Hello and welcome to the should you buy series where we take a look at games, DLCS, and add ons you may be on the border of buying but don’t quite have the knowledge to make a choice either way.
In this case we are going to be looking at a DLC for Dark Souls III. The final DLC for the final game in this fantastic series. If you have been staying up to date with my writing than you would have read a previous post where I did the “Should You Buy – Dark Souls III: Ashes Of Ariandel” which is the first DLC to go with this game.
In that post I concluded that Ashes of Ariandel was an excellent addition to the base game in much the same way that the original Painted World Of Ariamis was to the original Dark Souls game. However in this case it’s locked behind a price tag. I also concluded that it wasn’t essential to the experience of Dark Souls III, but it was certainly an exciting detour along the way.
Well with the addition of The Ringed City my opinion on that has changed, and here’s why; The Ringed City and Ashes Of Ariandel are a pair. Which together make up an extremely important part of the Dark Souls final moments. The Ringed City manages to weave together past memories of the franchise while still creating a truly unique experience within the game world.
The DLC itself is quite a but larger than the previous one and has sections entirely distinct from the typical souls experience. It introduces elements of the game we haven’t seen before without ever feeling like it’s forcing those moments in your face.
There are also perfectly beautiful and mildly unsettling conversations with new NPC’s. The voice acting this time around is at an all time high. Each line is well delivered and really conveys the feeling of this being the end of the world as we know it.
On top of the fantastic story implications there are some welcomed additions to the combat roster as well. Almost every weapon in The Ringed City comes with it’s unique identity. Nothing is a simple reskin of another thing. Each weapon, armor, and spell are created to serve the world in a way nothing has up to this point.
The difficulty is, in my experience, at a high without being overwhelming. It’s truly meant to be end game content, and my first exploration of this DLC was on New Game++ so it was even more so. Things felt balanced. I didn’t find myself cursing in frustration at things that seemed out of my control. I was able to push through enemies without feeling like the most productive way to explore was to evade them like is the souls mentality.
It’s tough to really explain the beauty of this DLC in combination with Ariandel without treading over the line into spoilers. So I’ll just say this, go into the DLC with an open mind to accept that this is the end. But don’t expect a marching band, and fireworks. That’s not the way of Dark Souls. It never was.
Instead look at it like one final romp around town with a lifelong friend who’s soon to depart for a trip around the world. You may not know when they’re going to return, or if they’ll be the same when they do so today is all about enjoying every moment. Letting all the little things matter more than they ever had before.
And when it ends, don’t look back with sorrow. Don’t flood yourself with “what ifs” and “If only”. Just sit back with your most gracious smile and sent them off with a sincere and humble:
The Verdict: MUST BUY
We may never experience something so beautiful and perfect as Dark Souls again. So no matter what you think of the base game, you cannot miss the final moments of it all. For any reason.