+Revisiting The Painted World of Ariamis with Ashes of Ariandel
+New boss fights and creatures provide a worthwhile challenge
+New PvP Arena is spectacular and fulfills a PvPers desires
+Very well paced for the small download size offering between 3-4 hours of gameplay
-Difficulty at times can be mind boggling occasions
-Exploring can be difficult for newcomers to the series that started with DSIII.
Dark Souls 3 has been delivering an enjoyable experience for us since the day we snuffed out the flame of the Soul of Cinder boss for our review. Ashes of Ariandel delivers a very similar experience for fans to enjoy. With a new icy landscape to enjoy, new weapons, armor, and even spells, Ashes of Ariandel isn’t shy on delivering a satisfactory experience for everyone involved. However, the hunt for all of this? It will only last depending on the want players have to fight creatures to farm for their gear or even players just wanting to wipe out the bosses for the experience.
However, this expansion isn’t all-that-difference from the lands we once explored in Dark Souls named “The Painted World of Ariamis”. However, it’s not exactly the same due to where players get to visit. In this world, players will find enemies that are rather diverse, deadly, and will deal just as much damage like any-other-enemy. Players will once more find themselves becoming familiar with enemies such as “The Followers, the Millwood Knights, and even the vicious wolves that wander around. Unlike many of the enemies we’ve met before, they are vicious, they are brutal, and these Viking like enemies that like to blow things up with their weapons.
Unlike many of the places we’ve visited in the game, Ariandel itself is just as deadly as the enemies within it. With treacherous mountain cliffs, false snowbanks that randomly fall from beneath you, Ariandel will leave you in perilous situations as enemies will openly jump you without knowing. While snowy-covered lands may be a large part of the land you explore, players will also find themselves going through buildings within the land, but also they will find themselves exploring the rather deadly path of twisted roots in order to explore the lands below. The only thing that makes this experience saddening is Ariandel itself isn’t all that large as one would hope. Compared to any other zone within the game, Ariandel is almost just a blip on the radar with it only hosting two bosses, around a dozen items to be discovered.
The one thing that does make this zone a bit troubled isn’t the mobs, how small it is, or how few bosses there are. It’s the fact this zone is packed full of bonfires that allow fans to move through the zone a heck-of-a-lot quicker than they’d like. Unlike Dark Souls world “The Painted World of Ariamis,”fans will find themselves not concerned with moving once more through the lands. Like much of the game compared to the previous entries, Ashes of Ariandel remains tame compared to the rest of the game, and even makes itself feel less challenging than ever before.
This approach, however, doesn’t take away from what the expansion is about. The bosses, the monsters, and even the treacherous terrains are formidable foes that will leave players reeling in pain. As mentioned before, Ashes of Ariandel remains a pivotal point in the direction the next DLC could go. Despite how easy the DLC felt at points, the expansion itself offered up plenty of challenges for me to experience. Whether it was the Millwood Knights or even the wolves hiding within the forest, Ashes of Ariandel’s three hours of play time offered plenty of challenges for me to go through, and became a rather quick awareness check for me to experience. PvP arenas remain locked until players defeat the optional boss that’s hidden within the lands.
While mortality within the game is quite easily tested by players exploring the lands, you can quite easily expect this to shine through in Ashes of Ariandel with the games new arena. For players looking to PvP, Ashes of Ariandel offers up a rather large amount of this to be had. Players can choose from 1v1, 2v2, 3v3 or even blood filled free-for-alls, and the ability to choose whether or not to heal within it. Seeking avenues within each map is quite pleasing as players will find multiple approaches to each encounter, which will allow players to blast back against their enemies or even wither them down to nothing. Worried about spawn camping? There’s none of that to be had here since the game manages to negate this issue with an anti-spawn camp mechanic. This will definitely encourage PvP later in for those that tire of the games campaign.
Dark Souls III: Ashes of Ariandel – PC, PlayStation 4 (PlayStation 4), Xbox One
Developer: From Software
Publisher: Bandai Namco
Release Date: Now Available
However, with all that said, Dark Souls III: Ashes of Ariandel is an enjoyabl experience that will keep fans busy for hours to come. Fr those looking to PvP, the DLC will keep fans busy for longer than expected as they find themselves exploring the frozen wastelands or even beating other players around until their ashes scatter within the winds.
Our review is based upon the release of the DLC via the games Season Pass. For information about our ethics policy please click here.
Final Score: 8 out of 10
About the Writer:
Dustin is our native console gamer, PlayStation and Nintendo reviewer who has an appetite for anything that crosses the boarders from across the big pond. His interest in JRPG’s, Anime, Handheld Gaming, and Pizza is insatiable. His elitist attitude gives him direction, want, and a need for the hardest difficulties in games, which is fun to watch, and hilarity at its finest. You can find him over on Twitter, Google+, and or you can find him on PSN with RaivynLyken.