Dark Souls III - Ashes of Ariandel
Top Critic Average
Paints a beautiful picture, but it’s a small one.
I appreciate that multiplayer is a big deal in the Souls games, but this is the first time From Software has crafted a piece of DLC content that focuses almost entirely on that multiplayer experience, and I think this will fall flat with plenty of other Souls fans.
"I was looking forward to the Dark Souls III DLC season and while Ashes of Ariandel has a fairly high content density, it is somewhat lacking in terms of length and environment variety. One of the bosses is among the more interestingly designed in terms of combat in the series, but for both the bosses and the general content I didn’t get the same sense of tightly-designed, polished challenge that I usually got from Souls DLCs. It looks gorgeous and the enemies have very cool designs both visually and in terms of moves and mechanics. The addition of PVP matchmaking and custom matches will also probably excite a lot of players that are in it strictly for the competitive aspect. Overall I found Ashes of Ariandel enjoyable and interesting, but I was expecting a lot more and there was definitely a lot of precedent for a lot more. So come on, From. It’s the conclusion to your crowning achievement series. Do us and yourselves proud for the next DLC, ok? Thank you."
It's more great Dark Souls content, but this expansion offers few unique aspects to the tried and true formula. An additional PVP matchmaking system is a nice touch, but it could do with a bit more polish.
The final boss fight of the DLC is one of the best in the series. We're talking Sir Alonne and Lady Maria levels of awesomeness. The quality is here, but Ashes of Ariandel's shorter nature would be completely offset by the new PvP options, if the arena weren't so laggy.
Quality always beats quantity… almost always, because Ashes of Ariandel is surprisingly short for the price tag that it currently comes with. Its desolate, frozen world is majestic, the challenge is high, the bosses are pretty neat, but it's only a small taste, when it could very well be a full meal. Hopefully, Dark Souls III's next (and final) DLC will be way more satisfying than this one.
Dark Souls 3's Ashes of Ariandel DLC is an odd little piece of content...and little is the operative word. It's fun while it lasts, PvP receives some pretty cool new additions and the environments are gorgeous. Nonetheless, From Software is capable of so much more. This ranks slightly above acceptable.
If Dark Souls 3 is the franchise's greatest hits album, Ashes of Ariandel is its B-side collection – a mostly unremarkable, yet complimentary addition that hides one unmissable gem – in this case, the gloriously climactic final showdown.The bare-bones PvP arena offers a fleeting blast of adrenaline and the painted world's gorgeous wintry landscapes are enchantingly brutal, yet as a whole, Dark Souls 3's first expansion colours within deeply worn lines and falls short of FromSoftware's illustrious history of unforgettable, industry-leading DLC.
Ashes of Ariandel is light on content, but still likely to please Dark Souls III fans.
Ariandel is a gorgeous land and it’s a shame that there isn’t a whole lot to really explore, but it’s an enjoyable romp that lasts for a few hours and should please those who are itching for more Dark Souls. One of the strongest games of 2016 has just gotten better.