AIt all comes Full Circle

Dark Souls III: The Ringed City not only acts as the second expansion to Dark Souls III, but also acts as a fitting send off for a franchise within the gaming industry that has had an immense presence and influence over numerous titles in the market over the past few years. Dark Souls is an incredible series of games, and Dark Souls III: The Ringed City, is the final expansion that Dark Souls III deserves.

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Without spoiling anything, the first boss of The Ringed City throws a massive curve ball.

The Dark Soul of Man

Unsurprisingly, Dark Souls III: The Ringed City is set inside the Ringed City, at the end of the world, and the close of the Age of Fire, as all cities converge upon themselves, quite literally. The Ringed City’s level design is a devilish, spiralling descent into the madness of Dark Souls III’s most dangerous environments, and it’s an absolute joy to explore, traverse, and find out more about. Much like the first expansion and the game as a whole, The Ringed City’s story is never clearly defined or told in a way that’s straightforward, and players need to talk to NPCs and search for clues in lore in order to piece together what’s going on and just what the hell The Ringed City is. The new cast of characters that reside within The Ringed City are all very interesting if you take the time to look into flavor text and interact with them, and the overall narrative is fairly interesting, ultimately tying up what Ashes of Ariandel started. It serves as a satisfying, yet mysterious storytelling finale for the series, and it more than lives up to the Dark Souls name. Being a part of Dark Souls, The Ringed City is naturally challenging, but in new innovative ways that haven’t been seen in past entries. Whether it be ghost archers that volley arrows at you whenever a giant calls for it, the angel-like flying dregs that barrage you with projectiles when you come into sight, or the viciously quick, hard-hitting Ringed Knights, The Ringed City never fails to provide a challenge for the most seasoned Dark Souls players, and that’s without even dipping into bosses. While there’s 4 boss fights total, one is completely optional, and the second compulsory boss is more or less a glorified PVP battle with some narrative context. That leaves us with 3 potential boss fights, and while that’s a small number, each boss in The Ringed City never ceased to amaze me. The first boss was extremely unexpected, and had me stumped for an hour or two, only to have me move on to the final boss. Without spoiling anything, the final boss in The Ringed City feels like a culmination of everything that’s come before it, and the challenge is right up there with some of Bloodborne’s tougher bosses. It’s worth mentioning that I was playing The Ringed City on an NG+6 save, which made it a lot more difficult than it normally would be. The weapons, armour, and items found in The Ringed City are undoubtedly some of the best in the series, and they mix up the meta for PVP players too. After the boost mode update on the PS4 Pro, Dark Souls 3 runs at 60FPS and still looks just as good as it originally did. The biggest problem with The Ringed City however, is that inconsistent frame rate drops are apparent throughout the experience, but they never led to any deaths, and are a minor hindrance at most.

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The Ringed Knights are definitely some of the hardest standard enemies in any Souls game.

Verdict: 9/10

It brings me great joy and sadness to say that Dark Souls III: The Ringed City is a fantastic send off for a fantastic franchise. Dark Souls has played and forever will play a major part in my life, and it’s saddening to see such a legendary series come to an end. If you haven’t given the Dark Souls games a chance, please do so, they are truly spectacular games if you’re determined enough to get through its harsh difficulty. The Ringed City has spectacular environments, challenging boss fights albeit too few, a satisfying and mysterious plot, and most importantly it completes Dark Souls III as a package. Don’t miss out on this one Souls fans.

Positives

-Ties up Dark Souls III nicely

-Challenging and unique boss fights

-Incredible level design and world building

-New weapons, armour, and items

-Beautiful locales to explore

Negatives

-Frame rate issues

-Too few bosses once again

Thanks for reading guys, next is The Walking Dead Season 3 Episode 3.
Harry.

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