So, Dark Souls III is actually very linear. You might get lost at some parts, but that's mostly because they hide the entrances to things. (took me forever to figure out how to get into the Cathedral of the Deep!) So far, though, the game's only had 2 big branch off paths that I've seen, and both of them seem to be required. That being said, you do still need to explore yourself. There's not some handy-dandy magic compass to point you where to go, or journal to list your objectives. Where you go first, and how you find the entrance is all up to you. It can be disheartening to lose all your souls, but that's why you get up, and try again! To get better, so you won't lose any more! As for PvP, and jolly cooperation? Pretty straightforward. You can summon up to 2 (3 with Knuckle) friendly phantoms to assist you. This will increase enemy health, though, so ne cautious. Once you defeat the boss in your area they are returned to their world. If you want to play the whole game with someone, you're gonna be playing each area twice! However, Dark Spirits can also invade you. Hopefully the invader is honorable, but that's not often the case. In certain areas you're more likely to be invaded, due to covenants, or PvP popularity. If you use the Knuckle, two invaders can invade at once! You can also summon invaders as well. This will result in a more honorable duel most of the time, but not always. For both summoning & invasions you must be Kindled, by using an Ember. I'd definitely recommend the game myself! Feel free to ask away for any questions you have!