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The best games of 2016 (so far)

By now, you probably know whether or not FromSoftware's highly acclaimed action RPGs are for you, with their exacting difficulty, anxiety-inducing boss fights, deeply layered lore, and wide-open worlds that are gorgeous and treacherous in equal measure. But whether you're gearing up for a New Game+ run or just now cutting your teeth against Iudex Gundyr, it's apparent that Dark Souls 3 is an exceptional, engrossing experience and a fitting swansong for the entire Dark Souls series. 

There's so much to do, see, and slay in the kingdom of Lothric, and it's all built upon a perfectly tuned combat system that encourages experimentation and rewards dedication. But it's the enemy and boss designs that make Dark Souls 3 so special: each encounter is meticulously designed to keep you on your toes, where caution or bravery might be punished or rewarded depending on the situation. You might feel all-powerful in one moment and start fearfully fleeing for your life in the next, but that's the beauty of Dark Souls - anything can happen, so you better come prepared. In addition to the rich exploration and tense action, there are plenty of nostalgic moments for series vets, a host of fascinating NPCs (with ludicrously complex sidequests, as expected), and FromSoft's distinct brand of online integration, where aggressive PvP, altruistic co-op, and messages both helpful or deceitful are all par for the course. It may not reinvent the Souls wheel, but Dark Souls 3 doesn't have to - this is simply more of what you love, refined even further. 

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