Dark Souls III was one of the big surprises out of E3 2015: riding on the heels of Bloodborne, Souls series director Hidetaka Miyazaki promised that Dark Souls III would be a return to form following the radical changes of Dark Souls II. The brief, in-engine trailer shown at E3 was the perfect tease, and just like that, fans were excited for the return of gaming's hardest series.
In the subsequent months, fans were teased with reports of just how good Dark Souls III is: how good the combat feels, how magic has been rebalanced, how the enemies are more than simple cannon fodder again. Sadly, there has been next to no footage shown alongside these reports: aside from a few off-camera videos from various trade shows, gamers have yet to see Dark Souls III gameplay.
Thankfully, that changes today: Dark Souls III made its Tokyo Game Show debut in style, and over four minutes of beautiful HD footage has made its way online. Finally, fans can see just how much Dark Souls has changed — and how it's gone back to its roots.
First and foremost, keep in mind that this is unfinished gameplay. It's clear that the animation still has a bit of tweaking left before launch, and there's a good chance that some of the collision detection will be reworked — otherwise, the game is looking fantastic.
While it's a bit disappointing that the gameplay clip isn't a bit more detailed — there's no explanation for what's going on in the footage, so non-fans may be a bit confused — but even so, Dark Souls III is looking great. The awkward movement, clunky combat and bad hit detection of Dark Souls II is seemingly absent; what's on display seems to be a mixture of Dark Souls' defensive, measured combat and Bloodborne's ridiculously fast pace.
Most importantly, fans can finally see how the game's reworked magic system actually plays. Gamers have known that Dark Souls III would be returning to a magic bar system à la Demon's Souls, but now, they can actually see how that changes the game. Frankly, it doesn't look like it'll change all that much: the magic bar doesn't refill very quickly, and magic spells use up quite a bit of magic with each shot.
In short: for those worried that the MP Bar would unbalance the game, it doesn't look like you have much to worry about.
It's still too early to tell if Dark Souls III will be worth playing, but from the looks of things, From Software has finally found a happy medium — and that's something that every Souls fan should be excited about.
Dark Souls III is due out in April 2016.