Trying to explain the Dark Souls franchise to a non-gamer can be difficult. I usually lead with “It’s not fun, I’m angry all the time, and it makes me feel bad about myself — until it doesn’t.”
Because, for many gamers, there is nothing like beating a boss in Dark Souls. The franchise’s games are daunting, confusing, and hideously difficult, but there are few better rewards than figuring out just the right formula or dodges, attacks, and spells to beat one of the games legendary villains. In the new trailer for Dark Souls III, we get a look at some of the upcoming installment’s main set piece battles, which involve a frantic, deadly fights with fallen knights, ice dragons, giant axe-wielding zombies, and a massive tree-spider-thing that looks like something straight out of Shadow of the Colossus.
One of Dark Souls’ other selling points is the endless replayability the character customization process offers. Every decision you make — armor, weapons, spells, strategies — in the beginning of the game will affect your play style, which gives players a huge list of variables to tweak and experiment with. The trailer shows players fighting in a variety of styles, from massive pole arms to light swords and dual axes. You don’t beat Dark Souls games once; you beat them with a basic sword-wielder, then you beat them with a morbidly obese knight with a giant hammer; you beat them using only voice-commands; you beat them with 2,000 friends, and then you go back and play them again.
Dark Souls, as a franchise, seems to have embraced the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” maxim, so get ready for a fresh incarnation of the tortuously delightful experience that its grim, bleak world offers.
Dark Souls III is out April 12. Watch the new trailer below.