielding warrior builds in Dark Souls 3? Leave your answers in the comments.

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Dark Souls 3: Top 4 Rings for a Pyromancer Build https://www.gameskinny.com/pe2vw/dark-souls-3-top-4-rings-for-a-pyromancer-build https://www.gameskinny.com/pe2vw/dark-souls-3-top-4-rings-for-a-pyromancer-build Wed, 06 Jul 2016 12:29:07 -0400 John Robson

Ever pondered which rings in Dark Souls 3 are the greatest for your somewhat crispy, fire-wielding pyromancer? This article has you covered. Soon, your fingers will be covered in gleaming metallic bands making every nearby undead green with envy -- or was that flesh rot?

Check out these other top 4 rings articles for different classes:

The greatest rings are based on how generally useful they are in the campaign, and sadly have nothing to do with PVE and PVP. That said, the top 4 rings for a pyromancer build are as follows:

4. Saint's Ring

The Saint's Ring increases the number of attunement slots by 1, instantly allowing you an extra slot even if your attunement attribute doesn't allow for one. This doesn't have as much of a bonus as the Darkmoon ring, but because the aforementioned ring requires ranking up in a relatively well-hidden covenant, this one is more easily attainable. Because pyromancies sometimes take up multiple slots, this could be considered essential.

The ring is sold by Irina of Carim for 300 souls. Irena can be found in the undead settlement. After purchasing the "grave key" from the shrine handmaiden, enter the sewer area in the Undead Settlement until you discover some small rats and one big one. The gate for the key is on the left. Follow this until you discover the inside of the cell with Irena still inside.

3. Fire Clutch Ring

The fire clutch ring is a classic example of risk and reward. As a pyromancer or sorcerer in classic role-playing games, you are purposely a damage-dealing character that is super vulnerable to enemy attacks. This ring makes you 10% more vulnerable to physical attacks, but crucially, increases your fire or pyromancy damage by 15%.

It's found at the Undead Settlement close to the Cliff Underside bonfire, where an enemy patrols holding a pot. For further reference, it's near 3 undead firebomb-throwing enemies on a balcony, and several explosive barrels. It's behind a large torture device at the end of a long wooden walkway, where a friendly undead is sitting.

2. Witch's Ring

Damage as a pyromancer is important because your character will likely not possess the vitality and high vigor necessary to survive the multiple hits a heavily-armored warrior might; that's why this ring could be considered crucial. This ring increases pyromancy damage by 20% -- and unlike the aforementioned ring, there's no damage penalty for utilising it, making it rather lucrative.

It's found in the Catacombs of Carthus after chopping the rope bridge and climbing down. Continue onward past the fire demon -- be careful as fire isn't effective and it's a very dangerous adversary. The ring should be a little further forward on a body at the end of a hallway.

1. Sage Ring

The sage ring could easily be considered the most important ring for a pyromancer because it decreases spell casting time; this is particularly noteworthy for powerful spells which take considerably longer to cast. It essentially knocks large portions of a second off those spells, making all the difference against enemies that take  multiple hits.

This ring can be looted from a corpse in the castle ruin where it's possible to summon Eygon in the road of sacrifices. Jump into the hole on the ground next to the sign of Eygon; it's near a pillar. As a further reference, there are two sorcerers and several other enemies with swords and spears in the area. Beware when you drop down, as you'll take a bit of fall damage and a cross carrying demonic enemy will attack from one of the corners of the watery area.

There you have it. Those were the top 4 rings for a pyromancer build in Dark Souls 3.

Some honourable mentions include:

  • the Chloranthy Ring
  • the Covetous Silver Serpent Ring
  • the Sun Princess Ring
  • the Covetous Gold Serpent Ring

Am I right? Am I wrong? What are your favorite 4 rings for pyromancer builds in Dark Souls 3? Leave your answers in the comments.

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