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Preview Dark Souls PC Previews at RPS and Eurogamer

Discussion in 'News & Content Feedback' started by Crooked Bee, Aug 9, 2012.

  1. Crooked Bee (no longer) a wide-wandering bee Patron

    Crooked Bee
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    Tags: Dark Souls: Prepare to Die; From Software; Namco Bandai

    Dark Souls, From Software's latest title in one of the all-time best dungeon crawler series going back to the King's Field and Shadow Tower games, has received some hands-on previews focusing on the upcoming PC port of the game. Eurogamer notes the brilliance of the new content, but also the shoddiness of the port, even with the somewhat improved performance:

    During our hands-on with this edition at Namco's offices, we're given free rein to explore any levels that comprise the main campaign and up to 15 minutes of the extra areas. The gut reaction is to start with the new stuff, which will be immediately accessible to players via a portal hidden on the perimeter of Ash Lake. Accessing this cues a short transitory cut-scene, and then you're thrown straight into an area filled with mossy temple ruins named Sanctuary Garden.

    It's immediately apparent that From Software has lost neither its ability to realise some fantastical visual designs in-game, nor its token standard of difficulty. [...] It's a relief to see that every area that follows feels consistent with the rest of the game's brooding visual tone, and yet unique enough to warrant returning to Lordran. Later highlights include flowery woodlands filled with ragged scarecrow-like creatures, hell-bent on chasing after you with pitchforks until you find the safety of a stone bridge. The progression is exciting, too; it starts clear, bright, and beautiful, but the further you run, the foggier and more grossly luminescent the forest's details become. It's more of the same surreal goodness, and it manages to recapture the buzz of jumping into Dark Souls' initial 10 hours - whereas perhaps the latter half of the main game suffered in focus.

    [...] [T]he frame-rate on consoles has always been a major area of complaint among Dark Souls fans, and the notorious Blight Town or New Londo Ruins areas are usually singled out as the big offenders. The implication of a PC release is obviously that all these problems can be tackled by the brute force of a faster CPU, and though there are very light hitches here and there, it's a relief to say Blight Town now plays without all the constant chugging. The improvement is staggering to those that endured the treacle-like pace of the area on PS3 and 360, already making this version a winning proposition.

    There is bad news which could hit PC gamers pretty hit hard, though. While the frame-rate's rough edges have been filed down, you're still going to be playing at 30FPS out of the box, as widely rumoured. [...] There's also something curious about the resolution too in that there's no change in clarity when attempting to crank up the settings. On close inspection, it appears that Dark Souls PC uses the very same 1024x720 internal framebuffer as the console versions, regardless of which resolution has been set in the menus. The option provided is for output resolution only; a simple courtesy to allow the game to play on most monitors, but the image quality will always remain the same. In short, PC gamers will very much be getting the genuine console experience here, right down to the pixel.​

    If that sounds like "ouch" to you, well, RockPaperShotgun confirms all that, also complaining about the inclusion of Games for Windows Live:

    This was never part of the plan. Dark Souls is coming to PC because so many people asked for it, just as Demons’ Souls only travelled West because an unexpected demand arose. There have been worrying signs that the port will be less than optimal and, having now played the Prepare to Die edition, it’s my sad duty to report that the experience is far from smooth. It’s still Dark Souls though, with more content than on console, and, framerate issues or not, there’s nothing else quite like it.

    GFWL, or whatever it’s called these days, is in. That’s the worst of the bad news I think, although I do seem to dislike Microsoft’s sentry system more than most. The official word is that it’s being used to implement the all-important multiplayer, including a PvP system that is new for the Prepare to Die edition. The game will be available direct from Namco’s digital store, through Steam or in an actual box with all sorts of fancy goodies, but wherever you get it, you’ll have to sign in to GFWL.

    The other bad news concerns technical issues that have, as far as I can tell, carried over from the console versions. No worse but no better. More on that at the end but first, because Dark Souls would still be a brilliant game even if it shot you in the foot every time you played it, I’m going to talk about why the existence of a PC version is still good news.​

    To find out why RPS thinks so, read the full preview.
     
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  2. thesheeep Arcane Patron

    thesheeep
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    Hm.
     
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  3. MicoSelva Prestigious Gentleman No Gods No Kings Patron

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  4. J_C One Bit Studio Patron Developer Sad Loser

    J_C
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    Meh. I love the game on PS3 (despite its flaws), but I hoped that they fix the framerate issues. I might have bought it on PC then. But no fix, no buy on PC.
     
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  5. Lautreamont Augur

    Lautreamont
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    I don't care if it's fixed at 640x480 1 bit, I just want to play this game finally, and not on a console.
     
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  6. DwarvenFood Arcane Patron

    DwarvenFood
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    They won't fix it, the display resolution is high but the render engine is limited to console standards.
     
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  7. WhiskeyWolf RPG Codex Polish Car Thief Patron

    WhiskeyWolf
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    GFWL, my arch-nemesis, we meet again.
     
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  8. Jasede Prestigious Gentleman Arcane Patron Sad Loser

    Jasede
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    Without a doubt the best game made in the last four to five years (when did KOTC come out?).
    Still, anyone interested should really get a PS3. They are cheap now and it's far more comfortable. Besides, you won't be too close to the monitor when you want to smash your input device against something.
     
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  9. Black_Willow Arcane

    Black_Willow
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    Will we have news on every console "RPG" posted now?
     
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  10. Cowboy Moment Arcane

    Cowboy Moment
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    From Software clearly don't want to do any more ports in the future, so they're intentionally making this one as awful as possible without outright sabotage.
     
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  11. Zboj Lamignat Arcane

    Zboj Lamignat
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    Wow, what an overstatement. That game, despite being OK, is not even the best Japanese rpg to come out in the last 4-5 years.

    Edit: Oh, and this sounds like the usual lazy shitport.
     
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  12. Castanova Prophet

    Castanova
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    I wish they would port Demon's Souls instead.
     
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  13. Jasede Prestigious Gentleman Arcane Patron Sad Loser

    Jasede
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    The whole point of this place is to spout opinions and then voraciously belittle others for theirs.
    You're welcome.
     
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  14. Sul Savant

    Sul
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    Damn. That came out sooner than I expected.
     
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  15. Black Arcane

    Black
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    Hah, okay, whatever you say.
    :lol:
    It's amazing that the makers of "the best rpg in the land of Nippon" can't even make a decent 360 -> PC port.
     
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  16. General Maxson Arcane

    General Maxson
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    Why? I mean what's the difference that Demon's Souls is better?
     
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  17. Castanova Prophet

    Castanova
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    Don't get me wrong, I liked Dark Souls too. But for me Demon's Souls was a lot more replayable. The level design was better so it held up over multiple playthroughs, the itemization was much better so it's more fun to try new builds, and so on. The boss fights in Demon's Souls were better too, I thought. They're less about twitch execution and more about figuring out the boss' weakpoint. After I beat Dark Souls the first time I was happy and started a NG+ but I abandoned it half-way through cuz it felt like I wasn't getting anything new out of the game. Dark Souls' main advantages imo were its brilliant interlocking world design and the campfire system.
     
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  18. Sul Savant

    Sul
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    Nippon can't into PC, news at 11. Korea on another hand...
    Although the fact hey didn't outsourced the port baffles me. Guess they didn't wanted someone touching their holy creation.
     
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  19. Metro Arcane Beg Auditor

    Metro
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    What's the difference considering it's a straight port. Seems like you'd be better off playing on a console (provided you owned one). I give them credit for a reasonable $40 base price. Means the $10 sale will come sooner rather than later.

    Fixed 1024x720 resolution graphics quality? Look, I'm no graphics whore but I play on higher resolutions with my five year old GPU. I mean, come on it's 2012 for fuck sake.
     
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  20. SerratedBiz Arcane

    SerratedBiz
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    They execute a similar game but in different ways. I'd say that for every one thing that DkS did worse than DeS before it, it also refined or introduced a new mechanic which improved the game. Case in point: less grinding for upgrade stones, estus flasks instead of grasses, a shorter starter zone (not the tutorial, but rather the forced 1-1 vs. non-forced Burg, New Londo, masterkey-whatever), more diverse forms of PvP - off the top of my head.

    Still, having played Demon Souls first, it's actually my favorite of the two. It's just that both are very good.
     
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  21. Kraszu Prophet

    Kraszu
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    The framerate is really bad in some places on console, loading is much faster on PC.

    That said 30fps, and 720p is shitty tho but if the game is good, then it is still better then not having it on PC.
     
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  22. Castanova Prophet

    Castanova
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    I know what you're saying but I think Demon's Souls did a better job with the addictive elements of the action RPG genre, while Dark Souls was more :monocle: in a lot of ways. Also, I enjoy 1-1 in Demon's Souls. The level design in all of world 1 is outstanding.
     
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  23. SerratedBiz Arcane

    SerratedBiz
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    Just saying they're different in a number of ways and that there's a lot that I wish I could take from DkS and put in DeS, even if DeS is the superior game (to me).

    And not that there's anything wrong with 1-1, but I do appreciate the fact that in DkS I can go to its "1-1", or skip it completely. By my nth playthrough, doing 1-1 to unlock the rest of the game isn't all that exciting any more (and that's a problem with the Souls games, I just wish they'd release more maps more often).
     
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  24. thesisko Emissary

    thesisko
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    What does the choice of display device have to with playing on a PC or PShit3?
     
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