Dark Souls: Prepare to Die Edition looks fine; what’s the fuss, PC gamers?

Posted on Aug 23 2012 - 10:08pm by Tim Torres

darksouls2 Dark Souls: Prepare to Die Edition looks fine; whats the fuss, PC gamers?

At a recent Namco Bandai event, I got a walking tour of the new PC version of Dark Souls, dubbed Dark Souls: Prepare to Die Edition (a name that’s an accurate warning for the tough-as-nails gameplay found inside). Even at level 500 and in full-on God mode, the rep had difficulty tackling some of the game’s new mobs, new bosses, and new areas. Using a debug mode to guide me through the new areas quickly, he clipped through the new Royal Wood, a forested area, and flew through the sky like the dark fantasy version of Neo. Pretty hilarious to watch. Once he arrived at each destination, freakish new enemies like ghostly spirits and weird creatures with their arms akimbo skittered about trying to kill my guide as he swung his enormous sword about. To get to the new bosses, my guide ran as though he was hopped up on 1,000 caffeine pills, legs skittering about in a full-on fast-forward gait. If only this debug mode was a cheat.

The new bosses ought to terrify hardened Dark Souls players. A knight named Artorias gave my guide a beating. Fast and formidable, this slightly-taller-than-the-player antagonist plays a big part in the game’s lore. The other boss, Manus, dwells in a deep, dark pit that my guide floated down to meet with his Debug Powers. He took a little while floating down a while. I cringed at the thought of playing this part legitimately. The anxiety and tension would almost be too much. Finally, at the bottom, Manus grabbed my guide’s armored avatar and dragged him down even deeper. Fully revealed, Manus is … a hulking beast. I struggle to remember his exact appearance, but he had many red glowing eyes that made that blurry line effect as they moved like the brake lights in Akira, and he was fast for his size. Intimidating isn’t even the word.

PvP mode, or rather, the arena where PvP is possible also got some tour time. 1–on1, 2-on-2 and 4-player FFA is possible and features leaderboard support. Since we were playing offline it was impossible to test this part out.

darksouls3 Dark Souls: Prepare to Die Edition looks fine; whats the fuss, PC gamers?

Dark Souls: Now with more talking mushroom men.

Tech-wise, this is a port of the console version. Same resolution, same textures, same frame rate. Those looking for a version of Dark Souls that takes full advantage of what their fancy rig’s capable of probably won’t be pleased. From my perspective, the game does look exactly like the PS3 version. I wouldn’t have known it was the PC version had it not been for the big laptop connected to a Sony Bravia TV.

But it’s still Dark Souls. On the PC. And even if it’s a “lazy port,” it still has a lot more content than the console versions. Wouldn’t that make it superior to the console versions? Shouldn’t that be something to celebrate than to bitch, moan, and justify illegal downloading?

And “hardcore PC gamers” wonder why no one cares about them anymore.

Paying customers will find out how the PC version of this hardcore favorite fares when it’s released digitally on Steam, Amazon, and GameStop.com tomorrow.

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Editor-in-chief Tim Torres is a video game geek, a tech nut, a film nerd, and he occasionally picks up a book once in a while. He has written all manner of copy for PCMag, Computer Shopper, The Jersey Journal, Radio One, and Random House. As a video game critic and podcast host, he has written in-depth reviews, attended industry events, conducted interviews and led creative discussions on various topics related to games and the games industry. Before entering the tech world, he attended New York University and worked in education as an art instructor. In his spare time he acts, sketches, eats a lot of sushi and watches a lot of Netflix. He does not hate Final Fantasy VII.

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16 Comments so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. rawfeefee August 23, 2012 at 11:03 PM - Reply

    can i have the name of a computer that can run this? mine sucks.

  2. CBPunch August 24, 2012 at 12:15 AM - Reply

    Stupid article. I cant believe this is ‘journalism’.

    • Jeffrey L. Wilson August 24, 2012 at 12:35 AM - Reply

      There’s well-versed criticism and then there’s your response. A response that helps/enhances nothing.

    • anon August 24, 2012 at 12:37 AM - Reply

      I agree. It’s hard to believe this guy got hired to make blog posts on this website.

      If you’re going to make a port, the only thing anyone truly cares about is controls. Moreso than new content, new bosses, new PvP — PC players just wanted to experience Dark Souls.

      If you actually played Dark Souls a few hours ago when it launched, the control set-up was actually unplayable. They allow for mice compatibility by default, but they didn’t even allow you to adjust sensitivity lol. This journalist sounds like he just played it at a convention.

      It’s just sad that journalists have to resort to dirty logic like “sound Criticism = bitching and moaning”

      • Jeffrey L. Wilson August 24, 2012 at 1:28 AM - Reply

        The demo build was played on a controller. We will have impressions of the final build very soon, and report on the mouse sensitivity issue. Yes, we recognize the value and importance of criticism! But there are gamers who can’t see any good, only what irks them. Is it disappointing that those with high-end rigs won’t have a game that takes full advantage of the hardware? Of course. We let that be known to Namco Bandai reps. Still, the game isn’t trash.

        • Oblivion_Lost667 August 24, 2012 at 6:20 AM - Reply

          Even if that’s true, you shouldn’t insult your readers, or possible readers, because they’re mad that the port has problems that aren’t being addressed. I do agree that a lot of people aren’t seeing the good side of things (Like it coming to PC at all.), but it still doesn’t justify insulting readers. Now, I’m glad it’s on PC, I prepurchased it out of love for the game, but nonetheless, they could have done a better job.

          • Max Lame August 24, 2012 at 9:39 AM -

            I don’t the author is speaking the majority of PC gamers. He’s addressing a segment, possibly a vocal minority, who will tear it to shreds, but then pirate it to “get back” at Namco. Maybe his presentation was harsh, but I think the intent isn’t evil.

          • Oblivion_Lost667 August 25, 2012 at 12:01 AM -

            No, probably not, but you still shouldn’t insult your readers. Also, I doubt they’ll pirate it to ‘get back’ at them, though, they might pirate it because it’s not worth the money. Perhaps that’s just two sides of the same coin, but I don’t think most people will pirate it simply out of ill-intentions, even if that’s the outcome either way.

  3. Not impressed August 24, 2012 at 1:51 AM - Reply

    Pure ignorance.

  4. Ewy August 24, 2012 at 7:14 AM - Reply

    Change your desktop resolution to 1024×768. I don’t know what size your monitor is, or it’s native resolution, but that doesn’t matter. Looks a bit worse, right? Now imagine that, for no good reason, Windows 8 (or the next version of your OS) forced you to use that resolution. That would seem a bit dumb right? I have this 1080p monitor and all, plus every previous version of the OS allowed me to change, this seems arbitrary and just plain bad.

    Yes, it’s totally usable, but given the expectations and standards of the platform, it’s not up to scratch. The distance most people will be playing this at on their PC monitor is closer than a typical user playing on a console TV, so things like bad textures or low resolution assets/low resolution everything are far more noticeable. The console hardware is a bit old now, and I have enough power in my PC to make Dark Souls a nicer looking game in some fundamental areas. Understandable that From have no experience, that’s not a problem, but then you outsource. “We’ll have a crack at it” isn’t a good attitude when you are asking consumers to pay money for software. (Although it sounds like Namco said “You’ll have a crack at it”, but then they fucked up giving a short scale PC development project to an unqualified team without many resources.)

    At the end of the day, people just want to play the game. I know it often doesn’t seem like that, but when seemingly simple (in relative terms) issues such as that found in the PC version of Dark Souls come up, they detract from the experience.

    I was always going to play the PC version, having never played the game on consoles. I’m using the resolution fix which was available online before the game was even out for most people and it looks much nicer already. I should say, hey, guess what? Dark Souls is pretty good you guys. I’m enjoying it. What it is though, is disappointing. It’s a bit of a bummer. This could be so much more so easily. It’s all too easy to label this development work as “lazy” from an outside perspective, and I hate to do it, but from that outside perspective it totally seems that way.

    It’s far easier to write people off as “entitled” rather than to look at and understand their point of view, and typically internet forum posters won’t do much to endear you to their cause. Best case scenario is that Namco hear the complaints, but this sells. Then maybe from all this we get a good day-and-date PC version of Doom/Death/Deprived/Decrepit/Diseased/Dank Souls and everyone is happy.

    • Tim August 24, 2012 at 4:09 PM - Reply

      I got the game on Steam and, oh boy, am I beginning to understand their point of view.

  5. douk noukem balls of steel August 24, 2012 at 10:36 AM - Reply

    http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showthread.php?t=488240

    See this thread, tim torres?

    This is a thread about fixing the internal frame buffer of the game. Before, it was fixed at 1024×720. It meant that whatever resolution you set in the option settings, the game would be stuck at this low resolution. If you set the game at 1920×1080, the game will still be rendered at 1024×720.

    Now have a look at the fix a random forum member brought us on day one of the release of the game:
    before
    http://www.abload.de/img/data2012-08-2401-28-0xepj9.png
    after
    http://www.abload.de/img/data2012-08-2401-24-0c4qnh.png
    another comparison
    http://i.imgur.com/CkbIA.jpg

    the complaints are legit, tim torres. Stop supporting laziness. It was the developer’s job to make a proper port. What we end up with is a fan who manages to fix one of the biggest problem of this port in less than a day.

  6. maroon1 August 25, 2012 at 2:27 PM - Reply

    I have core 2 quad Q6660 and GTX 460SE

    The game runs very smooth at 1920×1080, and I’m using the resolution fix

  7. D August 25, 2012 at 10:02 PM - Reply

    the controls are what ruin this game on the PC, it was a pure sloppy and rushed port

  8. DSPTD_MSM August 27, 2012 at 4:50 PM - Reply

    Its clear that quality devs do care. Look at what Bethesda did. Did we “illegally download” Skyrim no. And we wont now. But we will stay disapointed

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