Prior to its April 12 release, we had to the esteemed privileged of getting an advanced, hands-on preview of Dark Souls III at Bandi Namco’s London offices.  The previous two installments were meet with critical acclaim and even earned Dark Souls II the coveted ‘Game of The Year’ award at the 2014’s Golden Joystick Awards. The series is notoriously (in)famous for it’s excorticating difficulty—a real gamers game in every sense as the reps at Namco told us. Admittedly, some us in the office never got a chance to play the previous Dark Souls titles—you know, life and stuff— so we definitely weren’t prepared for the barrage of relentless attacks and unfair boss battles. But if the truth be told, we really enjoyed the frustrating challenge, it’s rare to find a game that pushes you to your limit and is constantly keeping you on your toes and that’s what we found in Dark Souls III. Too many times we’ve found AAA titles spoon-feed you about what you need to do but that’s not the case here.

By the end of our preview session we came out more than satisfied—and a tad bit smarter if we do say so ourselves. With that in mind, if you are looking to pick up Dark Souls III when it drops you better bring you’re ‘A-game’. So here are five things you need to know before playing Dark Souls III.