Spent almost every free waking hour playing this lol… (This is an ending scene, don’t watch if you don’t want that spoiled)
Felt a lot less hand holdy than DaS2, and using guns to create critical attack opportunities felt way more central to combat than parrying ever did; it’s more of a core mechanic. The way dodging looks while targeting combined with the gun attacks made me feel vaguely like I was playing Armored Core 4A. Much more swift, and the combos for some weapons have some variety to them
I didn’t read anything for the first run and I suppose I didn’t explore very much (although it certainly felt like I did a good amount of exploring) so there were a lot of gaps missing in my mind when I finished. Had no idea there were covenants, and only did one chalice dungeon. Took me 28 hours to complete at level 83, went with skill/vit/end (or whatever those stats are called now). Never found a suitable upgrade to my starting cane and pistol, which I wish wasn’t the case. It reminds me of Demon’s Souls in that respect. I never managed to obtain a weapon that made me feel very powerful, and while the +9 cane I finished with seemed to do plenty of damage for my tastes, it was a far cry in feeling from the elemental +10s I enjoyed using in Souls games.
It’s as if they removed all the fantasy elements of Souls games and replaced it with horror; can’t say that’s my preference. I was perpetually grossed out by the game enemies and scenery. That’s not to say I couldn’t appreciate it, it’s a compelling atmosphere. It starts out pretty light on the horror aspect at least. It also seems like they’ve drastically lowered the number of available weapons and armor, can’t say I like that
The removal of shields I’m sure will change things for many. I was never completely independent of shields, so it was challenging at times