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    Dark Souls III

    Game » consists of 10 releases. Released Mar 24, 2016

    This game melds elements from all previous Souls games and concludes the Dark Souls trilogy.

    Road of Sacrifices: My long and surprisingly easy trek to the Dark Souls III Platinum trophy.

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    Hadoken

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    Edited By Hadoken
    One of my favorite post-SoTN adventures.
    One of my favorite post-SoTN adventures.

    I have a long and not so tortured history with the "Souls" series. It started with Demon's Souls winning GOTY over at GameSpot, a website that I often preferred (past-tense noted) over most other sites, and though I purchased the game I never actually put it in my PlayStation 3 for more than two hours at a time. I kept getting mad because I couldn't GIT GUD. I'd lose my souls and repeatedly died over and over without ever getting to the first boss. I have no idea why I was so bad, and so damn impatient. So, I set the game aside. After roughly a year of Castlevania and Metroid playthroughs, where I did my best to 100% every single handheld Metroidvania style game I could get my hands on, I needed something new and challenging. The answer was HERE (the country).

    While browsing The Magic Box for previews/screenshots of popular Japanese video games, I came across what looked like the most amazing game I'd ever seen: Dark Souls. I remember vividly the images of the Gaping Dragon and Seeth the Scaleless, I couldn't believe this was a sequel to the brown ass Demon's Souls (remember, I hadn't played that one yet) game I'd shelved the previous year. I had to have it. I had it. I loved it. So, from that point this website egged me on towards beating the first two games in the series. I'm only stumbling through this history of Souls bit to point out that I play through each of these games the same way:

    New GameNew Game+New Game++New Game+++
    Summon everyone possible. Jolly co-op.Summon for bosses only.Solo all bosses.Run to bosses.
    Cheese everything possible.Hide from PvP.Try PvP for Covenant stuff.No PvP. Play Offline.
    Explore slowly, find every hidden corner.Find everything I missed.Run through everything.Finish NPC questlines.
    Pyromancer or Sorcerer only.Attempt Battle-Mage class.Farm fucking Slabs...Become bored, and wish for death.
    This game is incredibly underrated. Though I agree it is highly repetitive if you dig deep and seek completion.
    This game is incredibly underrated. Though I agree it is highly repetitive if you dig deep and seek completion.

    This worked really well for me until I hit the third game in the series: Dark Souls II. A game that at first thrilled me, then challenged me beyond anything the previous games could muster. I hit a wall. My sorcerer's stats were all wrong, I tried a "battle mage" build that couldn't tank or cast strong magic and hey I spent 140 hours and barely got through half of the game's nightmarish boss count. I farmed so hard that most areas were empty (enemies don't respawn if you farm them enough). So, I had my fun but I couldn't progress. Keep in mind I didn't get the DLC, and I only played the game for 3 months after it was released. It was broken by most fans account and I was just not having fun. What did I do? I found a game I should never have overlooked: Dragon's Dogma: Dark Arisen, a fantastic RPG that I'd recommend to folks who love the themes and style of Souls games but want more story and fewer boss battles. I never looked back, and wouldn't have bothered with Dark Souls II again if it wasn't for the PS4 re-release with the DLC included. I still haven't completed it. So, I moved on and played through three mostly impressive trilogies Mass Effect, BioShock, and Uncharted. But hey, I am who I am and I prefer Dark Fantasy-set RPGs with a reasonable amount of player choice. After a misfire with the overly dense The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt I broke down and bought Bloodborne and began playing semi co-op with one of my co-workers so that I would stick with it. I hate playing Bloodborne, but I like exploring the world. It is an alternate, streamlined, action focused version of the Souls games and while it all sounds great on paper playing through that game only made me yearn for the thoughtful, surprising action and mystical occult of Dark Souls (the first game). Well, I pre-ordered Dark Souls III and started playing the game day one.

    No Caption Provided

    From April 12th to June 10th I played Dark Souls III almost every day and logged nearly 175 hours of gameplay until I finally achieved Platinum trophy status. Before I discuss whether or not the achievement was worth it, and the merit of achievements set by developers, I mean to tell the story of my 3.5 journeys (New Game+++) through Lothric to the Kiln of the First Flame.

    NOTE: Potential for SPOILERS from this point ahead. But honestly, the lore is cryptic and the game is already very well documented by fans and professionals alike.

    ALSO: Here are some useful links for anyone who is currently playing through Dark Souls III and might want to also Platinum the game.

    • Wiki: HERE
    • PS4 Trophy Guide: HERE
    • Trophy Guide (Videos): HERE
    • Lore Extrapolation: HERE
    My two characters. Ostrogoth and Gondor. I was sad to have to ditch Ostrogoth, he had a better, sexier beard.
    My two characters. Ostrogoth and Gondor. I was sad to have to ditch Ostrogoth, he had a better, sexier beard.

    Let's us all start with a very clear and present reality of each of the three Dark Souls games... You will need to re-roll and restart your character at some point if you're going for completionist nonsense like a Playstation Trophy. Why? These games all require multiple playthroughs, ridiculous farming, online PvP trolling, and highly, HIGHLY miss-able items and events. I played a full 31 hours of Dark Souls III as a Sorcerer before I opened the Wiki and discovered that if you progress in the game beyond one or two Lord of Cinder boss battles, your spell giving Sorcerer friend (Orbeck of Vinheim) will simply leave the Firelink Shrine and fuck you over for new Sorceries until NewGame+. So, I had two choices: Join a covenant and re-roll my stats into a Pyromancer, or completely restart the game. I chose to restart as it would take much less time to do everything now that I knew ahead of time any timed events, boss strategies and item locations. It took me 20 hours to get to that same point and it was actually more fun as I then had a better grasp of timing for rolls and sorceries. It was a good thing, but a hard lesson to learn. This is how I played Dark Souls III and got the Platinum trophy compared to other Souls games:

    New GameJourney 2Journey 3Journey 4
    Sorcerer. INT/STR/FTH focus on stats. Straight swords, catalysts.Sorcerer. More stats in STR/DEX for quality weapons.Battle mage. Sorcerer with greatswords and greatshield. Added FTH for pyromancy, PvP, and weapon options.Ran through to bosses. Solo battles only.
    Completionist playthrough, but killed most NPCs.Items and NPC quest focus. All +1 rings.All miracles, sorceries, and pyromancies. All +2 rings, and Covenant rewards.Two NPC quests for items in early game.
    Summon constantly for co-op. Warrior of Sunlight.Farmed for Covenant items through broken PvP for many hours.Farmed more covenant items. Collected gestures from NPCs.Didn't summon anyone.
    Minimal farming, maximum exploration. Slow and careful.Farming like hell. Exploring for every item. Cheesed bosses.Farmed so much it became mind numbing.Got Platinum trophy!
    Gondor is easily the coolest looking fucker I've made in a Dark Souls game. Here I've equipped my main NG+ items: Wolf Knight Greatshield, Greatsword of Judgement, and Morne's Armor with Black Knight Leggings. For most of my playthroughs I used a Dark infused Murakomo that was +10. The Hollowing stat is left over from the Usurper of Fire questline for the third ending. I might finish this Journey before the DLC comes out so my stats are all around 40, besides Luck.
    Gondor is easily the coolest looking fucker I've made in a Dark Souls game. Here I've equipped my main NG+ items: Wolf Knight Greatshield, Greatsword of Judgement, and Morne's Armor with Black Knight Leggings. For most of my playthroughs I used a Dark infused Murakomo that was +10. The Hollowing stat is left over from the Usurper of Fire questline for the third ending. I might finish this Journey before the DLC comes out so my stats are all around 40, besides Luck.

    The bulk of my hours spent playing this game were spent in NewGame+ trying to figure out why the PvP systems were so unfair and broken. But, From Software aren't cruel, many of the items you need to progress Covenant ranks are farmable through enemies. I know the covenants and PvP summoning latency will be fixed eventually and none of it was insurmountable. I will say that if you choose to invade with the Red Eye Orb keep in mind you'll always be outnumbered! The game purposely prioritizes placing invaders against players who have already summoned Phantoms (other players, friendly co-op) into their games. This means you'll fight 2-4 other players, usually 3 total, when invading for certain covenants. It isn't impossible, but you will get cruelly slaughtered many times. Ok, ok... now this is just going to be a review with a couple (totally reasonable) rants from here on out.

    Just for the stat nerds out there. At this point I was equipped with the weapons mentioned, but including the Court Sorcerer's Staff +10. I used the Izalith Staff +5 for the first two playthroughs, hence the Faith stat being higher than it needs to be. For Rings I've equipped Bellowing Dragoncrest Ring, Sages Ring +2, Havel's Ring +2, and Ring of Favor +2. I tend to swap Havel's Ring for the Cloranthy Ring during boss fights.
    Just for the stat nerds out there. At this point I was equipped with the weapons mentioned, but including the Court Sorcerer's Staff +10. I used the Izalith Staff +5 for the first two playthroughs, hence the Faith stat being higher than it needs to be. For Rings I've equipped Bellowing Dragoncrest Ring, Sages Ring +2, Havel's Ring +2, and Ring of Favor +2. I tend to swap Havel's Ring for the Cloranthy Ring during boss fights.

    Dark Souls III is the easiest game in the series both to complete solo but also to complete the trophies and achievements. This game has the easiest bosses that are all in open, spacious arenas with things to hide behind. Anytime you are outnumbered, too slow, or getting knocked around there is an exploit or a simple solution to your problem. High Lord of Wolnir, a boss, is wearing glittery bracelets for weak points! You can kill him in roughly 45 seconds if you have a big sword. You can summon 2 (3 if you have dried finger) other players into your game, more than enough to kill any boss in about 1-2 minutes. You can literally run from bonfire to bonfire and never get hit, because there are so many of them and this game is totally devoid of platforming challenges unlike previous games. So, folks! What I'm getting at here is this is the easiest Souls game ever and you're given tons of options to reduce the difficulty. There is no excuse not to play this one above the others. In fact the platinum trophy was so easy for me besides the time commitment because the difficulty doesn't really scale to a scary level until you're in New Game++, your third playthrough and by then if you're about level 200 (easily done) you shouldn't have any trouble soloing the entire pantheon of bosses.

    Dark Souls III is a huge love letter to Demon's Souls and Dark Souls. The lore, the art, the events, and the level design all include an intense amount of reference to the first two games. The game itself plays like a faster, less dense (in RPG mechanics) version of Dark Souls and eschews all of the failures of Dark Souls II entirely... besides the overthought Covenant crap. There are few games this intense but even compared to Bloodborne, a shorter and faster experience, this is heavy on style and light on damnable unbalanced sections. PvP is actually fun again because greatswords and heavy armor are highly counterable, and the amount of weapon options in the game nearly outweighs post Scholar of the First Sin Dark Souls II options. The lore of this game once again has to be dug up from short cut-scenes, NPC questlines, and item descriptions. You might feel like Dark Souls III just rehashes and streamlines the story of the original Dark Souls if you ignore everything but the cut-scenes. Even the final boss hugely echoes Gwyn from the first game. For all the struggles with deaths, losing souls, getting invaded at the worst time, and farming ENDLESSLY for Covenant items I have to say the time investment and sense of achievement feels really good. Only about 4% of PS4 owners have been dedicated enough to Platinum this game and I feel like I'm better than everyone else... Oh wait! One more rant.

    A trophy or achievement never seems to truly matter to be unless it is attainable, or attained, by me. I feel like this is by far the easiest Platinum for a Dark Souls game while at the same time it was hard work. I put nearly 100 more hours into this game than I truly needed to just to make sure I saw and did everything this game had to offer twice over. I swung every weapon, cast every spell, killed everything possible, and grabbed every damn item at least three times over. Is this arbitrary? Actually, honestly it doesn't feel that way. This is a rare case where a set of achievements actually perfectly exposes the player to every single part of the game. I was forced to rank up every single Covenant! I never touched that stuff in the other games and I was ultimately rewarded for doing so. I got my $59.99 worth of game and then some. So, I guess what I'd pose to the community at Giant Bomb is the question of achievements, trophies and their place as a stamp of completion signaling your true love, or just dedication to an interactive experience. Are Platinum trophies and achievements totally arbitrary bullshit that tells you how to play? Is it completionist nonsense for crotch-pawing nerds like me? Or do you agree with me that these can, in rare cases, direct the player to the full experience on offer where the developer can loosely guide the player towards a more than comfortable endpoint?

    Here's how you can play alongside me: ADD ME~!

    • PSN: https://my.playstation.com/terraasymmetry (proof of Trophy here, if you need it)
    • Steam: http://steamcommunity.com/profiles/76561198076667033/ (for Dota 2 players, especially)

    I love this game. Well hey, I've run out of thoughts on this game for now. Off to finally try the Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor Platinum next.

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    Shindig

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    Agreed. It's my first platinum and, aside from the grind for covenant items, it went smoothly. Although beating Nameless King +2 felt like climbing Everest.

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    Sinusoidal

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    I love em, but I can't be arsed to platinum souls games. I like to get what I can get without resorting to a guide. I mess around with whatever weapons and spells seem interesting and despite spending many, many hours just exploring, don't go out of my way to find absolutely everything. I finished Dark Souls 3 around the 80 hour mark and got maybe 75% of the trophies. I can't imagine trying to get all the NPC interactions, convenant rewards or spells, miracles and pyromancies without just resorting to following a guide step-by-step throughout the whole game. No fun.

    I am looking forward to the DLC for DS3. I hope it's on par with past souls DLC offerings which have generally been very strong.

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    Teddie

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    The only thing stopping me from getting the platinum is the spells attached to covenants. The summon rate for some of them was so low that I think it would've taken thrice as long to do that stuff as it did for me to beat the main game. I wish they just let you buy that stuff in NG+++ or whatever like DS2 did.

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    Shindig

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    Yeah, the drop rates are low but it all came to me surprisingly quickly once I had the gear together for the item discovery. I feel like that was the whole reason I pushed on for the platinum. You get there and its all a matter of time.

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    cannonballbam

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    #6  Edited By cannonballbam

    @hadoken:congratulations!!!

    I did more or less the same thing for the platinum trophy. It took me around 70+ hours; I even got it for bloodborne and caught myself getting ready for it when I was playing dark souls 2: scholar of the first sin, when I first played it after 3.

    I kind of want to complete the set and go back for platinum trophy in demon souls, dark souls and dark souls 2: scholar of the first sin.

    I don't think the series has relatively hard platinum trophies, but just time consuming ones.

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    Ezekiel

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    I love em, but I can't be arsed to platinum souls games. I like to get what I can get without resorting to a guide. I mess around with whatever weapons and spells seem interesting and despite spending many, many hours just exploring, don't go out of my way to find absolutely everything. I finished Dark Souls 3 around the 80 hour mark and got maybe 75% of the trophies. I can't imagine trying to get all the NPC interactions, convenant rewards or spells, miracles and pyromancies without just resorting to following a guide step-by-step throughout the whole game. No fun.

    That's how I feel too. I feel bad for allowing this to possibly be the first Souls game I won't get all the achievements/trophies for, but referring to the internet constantly and reading through pages of info is a big hassle.

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    Spoonman671

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    I think I have 57 platinum trophies, including previous Souls games (two separate ones for Dark Souls II). For some reason I just don't have the drive to chase them anymore. Dark Souls III, Ratchet & Clank, and Uncharted 4 are platinums I should obviously have, but I'd rather play another match of Paragon, or finish up Doom. What's happening to me?

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    Tophat666

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    I got the 1000/1000 for Dark Souls 1 & the Platinum Bloodborne.
    I only have 1 character as of now in Dark Souls 3 (limited time, work & the like) & I just got the second ending but haven't NG++ yet because I want to save him for the DLC.

    The last 2 souls games where I played the DLC (DS1 & Bloodborne) I used the character I had from my 1000 points/platinum runs as my DLC & while I managed to beat DS1, Bloodborne is a whole other story.
    They really didn't balance The Old Hunters for people on NG+++, so every fight is like 2-3 hits & you're dead. I would be able to get through it, but I fell off hard.

    If I had the time, or just so happened to be on the path of getting it, I would, but so many covenants I still haven't done.

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    Wwen

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    That's generally how I played the last two as well. I haven't finished III yet, I kinda ruined it for myself when I started out thinking about getting all the things. (Also, I accidentally out-leveled myself for Farron swamp PvP after I still needed 10 more covenant items which really bugged me goddam it.) I got weary, played Overwatch and things, but now I'm playing again. It wasn't you DSIII, it's me. Let's never fight again.

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    Maluvin

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    Grats on the platinum. I entertained the idea of getting the plat on Dark Souls 3 but the grinding rep for spells was more than I felt up for doing but I definitely had a LOT of fun with this game.

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    Calmgamer

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    Congrats on the Platinum! Demon Souls/Dark Souls and DS2 and Bloodborne are the Platinums I am personally the most proud of. I'm on the journey for the DS3.

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