Praise the sun! In case you weren't selected for the Dark Souls 3 network stress test that operated for a few short hours last weekend, here's a 30-minute video bringing you up to speed on all of the content contained in the 3GB PSN download. It's based on an early build of course, but the play-through gives us a good first impression on where From Software is now directing its series.
As a quick summary: our unnamed Wandering Knight arrives at the High Wall of Lothric, a bright course of castle pathways cluttered with undead sentries and dormant dragons. After an ordeal working our way downwards, we find a grimy burg area - the central plaza of which calls to mind Bloodborne's gothic Yharnam area. From there, a frosty mini-boss rounds out the content.
Crucially, the inventory screen is blanked out, and new items are salvaged ad-hoc. However, between its four pre-made characters, there are still plenty of weapons and spells to try out (most of which are included in the video). Among them are the go-to Wandering Knight, an axe-wielding Northern Warrior, plus the more magic-centric Academy Assassin class, whose long-range Souls Arrows are shamelessly abused in this video.
After the furious pace of Bloodborne, it's fair to say that returning to Dark Souls 3's defensive style takes some adapting to. As before, your prospects hang on a limited stock of Estus Flasks (which replenish at bonfires) and there are no other consumables in sight. Controls also owe a small debt to From Software's last work. Movement is slightly faster than usual Souls fare, but don't let that fool you; charging into new areas without a shield raised won't get you far.
Dark Souls 3 is slated for release on 24th March 2016. It's a bit of a wait yet, but already there's plenty of detail that can be gleaned from this initial sampler, and Digital Foundry will be taking a deeper look soon at the technology powering the game.