From your awakening in the Cemetery of Ash to the first rude shock of a boss encounter: this is Dark Souls 3.
Dark Souls 3: Cemetery of Ash to Iudex Gundyr
Welcome to Dark Souls 3. Although your initial journey through the Cemetery of Ash does provide some explanation of the controls by means of the messages on the ground, if this is your first first time playing a Souls game you might want to check our beginner's tips and build guide to get a handle on things.
There's not too much to worry about in this tutorial area. After you awaken, move forward. There’s a grunt - a basic melee enemy - ahead, whom you should be able to dispatch in a single blow if you’re using a melee class. When the path branches, head right to collect the Soul of a Deserted Corpse, then continue along the main path to kill another grunt. Take the Ashen Estus Flask from the broken fountain.
Facing in direction of travel, you’ll see small stairs to the right and longer ones to the left. Both paths contain a single grunt; this is a good chance to practice backstabs, parries and ripostes, as explained by the tutorial messages. This provides an excellent opportunity to figure out what kind of player you're going to be; those with the timing and skill needed to parry and riposte will benefit from chasing equipment that favours this approach, while others might prefer shields that offer more defence, or skip shields in favour of quick rolling. Since you've only just started, why not start again with a new class, so you can ry out some different play styles before the first boss?
Another grunt with a crossbow is waiting under the broken arch, so keep your shield up if approaching from the front. Past the arch there are a pair of grunts waiting to the right. There’s a tutorial prompt encouraging you to try out two-handed attacks; if you swing your sword around both baddies will immediately aggro, so be careful.
There’s a watery path past these guys you can investigate later in the game; it leads to a Giant Crystal Lizard that’ll be pretty tough for you at present, but when you defeat it you’ll get a Titanite Scale and can pick up a Soul of an Unknown Traveller. Head back along the main path overlooking the mountains. You’ll find your first bonfire around the corner, so be sure to kindle it to activate the Cemetery of Ash fast travel point. You’ll receive the Rest emote.
Moving on down the mountain you’ll face a grunt. The path now forks; go left and jump down onto the tomb to collect a Titanite Shard, then use a plunging attack off the small cliff to kill a grunt and reach ground level. Watch out for another crossbowman ahead.
Don't pass through the tempting arch yet. If you missed the jump earlier, you can circle back for another go, but watch out for the three grunts waiting on the path, and another grunt off by some graves who may aggro. Check out the graves area; you’ll find a cliff side path leading down. One shield grunt is waiting here, backed up by a crossbowman. Try to lure the melee one forward so you can fight him out of reach of the other. Don’t fall off the cliff! Your reward is five firebombs at the end of the path. Return to the main road.
Let’s pass through the arch flanked by twin torches now. You can run around this area freely, as the kneeling figure in the middle won’t aggro. There’s nothing to see, though, so approach and remove the sword as prompted to begin a boss fight: Iudex Gundyr.