Dark Souls III: Ashes of Ariandel Review (PS4)

If you’re a Dark Souls fan, chances are you’ve already picked up the Ashes of Ariandel DLC which recently released. If you haven’t, then let me sell it to you because you won’t want to miss out on it – plus you can never have enough people to battle in the new PVP arena!


This is more Dark Souls III and that’s a good thing – Dark Souls III is by far one of the greatest games of 2016 and one of the best games available on all of its available platforms. You’re tricked and whisked away to the snowy land of the Painted World of Ariandel which only expands the series’ mysterious lore further. Those who want more story and character details will be happy but if you’re looking for the brutal challenge the series is known for, then rest assured you’ll find it here.


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if you’re looking for the brutal challenge the series is known for, then rest assured you’ll find it here.

Many of the enemies feature viking-like elements and you can bet that they’re difficult to topple – the whole new area is quite difficult and it’s easy to become outnumbered and slain. Wolves travel in packs and whilst they’re easy enough to fell, trying to tackle multiple at once will see you speeding through your Estus Flasks. I should note that I play with strictly melee builds and I’m sure you’d have an easier time if you have more of a focus on magic.


There are only two boss fights and admittedly I’d have liked more as the bosses are a massive draw to fans of the series, but the bosses that are present provide sweaty palms like you’d expect them too. I’m not a huge fan of the first boss and find that it’s more annoying than difficult, and I managed to beat it on my second go, whilst the second boss has elements from my favourite bosses and provides an adrenaline-fuelled battle that’ll have you on the edge of your seat. The DLC in its entirety may be rather brief but the new PVP Arena DLC that gives you a stage to properly battle against others rather than invade is an excellent addition and adds plenty more hours past the DLC’s main journey through Ariandel.


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One of the strongest games of 2016 has just gotten better.

I love snowy areas in games and so I’m fond of Ariandel, and I wish that there was more of it to explore. A constant white flurry, enemies who feel natural to the area and crumbling, large buildings that show how Ariandel features a sad story make for beautiful visuals. Some of the areas are open and barren but things become more tight and interesting the further into the DLC you get. Like much of Dark Souls III, Ariandel is one of the areas that invokes nostalgia of the first game which featured the Painted World of Ariamis, another land covered in snow. Those looking to further customise their character will find a slew of new items to equip, too. Ashes of Ariandel uses audio to enhance its atmosphere rather than provide music to listen to and From Software have done a great job with it, making battles more intense whilst reflecting the hollow tone of Ariandel.


Is it worth getting Ashes of Ariandel? Yes, yes it is, though I do recommend buying the season pass as it’s unlikely that we’ll be disappointed by the games next DLC too – don’t worry, we’ll be reviewing it once it’s out! Ariandel is a gorgeous land and it’s a shame that there isn’t a whole lot to really explore, but it’s an enjoyable romp that lasts for a few hours and should please those who are itching for more Dark Souls. One of the strongest games of 2016 has just gotten better and I’m excited to see how its legacy will wrap up once the final DLC releases.

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