First there was Demon's Souls, then Dark Souls and Dark Souls 2, and more recently we've had Bloodborne and Dark Souls 2: Scholar of the First Sin. At E3 2015 Namco and From Software announced Dark Souls 3, and we were there to get in on a behind closed doors demo of the newly announced software. We've compiled a list of the most important facts we came across regarding Dark Souls 3 to make sure you're prepared for the early 2016 release of the game.
Next-Gen Exclusive - Dark Souls 3 was developed from the ground up for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC. There will not be a version of the game for the PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360.
Fight the Lords of Cinder - The main storyline of the is based around the resurrection of the Lords of Cinder. You'll have to fight off several of these Lords as gigantic bosses in the game.
Explore Everything - Everything that was visible in the giant castle that served as the stomping grounds during the E3 demo could be explored. This included areas of the castle that were far off in the distance and barely visible. There's no word on how large the game is compared to previous titles in the series, but trust that every building you see you can explore.
Fast-Paced Combat - Dark Souls 2 offered a variety of combat styles, but many favored the slow and steady approach of not dying instantly. Using a shield and a sword many players slowly worked their way through the game. Dark Souls 3 will speed up the combat a bit, which means it will play a bit closer to Bloodborne instead of previous Souls titles.
Dual-Wielding - One of the new weapons in the game allows you to dual-wield a pair of scimitars to inflict significant damage on a group of enemies. While this isn't new to the Dark Souls series, it's nice to see it back in action with new meaning.
Multiple Weapons - As you might expect, there will be a number of different weapons to find, but these weapons are now even more unique than before. Your weapon will dictate your fighting style, but some weapons will be more useful than others, meaning you may not be able to run through the entire game with a sword and shield.
Stance Switching - Previous Dark Souls games have allowed for changing your stance so you're holding a weapon with two hands, or just one. In most cases it allowed for a more powerful attack, but depending on the weapon it also changed the trajectory of the attack so you can hit enemies easier. In Dark Souls 3 stances take another step forward as changing stance will give certain weapons abilities such as breaking guard or knocking an enemy into the air.
Hiding Enemies - While it's not uncommon for an enemy to be just out of your line of sight, enemies in Dark Souls 3 will deliberately hide around corners and wait to attack until you've entered a room. It will cause players to look in every direction as they move into a new area.
Dedicated Servers - Just like Scholar of the First Sin, Dark Souls 3 will support up to six players in online multiplayer, but this time around there will be dedicated servers instead of peer-to-peer connections. For the end user that basically means that connections will be smoother and there should be fewer issues joining games.
30 FPS - While some may cry foul, Dark Souls 3 will be locked at 30 frames per second to ensure that the game plays smooth no matter how frantic the situation gets. Looking at the massive world and the size of the enemies, it's not surprising to see the game locked at 30 fps.
Bloodborne Influence - Miyazaki, the director of every game in the series other than Dark Souls 2, took some time off from Dark Souls to work on Bloodborne for Sony. The game featured much faster-paced combat and aggressive enemies, as well as a new weapon system that allowed players to change the form of their weapon. At the very least, the faster combat will influence Dark Souls 3, but Miyazaki did confirm that we'll see some other influences from the PlayStation exclusive.
Final Installment - While company lines may not always be law, Namco and From Software have stated that Dark Souls 3 will be the final installment in the series. We imagine that Sony wants Bloodborne 2 at some point, and if Dark Souls 3 sells well enough, don't be surprised to see Dark Souls 4 or some equivalent.