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Dark Souls III

 
Podcast: What games did we change our minds about?Mar 28, 2019 - Rock, Paper, ShotgunI heard you don t like our podcast, the Electronic Wireless Show. But have you listened to 76 hours of it yet? Honestly, mate, it opens up after that. The 76-hour mark, that s when it clicks . But I understand if you don t have the time. Just skip ahead to this week s episode, in which we re talking about games about which we changed our minds. Listen in for the platformers we prematurely pooh-poohed and the Souls games that sucked before they were super. (more…) Have You Played Dark Souls III?Mar 15, 2019 - Rock, Paper, ShotgunHave You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day, perhaps for all time. It was inevitable that this would feature in a Have You Played article. Dark Souls III heralded the end of the wildly popular trilogy of punishing games, and it was the culmination of everything From Software learned over the Souls years. But of course, you probably knew that. You probably don’t know, however, that according to the deep and secret lore of Dark Souls 3, one of the giant crab enemies is called Carol. (more…) The impossible architecture of video gamesFeb 12, 2019 - EurogamerThere is a saying in architecture that no building is unbuildable, only unbuilt. Structures may be impossible in the here and now, but have the potential to exist given enough time or technological development: a futuristic cityscape, a spacefaring megastructure, the ruins of an alien civilisation. However, there are also buildings that defy the physical laws of space. It is not an issue that they could not exist, but that they should not. Their forms bend and warp in unthinkable ways; dream-like structures that push spatial logic to its breaking point. The Tomb of Porsena is a legendary monument built to house the body of an Etruscan king. 400 years after its construction, the Roman scholar Varro gave a detailed description of the ancient structure. A giant stone base rose 50 feet high, beneath it lay an "inextricable labyrinth", and atop it sat five pyramids. Above this was a brass sphere, four more pyramids, a platform and then a final five pyramids. The image painted by Varro, one of shapes stacked upon shapes, seems like a wild exaggeration. Despite this, Varro's fanciful description sparked the imaginations of countless architects over the centuries. The tomb was an enigma, and yet the difficulty in conceptualising it, and the vision behind it, was fascinating. On paper artists were free to realise its potential. If paper liberated minds, the screen can surely open up further possibilities. There's no shortage of visionary structures within the virtual spaces of video games. These are strange buildings that ask us to imagine worlds radically different to our own. Whilst many impossible formulations are orientated towards the future, there are also plenty from the past. The castle in Ico is one example of this. During the Renaissance, Europe was obsessed, not with future utopias, but with ancient Greece and Rome. While the box art of Ico is famously inspired by Giorgio de Chirico, the long shadows and sun-bleached stone walls only make-up a portion of the game's mood. It is the etchings of Giovanni Piranesi that best capture what it's like to explore the castle's winding stairs and bridges. Piranesi's imaginary Roman reconstructions were absurdly big - so colossal you could get lost in just the foundations. In a similar way, Ico's castle is impossibly large, the camera zooming out in order to overwhelm you and build up the unfathomable mystery of its origin and purpose. Read more Charity speedrunning marathon Awesome Games Done Quick 2019 starts todayJan 6, 2019 - Rock, Paper, ShotgunI hope you didn t have anything planned this week, because speedrunning extravaganza Awesome Games Done Quick starts today at 4:30pm GMT. If you ve never tuned in before, AGDQ is a weeklong, 24/7 marathon of games, all played as fast as possible, while streaming on Twitch and raising a whole shedload of cash for the Prevent Cancer Foundation. What s not to like? (more…) A guide to loving Berserk, the manga inspiration for the Souls gamesJan 3, 2019 - Rock, Paper, Shotgun A Panel Shaped Screen is a monthly column where Giada Zavarise explores how comics and video games inspire each other. This week she wants you to try Berserk, a manga inspiration for Dark Souls You might have heard of Berserk already. A few people have pointed out the similarities between Hidetaka Miyazaki s Souls series and the manga Berserk. Perhaps you ve even gotten curious, toyed with the idea of getting into it, but without a clear idea of where to start. Or perhaps you got the impression that Berserk is not for you. You may have heard Berserk is filled with violence, sexual assault, gore, grim characters and questionable content. And for the most part, you would be right. But at its core, Berserk is about love. (more…) Dark Souls 3 was supposed to let you create bonfires anywhere you wantedNov 29, 2018 - PC GamerI know I'm not the only one who thought the placement of bonfires—Dark Souls 3's take on checkpoints—was a little wonky, and now we might have an idea why. Dark Souls YouTuber Lance McDonald has built his reputation on uncovering all sorts of fascinating bosses, enemies, and systems that were removed from Dark Souls games prior to release. And in his latest video, Lance shows off a bizarre system he found hidden in an alpha version of Dark Souls 3 that allows him to sacrifice enemies and create bonfires just about anywhere he wants. You should first watch the video above to see it all in action, but what Lance discovered is a massive insight into how Dark Souls 3 might've worked at one point in time. The idea is that sometimes slain enemies would emit an ominous glow the moment they died, indicating that these enemies suffered what's oddly called a "cult death." In the video, Lance can use the alpha version's debug menu to assign this parameter freely to enemies for the purposes of demonstrating what it can do. When enemies die a cult death, the player can then pick up their body and drag it anywhere in the world. This system ties into another scrapped concept wherein players could "join a cult"—though Lance admits he doesn't know what that means or how to do it. Using a debug menu Lance can join one automatically, and there's seven to choose from that closely mirror the options players have when resting at a bonfire. When in a cult, like the one that allows you to level up, players can perform a "ceremony" on cult death bodies, which triggers an animation that essentially transforms the corpse into a bonfire. The unfinished animation of the "ceremony." The idea, I think, was that players could join a cult that would allow them to turn slain enemies into bonfires with limited usage. You might join a cult so that you can create your own bonfires to level up, or one that'll let you summon an NPC for aid. But wait, there's more. In the second half of the video, Lance demonstrates how these cult death enemies were also a key ingredient in a new way of invading other players. In the inventory menu, Lance discovered two "ceremony swords" that served an interesting purpose. One sword would let you invade another player's world, while the second sword eclipsed your world in darkness and opened you up to invasion from other players. PVP is obviously a big part of Darks Souls 3, and this system looks like one way players could've guaranteed themselves some PVP action. Sadly, the system never made it into the game. But as Polygon rightly points out, it was obviously intended to be a proper feature considering a Dark Souls 3 statue first displayed at E3 2015 depicted the ceremony necessary to trigger the invasion. Oh well. You can see a video of the statue below. Thanks, Polygon. Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2018: Best PC gaming dealsNov 26, 2018 - Rock, Paper, Shotgun Is… is it over yet? Are the Black Friday and Cyber Monday PC gaming deals finally finished? Just a couple more hours to go now, you can do it deals herald, you can get through this. You’ve got a week and a half holiday coming up soon, just get through the afternoon and then you can go and lie in a dark room and not dream about Cyber Monday graphics card deals you might have missed for the seventh night running. Ahem. Sorry, I don’t know what came over me there. Probably the Cyber Monday PC gaming deals fatigue settling in, or the Black Friday fever dream I seem to have been living this past fortnight. But your deals herald is stronger than that. Nay, THE DEALER is stronger than that, and with a renewed sense of vigor that may in fact be frenzied despair, I thus present to you the final monolithic installment of our Black Friday and Cyber Monday PC deals bonanza. Gone are the deals swept away by the ever-grabbing hands of internet shoppers. All that’s left is the best of the best that are still up for grabs, from graphics cards and monitors to SSDs, gaming headsets, CPUs and mice and keyboards and more. If you’ve yet to do your Cyber Monday shopping, act fast, as these PC gaming deals won’t be around for long. (more…) Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2018: Best PC gaming dealsNov 25, 2018 - Rock, Paper, Shotgun I’m sure everyone’s feeling a bit of Black Friday fatigue by now (trust me, I want this all to be over just as much as you do), but in the interests of those after that one, last, final deal to end all deals, I present to you our newly refreshed Black Friday and Cyber Monday PC gaming deals hub. I’ve cleared away all the deals that have been swept into oblivion by the almighty wave of discount-grabbers, leaving you with the best of the best PC gaming deals that are still available. Whether you’re after a new graphics card, monitor, SSD, gaming headset or even a new CPU, mouse and keyboard, your deals herald will provide. Here are all the best Black Friday and Cyber Monday PC gaming deals you can grab right now. (more…) Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2018: Best PC gaming dealsNov 23, 2018 - Rock, Paper, Shotgun Black Friday is almost over here in the UK, but the deals train is still going strong for all you folk over in the US. It seems like forever ago that I boarded at Deals Station Central, but there’s still a fair old time before we all reach our final destination that is the culmination of November’s online deals frenzy, Cyber Monday. Thus, it falls to me, your ever faithful deals herald to continue striving away at the deals-based coal face to bring you the best Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals around. Now, I’m not saying you should just spend a load of money for the sake of it. Indeed, you should only really partake of Black Friday / Cyber Monday deals madness if you really need to upgrade to something. I ended up buying a laptop today, not because it was cheap (although that was certainly a factor), but because the battery on my current workhorse is practically bursting out from beneath my touchpad. Or at least I think it’s my battery. Either way, it’s getting on a bit and I could do with a new one. So, if you are thinking about upgrading your PC, Black Friday and its accompanying deals jamboree Cyber Monday can be a great time to pick up some deals on the cheap, whether it’s a new graphics card, CPU, SSD, headset, or mouse and keyboard. So let’s dive straight in and see what bargains this year’s Black Friday has to offer. (more…) Black Friday 2018: Best PC gaming deals on graphics cards, monitors, SSDs and moreNov 22, 2018 - Rock, Paper, Shotgun Can you taste the Black Friday deals turkey yet? (Happy Thanksgiving, by the way, to those celebrating) Can you smell those sweet, sweet discounts wafting through the cracks in your screen that tell you, yes, it is time to buy a new gaming monitor, and maybe find a deal on a new graphics card, CPU, SSD and literally every other PC component under the sun? Yes, you say? Me too! And have I got the best PC gaming deals for you this fine Black Friday eve. For I, your trusted deals herald, have been beavering away this past week (month, year, it seems so long ago) to bring you the best Black Friday deals the internet has to offer. You’ll find everything here for building a new PC, including all the best Black Friday graphics card deals, monitor deals, SSD deals, gaming laptop deals, CPU deals, headset deals and please send help because I actually can’t stop saying the word ‘deals’ (DEALS). (more…) Black Friday 2018: Best PC gaming deals on graphics cards, monitors, SSDs and moreNov 21, 2018 - Rock, Paper, Shotgun Despite it being only Wednesday, the Black Friday deals jamboree is well and truly under way. With more deals than you can shake a stick of RAM at, now is the time to get some tasty PC gaming deals on the cheap, especially if you’re after some nice new hardware. To help you make sense of all the deals madness, I’m here to help, as I’ve gone and gathered up all the best PC gaming Black Friday deals I can find, including deals on graphics cards, gaming monitors, SSDs, laptops and more. Yes, my soul is now nothing more than a withered husk, but at least it saves you the trouble of trawling through the internet yourself in search of the best savings. On that note, let’s get down to the business of all them deals, shall we? Here are the best Black Friday deals the internet has to offer. (more…) Steam Charts: Aquatic Craniate EditionNov 5, 2018 - Rock, Paper, Shotgun There are weeks when the Steam Charts surprise us! There are weeks when interesting new and old games reappear, pushing out the dreary regulars! And then mostly there are weeks like this one, where it’s so depressingly bland that it starts raining outside the moment you glance at it. Not good rain, just bland drizzle. (more…) Dark Souls 3 'Enemy Onslaught' mod duplicates all enemies, including bossesOct 25, 2018 - PC GamerThere are Dark Souls 3 mods that dilute its difficulty. And then there are Dark Souls 3 mods like TKGP's Enemy Onslaught. Which essentially turns Lothric into a Royal Rumble-style free for all. Yeah, good luck with that.  Enemy Onslaught does this by duplicating enemies—both run of the mill baddies and end-of-zone bosses—and by removing the event IDs of clones. In turn, this lets reproduced bosses leave their designated arenas (something standard bosses cannot do), and also allows swarms of friendly NPC summons to lend a hand.  In the interest of balance/not having YOU DIED etched permanently into your brain, I reckon the latter sounds important. Here's some screens: Keep your distance.  Bad luck comes in threes, indeed.  A flock of Iudex Gundyrs. And a school of Jailers? Na, I'm out.  Finally, some backup.  But is it enough to beat two Rotting Greatwoods? Or an army of skellies? What'd you think?  "This mod duplicates every enemy in the game, including bosses," explains TKGP's Nexus Mods description. "Nearby enemies no longer prevent you from sitting at bonfires because some would be basically unusable otherwise. Any time you enter an area you'll get a smattering of souls from unfortunate clones falling off the map; enjoy it, because you'll need the help. "Most of the game is very hard but still doable on 3x enemies, but some bosses are practically impossible on your own. Even on 2x you will have an extremely difficult time in a couple places. Please don't be shy about switching the difficulty if you get stuck.  "You may also notice a vanilla mechanic that usually doesn't come into play very much: most enemies will calmly stay out of the way if you're already being attacked by a few others. If you find that a little underwhelming, the 'Impolite Enemies' optional file will remove their qualms about ganging up on you." TKGP says that to the best of their knowledge Enemy Onslaught can be used online without issue, but that they recommend switching to offline mode "just to be safe"—particularly if you don't play with friends. TKGP also notes that using the aforementioned Impolite Enemies add-on will "absolutely" lead to a ban, so best avoiding that one.  More information on Enemy Onslaught, including installation instructions, can be found hereDark Souls 3 video reveals game's striking, and sadly axed, time of day systemOct 10, 2018 - EurogamerDark Souls sleuth Lance McDonald has released a new entry in his fascinating video series unlocking the secrets of From Software's games, this time offering a glimpse at Dark Souls 3's sadly axed "Ceremonies" system. We first heard about Ceremonies back in April, when McDonald started to poke around the alpha version of Dark Souls 3's mysterious Untended Graves area. Not only did he uncover evidence suggesting that Dark Souls 3 was originally set to feature a very different sequence of events as it neared its conclusion, it also appeared that players would partake in 'ceremonies', changing the world state and time of day within certain areas. While the optional Untended Graves area and its brighter Cemetery of Ash variant are the most obvious remnants of this cut Ceremonies system (with evidence also pointing to a third, axed iteration of the same location), MacDonald's latest video also notes that Ceremony effects can still be seen at other points in the final game. Read more… Dark Souls 3 alpha cut content reveals weird and beautiful time of day systemOct 10, 2018 - PC GamerAfter 200 hours of work, Dark Souls detective Lance McDonald recently uncovered all 46 of the third game's lore epitaphs. At the end of that video, McDonald promised some "absolutely WEIRD" stuff in the coming weeks. This now takes the form of the ARPG's axed Ceremony database—"a set of parameters DS3 uses to dynamically change the world state or time of day." As outlined above, things start off fairly tame. Manually changing the time of day switches to a different 'Ceremony', which in practice sees the Cemetery of Ash flip to the Untended Graves—areas identical in likeness, with different enemy layouts and lighting. Likewise, Archdragon Peak is seen pre and post-storm; and the High Wall of Lothric is seen with the Dark Sign Eclipse triggered and untriggered.  As things progress, things get progressively weird. The 'Evening/Dusk' Ceremony offers a gorgeous, purple/pink sky texture that looks like this:      'Moonlit Night', as the name might suggest, plunges the world into darkness:  Whereas 'The Past' drains Lothric of colour further still. This monochrome setting might be my favourite. 'The Sun' cranks the light back up to 11.  While 'Eclipsed Night' portrays light and dark in concert. And then things get super weird. Here's an excerpt from McDonald's narration: "Now, I did say we're saving the best till last and to do that we're heading to The Undead Settlement, which is the only map in the game where The Eclipse Ceremony is accompanied by a sky filled with creatures."  Skip to the 8-minute mark in the video above to see that in full. Otherwise, here's some screens. McDonald continues: "And perhaps even more striking is that this same thing happens during the Sun Ceremony." After pointing out that these flying beasts cast dynamic shadows, McDonald says: "It's hard to imagine how exactly the game was once planned to progress through these different world states—would the time of day just organically changed as you played through the game?  "And the more abstract ones, such as The Past, The Sun and The Eclipse Ceremonies certainly appear to be fairly climactic, which gives us a lot to think about with regards to how the game may have once been planned to end." McDonald concludes by turning lore speculation and suggestions over to his viewers. I'll now do the same here: what the hell do you reckon is happening above, and how might it have impacted Dark Souls 3's overarching lore? After 200 hours of work, all 46 of Dark Souls 3's lore epitaphs have been foundSep 17, 2018 - PC GamerLance McDonald is an indie dev turned hobbyist game engineer, who's spent the last few months uncovering cool Dark Souls cut content. His latest investigation unearths the third game's removed lore epitaphs—of which there are 46 in total.  In a video released earlier this month, McDonald suggested that, besides Dark Souls 3's first four story-supporting epitaphs, the remainder were comprised of placeholder text. Prominent Souls figure Sanadsk then uncovered a database of completed epitaph text from the game's Japanese retail version, and McDonald then spent over 200 hours fully restoring the alpha blurbs in-game.  That's showcased here: I love stuff like this, and I especially enjoy McDonald's analysis against his previous findings. This is especially interesting here, given how far this particular discovery has come in the past few weeks.  Some of McDonald's other discoveries have led us to believe Oceiros' baby wasn't always invisible, and that Pontiff Sulyvahn may have once been Dark Souls 3's final boss.   More interesting still, McDonald has some "absolutely WEIRD" Dark Souls 3 cut content stuff coming up which he's keeping close to his chest for now. I'm intrigued. Needless to say, watch this space.   Dark Souls 3 mod lets you storm Lothric as an OP Yhorm the GiantAug 24, 2018 - PC GamerFollowing its Dark Souls Age of Fire mod, the Datahacks team has released Forces of Annihilation—a similar hobbyist project for Dark Souls 3. Out now, FoA lets you storm Lothric as the game's enemies and bosses alike.  Naturally, that's best portrayed in the massive shoes of Yhorm the Giant. With that, I'm particularly fond of seeing a hulking Yhorm wandering around the Profaned Capital, battering Headless Gargoyles. Skip to the 5.40 mark above to see that in practice.  Since the mod's release earlier this week, the Datahacks team has also shown off the Soul of Cinder versus the Nameless King, the Soul of Cinder versus the Outrider Knight, Darkeater Midir versus the Old Demon King, Darkeater Midir versus the Nameless King, and Darkeater Midir versus the Twin Princes. It's a bit messy, but that last one's my favourite. Look, see: With installation and use in mind, Datahacks provides a three-video tutorial series that covers attaching the mod to the game, and possessing a bosses and enemies; camera toggle, and attacks and phases changes; and regular and enhanced enemy controls. A download link for Forces of Annihilation lives in this video's description. This Dark Souls 3 mod will let you play as a bossAug 12, 2018 - EurogamerModder group Datehacks have created a Dark Souls 3 mod that allows you to play as the bosses. Sharing the details on Reddit (via Kotaku), the creators stated that the "Forces of Annihilation" mod permits players to experience the game as "any enemy/boss anywhere WHOLE map", complete with their HP and weapons. Datehacks was also behind a similar mod for Dark Souls, but because "no one plays at all" apparently, they hope the Dark Souls 3 mod - which has been in development for three years - will gain more traction. Read more… The road to video game hellJul 23, 2018 - EurogamerIf the games we play are anything to go by, the depths of hell are one of humankind's favourite destinations when it comes to travels of the mind. Few fantasy RPGs or horror games could be considered complete without at least a quick excursion into the domain of demons and sinners. And what better place to conclude your game than hell itself? What better villains to fight than the citizens of Pandemonium? Hell has found a steady home in many kinds of games, and its popularity shows no sign of abating. "A dungeon horrible, on all sides round As one great furnace flamed, yet from those flames Read more… A look at the thriving Dark Souls ASMR sceneJul 6, 2018 - PC GamerPictured: FS Pro II Binaural Microphone. The city of Lordran is not a very nice place. The decayed, moss-stained ramparts are populated exclusively by mindless undead, ornery dragons, forsaken soldiers, and obsidian-skinned demons. The capital of Anor Londo is home to a worthless, greedy class of gods who intend to hold onto their waning power until the flame goes out. Dark Souls is about subsisting under that threat forever; to thrive while being crushed by the impossible magnitude of mystery and razor-tight attack animations. So, naturally, I was surprised to find a three hour video of a man whispering strategies for each of the boss encounters in Dark Souls 3. Sure enough, I had found the nexus of the Dark Souls ASMR scene. If you're somehow unfamiliar with the term, ASMR stands for autonomous sensory meridian response, which is a diagnosis of the tingling sense of satisfaction you might get when someone crinkles a plastic bag, or raps their fingernails against a piece of aluminum. YouTubers around the world have developed robust careers out of stoking those uncanny tingles in the minds of their viewers, and the videos can be pretty creative. (Here for instance, is an ASMR cyberpunk roleplay.) So I suppose it's not shocking that the culture found a home in Dark Souls, but it certainly makes you consider the degree of difficulty. I mean, black metal ASMR doesn't exist for a reason, right? (OK, PC Gamer associate editor James Davenport tells me it actually does exist. But my point still stands!) That boss guide was recorded by a man who publishes work on a channel called The ASMR Review Show, and he's done similarly hushed walkthroughs for both Dark Souls 2 and Bloodborne (alongside his more traditional tranquilizing reviews for Marvel movies.) The man behind the curtain didn't respond to my request for comment, but that wasn't a problem because I quickly discovered that he was far from the only person working this gimmick. ASMR figurehead Ephemeral Rift did an extremely zen Let's Play for the first game in the series back in 2013, a YouTuber named Morpheus spent 20 minutes reading Dark Souls 2 item descriptions last year, and a Twitch streamer who goes by Nyanners recently completed a two hour broadcast where she listlessly recited the franchise's verbose Wiki for a captive audience.  However, by far the most famous, and most successful Dark Souls ASMR artist is AlternateAurora. Unlike the other people in her business, Aurora goes the extra mile by roleplaying characters from the series, thus recontextualizing them into doting, peaceful caretakers who have absolutely no interest in forcing you to do a lengthy corpse run. In one of her dispatches, she speaks on behalf of Crossbreed Priscilla, who you may remember as that outrageously annoying boss in the Painted World who has a bad habit of turning invisible in high-pressure moments. Of course, Aurora interprets Priscilla as a warm matriarch urging yo...