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Default Dark Souls II - PC Review Round-up

May 1st, 2014, 18:23
Here is a collection of reviews for Dark Souls II that appeared in the last week.

Rock Paper Shotgun reviews Dark Souls II and concludes it is a good game, but not the great game the reviewer expected it to be.

Those people who play with the intent of creating the most powerful character possible and beating the cruel systems at their own game will be in their element. I saw the shade of a character by one bonfire who looked like she’d been plucked straight from an anime series or a JRPG, with an enormous sword resting on each shoulder. I like that it’s possible to build those characters but I also know that’s not why I’m playing. It’s entirely possible to direct your late-game and new game + characters toward PvP dominance and the layout of some levels seems directly attuned to the qualities of specific classes for just that purpose.

For me, Dark Souls is at its best when I’m harrowed and hollow, lost and cursed and beaten down. I love the eventual victories but I appreciate the journey toward them far more than the end result. The journey through Draenglic is a memorable one but some of the mystery and the rot has gone from this world.
Gambit Magazine, 4/5

Dark Souls 2 for the PC is a great game, one that puts the console versions to shame. Seriously, if you play it on PC on full settings then go and play it on the consoles, you are going to be disappointed. It’s by no means a perfect game, and I feel like many reviewers are throwing around ridiculously high scores of 90 and up simply to appease their reader base, but the core gameplay in Dark Souls 2 is just so good that it does manage to brush aside much of the games shortcoming.
WorldsFactory

Graphically, Dark Souls II on PC outperforms its console counterparts on virtually every element. Resolution is higher, texture quality can be set higher, there is better anti-aliasing, SSAO, characters model quality is higher… Every graphic option can be set to be better than what we’ve seen on console. On console, make no mistake, the areas tended to look beautiful in places, eerie in others, but mainly because of the artwork, which truly shines on PC. Light shafts filter through high-up windows and bonfires look gorgeous surrounded by a glowing orange hue; the game, although mostly dark and sad, has moments of true beauty. Praise the Sun!
Twinfinite, 5/5

Let’s face facts; Dark Souls was one hell of a tough act to follow. At the time of its release, it was mostly considered a niche title that against all odds became a sensation. Nobody was expecting it, and it felt like the most amazing surprise to gamers; warts and all. With Dark Souls II on the other hand, EVERYBODY was waiting to see if From Software could top it. While I’ll admit it doesn’t quite have the same level of mystique as its predecessor, they managed to produce a follow-up that is bigger, prettier, and every bit as challenging. Dark Souls II is an absolute feast of a game, and it will be a long, long time before I’m sated by it.
Continue Play, 8/10

Perhaps we're being too critical and elitist about Dark Souls 2. New players will get an amazing experience, and we highly encourage everyone to play the game. But in the end we were left a little disappointed, wanting more out of Dark Souls 2 than we got. Not all of its concessions to accessibility work for the better, while other areas that could have benefited from a re-think remain disappointingly clumsy. The re-use of many concepts from the previous game also disappoints.

However, despite its faults, Dark Souls 2 is still likely to be one of the best games released this year. It's engrossing, it has plenty of replay value, and there's likely plenty of secrets locked away in its depths waiting to be uncovered; but if From Software was hoping to top Dark Souls, they still have some way to go.
<ul>God is a Geek, 10/10
HighDefDigest, 4.5/5
D-Pad, 9.5/10

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May 1st, 2014, 18:23
I love how Continue Play says, "However, despite its faults, Dark Souls 2 is still likely to be one of the best games released this year," and then gives it an 8 out of 10. Can someone explain to me how that is supposed to work?

Thats how I feel all of this negativity comes off. People just want to have something to complain about.

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Steam is the only answer. It's convenient, it's easy to use, it's simple and fast. It's great.
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May 1st, 2014, 18:28
Yeah, they don't really understand game design.

Like… It says "The re-use of many concepts from the previous game also disappoints."

But the designers sat around and said "what makes a dark souls game a dark souls game?", and guess what? Its concepts do! It's got everything from dks1 so it hits all bases the first did and then more.

Well, everything but tight rope sections. But who misses those?
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May 1st, 2014, 20:01
Played it on 360 a little, now on PC. It's way better on PC. Really short loading times too.
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May 2nd, 2014, 01:57
How are controls (KB/mouse)??
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May 2nd, 2014, 05:02
Originally Posted by you View Post
How are controls (KB/mouse)??
Out of the box, terrible. I'd say broken even but some may disagree.

I used the logitech software with my mouse and the zengine software that came with my keyboard mixed that with about 20 hrs. of experimentation and trial and error and came up with some very good M&K controls.

If you do a quick search you will find several threads on programs such as autohotkey and methods for mapping keys. everyone I've read is different so you need to just experiment yourself to find whats comfortable for you.

The one constant in all of them though is to map keyboard keys to your mouse buttons or just use keyboard keys to attack to avoid the input lag.
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May 2nd, 2014, 05:25
Mouse and keyboard isn't the reason you would want the PC version over the console versions anyways.
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May 2nd, 2014, 05:29
It was for me. I don't really care about the graphics, but everyone is different.
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May 2nd, 2014, 05:33
Allow me to revise my statement then. Mouse and keyboard isn't the reason the majority would want the PC version over the console versions.

I prefer M+K over a gamepad 99% of the time, but the Souls games were definitely designed with a controller in mind.
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May 2nd, 2014, 05:38
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
Allow me to revise my statement then. Mouse and keyboard isn't the reason the majority would want the PC version over the console versions.

I prefer M+K over a gamepad 99% of the time, but the Souls games were definitely designed with a controller in mind.
Can't argue with that.
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May 2nd, 2014, 06:22
Unfortunately I can't play. I experience a variety of bugs in Majula. As soon as I encounter a bug (invisible inventory items or endless loading of new area to name two), my save game won't load again. So I'm out until things get patched up.

If I'm right but there is no wife around to acknowledge it, am I still right?
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May 2nd, 2014, 06:42
Originally Posted by sakichop View Post
Out of the box, terrible. I'd say broken even but some may disagree.

I used the logitech software with my mouse and the zengine software that came with my keyboard mixed that with about 20 hrs. of experimentation and trial and error and came up with some very good M&K controls.
I just use L-shift for blocking(*) and right mouse button for attack. W+alt for guard break and W+x for jump attack. Just to provide a counterpoint
(35 hours in, 25 effigies unused, no farming done other than a bit of poison moss in the gutter, level 105 with a bunch of unused boss souls)

(* the reduced latency helps to avoid some of the stun-locking)
Last edited by JonNik; May 2nd, 2014 at 07:01.
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May 2nd, 2014, 07:18
Sorry to be much more negative than the rest here, but I've simply abandonned and uninstalled this game after less than one hour of gameplay because, in my opinion, it is unplayable on PC with mouse/keyboard.

I simply hate those bad portages of console games onto PCs on which you can only play with gamepads. I really hate gamepads and want to play mouse&keyboard like I've been doing for decades on the hundreds of games I've played on PC.
And I hate to see on screen indications like "press A" (not the A key on a keyboard, no, the A button on a gamepad) or "X" or whatever when I'm not playing on a console… when in fact, if you play with a keyboard/mouse, you should press "Enter" and so on.
Is it that hard to detect that the player is using a mouse/keyboard and adapt the instructions instead of only displaying the instructions for gamepads ?
For me this portage sucks.
And this game sucks not only because it's a bad portage but also because it has poor graphics (I mean compare to games like Skyrim or The Witcher, Dark Souls II seems really outdated) and poor 'univers' (anywhere you go, at least in the first hour since I haven't tried longer, seems empty : nobody in the village (well, except 1 sitted guy may be), or in the fields, and even in the cave/donjon it seems really empty).
So : Mouse/keyboard nighmare + poor/outdated graphics + emptyness of the story's univers = Bad game.
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May 2nd, 2014, 10:09
Originally Posted by GroNolife View Post
And this game sucks not only because it's a bad portage but also because it has poor graphics (I mean compare to games like Skyrim or The Witcher, Dark Souls II seems really outdated) and poor 'univers' (anywhere you go, at least in the first hour since I haven't tried longer, seems empty : nobody in the village (well, except 1 sitted guy may be), or in the fields, and even in the cave/donjon it seems really empty).
Erm…
Shouldn't the graphics be compared to FarCry 3 instead? IIRC Dark Souls is, just like FC3, a shooter with RPG elements.

Anyway seems critics like it more on PC. Gambit says this:
Dark Souls 2 for the PC is a great game, one that puts the console versions to shame.
And WFactory says:
Graphically, Dark Souls II on PC outperforms its console counterparts on virtually every element.
Just popping in saying hello as I'm not planning to buy it, probably will go for Watch Dogs instead.

Toka Koka
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May 2nd, 2014, 12:34
"Shouldn't the graphics be compared to FarCry 3 instead? IIRC Dark Souls is, just like FC3, a shooter with RPG elements."

Well, I've also played FC3 (on PC too) and really loved it, and I'm sorry but FC3 graphics are way better than DSII.

In FC3 the grass was looking like grass, the roads too, and so on… but not in DSII !

Ok, my video card is 2 (or may be even 3 I'm not sure) years old, so I can't play at max quality, but only in medium, but FC3 (ou Skyrim or The Witcher 2 or Tomb Raider or the lastest Assassin Creed), in medium too, were way better.

But, may be the game is just badly optimized for MY video card (AMD Radeon HD 6570 with the latest catalyse available)…
Last edited by GroNolife; May 3rd, 2014 at 08:52.
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May 2nd, 2014, 12:36
Dark Souls is a "shooter with RPG elements?" Erm… No, it's really not.

I'm loving it. Yes, it's largely more of the same, but that "same" is so good. Sorry to hear the mouse and keyboard support is so bad, but it is a game designed from the ground up for a pad (I.e., it's not a shooter). Honestly, it's well worth picking up a pad just for this game. And you never know, you might get to like that control method for certain types of games.
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May 2nd, 2014, 13:05
Originally Posted by JonNik View Post
I just use L-shift for blocking(*) and right mouse button for attack. W+alt for guard break and W+x for jump attack. Just to provide a counterpoint
(35 hours in, 25 effigies unused, no farming done other than a bit of poison moss in the gutter, level 105 with a bunch of unused boss souls)

(* the reduced latency helps to avoid some of the stun-locking)
This is how my controls ended up.

Lmb—light left hand attack/block( shield equipped)
RMB—right hand light attack
Mb4+w— jump attack
Mb5—strong right hand attack
Mb6—left mouse click( for menus)
Mb7—right mouse click( for menus)
C—left hand strong attack/ parry
Q— interact
E— use
L. Shift—walk
L.ctr/ mouse wheel— lock on
R— cycle right hand weapon
V— cycle left hand weapon
Mouse wheel scroll— cycle magic and items
1— enter in menus
2— back in menus
Space—roll/dash/backstep

That's all I think. Not sure how well this would work on a normal keyboard as I have a merc stealth gaming keyboard which has a gaming specific cluster of keys. ( for lack of know what to actually call it)

I'm sure it looks like a crazy setup but it works great and allows me to control everything with out taking my hand off my mouse or WSAD keys, which I hate to do when playing.

It definitely doesn't take 20 hrs to set up and test as jonnik shows it can be much easier but I'm pretty anal and have to have it just perfect for me.
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May 2nd, 2014, 13:16
Originally Posted by mogwins View Post
And you never know, you might get to like that control method for certain types of games.
No thanks

I am not a perfectionist like sakichop when it comes to controls, and tbh may be too forgiving in overall GUI and control issues in general (if I can get it decently playable I just adapt, forget about it and get on with the game), but a game needs to support my choice of platform and control options for me to consider buying and playing it, not the other way around…

So if #3 (or hopefully the next, not direct sequel, souls game with Miyazaki back at the helm ) is unplayable (and unmoddable) on M+K or (knock on wood) shifts the focus entirely on online coop/pvp play, it would sadly mean that From would then be making a game that is not for me, and I would just move on with no hard feelings whatsoever… I really hope not

@sakichop my mouse is pretty simple in comparison to yours I bet, but even so I find myself unable to use the two side keys it has. For some reason it confuses the hell out of me Definitely different strokes for different folks in those things…
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May 2nd, 2014, 13:42
Originally Posted by JonNik View Post
No thanks

I am not a perfectionist like sakichop when it comes to controls, and tbh may be too forgiving in overall GUI and control issues in general (if I can get it decently playable I just adapt, forget about it and get on with the game), but a game needs to support my choice of platform and control options for me to consider buying and playing it, not the other way around…

So if #3 (or hopefully the next, not direct sequel, souls game with Miyazaki back at the helm ) is unplayable (and unmoddable) on M+K or (knock on wood) shifts the focus entirely on online coop/pvp play, it would sadly mean that From would then be making a game that is not for me, and I would just move on with no hard feelings whatsoever… I really hope not

@sakichop my mouse is pretty simple in comparison to yours I bet, but even so I find myself unable to use the two side keys it has. For some reason it confuses the hell out of me Definitely different strokes for different folks in those things…
Well said, jonnik.

No offense mogwins but I hate when people tell me to just go get a controller for these types of games. They are fully playable with m&k and actually control better for me with m&k. I get that I'm in the minority here but m&k is a prerequisite for this kind of game for me.

Furthermore, this game was made for game pad and m&k. Unlike the first game which they admitted was rush. The said they would make it right for pc gamers this time around with graphics and proper K&M controls. They semi delivered on the graphic but yanked the advance lighting at the last moment and failed on the K&M IMO.

All of this stuff is fixable though with mods or third party programs and they game is worth taking the time to fix these thinks IMO.

Oh, don't feed the joxer he likes to troll dark souls threads despite knowing nothing about them, obviously.

For the record I'm not anti controller like others but I am pro K&M and really should have the choice on any pc game, even ports.
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May 2nd, 2014, 14:03
Originally Posted by sakichop View Post
No offense mogwins but I hate when people tell me to just go get a controller for these types of games.
I'm sure you do. Luckily, I that's not what I did, eh? I said "it's well worth picking up a controller just for Dark Souls 2." It's my opinion. I didn't tell you to do anything.

Originally Posted by sakichop View Post
Furthermore, this game was made for game pad and m&k.
It was made with m&k controls in there, sure. But what I said was "it is a game designed from the ground up for a pad." Which is really a different thing entirely.

Anyooo, I'm sure lots of non-controller types will appreciate you sharing your m&k set-up. The more people that get to experience Dark Souls, the better!
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