WREATHED IN FLAMES of claret and crimson, he charges me, slashing again and again with the fury and the presence of a dying sun. I hold my ground, blocking and dodging for several minutes, taking my own shots when I can. But it’s too much. I slip up. He shreds my battered body. The words “YOU DIED” scrawl across my screen.
It was the 437th time I’d died over 74 hours of Dark Souls III. When it came, accompanied as it was by the distorted sound of a gong, I trembled. I was filled not with rage or frustration, but adrenaline: I was so close. When my hero came back to life, etched into the dirt before her was a message. “Visions of hope.” Filled with resolve, I took a few deep breaths and stepped back into the arena.