Started the second and final Dark Souls III DLC, “The Ringed City” and it’s pretty amazing so far. If this is really the final series outing, it’s my opinion that it’s going out on a high note, especially once you reach the titular city. It is massive and gorgeous and teases you with all kinds of just-out-of-reach vistas, and it cheerfully and repeatedly kills you for just walking down its streets.
Let’s talk about one of the ways it kills you, because it was a lot of fun.
If you’ve never played any of the Souls games, they have a mechanic where you can consume an item that gives you a higher maximum health, but also opens you up to invasion by other players. Even if you never do this, the game will occasionally throw an NPC invader at you. They’re not typically too hard to beat but they’re definitely a cut above the rest of the non-boss enemies.
Anyway, I’m exploring The Ringed City, and one of these NPC invaders spawns and gets a really good set of hits in on me and sends me back to the last bonfire. Now, at this point I had been exploring for some while and had built up a lot of souls, so I snuck my way back to the bloodstain with invisibility, recovered my souls and got the message that I was being invaded again almost immediately.
Not wanting to deal with this a second time, I elected to run along and keep exploring the – rather sizable – city and its immediate surroundings. I actually wound up forgetting about the invader until I found the next bonfire, lit it, and wasn’t able to rest.
So, I turned around and started retracing my steps, figuring that I’d run into this guy at some point, get killed again probably, but have a much shorter run back to the bloodstain from the new bonfire.
One more thing about NPC invaders: they play fair. They take environmental damage just as a player would, and in fact often the best way to deal with them is to kick them off somewhere high.
So when I finally found the one that had invaded me, well, apparently he’d been walking off a lot of cliffs or through lava or something because he was beat all to hell. I almost felt shame for killing him with a couple of clicks of the Great Heavy Soul Arrow button.