From Software and Miyazaki have officially declared that there will not be another Dark Souls game, with III being the final in the series. While I can’t help but feel sad that there won’t be any new games in the series, I agree with them that this is the best they can do. Many disagree, and wish for more installments. In this article, I’ll explain why I believe that ending the series is the best thing for it. WARNING; THIS WILL HAVE ENDGAME SPOILERS FOR DARK SOULS III. IF YOU HAVEN’T BEATEN IT YET AND DON’T WANT SPOILERS, COME BACK WHEN YOU’VE BEATEN THE GAME.
So, my first reason for believing that this is good for the series, is that it prevents the Souls series becoming stale. We’ve seen it with various other games; Call of Duty and Assassin’s Creed, for example, are guilty of releasing games annually, and we’ve seen how the series suffers for this. Assassin’s Creed, for example, has drastically declined since the days of Assassin’s Creed II, with the games being more and more broken as time goes on. Sure, Call of Duty may still be as popular as ever, but even diehard fans are getting a little sick of what CoD is becoming; the game is running out of new ideas, so Activision decided that adding supply packs would be innovative enough to keep fans happy. However, they failed to make it plausible to get CoD points in-game to spend on these, turning CoD into a pay-to-win game.
Now, I hate to say it, but the story of Dark Souls is always the same idea – the Age of Fire is ending, and it’s your job to either link the Fire and begin anew, or usher in the Age of Dark and let the flame die. This is the same due to the fact it’s a trilogy, so it’s not an issue; but imagine six or seven games where this is the idea. Even I, the biggest Souls fan on the team, would get sick of it. Ending the series after Dark Souls III can only be good for it. It means that the game won’t become stale and can still go down in history as one of the best RPG trilogies out there.
Onto my second point, and this is where it becomes a spoiler minefield; I don’t think they can top this one. Now, before we get our pitchforks out, I’ll explain. The story for Dark Souls III was, despite my love of the first Dark Souls, the best one yet. It really did feel like the end of the Souls story, with the Lords of Cinder throughout the ages all rising up, for you to defeat them. And then there was the final boss, the Soul of Cinder, perhaps my favourite final boss of any game. The Soul of Cinder is an amalgamation of every build style players have done over the years; heavy greatsword, fast curved sword, a long and pokey spear, magical sorceries, pyromancies and miracles. The only type missing was a bow, but let’s be honest, using a bow wouldn’t be very difficult to beat (The Dragonriders boss fight in DSII proved this). Not only this, but halfway through the fight his moveset changed to the same as Gwyn, the final boss in Dark Souls 1 and the first Lord of Cinder. You can argue that this is laziness on their part for just using his moveset again, but to me, it wraps the series up in a nice circle, which is what the Souls games are all about – cycles. The fact that the boss was essentially representing all the players that beat Dark Souls over the years stands out amongst other end bosses, and, for me, is a boss that I’ve wanted for a long time. Therefore, I honestly don’t think that they could top such a cool boss if they tried.
My third and final reason behind believing that ending the series here is good; it lets From Software work on other things. Yes, the Souls series is one of their best-selling ones, and so they could end up making many more to get our money, but let’s be honest, we’d all get tired of countless other Souls games. And if the Souls games were to suddenly stop selling, due to declining in quality or players getting tired of the same stuff, then From Software would go bankrupt, and with their talent, that’d be an incredible shame. They’ve also made franchises such as Armored Core and Bloodborne (it’s not a Souls game, but let’s not open that can of worms), so would it be so bad that they worked on other things? From Software are very good at making games that keep you hooked, so it seems like a waste to keep that talent only for the Souls games.
You may now be asking, where next for From Software? Many fans, including myself, are intrigued by an idea of a futuristic game with the mechanics of the Souls games, where players run around hacking and slashing robotic monstrosities. It’s unlikely that FromSoft would allow a winning formula to simply die with the Souls games, and with the news that they’re already working on a new IP, we can only sit back and see what happens. It’s unlikely that we’ll get a futuristic Souls-style game, but stranger things have happened.
So, there you have it. There are my three top reasons for why Dark Souls III should be the final installment in the series. What’s your opinion? Do you agree or disagree? Let us know in the comments what you think. In the meantime, all we can do is play DSIII and wait for the first DLC pack, allegedly being released at the end of this year.