Should I play Dark Souls 1 and 2 before 3

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DrFat32

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#1  Edited By DrFat32

After watching GBeast play the start of Dark Souls 3 it looked like a game that I could enjoy. I got the impression that it was not as cumbersome as the previous incarnations and seems to be a bit better at informing the player how to play rather than just throwing you in.

The question is should I try and play the previous games to catch up on the story (if there is one) or can I jump in now and just watch a playthrough or wiki it, will I be missing out?

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Sterling

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You don't need to. But I would recommend it.

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BelowStupid

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#3  Edited By BelowStupid

All the souls games have super shallow stories on the surface, and non of them are distinctly connected, the things that connect them are the themes, combat, and general mechanics.To get the full story you need to connect a lot of dots by reading item descriptions and analyzing the environments which can be cool, you'll be better off getting story from a wiki page.

I'm not a fan of 2 but they're all great games including Bloodborne. The series is really Demon's Souls, Dark Souls, Dark Souls 2, Bloodborne, Dark Souls 3.

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BrettVandelay

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Homelessbird

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I've played about 1-2 hours of Dark Souls 3, and I can't say that it seems any more beginner-friendly than the other Souls games. Most of the time, the reason I know how things work is just that it's the same system from one of the previous titles (or a variation on a theme).

So really, I'd say start wherever you like.

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mtfikhan

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Question: I am playing Lords of the Fallen becauses it was free this month on Games With Gold. It is pretty frustrating, but I like the combat loop. Given that it is a riff on the Souls formula, should I give Dark Souls a shot?

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Colony024

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If it's story and lore you're concered about, I'd like to recommend Vaatividya's youtube channel for some excellent recaps and explanations. However, I'm willing to bet that not knowing anything about the previous two won't impede enjoyment of the next one.

That said, I'm with @sterling on this; both are good games, and if you're interested in the series as a whole, why not give them a go? Just have some vids or a wiki handy if you don't feel like puzzling everything out on your own, nothing wrong with that. You can also just play offline if you don't want to have to deal with invasions.

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BelowStupid

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#8  Edited By BelowStupid

@brayvonmartin: It felt a bit uninspired to me, most of my complaints about it boil down to me liking the freaky abominations and weird environments in Dark Souls and Bloodborne more. When I saw some of the enemies in those games I couldn't believe someone came up with those designs, 2 felt like it was mostly human, or humanoid monsters in armor, in big empty castles. It's certainly a great game but it didn't move me in any particular way. Maybe it's not fair I played it after Bloodborne because most things look pedestrian following that game.

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deactivated-582d227526464

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I've played all the Souls games and If I had to pick just one game for newcomers to play before Dark Souls 3, it would be Dark Souls 1. There seems to be a lot of callbacks to it in 3 and if you play it, you'll at least get the gist of some of the world/lore stuff that people will be freaking out about down the road. It'll also prime you for how these games work, but really any Souls game will do that for you.

The reason I'd still choose 1 over others though is because it's the one Souls game that seems universally liked by Souls people. Everyone has their preferences, but no one seems to straight up hate Dark Souls 1. And even if you do greatly prefer another Souls title, chances are you still at least reference the stuff from 1.

Dark Souls 2 is still good, but I don't think it's as necessary to play it to appreciate what's happening in 3.

After 3 though, I'd still recommend playing all the games. I think they're pretty much evergreen, and they are all some of my favorite games in existence.

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BrettVandelay

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@belowstupid: I've played every game in the series except 2 and was thinking about playing through, but the graphics are where my trepidations. I saw footage of 2 yesterday and hadn't realized how aged it looked until then.

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Colony024

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#11  Edited By Colony024

@mtfikhan:I finished Lords of the Fallen about half a year ago myself, after having played Souls before. While the combat is certainly similar, I found Lords to be a bit more forgiving. It felt to me like there was less danger of screwing yourself with a crappy character build, mostly because the systems are simply a lot more streamlined; a lot less stats to deal with and magic boiled down to just three preset paths.

Also, I preferred the pace and response of the Souls games, which again is similar but just different enough to mess with me. Might just be because of having played them first though; muscle memory's a bitch. In a nutshell, if you enjoy Lords then certainly give Souls a go.

Just don't expect a directly laid out story like Lords has (then again that story was rubbish).

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BrettVandelay

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@claybrez: I see where you're coming from. Demon's Souls happens to be my favorite, and it also happens to be the first game I played in the series. I think part of the reason you hear so much good about Dark Souls is because it was most people's first attempt at playing that series.

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ClairvoyantVibrations

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#13  Edited By ClairvoyantVibrations  Online

Maybe play some of the first one. It's a good game and it seems like there's a lot of direct references to it in DSIII, from the little we saw in the GBEast stream. It's also not as impenetrable as most people make it out to be, and maybe with the exception of a couple of areas it deciphered can be without looking stuff up. I did play Demon's Souls first though, so maybe that's just me.

I am in the minority (I think) in believing that the art design work in Dark Souls II was better than in the first game (which I think kinda looks like trash), but overall in terms of straight up level design and boss encounters Dark Souls 1 is superior, and that's what those games are really about.

Understanding the lore completely isn't required to enjoy the games, so if you decide to not play either of the first two games I bet you wouldn't be lost in terms of story.

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BelowStupid

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@brayvonmartin: It runs 60fps on PS4, but it the environments look flat. Non of these games are technical show pieces but all of them except 2 have amazing design. If graphics are the thing holding you back I really have nothing to say to ease your concern.

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Maluvin

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I wouldn't worry about playing any of the other games before diving into 3 unless you're a total lore nut like me. If you are a lore nut I'd suggest doing Dark Souls 1 before 2. I think 2 has more mechanical variety but I liked the progression of 1 is better all around (but DS2 is still superb in my book).

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deactivated-582d227526464

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@brayvonmartin said:

@claybrez: I see where you're coming from. Demon's Souls happens to be my favorite, and it also happens to be the first game I played in the series. I think part of the reason you hear so much good about Dark Souls is because it was most people's first attempt at playing that series.

Absolutely, Dark Souls borrows more stuff from DeS than I can count (including certain boss fights), so the amount of stuff that gets attributed to Dark Souls 1 as being "first" is incorrect. But regardless, it's the game with the sequels and connections, so I would still tell people to go there first if they're short on time to play the whole series.

That said, I was almost going to write that newcomers should play both DeS and DKS1 because those two in particular are going to be compared and contrasted a lot in the course of discussing DKS3, as it seems to be borrowing heavily from both.

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travv0

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@brayvonmartin Demon's Souls was my first as well, and was my favorite until I went back and played through it again after playing Dark Souls 1 and 2. Still has my favorite boss fights, though.

As for the OP, I'd definitely recommend playing Dark Souls before 3 comes out if you have the $20 to spare. Easily my favorite game of all time, and $20 on Steam is a steal (assuming you'd play it on PC).

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Rafaelfc

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I think all the games are well worth playing (even the much maligned Dark Souls 2, I love that game). Unless you want to benefit from sales or discounted price, i'd say start with 3 because the feeling of discovering a new Souls game along with the online community is always great.

If you enjoy your time with it, I'd highly recommend going back and playing the old games.

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ikramit

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If you want an idea of dark souls 1 before going into 3 (ds3 is similar to ds1) both from a gameplay and lore perspective then watch From The Dark LP of ds1 by ENB on youtube he's one of the first to put the lore of these games together and is also very good at the game in general I think its a good a place to start as any.

@brayvonmartin:Demon souls had a lot fewer weapons, the animations were not great, the balance was all over the shop their were a lot of gmicky boss fights the upgrade tree was clucky even for souls and world tendency is convoluted at best. It also has the best atmosphere\music and does alot right DS1 is better and more polished in most regards though

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BrettVandelay

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#21  Edited By BrettVandelay

@belowstupid: Yeah it's the graphics on top of "hey this game is still $40 on the Xbox Store." I was expecting it to be half that with Dark Souls 3 around the corner.

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BelowStupid

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@brayvonmartin: If you can grab it for $20 then I say go for it, but yeah I can't recommend it for any more.

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Sterling

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I find it hilarious that you guys are saying the graphics don't hold up. It was just re-released last year with updated graphics, and the game is only two years old. It looks fine. You people are insane. Also if you coming to Dark Souls 1 expecting good graphics, I have some bad news for you.

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c_rakestraw

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They're worth playing, but it's definitely not necessary. You may miss out on some of the callbacks and the finer points of the lore by skipping them, but otherwise you should be able to enjoy it just fine. I'd recommend looking into the story, though, because there's some fascinating stuff there.

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Humanity

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#25  Edited By Humanity

@drfat32: Like others said, you don't need to, and in a way at this point I think it would actually be in detriment for you to do so considering how much repeat content there is in the series. You'll miss out on familiar callbacks but at least you'll experience everything fresh, instead of it being "oh this is that bridge moment again."

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Calmgamer

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I'd definitely play DS1 at least. If you don't like it,then hold off on the rest (including 3). Great video synopsis' are available on YouTube for 2 - which would be an option. I really like DS2 - so I'd encourage you to play it, but its not as vital as 1.

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BrettVandelay

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Loading Video...

@sterling: The environments look muddy and gross.

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Sterling

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#28  Edited By Sterling

@brayvonmartin: That video is from the 360. Dark Souls with BC on xbox one will look just as bad as that. So saying it has horrible graphics, don't play 2, play 1, is a stupid thing to say.

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BrettVandelay

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@sterling: I agree that would be a stupid thing to say.

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Justin258

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@belowstupid: I've played every game in the series except 2 and was thinking about playing through, but the graphics are where my trepidations. I saw footage of 2 yesterday and hadn't realized how aged it looked until then.

Really? I bought Scholar of the First Sin on Xbox One and was pretty surprised at how well its graphics hold up - this is coming from someone who played vanilla DS2 on a PC. I've also been playing through Dark Souls 1 on PC and that game really does look aged. Some parts of it do look great, but there are a lot of places that don't even look as good as other games that came out in 2011.

Of course, by all of this I mean graphics, (clarity, texture resolution, etc.) and not aesthetics (actual style and design). The first Dark Souls beats out Dark Souls 2 in the latter category, though it does have the caveat that large portions of DS1 are drab and gray and brown. That's fine, fits the mood and everything, but DS2 has way more color.

Anyway, you could spend all day talking about the differences between Dark Souls 1 and 2 even though they're, mechanically, very similar. I think they're both pretty great games, but judging from the stream I saw yesterday, Dark Souls 3 calls back to the first game more often than it does the second. If you're only going to play one of them in preparation for Dark Souls 3, play the first. However, I think it might actually be a better - and more interesting - idea to play Dark Souls 3 first and then DS1 and 2. Then, when playing 1 and 2, you'll get those "aha" moments when you realize how parts of 1 and 2 fit into 3.

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I would say if you really want to play a little bit of of Dark Souls, and watch some YouTube videos on the lore. I think the time between these games is very important, as they don't change much from game to game. If you play both you'll be burned out, and I doubt you'd even get through 2 as its design is a little boring compared to 1

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BrettVandelay

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@justin258: I think playing 3 first is a good idea as well. And to be clear: I'm coming from watching videos of DS3 then looking back and seeing if I want to play 2. Graphically, 3 is in another league than 2.

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OurSin_360

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#33  Edited By OurSin_360

I would if just to see if you actually like them, because seeing it played and actually dealing with how it handles are two different things entirely. I own every souls game, but couldn't get into any of them except for bloodborne because the controls are just so unwieldy and awkward. Watching the stream got me to want to try again and I'm still not really having a very good time with Dark Souls Prepare to die edition because to me fighting the camera, movement, and controls is 90% of the difficulty and that's not very fun. I'm still going to give it a little longer and see if i can finally get into this game like i want to.

Also if your from EU seems like there is some kinda deal going on to get the first game on pc for free, the links are in the steam news for the game.

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Trilogy

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You have to read all the books or else you won't know what's going on!

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ikramit

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@oursin_360: You must have been playing a completely different game then I have.

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#37  Edited By inevpatoria

@mtfikhan said:

Question: I am playing Lords of the Fallen becauses it was free this month on Games With Gold. It is pretty frustrating, but I like the combat loop. Given that it is a riff on the Souls formula, should I give Dark Souls a shot?

If you're into Lords of the Fallen, you should absolutely give Dark Souls a try. LotF is in a lot of ways a more streamlined, straightforward experience than Dark Souls. Magic is easier to comprehend, it follows a more traditional Diablo-style gear progression, and the scope and combat of the game manage to be both more palatable and more forgiving.

I follow that by saying I feel the "combat loop" of Dark Souls is miles tighter than Lords of the Fallen, which routinely lurches and heaves in clunky animations. Even the faster weapons in Lords of the Fallen require some wind-up and lead to a lot of situations where faster, more relentless enemies just knock you out of attacking over and over. Dark Souls finds other ways to challenge you, and increases the speed with which you can go from, say, attacking to blocking, or attacking to dodging. The dead space in between beats is simply less noticeable in Dark Souls.

Plus, Dark Souls' level design, monster design, and general aesthetic atmosphere astonish on a regular basis. You'll often just be floored by the sheer awe or harrowing despair of some of its more repulsive and inspired creations.

If you like Lords of the Fallen you'll probably really appreciate Dark Souls. After taking the time to acclimate, of course.

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BrettVandelay

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@belowstupid: Maybe I'll just go bang my head against Bloodborne some more.

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onarum

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If you're going to play them like, DS1 now then a couple of months down the line DS2 and 3 months later DS3 maybe.

But if you're saying just rushing thought both of em as fast as you can before DS3 comes out then I say no, the "story" is almost non existent and the mechanics are all but identical, all you'll accomplish is a severe case of burnout on the series in my honest opinion.

So if you want to get DS3 at release I say just read some wikis to get acquainted with the sparse "lore" as it were and that's it.

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HadesTimes

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It appears that DS3 is ALOT harder than previous versions, so I would play DS2 at the very least before starting DS3.

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Shindig

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I played through all the series in an 11 month span. Cramming them inside three weeks seems exhausting. They're all worth playing, though.

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OurSin_360

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#42  Edited By OurSin_360

@ikramit said:

@oursin_360: You must have been playing a completely different game then I have.

Why i recommend the OP to try it out first and see.

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TobbRobb

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You can't really go wrong I think. If DS3 ends up being easier to get into, that sounds like a good primer to learn how to read the games. That'll just make it that much easier to go back and play the more obscure games. If I'm going to be completely honest, there's a high chance I wouldn't have forced my way through Demon's without previously beating Dark Souls. With some experience backing me up, that original game felt a lot more managable.

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#44  Edited By hippie_genocide

@drfat32: Download Dark Souls 1. It's cheap and gives a good indicator if you're into this type of game, keeping in mind of course that game is like 5 years old now or so. If you like it, dive on in to Dark Souls 3. Dark Souls 2 can be played whenever, or not at all if you prefer.

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DrFat32

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Thanks guys for all your suggestions and comments. I think I will hop in on DSIII with everyone else, I can see the appeal of discovering a game at the same time as everyone else and finding out together.

Thanks again, the GB community is the best.

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#46  Edited By CptBedlam

Play DS1 if you want to know what the Souls craze is all about. You can safely ignore Ignore DS2, however. The latter is the odd one out in the series, the ugly step-child. It has some unique qualities but it misses the mark on so many essential Souls aspects.

Real answer: no you don't need to play any of the Souls games prior to DS3. Each game in the series stands on its own.

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consolesman

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It's highly recommended i say , i don't see a reason other than time constraints really. DS1 players will have an undeniable better time with DS3 right of the bat due to the feel of the game. DS3 is welcoming to any player at the start, you will get a good experience regardless if you simply can't do it right now.

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Humanity

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@cptbedlam: Some might say that DS2 manages to right a lot of wrongs rather than missing some marks - and I don't say this to start a huge opinion war (cause after all this is all opinion based) but merely to point out that everyone experiences these games differently and telling someone who has not played any of them that they can "safely" ignore one of the entries based on your personal experiences is a bit presumptuous and misleading.

In all honestly he doesn't have to play any of them. The plot is so esoteric and scattershot that unless he goes reading up on it from extensive Wiki pages and dramatically voiced YouTube lore dumps there is a very good chance he won't even get anything out of playing DS1 in terms of story. Might as well go in fresh and if he likes DS3, there is no problem with going back to DS1 or DS2, as apart from graphics these games hardly change at all.

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Technician

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You could play DS3 first in the same way you could have played Bioshock Infinite first. It will still be a great game but you might not be able to appreciate some special moments without having played the previous games.

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You don't need to but Dark Souls 1 is so damn good that you really should. I oubt you'll finish it b4 DS3 comes out though. It's a long game. Especially for first timers. Prob take about 5-10 hours before it really clicks for ya.

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