Even with a distinctive and frankly odd song choice, the new Dark Souls 3 trailer still manages to make me tremble with delight.
We get a glimpse at a bunch of new locations that look spectacularly influenced by Bloodborne. The Gothic architecture and enemy design is unmistakeable as we bear witness to some areas that strongly resemble the Forbidden Woods. It’s great to see the influence of Bloodborne and it’s also great to see that it still remains very Dark Souls.
There’s a snippet of a scene right at the very beginning of the trailer that shows a bunch of bodies burning under a tree that also happens to have sinewy corpses hanging from its branches. Again, we see a similar scene later on where a large man in fancy, white – cleric/priest-esque – clothing holds his hat in respect to the sacrifice that seems to be going down. It’s not your average sacrifice of a bowl of food, rather it involves a bunch of bodies burning by a tree with those nearby bowing down to their…something. Curiously, the ‘tree’ theme continues throughout the trailer, as many of the locations seem to have succumbed to nature’s grasp. Roots resemble veins as they run along cracks in the cobblestone and ancient trees climb high into the sky – or sprout legs and arms – as we see the Chosen Undead fight for survival in a variety of menacing locations.
As the trailer progresses, we also catch a momentary blip of the new ‘frostbite’ effect that causes stamina to regenerate slowly as the character gets slammed by an icy blast. I have to confess that this is again a bit of a presumption, but it would make sense that this is the case. In stark contrast, we also get smacked by a flaming ‘thing’, and we see a bloodied hand emerge from the depths of some cavern as our character stumbles backwards in stunned surprise.
Other little things to note: augmented weapons, duel-wielding, nice view of Firelink Shrine, second roll looks different on once occasion and the Berserk reference with the wheel skeletons.
If you like the look of getting relentlessly and mercilessly butchered in Dark Souls 3, you can go ahead and take advantage of the current pre-order bonuses. Those who pre-order on PS4 will gain access to a digital copy of the Dark Souls 3: Official Soundtrack on release day, along with an exclusive ‘Fire Fades’ theme. Those who pre-order on Xbox One will get a free digital copy of the original Dark Souls seven to ten days after your order. This is Microsoft’s way of flexing their backwards compatibility by providing a phenomenal game to die in. Finally, those who pre-order on Steam get the soundtrack on release along with a discount of $5 (£3.50) if you already own either Dark Souls or Dark Souls II.
A digital deluxe version of Dark Souls 3 is also available to pre-order. This nets you the game and the bonus mentioned, whilst also giving you access to the planned DLC that’ll release in the future. It’s certainly the truest form of suffering for Dark Souls enthusiasts and masochists alike.
Dark Souls 3 is available to pre-order digitally on PS4, Xbox One and Steam. Physical copies are also available to pre-order on Amazon. Dark Souls 3 will be released on 12th of April.