Ok, I’m not usually one of those types of gamers that rage and rant about silly things like this, but recently I’ve been playing a lot of Dark Souls 3 and enough is enough. I just had to chime in about this topic. Remember, I’m not insulting anyone here or trying to tarnish the Souls name. I’m just bringing up an issue that I have with Dark Souls 3. There is no need to take offense, here. This is just one man’s opinion.
A Bit of Background
I have been a BIG fan of the Souls franchise from the very beginning. I have put so many hours into each successive title, that I have lost count of my total play time. By my best estimate, I have probably put in upwards of 700 hours across the entire series, but that is only an estimate. With that much time in both the solo and co-op modes, I feel as though I have paid my dues and I can legitimately complain about this issue. My main (and so far, only) point of contention here, is with the co-op/PvP/Invasion system that has been a hallmark of the entire series. This is where I start to complain.
Of course, Dark Souls 3 is a fun game; challenging and vexing, but ultimately rewarding. The stunning visuals, the beautiful music, the rich world, and the beautifully convoluted storytelling make this game one to keep and eye on. It is pretty obvious that Dark Souls 3 takes a few points from Bloodborne, but that is not a problem. Bloodborne was a fantastic game! For me, it had an almost perfect balance of speed and agility, with a great co-op and single player experience. The world was eerily dark and foreboding, plus, I was rarely invaded and that was fine by me. These two titles are so similar in speed, music, ambiance and visuals, players will feel right at home in either world. So, after that glowing comparison what on earth could make me angry about Dark Souls 3? Well, let’s find out…..
What the hell is up with the invasions in Dark Souls 3? I am so sick and tired of being invaded! One after another, after another. Sometimes two at the same time! All I want to do is summon my friends and play through an area, but instead of having my buddies come into the game, I get a host of trolling try-hards, looking to kill me and gain rewards! I absolutely hate invasions!
Now, there are only a few outcomes to these types of situations….either the invader kills me, the environment kills me or I kill the invader. Seems simple right? Well, keep in mind that what usually happens is while I’m fighting the first invading phantom, I’m suddenly invaded by another one. Now it’s two against one and I’m already lagging. I’m basically dead. I could try and run back to the bonfire and pull some helpful phantoms, but depending on where I might be in that level, that can be suicide. It is a hopeless and frustrating situation!
You may wonder why I care? Well, because this has NEVER happened to me in ANY of the other Souls games. Usually, I would go through a level, relatively unscathed, discover secrets, fight bosses and have ample opportunity to summon friends for a cooperatively amazing time. Not in Dark Souls 3, oh no! Instead, I have to put up with a host of connection errors that makes summoning friendly phantoms take forever and while I’m waiting I have to contend with multiple invasions. And my God, if I have used the Dried Finger item, it becomes a terrifying madhouse of bloodthirsty invaders. It is ridiculous! What is even worse is that this cycle can go on and on and on, in almost every area of the game. If you are kindled and lingering by a bonfire, you can expect invasions. It drives me nuts! The levels of frustration that I have experienced in Dark Souls 3 pales in comparison to any of the other games, but not in a good way.
Even if I didn’t intend on summoning my friends, I feel like the frequency of invasions impedes the natural progression of the game. It is already very difficult to get anywhere in a level, try adding an almost nonstop flow of Black Phantoms. One step forward, two steps back!
YES, I know invasions are the name of the game in the Souls series and if I don’t like it, I should just play in the offline mode. Well, that is what I did, in fact I stopped playing the game altogether. I got burned out. You might say Dark Souls 3 simply broke me. It also highlighted the futility of the whole endeavor. Why should I beat my head against the wall, trying desperately to progress in a punishingly difficult game, when I repeatedly loose progress, due to invading phantoms? I decided that I shouldn’t. I’m done with online…..
Will I ever play this game again? Maybe, but it won’t be anytime soon and it will NOT be in online mode. I really wish that FROM Software would stop making online invasions such an integral part of this series. Let’s say I wanted to be invaded, I should be able to choose that as an option. If I just want to game with my friends, I should be able to turn off player invasions. Look at Bloodborne, if you didn’t want to hassle with invasions, just kill the Sinister Bell Women. With her dead you never had to worry about invasions in that area. I loved that option! It allowed me to focus on really enjoying the world, the environments and the co-op interactions. I desperately wish that that it was an option in Dark Souls 3. Maybe then, I wouldn’t have broken another controller and I wouldn’t have quit the game entierly.