has been out for four months now, but it feels like four years to a lot of us at PC Gamer. Two DLC expansions promise to sate our hunger for more, one of which is rumored for , but after Dark Souls 3’s clean thematic finale, where does the series go from here? We can think of a host of additions to the gameplay in terms of weapons, armor, PvP support, and so on—it’s the new locations that have the most potential to surprise (and disappoint). So gather round the bonfire as we spout off the perfect, inexorable desires a few of us have for the Dark Souls 3 DLC. We’ll try our best to mention Bloodborne only when necessary. It will be necessary.
Give us new ways to play the game
For a lot of players, Dark Souls games are best for slowly realizing your capabilities and wit, which is why beating a difficult boss after experimenting with the armor and weapon combinations for an hour is such an energizing feeling. After the game is over, players continue that loop into numerous New Game Plus runs, but unfortunately, the mystery fades and challenge dulls with each successive run. I’d love to see modifiers for New Game Plus that let players impose limits and rules on themselves that the game doesn’t already allow for. For example, a Vampirism mode, where the player’s health is always slowly draining and can only be regained at bonfires and by killing enemies. Or a Random Start mode, where a new game begins at a random bonfire. Maybe some kind of Chameleon Mode, where you gain the traits of the monster you last defeated. Let players tweak minute variables and experiment. There’s a ton of room to extend how we play Dark Souls besides creating new spaces and faces entirely.
Randomized Dungeons ala Bloodborne
One of the most exciting aspects of Bloodborne are the randomized Chalice Dungeons. Yes, they became repetitive, but From Software has had ample opportunity to learn from feedback and, with a Dark Souls 3 add-on, the studio could make the concept truly brilliant. With the larger variety of items, weapons and armor available in Dark Souls games, high level rarities would make trudging through procedurally generated dungeons a much more enticing affair—especially if they mirrored the trap riddled format of a Sen’s Fortress or the Catacombs of Carthus. Dark Souls 3 isn’t lacking in longevity, but with the right amount of variety and incentive, an endless dungeon would keep me playing for years to come.
Dedicated PvP arenas ala Dark Souls 2
There’s a lot of merit in the way Dark Souls players have traditionally been encouraged to fashion their own PvP arenas in the game world, but dedicated arenas have their charm as well. Dark Souls eventually had one patched in (though it was there from the start on PC), and Dark Souls 2 had arenas tied to specific covenants with their own ranking systems. I’d like to see a purpose-built arena for 1v1 scraps though, especially since most of the PvP action in Dark Souls 3 tends to devolve into a game of cat and mouse between up to six players. There’s definitely an appetite for slow, deliberate, 1v1 showdowns, and other players could even enter the arenas as spectators. If there were a separate ranking system, perhaps not even tied to a specific covenant, that might make for interesting long term competitive play.
And if it comes down to it, just give us a standalone PvP mode. Streamline the process for dedicated players with intricate arenas and simple matchmaking tools.
Take us somewhere new
Most of Dark Souls 3 features familiar locales converging on Lothric, twisted by time and space. I loved revisiting all the areas in a new light, but a few months removed, I wish we’d gone to more entirely new places. Sure, some of the locations are new, but each has a thematic air of familiarity. What would a foreign kingdom from the other side of the world look like in a Dark Souls game? What about a new realm entirely, a visit to the world left after the fire fades? There’s plenty of talk of the Deep around Aldrich. Take us there. What lurks in the abyss? Can Dark Souls have a little more Bloodborne, is what I’m asking. Again. There’s little left to lose in ancillary DLC stories, so I hope we go somewhere unexpected and see creatures both mythological and impossible, revelatory characters, and spaces that dazzle and confuse in a maze of verticality as a direct response to the long, flat road of Dark Souls 3.
But if we revisit an old area, take it from Dark Souls 2
Dark Souls 3 is essentially a direct sequel to Dark Souls, revisiting old characters and themes, while Dark Souls 2 was cast aside, primarily recalled in a few item descriptions. It may not make sense in the lore, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have the same curiosity to see how the Shrine of Amana or Drangleic Castle has been warped by the convergence.
And hey, if not Dark Souls 2, at least take me back to Blighttown. I wonder how those folks are doing.
Steal Bloodborne’s transforming weapons
It’s hard to forget about Bloodborne. I know, it’s a PS4 exclusive, but its weaponry was a huge step up from previous Souls games. Dark Souls 3 has some great weapons with unique personalities, but Weapon Arts never quite reach the same wacky heights as Bloodborne’s Threaded Cane (a walking stick that ) or Kirkhammer ()—and those two are just some of the starter weapons. Instead of going Bloodborne’s mechanical route, the weapons could be magic-influenced. Imagine, a small dagger, that with a single button press, grows a massive blade made of humanity and handles more like a greatsword.
One of Bloodborne’s coolest weapons is , which is exactly what it sounds like, a bow that transforms into a sword. It made archery builds much more interesting and legitimized a new playstyle. By getting creative with the weapons, Dark Souls 3 could earn quite a bit more malleability and longevity from PVP and PVE players alike looking to try out every build out there.