Having just platinum this game on PS3 I was bored and decided to write a quick review. Little bit about me I am very big into action and RPG games really that is all I play. I am 28 been playing games since I was 5 and have loved them ever since. I have played and platinum all 3 souls games and love them to death because they have that old school feel but with updated graphics and gameplay.
Story: The next adventure into the souls series has the player putting the plot pieces together like before but something is missing. All souls game stories are convoluted and requires the player to look into item description, character dialogue, and even the scenery of the area in order to try to figure out what just has happened here. This game also follows that same idea but some of the pieces are missing. As far as for new players the story allows them to join the game with ease, and while playing Dark Souls I helps it is not essential in order to play this game.
Design: I like many others were disappointed in the graphics of this game compared to what they showed before release though saying that the game still looks beautiful. Though some mechanics in the game that they showed are pointless now because of these lighting issues. Torches were supposed to be a key role in playing the game and they do help in some parts, but players can easily get through with out using them. The art and design that goes into the background has some of the best looking in the series so far. The game has an uplift from the other titles it is not as dark and gringy as Dark Souls I or Demon Souls. Having played the PC version as well there are definitely improvements: higher FPS, and some graphical improvements but nothing like what was demonstrated.
Game-play: This is were the game falls short compared to the other titles. The controls are sluggish and with out invincibility frames being as predictable it makes for fast players to really time their rolls. Enemies in the game though move at lighting speed and the hit box were they can hit you is very big. One example I was using a dagger and the enemy was using a large sword they could take out their sword from their sheath and swing and connect with me before my dagger that was already out be able to touch them. There are stats that you can put points into to make your character "quicker" but, this seems thrown on and really just makes the game more frustrating and not as fair as previous games. Also the poise mechanic seems to be nerfed as well getting hit while wearing heavy armor you will get stunned a lot. Some positives about the gameplay are that jumping is easier to do, weapon crafting is not as tedious and is definitely an improvement from the old grinding days. The souls memory mechanic allows players to not get trolled for the most part. Also having the ability to chat and turning on off cross region PVP gameplay allows for some good PVP matches.
Conclusion: For soul veterans it is the easiest of the series and that being said it maybe the best in the series for new players to start joining. Also with souls veterans this is the hardest controls to get used to and at some points feel cheap and unfair. For story it is good but just missing something to make it great and really draw the player in. I would play Dark souls II for PVP, Dark Souls I for PVE, and Demon Souls for lore. I would give it 4/5 Stars.