Pictured above is the alleged “Estus Flask” included in the special edition guide book package Prima Games created for Dark Souls III. As you might be able to tell from a cursory glance, it’s absolute shit.
I’m not one for buying guide books usually – the only ones I buy are for games I’m really enraptured with, and I have them more for keepsakes than anything else. Being suitably impressed by the collector’s edition Bloodborne guide book, I expected quality from Prima’s Estus Flask Edition Dark Souls III publication.
Instead, I got an Estus Farce.
For reference, the image above is the flask as shown by Prima itself. It is nicely detailed and shaded in an authentic emerald color reminiscent of the iconic “undead favorite” healing item.
Now let’s take another look at the so-called Flask Prima is actually selling.
Crap. Pure, unabashed crap.
The hollow lump is made from cheap green plastic that doesn’t even come close to the shade featured in promotional photography. Upon closer inspection, I’m fairly certain the official image doesn’t even display a physical flask – it looks like they’ve substituted an artist’s rendition rather than the real product.
You’ll note that it doesn’t have an opening. The top of the “flask” is smooth plastic, meaning you can’t even put some Sunny Delight in it for Souls-related japes.
I could at least have thrown a little orange light in there to make it resemble something.
The guide comes in a nice little box, nothing too extravagant but it’ll sit nicely next to the rest of your videogame-themed tat.
This is a good thing, as the best way to display the aforementioned Estus Flask is in the box. With the lid tightly shut.
In fact, tell nobody you have the flask. Ever.
Inside, you’re greeted by two plain boxes and a small book bearing the Dark Sign image.
Already the whole package loses its lustre, as you open up the mysterious thematic box to find two cheap little cardboard boxes inside.
It’s not a great first impression, is it?
Still, at this point I had no idea that the larger of the two containers would house the most pointless piece of green plastic since Dean Cain’s credit card.
In complete fairness, the metal sword-shaped bookmark is nice, and the notepad is classy enough for something I’m never going to write in.
The bookmark is the best thing in the package. It’s nowhere near worth the $129.99 Prima brazenly expects for the whole deal, but if you ever see it sold on its own for a tenner somewhere, I can confirm it’s a quality length of metal.
The actual guide book is thick, packed with writing, and features a nice slipcover, but it’s functionally underwhelming as an informative tome.
Looking through the book, I found myself able to come up with better boss strategies from memory than the ones found within – whoever wrote the boss guides really didn’t know their stuff, because they fail to mention very important attacks of certain enemies and seem totally unqualified to describe even their basic behavior.
It’s also an incredibly vague read at times. Item sections are abhorrent at telling you where loot is located, the section on NPCs often gives only the general whereabouts of where to find them, and overall the whole thing is written in a casual, laissez faire tone that does a piss-poor job of communicating vital information to readers.
At times, you’re expected to flip between chapters to keep a bead on quest lines or important locations. It’s a mess.
By contrast, the Dark Souls III Wiki is infinitely more reliable, despite its current incomplete state. It’s more direct and informative, with an easy flow of content that doesn’t resemble a collage of random thoughts.
In the name of Jesus fucking Christ though, that Estus Flask.
What absolute mongrel of a semen stain saw this bit of defaced polymer and thought it was acceptable?
It’s like they got an old man to rub his crusted ballsack all over the melted plastic while it was still hardening, then tossed it into the mould of the world’s least comfortable butt plug.
I predominantly thought the flask would be a cool addition to the Jimquisition set, something else to put on the lectern alongside all my other trophies and geeky nonsense. I’d be ashamed to have this on the show.
You can barely tell what it’s even supposed to be. In fact, if I’d never known it was meant to be an Estus Flask, I’d probably burn through a few guesses before I got it.
Prima, surely you can do better than this. You ought to be embarrassed by this total fucking trash.