Dark Souls 3 Will Take Over Our Lives, But The Pre-Release Could've Gone Better

In a couple of days, we'll finally all get to play what will most likely be my game of the year. It's loaded with secret content that will keep people talking and playing for a long time. But the lead-up to its release has been less than stellar, and has hindered part of what makes the series great.

I think we'll all get over it after playing it, purely because the game is great. Those waiting on the proper Western release date have a right to be mad, and it's something worth talking about, but it's just hard to stay mad when you're experiencing some of that classic Souls brilliance in storytelling and design.

For starters, there's the promotional material, which actually contains a lot of content close to the end of the game. I won't say much more than that, and I suppose it's not technically a spoiler because you don't know how late it comes. But after finishing the game, I think some players will think back and be a little shocked that all that was shown pre-release.

Then, there's the Japanese release. Dark Souls 3 was released in Japan on the 25th of March. From Software is earning a reputation for doing whatever the hell it wants, whether its release dates, interviews, or whatever. Rest of the world be damned, it'll come out a couple of weeks early where they are.

That meant those who could access the Xbox One store with a Japanese account could download the game and flip the language to English, and with a little help from the super-spoilery Japanese Reddit page, it wasn't too hard to puzzle out what all the stats and item descriptions said.

That wasn't fair to Playstation owners, so the option was opened up to them as well. On top of that, many streamers, Youtubers, and journos were given the English version of the game a couple of weeks early. They were allowed to show limited amounts until the embargo of the 4th of April, after which everything was fair game.

Unsurprisingly, many Souls gamers felt a bit left out when Souls content started populating their Youtube and social media feeds. Dark Souls is a game about coming together as a global community and figuring everything out. You can't possibly find everything in one playthrough, so you contribute what you can to the discussion, and have your mind blown after putting everything together.

The unfortunate thing is, this time around, a decent chunk of the game will have been figured out by the time it's properly released in the West. It's kind of sad to think that someone might passionately post a theory up to a forum or Reddit about some of the lore implications, only to be told that it was debunked weeks ago. The product is there, but the process won't be.

That said, I think the Souls community understands this. People have been great about keeping all the spoilers in the Japanese Reddit and keeping the main version clean. Hopefully everyone who jumped the gun will be considerate.

It was enough for Bandai Namco to request that streamers actually stop showing the later stages of the game. Some played ball, whereas others took the attitude of "I'm playing the Japanese version, you can't do anything!"

It's a bit like trying to put the genie back in the bottle.

The whole thing is a bit unfortunate, but as I said, I think people will forget the launch bungles when the game is released, purely because it's everything they've been hoping for. The hype is real, and justified. For those on total media blackout, keep it up. It's worth it. Stay strong, Unkindled. Don't go Hollow.

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Comments

    "It’s kind of sad to think that someone might passionately post a theory up to a forum or reddit about some of the lore implications, only to be told that it was debunked weeks ago."

    Happens all the time with older games, only in those cases it was debunked years ago and even has an entry on the wiki.

    Whether a stupid idea has been debunked or not people will still post it to reddit, never fear.

    It's crazy namco didn't think this was a bad idea......🤔 Actually no I'm sure they thought it was a great marketing plan. Releasing it that early to streamers is annoying, I haven't watched any of the streams but knowing these people have been playing for weeks is silly. I'm fine with reviewers having it weeks early cause they have to keep it to themselves until it's released for all to experience. I'm sure when it comes out in a couple of days it will be water under the bridge. One other thing, An unavoidable dark souls 3 ad on twitch. Yes I should look away and cover my ears, but damn that trailer shows a lot of bosses I would have liked to be surprised to meet. Anyways, dark souls 3, couple of days, fun times!

    "But after finishing the game, I think some players will think back and be a little shocked that all that was shown pre-release."

    Dark Souls 2 kinda did this to itself, in-game.

    There's a zone you can access about half-way through the game, which has a locked door to the final boss. But if you play co-op, you can be summoned to help people fight that boss, as the person who owns the instance opens the door for you.

    What this meant was that I fought and killed the final boss probably two dozen times before I even got halfway through the game, without knowing it was the final boss. By the time I did reach the final boss and got a game-end cutscene I was dramatically underwhelmed. That was it? That thing I already did dozens of times? Boooo.

    (Also, I was mad about the massively-delayed Western release, but not because of spoilers, but because if I'd played it when the Japanese/streamers could all play it, I'd have had a 4-day long-weekend to play it. Now it's being released mid-week and I have to work and try to keep my health up by sleeping at reasonable hours. So... no time for awesome game. Dick move, publisher. Dick move.)

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