The end of the world, the flame that goes out, the cycle that ends. Almost a year has passed since the advent of Dark Souls 3 in our homes and in these days we have experienced a last troubled journey inside the Universe expertly embroidered by Hidetaka Miyazaki. After the controversial and controversial DLC “Ashes of Ariandel”, From Software concludes the Saga that changed the recent video game market, iconized an Author and gave birth to a new sub-genre in the Industry: the Soulslike.
The Ringed City therefore has the arduous task of closing a Circle, making sense of the Price of € 24.99 of the Season Pass and providing concrete answers to its Fans who for years have speculated on the most disparate theories concerning the "Lore" of the Trilogy and the its as fantastic as it is mysterious Universe.
A Pile of Rubbish
We would like to point out right away that in this Review there will be Spoilers on some aspects of the title that are necessary in order to thoroughly analyze the validity of the Work; nothing, however, that could undermine the surprise and enjoyment of this Additional Content.
There are two ways to access The Ringed City: one is to have completed “Ashes of Ariandel” and the other is to reach the Bonfire prior to the Final Boss. Starting from these premises, From Software immediately sets the record straight: it is better to be at the End Game to deal with this content. In fact, the DLC is brutal, difficult, almost a real challenge especially against the veterans of the Souls, guilty of having defined the last chapter of the Saga easier than one could expect.
The first Play Area immediately puts a strain on the Player. There are some Angels, already met in the Vanilla version of the title, who cast spells at every step making it very difficult to explore the map; a mechanic very similar to what we saw in BloodBorne, with the Ex Hunter Djura shooting with a Gatling from the Tower of Old Yarnham, but which in this case turns out to be much more frustrating, becoming almost a "Trial and Error". Therefore it is precisely the "Heap of Waste" (name of the first area of the DLC) that is the least successful part of the entire Expansion which, being too linear and uninspired in terms of Design, can sometimes be frustrating even to experts in work by From Software.
The end of a cycle
Once in the "City of Rings" everything changes and the Level Design, which has made millions of players fall in love, shows itself in all its glory. An open map that develops vertically and horizontally, full of secrets and "Shortcuts", as the Series has accustomed us to. There is no shortage of citations to the Dark Souls Trilogy, with references in particular to the first two Chapters, which will delight the most avid speculators. It must be said that in some points the positioning of the Enemies seemed badly calibrated, as often happened in Dark Souls 2, with consequent difficulty in getting to a precise point from the Bonfire (Rushando), being almost forced to have to shoot down all to make their way.
The plot, unfortunately, tends more to close the narrative arc that opened with "Ashes of Ariandel", rather than answer all the unresolved and pending issues since the first Dark Souls, we regret this a little. We would then have expected at least a final Cut-scene, which could put a stop to the Narration, or at least fill some gaps postponed in recent years.
But the quality of "The Ringed City" manages to override the lack of answers with quality content, new Equipment, new Covenant, interesting Quests; in particular that of Lapp, forgetful undead close to emptiness, which will result in a remarkable twist and certainly appreciable for longtime fans.
4 Bosses And more than a funeral
The DLC is presented in its entirety with four new Boss Fights, all excellently made and varied, one of which is Optional, which we are convinced will be appreciated by fans of Miyazaki's Works. We finished The Ringed City in just over 10 hours, sifting through every secret, gutting every little crevice of the Game Areas and beating all the Bosses available. Furthermore, it should be added that the DLC also offers new content for PVP, with new Maps and dedicated Encounters, with the possibility of challenging other players up to a maximum of 4 vs 4.
One last note we dedicate to the final (?) Which, in order to be enjoyed (?) In its entirety, requires the first DLC, a choice that in our opinion is not very appreciable, especially for those who wanted or could only buy this Content Additional.
The Ringed City offers quality content, vast and challenging, an experience that marks the end of a Saga that has rightfully entered the Olympus of Videogames. He could have done it better, concluding a narrative “Cycle” with answers that the Fans have been waiting for for years, but which Miyazaki, perhaps, has never been interested in giving. Probably, if the two DLCs had come out as a single package, it would have certainly surpassed the qualitative heights reached by “The Old Hunters” and given an unforgettable conclusion to this magnificent Trilogy. A cycle is over, the flame is dormant, only the ash remains.