This was never part of the plan. Dark Souls is coming to PC because so many people asked for it, just as Demonsí 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, itís my sad duty to report that the experience is far from smooth. Itís still Dark Souls though, with more content than on console, and, framerate issues or not, thereís nothing else quite like it.
GFWL, or whatever itís called these days, is in. Thatís the worst of the bad news I think, although I do seem to dislike Microsoftís sentry system more than most. The official word is that itís 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 Namcoís digital store, through Steam or in an actual box with all sorts of fancy goodies, but wherever you get it, youíll have to sign in to GFWL.
To cut to the chase, the 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. A graphics menu has been added in, but there are no obvious ways to raise the bar to the preferable 60FPS mark. In fact, options are pretty meagre overall on this front; you have the standard resolution and refresh rate settings (it does nothing to solve this), and also check-boxes to remove anti aliasing or motion blur. Barebones and to the point.