Dark Souls 3 is a masterclass in nebulous world building, and its collection of nightmarish vistas is set of expand on 25 October with the game’s first piece of DLC – Ashes of Ariandel.
A launch trailer for the DLC shows a snowy world, with self-flagellating monsters, axe-wielding warriors and packs of wolves. There’s nothing in the way of information about why your character is there, but Bandai Namco explains that your time will be spent uncovering “a terrible secret that lies within an unnamed frozen land”. That, and dying a lot.
“Players are tasked to enter this new world and defeat the evil within and uncover the mystery of what has caused the land to become defiled,” the description reads. “In addition to adding a new environment to DARK SOULS III, the DARK SOULS III: Ashes of Ariandel expansion will also include new weapons, armour sets, and magic for players to discover and experiment with, as well as new features for the game’s wildly popular competitive multiplayer mode.”
As Gamespot points out, there are more than a few interesting nods to Dark Souls 1’s Painted World of Ariamis. Like that area, the DLC is based in a wintery landscape and has an enemy that looks like The Painted Worlds’ crow demon. There’s also concept art for a character called “painter”.
Dark Souls 3 frequently overlapped with Dark Souls 1, so a connection is certainly a possibility. We’ll know for sure when the DLC launches on 25 October for PS4, Xbox One and PC.