Well, here we are. The final DLC for the final Dark Souls game, and honestly, they couldn’t have gone out any better. Despite it being a DLC, Dark Souls 3: the Ringed City feels more than that, it feels like a final resolution to most of the series final questions, while also opening new ones that might hint at another series future. Needless to say, Dark Souls 3: The Ringed City is a great DLC that rounds out Dark Souls 3 and makes it a complete package, with many new areas, bosses and weapons to be found and used. The best DLC that I have ever seen in a Souls game, and a fine area that fits the rest of the puzzle pieces while adding more questions onto the table, it is the definitive and best Dark Souls DLC.
Dark Souls 3: the Ringed City takes place at the end of the world, namely, what people call the Ringed City. It’s filled with kingdoms and places of past lands and even recycles set pieces we have seen from previous Souls games, destroyed and abandoned within the giant ring. It’s hard to talk about the DLC without spoiling some things from the original game, but the locales are unique and varied, the enemies new and fresh, and the combat is the same as ever, but that is definitely not a bad thing.
The setting itself is amazing, and really shows the ruins and destroyed endings of so many previous civilizations before Dark Souls 3, as well as showing the results of the previous cycles and showing the theme of futility that Miyazaki tries to portray in all these games, as with all the previous cycles, the results didn’t matter, as the fire was either light again or burned out until the next cycle came around.
The new bosses in Dark Souls 3: the Ringed City are all clever, and have a nice variety to them, even though there are only 4. One of them is even a PVP based boss, although you aren’t required to fight other players in order to beat it, but it really makes the boss a lot more fun if you are into fighting other players. The other 3 bosses are well constructed, and while they initially give you the thought of “oh dear god, how will I ever defeat these things,” enough practice and learning their attacks eventually leads you to fantastic feeling victory, a feeling that is hard to encapsulate in anything other than a Dark Souls game.
The soundtrack is amazing as always, the orchestral music of the Souls games have always lent to amazing bosses and moments and Dark Souls 3: the Ringed City isn’t any different. The final boss even has what I might consider one of the best tracks in the entire series, and the rest of the tracks in this DLC are all high quality. The sound effects are crisp and clear and really lend to the game’s immersion, making the environments, enemies, spells, and weapons feel great.
The story of Dark Souls 3: the Ringed City is hard to interpret and will most likely take multiple playthroughs for most people to be able to find some of the secrets and the lore, all of which are found in the world, through dialogue, and through items themselves, in proper Dark Souls style. There are even hints about future games to come, and how the Dark Souls legacy can continue beyond the series itself, although I won’t spoil anything for people that are looking to play the game themselves.
Dark Souls 3: the Ringed City is the end of the long road that is the Dark Souls series, the final segment in a long cycle of games, and it’s fitting the series went out like this, not with a quiet whisper but a loud bang of a DLC. The story, setting, enemies, and bosses remain as strong and as varied as ever, showing off all of what made the series great, and hinting at the future and end of a series that consequently created an entire new genre of games. This isn’t the end of games like it, but fans will always look back at this series of fondness, and as they play games like it in the future, they will always remember one thing, Prepare to Die.