Elden Ring is just around the corner and many players are searching for new ways to temper their excitement – if only for a little while. After all, there are only so many Soulsborne games, and a bit of the magic is lost when you’ve played them so many times you can visualise the position of every item and enemy.
But what if there was a way to rekindle that experience; a way to retain the combat and setting that makes FromSoft games so great, but with systemic changes that make the whole world feel new again? Of course, there are randomiser mods for each Souls game, which make every enemy into a Frankenstein’s monster, but some of those virtual dice rolls are a bit too cruel for us. We prefer a mod that keeps things more static, reshuffling items and enemies, while overhauling many of the game’s lesser used features.
Enter Convergence, an overhaul mod for Dark Souls 3 that offers players a completely new approach to Lothric and its inhabitants.
Originally released in August 2020, Convergence adds a significant amount of new content, while remixing many of Dark Souls 3’s existing enemies, items, and systems. Most of the enemy placements are completely new, and there are countless item revisions and bonfire relocations.
Even more impressive is the cast of new bosses made exclusively for the mod. Players are also greeted with a generous amount of new weapons, armour sets, and other stat-boosting items, introducing even more build variety (and fashion options) into the game.
From the moment you crawl out of the coffin in Cemetery of Ash, it’s clear how much Convergence modifies. Not only are you greeted with a vastly different environment – the whole area is scorched and piles of charred corpses line the main path – but there’s also a new boss to contend with.
As you traverse through what used to be Iudex Gundyr’s fog gate, expecting to see the large armoured foe, you’re instead challenged by the Watchdog of Firelink, a fiery version of Sulyvahn’s Beast. While Gundyr is far from a bad boss, the Watchdog of Firelink sets a much more aggressive pace.
Convergence also implements some much-needed reworks to bosses like the Curse-rotted Greatwood and High Lord Wolnir. The former has been replaced by a poison-casting archdruid, while High Lord Wolnir now strides around a new boss arena, casting dark spells and hounding you with aggressive scythe attacks – they’re far, far better encounters than the originals.
One of Convergence’s other major changes is a heightened focus on magic and spellcasting – something Elden Ring looks set to continue with its summons. What was three schools of magic in Dark Souls 3 has been expanded into twelve sub-schools in Convergence, with an array of new spells to fill each one out. More spells means more FP, so Convergence also introduces FP regeneration as a default, encouraging you to work magic into even your poise-strength builds. After all, why wouldn’t you want to cast a spell that summons bone wheel skeletons?
What makes Convergence so special – and so pertinent to the upcoming release of Elden Ring – is that it makes Dark Souls 3 feel like a brand-new FromSoft game. It reignites the fusion of dread and wonder that comes with not knowing what exactly is around the corner. The heart pounding tension of carrying thousands of souls, but not knowing where the next bonfire is; the fear and allure of an unknown boss behind a fog gate; and the excitement of trying out a weapon or spell you know nothing about.
To know the geography of the world off by heart but find everything within it to be so unfamiliar is just as refreshingly unnerving as not knowing the game at all. Places where I used to feel so confident now make me hesitate, and I find myself cautiously peeking around every corner, afraid of what might be waiting for me.
Even if you’ve completed Dark Souls several times, the Convergence mod conjures the same heady combination of danger and discovery that awaits us in Elden Ring’s vast open world.
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