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Edited thread to cover all soulslikes including but not limited to:

Demon Souls
Demon Souls Remake
Dark Souls 1
Dark Souls 2
Dark Souls 3
Nioh 2
The Surge
The Surge 2
Jedi Fallen Order (soulslite)
Mortal Shell

Part shameless self-indulgence, part recognition that a few #funcers are very hyped for this. I think maybe we should have more distinct threads for hyped releases (like the Doom4 one), should have done it for FO4 and W3 too. Not sure what's next? Dishonoured2? Deus Ex5? Anyway...

So, DS series, you know the score, console-oriented, 3rd person, very dark fantasy, malevolently-situated, uber-difficult RPG. Convoluted layouts, ominous and gritty atmosphere, sporadic save points, respawning enemies, ludicruous boss battles, and legions of dedicated fanboys who spend hundreds of hours learning the combat mechanisms and then discredit any of their passion and promotion of the game by waving their inflated e-penii around and waffling on about "git gud" and other such cretinisms.

DSIII has perhaps the broadest appeal as it has apparently a proper and full PC version and combines the methodical gameplay of earlier DS games with the faster action of BB. Such hype, so wow, so discuss....

Edit: As czg has wisely pointed out, also a useful thread for tips / tricks / tweaks / spoilers / questions / answers / etcs
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What Does The Hollowing Stat Do? 
To Kick Things Off: 
I've obviously followed the series with a fairly critical and intolerant eye, but after watching quite a lot of COHH playing BB and then DS3 press release version, the game didn't look ludicrous unfair and abysmally IMBA, and did look spectacularly stylish and atmospheric. So with these rumours of a proper PC port I thought it was worth a try.

From my spectating and general knowledge, my expectations were as follows:

- It will look pretty amazing
- The atmosphere and style and monsters and themes will also be pretty amazing
- The convoluted layouts will be a refreshing change from on-rail games
- This sort of game will be perfectly playable with mouse+kb as long as it's ported right
- The PC port will be ass and/or broken in some way
- The gameplay will semi-frustrating and semi-satisfying
- Slogging through respawning enemies will get a bit boring
- The distance between save points, esp. relative to boss battles will determine most of the fairness, and will be ass in some cases
- It will be obvious that it would be better with skill settings
- The style and vibe will be good enough to make it worth playing DESPITE the gameplay

From playing the game up to and including the Curse-Rotted TesticleWood tree boss (killed 2nd go, as was boss2, boss1 took 6 goes), my general experience of the game is:

- It does look pretty amazing
- The atmosphere and style and monsters and themes is pretty amazing
- The convoluted layouts are a refreshing change from on-rail games
- This sort of game is perfectly playable with mouse+kb as long as it's ported right*
The PC port is ass and/or broken in some way *
- The gameplay is semi-frustrating and semi-satisfying
- Slogging through respawning enemies does get a bit boring
- The distance between save points, esp. relative to boss battles does determine most of the fairness, and is ass in some cases
- It is be obvious that it would be better with skill settings
- The style and vibe is be good enough to make it worth playing DESPITE the gameplay

(* - limited key / mouse rebindings, menu buttons don't change to keyboard if m+kb is selected (surely this is just a line of code to tell the game to display what the player has bound according to whether they've selected controller or m+kb), other users have reported a lot of crashes).

Now then, here's some things I didn't anticipate so much:

It looks amazing.... even on LOW settings. I had a brief look on high, change it to medium as there were some area loading slowdowns, then just tried Low out of curiosity (but keeping AA on, lighting at medium, and DOF on medium / high), and it still looks amazing. The textures and stuff are crisp enough, I think I prefer them on low - and so much is done by the designs and style. It runs well for me (i3 / 6gb / GTX660 2gb).

The camera is kinda ass too, with mouse control anyway. If we take MM as the mouse movement input, and CM as the camera movement output it works something like this:
CM != MM
CM = (MM +/- ((FPS/10) x (FOV/10) x (some random number the game pulled out it's ass)) ^ (the number of enemies on your ass your really want to avoid)

90% of the difficulty in combats seems to be how much graphical detail obscures both the enemy AND your character, e.g. fur / feathers / branches / crystals / icy fog / black penis slug slime flying everywhere until you've no idea where you are and what you would be aiming at IF you knew where you were. I get the impression that some of it would be pretty steady if you could actually see what's going on.

I do really think there should be skill settings....BUT not just to have an easier setting for n00bs like me. I also think there should be a harder (maybe survival? or maybe just harder combat?) setting for veterans. Maybe I am being over-optimistic so far and will end up rage quitting later, but 3 bosses in I am doing okay, I imagine most vets would be finding it a bit easy so far?? OFC if there was an easier setting I'd be on that just to make it more fun.

I REALLY want to have COHH's "bbbbonfire" music sameplay playing every time I reach a bonfire.

The scenery is ridiculously good, but the interconnectivity - only revealed as you explore - is equally good. It's like Swampy or Zendar in modern form.

The English accents are warmly reassuring.

Enemies falling off cliffs never gets old.


TL:DR - my anticipations were right of course, and it's pretty cool for the style alone.

TL:DR - your mum. 
My Q 
In the area before you have the dual-platform lift with the "archer giant" on top (where you meet Onion Bro and also progress to some firey monster dude)....there was a guy sitting on the left with a huge fucking hammer, so I very cleverly snuck up and backstabbed him before I realised he was initially friendly (tip: use targetting to check), now he hates me face AND kills my face on sight. Have I ruined everything, for everyone?? 
I think you can pay the statue of Velka in the sewers nearby to cleanse you of sin. That might reset his aggro. 
Is right you need to visit the velka statue nearby and absolve your sins 
Obviously CZG needs to absolve his sins.

BTW, who are the fucking scrotes with no armour on who randomly attack ur face?? 
I'm Lovin' It M8 
I just finished Cathedral of the Deep and daaaaaamn son that some good shit. The start of the game is fairly linear (but with some side areas etc etc) and I got a little worried that it was gonna be another DS2 style layout but after a while (once you get the undead village basically) it starts to open up become more of that tangled mesh that was Dark Souls 1.

But Cathedral of the Deep for me is where is all comes together into pure Dark Souls bliss. That area is just stacked with different layers, multiple shortcuts, secrets and all manner of other cool shit for you to uncover.

As for the pc port - in my corner of the woods I have had zero problems. Rock solid 60fps on max graphics at 1080p, no crashes, no hitches, hiccups or anything like that. I'm using a pad so can't comment on the kb/m controls. The only real issue is that sometimes the game can lag a bit when loading peoples blood stains or summoning. I assume that is because it's launch week and the server hamsters are tired.

Anyway. DS3 is great. Play it you scrublords! 
Also The Exploration Is Stupidly Fucking Addictive. 
exploration is what makes me want to play it again every day 
Again, What Does The Hollowing Stat Do. 
It's A Measure Of Your Hollowing, Duh 

"When you get around to recruiting Yoel of Londor from his pilgrimage at the bridge in Undead Settlement, he'll not only offer to sell spells but to "Draw out your true strength". Doing so will essentially give you a free level up at no cost for souls. However, it will also give you a Dark Sigil in your inventory. Having said Dark Sigil means that every time you die, you'll gain one point of Hollowing for each Dark Sigil you carry with you, up to a maximum of 5 Dark Sigils can be held.

You'll find that after getting a few Hollowing, you're character will grow visibly worse for the wear. Getting more free levels from Yoel will depend on your Hollowing level (0, 2, 6, 12, and 16, respectively.) Hollowing will also affect any items infused with a Hollow Gem, increasing your luck if you have more than 15 Hollowing.

To get rid of Hollowing, you'll need to first remove the Dark Sigils in your inventory - by giving the Soul of a Fire Keeper in the Firelink Shrine Belltower to the Fire Keeper, and paying a price to remove each Dark Sigil. However, this will not remove any current Hollowing, which will require a Purging Stone, bought from either Yuria of Londor, found in the world, or from the Firelink Handmaid once you have found Hollow's Ashes later in the game.

The most important effect by far, is that by gaining Hollowing, and Dark Sigils from Yoel, will cause the appearance of Yuria of Londor, who will set you down a path to an alternate Ending."
So It's Just Cosmetic 
My character looks like zombie Gary Oldman in The Dark Knight right now. 
Irithyll Dungeon and those fucking masked things with the brands. What the FUCK is the deal with them killing you just by looking at you. And then there's a room with like 10 of them at the end.
And the fucking roast chicken lizards with human baby faces that scream all the time. This is the worst place.
I just ran through to the next area, I think I might even have missed the boss. 
So I saved up 20,000 souls to go towards the 34,000 souls needed the cleanse my sins and de-aggro that knight dude. And then discovered the very hard way just how bad CURSE is from those FUCKING BUG EYED FROG CUNT SHITBAGS. Then I saved up another 34,000 souls and the price had gone up to 38,000 souls cos it's tied to level and then I cleansed my sins and went to speak to the now-friendly knight except he's not really friendly and is a smug arrogant cunt and I really wish I'd spent 60,000 on another 6 levels instead of his stupid twatty face.

Also fuck abyss watchers, they reset my ember boost before that combat the cunts. 
Just Tried The Young White Branch Disguise. 
I ran my ballsack through a blender this morning. I can't wait to go back and try it some more. 
Pics Or It Didn't Happen. 
The swamps are pretty much DS3's version of Blighttown. With Basilisks and giant crabs. 
The Swamps. 
Are not a place I would pick as a top holiday destination.

Kona, u tried it?? Trust me I am as skeptical as anyone about repetitive / frustrating gameplay, but this is fine so far. In fact I'm wondering if the DS controller-up-arse fanbois are crying into their Mountain Dew in the early game when the bosses I'm getting in 2-6 goes they are smashing through first time w/out using Estus flask and not getting their "ballsack in a blender" gameplay fix?? Maybe it gets ridiculously hard later on, even if it does I suspect I'll have got my �40's worth from scenery alone.

The cleansing sins thing I did was entirely optional, maybe when it does get excruciatingly hard I'll wish I'd spent that 60k on 5 levels 4 Ember and 4 Homeward bones but it's easy enough to farm again.... 
When it gets ridiculously hard you engage in JOLLY COOPERATION 
Sunbro 4 Lyf 
I do love a good bit of co-op. The online really sets the game apart from many, it's great that your interactions are limited to physical emotes and literally nothing else.

People can still manage to be dicks though, I summoned someone for the Abyss Watcher fight and the guy just crystalled out. This wouldn't be a huge problem except once you summon someone it buffs the health of the enemies.

Also, I got invaded in the catacombs and lost 16k souls. Not a big deal in the grand scheme of things but I also got my arse handed to me several times over, then I ran into an army of skeletons that would have made Jason and his Argonauts collectively shit themselves. 
Yeah Sounds Great. 
Playing offline since day 1 HTH. 
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