Let’s face it, many an RPG fan has been there. We’ve played our favorite RPGs and we’re waiting for something new to come out – so we dip our toes and try the Dark Souls series. You know, because you were really good at Skyrim, so you’re sure that Dark Souls won’t be too hard. Well you’re wrong, my friend. Dark Souls is a bitch, and Dark Souls III is no different. I’ve been there, all Dark Souls fans have been there – we’ve all had a trial by fire in the Dark Souls series. So here are my five top tips for Dark Souls noobs, or rusty gamers returning to the series.
1) Pick your class
Just because a class looks or sounds cool, it doesn’t neccessarily mean that it’ll be good. Each class has its merits and for seasoned Dark Souls veterans, any class will be playable. For the newbies, though, you’re better off sticking to two specific classes. If you’re new to the series, you’re best off picking a ‘tank’ class. In Dark Souls III, the two I’d reccomend is either the Knight or the Warrior. Both have high damage and defence, meaning that you can afford to be hit once or twice by your enemy. Classes to avoid would probably be the Thief, the Assassin or the Deprived, unless you’re feeling particularily confident… or foolish.
2) Pick your Burial Gift
Once you’ve picked your character, you can then go on to choose a starting item (otherwise known as Burial Gift). There are quite a few to pick, but the two I’d really recommend is the Life Ring or Divine Blessing. Both of these are HP based, and they’re designed to help those who will be in close combat, taking hits and damage. Personally, I prefer Divine Blessing, as it gives you a boost of HP when your health is low – one sip and you’re back in the fight! The Life Ring just upps your HP, which is helpful during the early period of the game, for sure.
3) Block. Drop. Roll.
The key to any Dark Souls game? Don’t get hit. Sounds simple, doesn’t it. Well, in reality, it’s far from easy. You will get hit, and you will die… a lot – it’s inevitable. But, if you can perfect the timing of your rolls, block sensibly and keep moving in combat, you might just survive. Well, survive long enough to bank your Souls and level up. Rolling is key to combat in Dark Souls, unless your class is so heavy that you can’t physically roll, of course. In which case, blocking comes into the fray. Personally, I prefer to combine the two in combat, so help exploit openings in my enemies. That leads on to my next point.
4) Study your enemy
The second key to any Dark Souls game? Learn how your enemy attacks. Every enemy has a pattern of attack in Dark Souls – some more extravegent than others. Whenver you encounter a new enemy, or boss, it’s always a good idea to sit back and watch them attack. I tend to go into a boss fight, for the first time, with as few Souls in my inventory as possible. That way, I’ll let them attack and watch their pattern for a while, so that I can learn the best way to tackle them. I’ll then come back, if I’ve lost a lot of HP in the process, and take them on properly. Once you’ve learnt their attacks, you can dodge and block your way to victory. If you do it well, there’s no reason why you can’t defeat even the hardest enemies, whilst only taking a few hits. Timing is the most important factor, so block or dodge the strikes and pick your moment to take your shots.
5) Don’t give up, early doors
If there’s one bit of advice that I’d give to any Dark Souls newbie, or returning Dark Souls fan, it’s that you shouldn’t give up early on. It’s incredibly tempting, after you’ve died a few hundred times in the first few areas, to just pack up and give up; but stick with it. Playing a Dark Souls game can be an incredibly rewarding experience, and the more you play it, the better you’ll get. Grind through the first few hours, as you learn the ropes and develop a strategy, and I promise that you’ll fall in love with Dark Souls III.