So after beating Dark Souls 1 and 2, I finally got the third installment and started playing it recently. I have put 9 hours into it so far and from that I have gathered my first overall impressions.
What a disappointment, is the best way I can put it. What we have here is a game that is clearly trying to stitch Dark Souls with Bloodborne and we don't have good results from what I have played. The graphics are amazing and there are some subtle improvements like to the dodge roll, Estus Flasks and item usage, but the overall 'feel' of the game and its combat is incredibly odd.
The main thing I have noticed is that the standard enemies here are far tougher to fight than the previous games. From what I have seen, this is because the enemies are now FAR faster than the other Dark Souls games and by 'faster', I mean how fast they can hit you. I have heard, this is a carry over from Bloodborne which had a faster combat system, which I can see that, but the huge problem is that your character still moves at Dark Souls speed, swinging weapons and all. Now your attack animations seem sluggish in comparison to most enemies and enemies also do far more combo hits than before, meaning that even some trivial enemies become huge threats in every situation, which is annoying as hell. This huge change to the combat system has dampened my excitement for playing the game, quite significantly. I feel like most fights are a chore at this point.
On top of that, it seems enemies now can't care less about what you hit them with anyways. From my playing experience, even the most basic of enemies could stun lock me with most hits and I could not do the same to them. This is another huge issue to the combat and why it has become irritating already, only 9 hours in.
This goes into another issue: Leveling up. Enemies seem to give you drastically less souls than in the previous games, but item prices are the same as before. This makes stocking up on items tedious. Not only that, but it seems to take far more souls to level up too, which again is a chore if you want to concentrate on specific stats.
Then there are other dumb changes like not being able to improve armor at all, constantly being invaded by insanely overpowered dark spirits if you are embered and some long load times.
Now, I will say that the game is not bad. I'd say it is at least decent so far for what it is. I just can't help but feel that this game pales in comparison to Dark Souls 1 and even Dark Souls 2 in some way. I hope the game does get better later on, because I have been getting urges to just play through my NG+ on DS1 instead.