Dark Souls III (ダークソウルIII Dāku Sōru Surī?) is an action role-playing video game developed by From Software. It was officially announced on June 15, 2015 at E3. The game was released for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on March 24, 2016 in Japan, with a worldwide release scheduled for April 12 of the same year. A code was given to users who pre-ordered the game to play Dark Souls on Xbox One.
Set in the Kingdom of Lothric, the player is tasked to survive an oncoming apocalypse brought about by the ongoing conflict between the age of fire and those branded with the Dark Sign as with previous iterations of the series. To survive this event the player character must face the Lords of Cinder, previous heroes who linked the fire, as the cycle of Light and Dark continues and no matter what you do, darkness will return and repeat itself forever.
Players are able to reallocate stat points as well as reconfigure character creation at the Rosaria's Bedchamber bonfire in the Cathedral of the Deep up to five times per play through.
New Game Plus makes a return. After the player has finished the game, the player has a choice to begin a new game immediately or at a later time via the bonfire in Firelink Shrine. New Game Plus is optional. Players will retain all equipment, upgraded character attributes, and consumables with the exception to keys. The game's difficulty is increased each subsequent play though up to new game plus seven.
Durability is a balance between the first two games.
The Summoning and Cooperative Play system from the first two games remains for the third installment.
In addition, the game offers a Co-op code system where you can input a code under the network tab in the options menu. This Code bypasses all cooperative gameplay mechanics to play with friends. During this session, weapons from more powerful players are scaled down to match the lower level cooperators weapon enhancement. This is intended to balance cooperative play.
A Focus Points system (or FP), similar to the one found in Demon's Souls, has been added which governs skills and Spell Casting. The FP bar can be refilled by resting at a bonfire or by drinking from the Ashen Estus Flask.
An Ember system, similar to the humanity mechanic from the first game, replaces the Human Effigy. The player becomes kindled by consuming an Ember. This increases the player character's health by 30% and allows them to summon other players to their world. This is similar to the Soul/Body Form system of Demon's Souls.
Players may be invaded while "Enkindled" if the area boss has not been defeated. However, certain hostile summon signs may be present while enkindled in worlds where the area boss has been defeated. It is also possible to be invaded by the Watchdogs of Farron on the Road of Sacrifices while un-kindled.
Although the game was critically acclaimed with many critics praising it as the most accessible and consistent in the series, the fanbase was generally divided; with many long time fans criticizing the way poise was handled, the linearity of the world map layout, the shallow covenants. While other features, like the bonfire-warping available from the beginning, and the invasion system heavily favoring the host received heavy backlash since they were announced a few months before the game was released. Many felt that the game sacrificed too much for the sake of convenience and accessibility.