The latest Dark Souls III trailer may surprise some people, offering a slate of high-intensity monsters and mayhem set to the tune of Cyndi Lauper's "True Colors."
Dark Souls is many things, but trendy or hip the franchise is not. Yet publisher Namco Bandai seems to be working a new marketing angle for the upcoming launch of Dark Souls III. Today they released an all new trailer with a ton of great previously never shown gameplay titled "True Colors." And if everyone's first reaction to that title is, "... Cyndi Lauper?" then first, that's correct, and second, shame on you for realizing that so quickly.
Indeed, this newly released Dark Souls III trailer, "True Colors," is set to the tune of a remixed take ofnCyndi Lauper's hit single. In itself that should be a huge surprise, but the greater surprise is that the remix actually fits the tone of the trailer quite well. It's a fast-moving trailer focusing on action sequences and messaging encouraging players to overcome adversity.
A few lines of text pop up in the trailer, cutting straight to the heart of what Dark Souls is really about:
"There are shadows ahead. This path you choose will test you. Many will fall. But those that stay the course. Will discover the darkness within."
"True Colors" the song is meant to be a song about finding courage, ignoring the darkness inside, and letting the true colors within shine like a rainbow. Yet here we have this Dark Souls III trailer, in true Dark Souls fashion, inverting that idea and making the song about letting your true colors -- the darkness -- shine through. Or maybe Cyndi Lauper really meant the same thing when she first released the song?
It's great to see Dark Souls III is embracing the body of work that has come before it, though no one should necessarily be surprised about that. Some may assume the trailer is about struggling through how challenging the game is - how punishing it can be - and overcoming that. That last bit of text in the trailer really says it all, though: "Will discover the darkness within." There's no happy ending here, just like there never has been in Dark Souls. The player's reward overcoming adversity is likely more adversity, and maybe a nap.
That's not to say that doom and gloom is all that Namco Bandai and From Software deliver in the trailer. As always, a bevy of new items, armor sets, enemies, and hints at gameplay have been shared - though only the Dark Souls faithful may have spotted some of the interesting breadcrumbs. For instance, at one point in the trailer it seems like the player is dual-wielding weapons of two different types. Or for lore-hounds, early in the trailer there's an NPC who seems to be holding a suspiciously big hat.
To digress for one last interesting detail, the YouTube settings for the trailer lists an option for 1080p 60FPS. PC gamers initially reacted well to that detail, since Dark Souls has had issues with FPS capping in PC ports in the past. Yet the truth is a bit disappointing, because anyone watching the trailer will notice that it's not at all running at 60FPS, it's likely at 30FPS and even then has some frame drops, like during the boss fight with the big tree-legged beast later in the trailer. Hopefully PC gamers don't have to rely on 60fps mods again.
Dark Souls III will launch on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC starting April 12.