From Software have released a gameplay trailer for Ashes of Ariandel, the first of two DLCs for Dark Souls III. If you’re sensitive to spoilers, especially boss appearances, then please divert thine eyes.
Of course there’d be spear-throwing enemies.
Namco Bandai held a roundtable interview in Tokyo with From Software president and Dark Souls III director Hidetaka Miyazaki. While we weren’t there, here are some of the key takeaways for the Ashes of Ariandel DLC and Dark Souls in general.
It’s a different Painted World
The Painted World of Ariamis was an exciting side area in Dark Souls, only accessible through a painting and highly significant to lore. Naturally, Ariandel’s announcement left plenty of speculation in its wake, raising questions over whether they were one and the same. Polygon finds out that they aren’t
“It is taking place in the Painted World, but it’s taking place in a different Painted World,” he said.
“However, there are some connections between this Painted World and the one from the original Dark Souls. The reason I decided to return to the Painted World is because it matches with the theme I’m trying to describe in the first DLC.”
The theme that they’re shooting for here is gothic horror, and while the DLCs are a further exploration of series lore, they won’t have any bearing on the story or endings of Dark Souls III.
The focus is on combat
We learn from IGN Japan (via Redditor Valfreze) that the focus for Ashes of Ariandel is on combat, with Miyazaki mentioning the new environment and tactics available to players.
The snow-swept landscape of Ariandel will be much larger than anything we’ve seen from the base game, dotted with environmental surprises as well as packs of new enemies. While it is home to only two bosses, the DLC adds a total of four new spells, four armor sets, and 15 new weapons.
For a refresher on what some of these new toys look like, here’s the announcement trailer:
Other additions in Ashes of Ariandel include a PVP arena, a “simple” PVP map, as well as support for team battles. Miyazaki teases that there’ll be more PVP maps in the second DLC, which will focus on story instead.
There may be more Dark Souls in the future
The future of Dark Souls seems a little less bleak than its own universe. Miyazaki confirms with Kotaku that he will put the series to rest, though he is open to the idea of someone else taking over.
“For me, Dark Souls III is the end,” he said. “But that doesn’t mean the end for Dark Souls. If someone other than myself, like another staff member, wants to make a Dark Souls, then I don’t want to deny others from making future installments.”
That said, don’t expect anything new anytime soon. From Software are already working on different titles, one of which is a new Armored Core and another being a whole new IP.
Dark Souls III: Ashes of Ariandel launches on 25 October for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.