Dark Souls: Prepare To Die Edition - All News
Tuesday - June 21, 2016
Dark Souls - Now with DS3 UI
If you've played Dark Souls 3 recently and got the itch to return to the original, this UI mod will surely ease the transition.
Here's a breakdown of everything the mod changes:
HUD: Health and stamina bars
HUD: Enemies health bar
HUD: Humanity counter
HUD: Cursed skull
HUD: Items slots
HUD: Souls counter
HUD: Target lock icon
HUD: Status effects icons
HUD: Interaction stripe
HUD: Invasion and summoning notification
HUD: Bow crosshair
HUD/Menus: Items/Equipment background
HUD/Menus: Wooden dish bellow the items/equipment
HUD/Menus: High resolution controller buttons (Xbox One and PlayStation 4)
Menus: Main menu icons
Menus: All the menu backgrounds and ornaments
Menus: Navigation arrows icons
Menus: Inventory and equipment categories icons (items, armor, rings, etc.)
Menus: Icon for the empty slots on the equipment menu
Menus: Key settings icons
Menus: Gesture menu
Menus: Create character
Menus: Messages background
Menus: Confirmations menus and notifications (quit game, loading save data, etc.)
Sunday - May 22, 2016
Dark Souls - The Evolution of the Level Design
Super Bunnyhop analyzes the evolution of the Dark Souls level design - don't watch the video if you still want to play the Dark Souls series (SPOLER ALERT):
Tuesday - January 19, 2016
Dark Souls - The King and I
@Megagames.com reports on a AI opponent for Dark Souls known as the King.
With Dark Souls III set to arrive soon, it's not surprising that there are only really a few hundred dedicated Dark Souls players still slaying their way through bosses and dominating enemy humans who's worlds they invade with glee. There was is one person who's world they don't want to invade, or be invaded by though and that's The King.
Why though? Surely he's no tougher than any other veteran of the game? Well no, not exactly.
Although he is tough and stands a good chance of killing you, he's different in that The King is an AI. Developed over the course of 10 months by fan of the game, "metal-crow," The King is reverse engineered to be almost unbeatable, or at least worthy of providing a very solid challenge for anyone who considers themselves highly experienced at the game.loading...
Wednesday - December 23, 2015
Dark Souls - Players Have Found Everything
Hideteki Miyazaki, director of Dark Souls, says that there's no more hidden stuff left to find in the game. Players have found it all.
It's been four years since the launch of the original Dark Souls and people are still hunting for undiscovered items, but game director Hidetaki Miyazaki says he's confident we've found everything. In an interview in the upcoming issue of Edge Magazine, Miyazaki admits that he feels that the game was never truly complete but players have seen everything on offer.
Is there anything they haven't found yet? "Well, there aren’t any undiscovered items, or specific bits of gameplay," he says. "But Dark Souls is in some ways an incomplete game, and I like to think that it has been completed by players, by their discoveries, as they moved along. I’d love to say that the nature of this incompleteness was completely deliberate, but it is both deliberate and by accident, in different ways."
Wednesday - August 05, 2015
Dark Souls - In Humble Bundle Bandai Namco bundle
Dark Souls: Prepare To Die Edition is one of the main attractions (if you pay more than $10) in Humble Bundles Bandai Namco bundle. Other games included, are Pac-Man Championship Edition DX+ All-You-Can-Eat Edition , PlatforMines, & Deadcore, all of which is pay what you want. Paying more than $5.99 (as of this writing) also nets you Ridge Racer:Unbounded, Enslaved:Odyssey To The West Premium Edition, & Ace Combat: Assault Horizon Enhanced Edition, with more games "coming soon".
Wednesday - July 01, 2015
Dark Souls - 8 Million Copies Sold
Destructoid informs us that the Dark Souls games have sold a total of 8 milion copies up to now, with over 3.25 million copies on PC.
Famitsu - reporting from a From Software presentation - confirmed the original Dark Souls game sold over 2.4 copies globally, while the game bundled with the DLC sold 2.6 million.
Dark Souls II has sold 2.4 million - 1.9 million sales of the original game, and 530,000 copies of the Scholar of the First Sin version.
Remember: these figures don't even include sales from Demon Souls, nor Bloodborne.
Friday - June 12, 2015
Dark Souls - About the Design
At Gamasutra an article about the design of Dark Souls, dives into the trade-offs that were made during the design of the game.
As I said earlier, the developers seemed to embrace the idea of trade-offs in the design. Two of the biggest risks the developers took were the choices to
1. not arbitrarily gate off difficult areas and
2. leave out explicit directions on where to go or how to use things
For these two reasons many players - both casual and ‘hardcore' (perhaps more so the hardcore gamers, as it may be different than what they are accustomed to) - have difficulty getting into the game.
These design choices have some obvious negative consequences, which include limiting the audience to players who are willing to invest enough effort to understand the game. But there is one aspect that these decisions affect in a very positive way: creating mystery. There are secrets in Dark Souls... And they would not feel the same if the game explained them to you.
Let me explain with a comparison (forgive me):
My experience of playing Dark Souls was very similar to playing the first Zelda on the NES: I did not know to go into the cave and get the sword so I meandered around avoiding enemies for the first 15 minutes or so. I could not understand why people were talking about this game so much... But the mechanics were engineered so that each time I died I would start again at the same spot. Eventually I tried the black dot on the rock and - lo and behold! There was this secret cave with a dude giving me a sword! As a kid playing Zelda: I found myself burning down trees with my newly-acquired candle... And - what's this? - level 8? I hadn't gotten through level 3 yet and I could explore level 8?
Fast-forward 25 years - In DS after talking to the crestfallen warrior and exploring a bit I went down the steps and into New Londo. I spent almost two hours trying different strategies to get past the ghosts but eventually gave up. Then I found the steps leading up toward the Undead Burg - I'd somehow missed them before! Later - another surprise: after running through the Burg for the 15th time or so - I accidentally crashed into some boxes and there was stairway there! I thought I knew the lay of the land like the back of my hand... But here was a secret only feet away from my character!
Wednesday - May 06, 2015
Dark Souls - Plays Like a NES Game
In a blog post at Gamasutra the author of this article state that Dark Souls feels and plays like a NES game used to feel and play.
This is something that gets thrown around a lot regarding Dark Souls. I never paid much attention to it - it's just something people say. (The same sort of people who think any game with pixel art is "8-bit") But when my friend who grew up on games like Castlevania 2, Rygar and Battle of Olympus said that I paid attention. The game made him feel the way NES games did. There's a lot to talk about with the design of Dark Souls so this is my angle: what are the specific design decisions that make it feel like an NES game? (Or alternately: unlike a modern game).
The author looks at different aspects of the game to support his statement.
Wednesday - March 25, 2015
Dark Souls - Multiplayer Mechanics
Gamasutra is hosting a new article from Alex Wawro about Dark Souls multiplayer mechanics. He also goes on to say other games are copying then now.
There's something terrifying, in a very primal sense, about the way total strangers invade your world in Dark Souls.
The first time it happened to me, I almost quit the game. The hair on the back of my neck prickled with fear that another human being was in the game -- and somewhere, somehow, they were doing their best to take me out.
Over time I came to relish the thrill of being hunted, and it seems I'm not alone. Popularized by From Software’s Souls games, the concept of players invading each other’s games has inspired developers around the industry to come up with interesting new ways of blurring the lines between single-player and multiplayer experiences.
From big-budget 2014 debuts like Watch Dogs to more contemporary projects like Dying Light, developers seem excited to pick up what From Software is laying down and play around with ways to inject similar levels of tension and uncertainty into their own work.
But that entails answering a very critical question: what is it about the way Souls games implement player invasions that make them so compelling, and how do you make it work in other contexts?
Monday - March 23, 2015
Dark Souls - Life after Death @ EuroGamer
Kristan Reed published a new article on Eurogamer about replaying Dark Souls.
For several years now, Dark Souls has been my favourite game. It used to be a difficult decision to mull over, like it is every time someone asks what your favourite song or artist or album is. By in this case, it consumed me so utterly; it almost ruined video games for me forever. After that, most other games seemed trivial, shallow, and dare I say it, hollow. Only a handful of games have made any impression on me since, and two of those are also From titles (the other two are The Walking Dead Season 1 and The Last Of Us).
And even now, more than three years on from my first encounters with Dark Souls, that sense of closure still hasn't arrived. I feel drawn to exploring more of the PvP side that I neglected, or just spend some time helping out hapless warriors in need of a big old tank to rip Gaping Dragon a new one. The next time you're wandering through Lordran, hoping for a summon sign to show up outside a fog door, it might well be me. I'll try not to suck.
Wednesday - January 21, 2015
Dark Souls - Region Locked MP Removed
A short developer post on Steam has news that Dark Souls in longer region locked.
A nice fix is available for all players since January 19th 2015 to completely remove the infamous multiplayer region lock in Dark souls: Prepare to die edition. This patch also fixes the crash that could occur when opening the Book of Guilty. To update your game, simply launch it from Steam with the auto-update option on.
Friday - January 16, 2015
Dark Souls - Best Story Telling in Gaming
James Wynne of The Game Fanatics has penned an opinion article were he talks about how Dark Souls has the best story telling in gaming. Now do you all agree with him?
From Software has created more story by giving less of it and fewer answers. Dark Souls is relevant to this day and fans still hotly debate how the story actually goes. People have even made a living off of telling their versions of the lore on youtube. It’s the current pinnacle of how to use the interactivity inherent to video games in order to build an immersive story that players themselves are a part of instead of just their avatars.
Saturday - January 03, 2015
Dark Souls - How It Broke Gaming For Me
A Metro reader posted a new article on the site with his opinion on how Dark Souls broke gaming for him. Here is a short sample to get you all started.
I never understood the appeal of Demon’s Souls when I played it a few years ago. Twice I progressed to the 10 hour mark and became frustrated. Game disc ejected and gathered dust. With rave reviews for its spiritual successor and a sucker for punishment I thought I would try again. With Dark Souls I hit the 10 hour mark and again ejected the disc to gather dust.
About a year ago I purchased Dark Souls on PC for a measly sum of £3.74 on Steam and never touched it. During March 2014, and reading a lot of GameCentral readers banging on about how great Dark Souls was, I felt that I was missing out.
Then a funny thing happened; I tried to play other games such as FIFA, Battlefield 4, and Killzone: Shadow Fall but all felt very average. I felt broken as though I had lost my enthusiasm for gaming. A few months passed without picking up the controller. However, this passed, thankfully, and at the end of July I played and completed Astebreed, Mario Kart 8, and Bayonetta 2.
The Souls series has changed gaming for me and has awoken me to something I have lost for the past 10 years, i.e. requiring genuine skill to play and beat a game. Dark Souls et al. I bow down to you for surfacing the true gamer in me. Bring on Bloodborne I say…
Tuesday - December 16, 2014
Dark Souls - GFWL Removed
Dark Souls for PC has finally had its GFWL elements removed. According to the official announcement, players have until February 16th to migrate their saves and achievements to Steamworks. Instructions on migrating Dark Souls saves and achievements to Steam are available here.
Update: I forgot to mention this earlier, but, as noted by Xian in the comments, DSFix has been updated to work with the Steamworks version of Dark Souls. More information is available here. If you do not recall, DSFix is a program that gives you more control over the display options of Dark Souls.
Wednesday - November 26, 2014
Dark Souls - GFWL migration delayed
Attention Dark Souls fans!
- UPDATE 11/25/14 -
We are working hard to finalize the process to move your Dark Souls: Prepare to Die saves and achievements to Steam. We need to conduct additional testing and we are now targeting December to begin this process. We'll have more information in the coming weeks. Thank you very much for your patience!
Wednesday - October 22, 2014
Dark Souls - Finally Gets Rid of GFWL
We are very excited to announce that next month it will be possible for players to migrate their Dark Souls: Prepare to Die games, saves and achievements from the Games for Windows Live platform to Steam.
- Games for Windows Live users will be able to redeem their Games for Windows Live Tokens on Steam to get Dark Souls: Prepare to Die Edition at no additional cost. (To find your Games for Windows Live Token, please head to the support webpage.)
- In the month of November, there will be a period by which Games for Windows Live Dark Souls: Prepare to Die Edition users will be able to transfer their Save Data (characters + progress) and Achievements over to their Steam accounts.
- Players will still be able to use their Games for Windows Live Tokens to redeem the Steam version of Dark Souls: Prepare to Die Edition at no additional cost even after the migration period ends; but game Save Data and Achievements transfer functions may not be available.
- Games for Windows Live Rankings will not be transferred to Steam.
The specific migration start and end dates will be available soon; however the migration period will begin sometime in November 2014 with more specific dates to come.
We will be sharing more information soon regarding the migration process soon, so stay tuned!
Thursday - October 16, 2014
Dark Souls - Honest Game Trailer
Thursday - August 28, 2014
Dark Souls - Editorial @ Twinfinite
Gaston Garcia Holtzman posted a new article on Twinfinite about his opinion that calling Dark Souls just a hard series is wrong, and about the games that copy the formula.
I sincerely believe saying that Dark Souls games are only difficult is a double edged statement: as I said before, it’s an undeniable truth, but it can also be a huge understatement. Saying a game is like Dark Souls just because it’s hard is a similarly dangerous bet. Does it offer the same kind of challenge? Is dying an integral part of the experience? Is there meaning and gain in every death? Is this difficulty based on skill or on overpowered monsters? Does the game being hard make any sense within its story? These are just some of the non-obvious questions anyone should ask before assuming something is like Dark Souls.
There are many ways to describe a game and most languages are infinitely rich. There’s really no need to underestimate and mislead people when every game has a lot to offer. There are several games like Dark Souls, with similarities mostly based in things a lot more tangible than difficulty. No matter how tempting it can be to say it, a game in which you die a lot while fighting monsters in a dungeon isn’t necessarily like Dark Souls.
Friday - July 04, 2014
Dark Souls - The Game Industry Needs More
Well time for another article for Dark Souls where gives his opinion on Got Game that the game industry needs more games like it.
Before I’m going to be diving in this subject, let me be clear: I don’t want carbon copies of Dark Souls, by referencing this franchise in this article I’m trying to aim to a whole other subject, a more deeper one. So, no, I don’t want Blue Souls and Grey Souls anytime soon from any obscure upcoming gaming studio.
The question is, why games need to be more like Dark Souls for the gaming industry to be affected in a good way? Well, I did my homework and I’ll try to convince you too that the Souls way is in fact the right way. So let’s analyze every single detail that I love about this franchise, and what exactly I want to find in other IPs as well.
Monday - June 23, 2014
Dark Souls - Lets Play Video @ NoobFeed
One of the editors from NoobFeed plays Dark Souls for the first time. So if you haven't played the game yet I advise you to skip the video.
Adam plays Dark Souls for the first time and dies over and over again.
Tuesday - May 20, 2014
Dark Souls - Games for Windows Live
Dark Souls, Games for Windows Live, and the Future
With the release of Dark Souls II, many players have been asking questions about the continued support of Dark Souls I. We thoroughly appreciate the dedicated fans who are adventuring through Lordran (maybe for the first time!) and we’d like to clarify a few points:
- Dark Souls will remain fully functional on GFWL for the foreseeable future.
- BANDAI NAMCO Games is currently seeking avenues to continue support and ensure the functionality of Dark Souls on other services. We will have more news and updates to share on this in the coming months.
Monday - May 05, 2014
Dark Souls - Editorial @ Gamasutra
Gamasutra is hosting another article from the sites community where the writer talks about why Dark Souls is the Ikea of game development. Here is part of his article.
Winding my way back to the headline of the article, how does Dark Souls fit into this line of reasoning? How, as the headline states, is it the Ikea of video games?
Well, think about it. Dark Souls (and Demon’s Souls before it) is not a game that tries to be all things to all people. It has targeted a very specific audience: hardcore gamers who want a hardcore experience. Let’s walk through some of the trade-off’s that allow From Software to be efficient and highly competitive. While you read, think of how many other publishers and developers would – or would not – be willing to make these same choices:
- One difficulty level targeted at elite gamers: From Software only needs to test and balance for one type of experience, which is drastically more simple than having selectable difficulty levels.
- No real tutorial to speak of, because Dark Soul’s core audience doesn’t need and, to a certain extent, probably doesn’t want one: to the core audience, discovering the in’s and out’s of the game, individually and as a community, is part of the experience. As a developer, I can tell you that tutorials are expensive, error-prone rat’s nests of edge cases.
- No heavy narrative experience, providing a sense of mystery and discovery: having few cinematics and sparse dialog saves money and logistical overhead – while cinematics and dialog are straightforward to create, they are highly inflexible. Changing those types of assets after they are created carries a significant cost.
- Focused multiplayer that is tailored to the Dark Souls experience: no CTF, or territories, or team deathmatch. There is one kind of multiplayer setup, love it or hate it.
- One type of game: Dark Souls can trace its lineage all the way back to King’s Field. In other words, From Software has been making action-RPG’s for a long time. Knowing the kind of game you’re making, and its particular nuances and pitfalls, is a learning curve that money can’t buy. From Software isn’t chasing market trends, it’s making the games it knows how to make.
- Consistent engine, even if it isn’t top of the line: they know it inside and out, and known tech is predictable tech..mostly.
- Sparse music adds to Dark Soul’s lonely, oppressive atmosphere: it also saves money. This is a quintessential trade-off in my mind – a sacrifice that most companies would be unwilling to make is an asset for a game like Dark Souls.
Tuesday - April 29, 2014
Dark Souls - Editorial @ Gamasutra
Gamasutra's has a new blog post that talks about narrative design in Dark Souls.
This post doesn't contain any spoilers for any of the Souls games, so rest easy, fellow undead.
I've been meaning to write about the Souls series' unique approach to narrative design for a while, but, well, I've been playing too much Dark Souls II. But as I'm bearing down on what must be the end of a 70-ish-hour playthrough I figure now is as good a time as any to discuss the way these games tell their stories.
I remember first playing through Demon's Souls back in 2009 and thinking to myself 'this game is awesome, but would be way more awesome with a proper story.' It seemed at the time to be a game heavy with atmosphere, but light on storytelling.
By 'proper story' I meant the way most roleplaying games deliver their narrative; via dialogue, cutscenes and text dumps. Wouldn't it be better, stupid, unperceptive 2009 me thought, if Demon's Souls featured lengthy dialogues with its characters, cutscenes depicting their exploits, and Elder Scrolls style text books to expound its lore?
No, 2009 me. It wouldn't be better. It took me a few playthroughs of Dark Souls before I really understood how elegant the story design is in these games, and how much more interesting this approach is than that employed by most other games in the genre.
In the Souls games, the narrative is woven directly into the world of the game. There are three primary ways the player can access narrative information; through the dialogue spoken by non-player characters, in the descriptions of the items found strewn across the world, and from the visual design of the world itself. Only by engaging with all three of these narrative devices can a player begin to get a wider picture of the game's larger story.
Friday - March 07, 2014
Dark Souls - Editorial @ Pixel Gate
Pixel Gate has posted a new article about Dark Souls. Seems we get one every week so give it a read if you're interested in reading another one.
Dark Souls 2 is one of 2014′s biggest releases despite it only being released on last-generation systems–and for good reason. The first Dark Souls introduced a whole new generation of people to the old-school unforgiving style of gameplay that was once the norm in videogames. No hand-holding, no cheap means to victory, no shortcuts, just challenge and death. Plenty of death.
The success of Dark Souls was something of a surprise given that the market was considered niche. The earlier release of the PS3 exclusive Demon Souls, arguably the harder game, proved there was a fairly large player base wanting more of the brutal gameplay, thus paving the way for its spiritual successor. But just why was Dark Souls such a success?
Thursday - February 20, 2014
Dark Souls - Retrospective @ Game Luster
Game Luster has posted a new retrospective that takes a look back at Dark Souls.
Few games create a reaction quite like Dark Souls does. For most people, it exists merely as a curiosity, they know only of its gruelling difficulty and as such refuse to touch it for fear of losing their minds. For others, it’s a rite of passage, a true test of your gaming mettle, the ultimate gauntlet, a game fair enough that people can try, but devious enough that those not prepared will give up entirely. Then there are those that just plain love it, a sort of Dark Souls family, comprised either of those a good chunk of the way through the game, or those that have completed it, they rattle off jokes and references to the brilliant Knight Solaire, ensure that they’re always praising the sun, and patiently wait for the next gauntlet From Software throw their way. Usually players begin as the first kind of person and work their way towards the other end of the spectrum, but not everyone makes it, and that’s what makes Dark Souls the game it is.
Monday - February 17, 2014
Dark Souls - Retrospective @ Twinfinite
Twinfinite takes a look back at Dark Souls, and has some sage advice "Don’t Give Up".
The flow of time may be convoluted in Lordran, but in the real world, there’s a mere month until Dark Souls II. For some people, it’ll be a homecoming, a return to a world that’s taken so much, and given back so much more. But naturally with every new entry to a series, it will also bring in a whole batch of new blood, blindly taking their first steps into a world that wants them dead. It’s a fascinating thing to watch someone delving into the Souls world for the first time, seeing them slowly getting to grips with how the cruel world works and, with some unfortunate cases, seeing how much punishment is just too much for some people. If you’ve read anything about Demon’s Souls or Dark Souls, you’ll have heard what I’m going to say a hundred times, but I’m going to say it again, because it’s still so fresh in my mind what my first time in Lordran was like. Don’t give up.
Saturday - February 15, 2014
Dark Souls - Retrospective @ Gamasutra
Gamasutra has a a new article about understanding the appeal of Dark Souls.
Dark Souls is a very interesting game.
One thing that interests me about it is that two years later, as its sequel is about to launch, people are still playing it.
I see them talking about it on Twitter; my husband booted it up this week to play it some more -- he's already played it extensively -- and before long another player joined his session. That seems remarkable, for what's mainly a single player console game, and one that hasn't been promoted much at all of late.
In an era when we constantly hear that the window is smaller and smaller for premium packaged titles to find audiences and that DLC, multiplayer modes, and grind are necessary to keep it jammed open even an inch, that's an achievement. The game has little grind, very idiosyncratic multiplayer, and only one DLC pack, which you need to progress far into the game to even access.
I recently had a chance to speak to Brian Hong, director of strategic and digital marketing at Namco Bandai Games, about how the publisher's initial discussions of the game went. "A lot of people said, 'Well, this game's really hard, but you don't want to talk about how hard it is, because it's going to scare people away!' But as we kept going through and stripping everything down, I realized that this is actually the most defining characteristic that puts its first step forward."
Saturday - February 08, 2014
Dark Souls - Editorial @ Unigamesity
Unigamesity has a new article about five things developers can learn from Dark Souls.
Top 5 Cues Developers Should Take from Dark Souls
I am a massive fan of Dark Souls. There, I said it. It is a game that resonated with me so little at first, but after overcoming all of the hardships it offered, it slowly crept up from the bottom to the top of my list of best games ever conceived. It is an engrossingly grotesque and unique experience that has depressing and oftentimes macabre undertones, and though it is punishing and unforgiving, I love every moment of it.
From Software took cues from games of old, but it is about time that some other games take cues from Dark Souls.
Wednesday - January 29, 2014
Dark Souls - Retrospective @ Dusty Cartridge
Dusty Cartridge has a new retrospective for Dark Souls, and calls it the game of this generation. Bold words here is a snippet from the article.
Dark Souls is pure game, in every sense of the word, and is enjoyed by only the most determined players – a fresh change when you consider most games are made to appeal to the largest possible audience, or the lowest common denominator. They’re designed to please soft-core gamers and people who don’t usually game as much as the 33 year old who’s been obsessively funding this industry his whole life. Rarely do they capitalize on the complex potential gaming offers because they’re constantly worried about being accessible. Accessible video games are like accessible novels; they’re easy to pick up, use common language and consider subtlety a negative trait – but they can hardly be called the height of the medium in the same way Dan Brown’s work can be called the height of books.
Friday - January 24, 2014
Dark Souls - Retrospective @ Pixelvolt
Pixelvolt takes a look back at Dark Souls and calls the game a true horror.
Fear is subjective. Fear of the unknown, of the violent and terrible. Some fear death, others fear spiders. We each have a unique perspective on this universal sensation, but no matter who you are, or what you say, there is something in this world that we all fear. It’s a natural response to events or images that we perceive as threatening or otherwise dangerous. Movies, books, real world events – anything can trigger that basic survival instinct that tells us “this is not right.” It’s also important to create the distinction between fear and anxiety, and while anxiety can lead to fear, it generally occurs when there is no immediate sense of danger.
Take Steven Spielberg’s classic open water tale Jaws, for instance; the anxiety is in the suspense. The classic score playing when Jaws is circling its prey, the pause before it strikes, all of it creates layers that builds up to the eventual release, a sort’ve catharsis. Once the tension of such a scene is cut, it resets until the next dramatic moment. Jaws was not, by any categorical standard, a horror movie. And yet it created such fervor long after its release that people still, to this day, fear that movie.
So what’s my point? My point is, like I said, that fear is subjective. You don’t have to watch a horror movie or play a horror video game to find things frightening. Half-Life 2, System Shock 2, BioShock, Max Payne: these are not typical horror games, and yet each one contained at least one area, or one particular theme that was just unsettling. From Ravenholm, to SHODAN, to the Splicers, to Max’s nightmare, these were appropriately frightening moments from typically non-frightening games.
For the purposes of this article, let’s compare Dark Souls and its elements of horror to, what I believe, is the prime example of a modern horror game – Amnesia: The Dark Descent. Now I must warn you, if you have any interest in playing Amnesia at all but have not done so yet, then I suggest you close out of this article right now, because I am about to dissect it to the point that knowing just how the horror works ahead of time will completely diminish the experience. That being said, for everyone else still here, let’s get on with it.
Thursday - January 23, 2014
Dark Souls - Retrospective @ EDGE
EDGE has posted a new retrospective for Dark Souls.
While at heart it’s a Tolkien-ish action-RPG that embraces some of the genre’s baggage with a zealot’s passion, like crumbling kingdoms, grids of numbers and grinding, Dark Souls discards others, like inns, parties, NPC romances – and, most unusually of all, steady progress. In most RPGs, the deal is that you give the game your time, and in return it increments some stat or other. Progress is strictly one-way, a simple equation of percent completion over time. Not here. In a world where most games take great pains to never let the player make any irrevocable decisions, Dark Souls seems to go out of its way to let you make big mistakes.
Tuesday - January 21, 2014
Dark Souls - Review @ Eurogamer
Eurogamer reposted a review of Dark Souls as part of it's archive sunday segments.
Every Sunday, we dust off one of our favourite articles from the archive for you to enjoy again or maybe read for the first time. With Dark Souls 2 just weeks away, we thought it would be nice to revisit Rich Stanton's story from October 2012 of tracking down Dark Souls most elusive and complex Achievement...
Tuesday - January 14, 2014
Dark Souls - Editorial @ Forbes
Forbes has a new article about the recent talk going around that Deep Down is a clone of Dark Souls. Here are the details.
Recently, a number of posts have hit the internet comparing the visuals in Dark Souls with those of the next-gen Deep Down. Apparently since both games feature monsters and Medieval digs, Deep Down is being considered a “spiritual successor” or “clone” of From Software’s Dark Souls.
Unfortunately, beyond the armor and swords and some of the monsters, Deep Down looks nothing like Dark Souls. Nor does it appear to have anything in common with Capcom’s Dragon’s Dogma.
Wednesday - January 08, 2014
Dark Souls - Let's Play Videos @ VideoGamer
One of the staff members of VideoGamer has never played Dark Souls. Watch him as he struggles in a live two part video series.
Simon has never experienced Dark Souls before and we felt it was our moral obligation to force him to play it whilst in front of a camera.
Friday - December 27, 2013
Dark Souls - Going Mobile?
Grabit Magazine has news that Namco Bandai wants the devolper From Software to make a new Dark Souls mobile game.
Namco Bandai's director of global strategy for mobile Alex Adjaj claimed; "We'd like to bring Dark Souls to mobile, but it's very difficult because the guys at From Software are very much console oriented. To change their mind about it, it takes quite a while. I think there is a need to redesign the way you reroll in the game to make it a bit more casual, so with shorter sessions. But definitely it's something we could bring to mobile in a very successful way."
Generally, what the publisher wants, the publisher gets. But that often means the key creative talent washing their hands of it and palming it off to a third-party developer to do a shoddy port. Certainly, Dark Souls unique take on perceive and efficient combat could benefit form the tactile responsiveness of a touchscreen if implemented correctly. But if it's not done by the original talent at From Software, it'll be a big blow.
Wednesday - November 27, 2013
Dark Souls - Editorial @ Fextralife
A new site by the name of Fextralife has posted a new Editorial for Dark Souls.
"And with Fire, came Disparity… heat and cold… life and death… and of course, light and dark".
This is one of the opening lines to the dark fantasy game Dark Souls, and foreshadows it’s central theme of conflicting elemental forces of the world., that of the dual-nature and clash between Fire and Dark-or, rather, the races inherently tied to each of these elements, the ’Gods’ (Fire) and the Humans (Dark). During my first playthrough of Dark Souls, I was intrigued by the game mechanic and item named ’humanity’, which was, by its very name, obviously linked to humans and what it means to be human. This begs the question, though, as to what exactly is humanity, what is the nature of it, and thus what is the setting saying is the essential nature of humans? And what is the difference between humanity, that which defines us as human, and the soul, that which defines us as alive?
Friday - November 01, 2013
Dark Souls - Editorial @ Eurogamer
Eurogamer is back with another article about games that have defined this gaming generation. The game talked about this time is Dark Souls.
Rich Stanton called Dark Souls "a game where the mechanics are also the metaphors". Maybe the reason the atmosphere is so mournful is that the entire game is a metaphor, full of ideas and systems that are dying even faster than the demons we slay, resurrected here not in hope of re-establishing them, but to ponder their moving remains.
Wednesday - October 09, 2013
Dark Souls - Retrospective @ Playdar.co.uk
Playdar has posted the second part of their retrospective about Dark Souls.
I've already touched on Dark Souls' world, Lordran, in Part 1, and how it's one of the most fascinating worlds in videogames. Part of this is how interlinked everything appears, both in a literal sense, and with regards to the deliberately vague lore surrounding it. Every part of it feels saturated in mystery, with individual stories wordlessly told through the different areas; nodded and hinted at within the architecture and artefacts, building up Lordran's tale around you. More often than not, it's all left to speculation, where the more inquisitive players are rewarded with tantalising glimpses into the true nature of the place, but are never told the history in certain terms.
Saturday - October 05, 2013
Dark Souls - Retrospective @ Playdar.co.uk
Playdar.co.uk takes a look back at Dark Souls in this new retrospective article.
Dark Souls is my favourite game this generation. Let me just get that out of the way. It's by far the most memorable game I've played in years, and a shining example of a developer taking a wonderful idea or concept, and not only faithfully realising it, but doing so damn near perfectly by building it around one of the most fundamentally excellent frameworks ever.
There are so many moments in Dark Souls though, so many experiences that take your breath away and leave you in awe of the genius you're participating in, that you're spoilt for choice. So rather than splurge all of these moments on one article, I'm going to deliver them piece by piece through the letterbox in the front of your brain. Of course, the letterbox: your new pleasure portal.
Thursday - October 03, 2013
Dark Souls - Aggressive Game Mod
If you are looking for an even bigger challenge from Dark Souls modder JITD has released a new mod for you. The new mod puts enemies on intense offense, and causes them to seek you out at all costs.
Hello there, this is a mod I made some time ago but just now it is becoming a little popular. It change the A.I from the monsters, and some npc's from the Dark Souls, and makes them walk into your direction from far away, making the game quite more hard.
A mod made for Dark Souls, it changes include:
- No more invisible barriers for enemies
- Enemies start walking towards you from far away
- Some npc's will follow you around. This is a collateral effect of the mod. It will make a little harder to keep some of them alive.
You will be amaze how much this little changes make the game so much different.
Saturday - September 28, 2013
Dark Souls - Podcast @ ZTGD
ZTGD has a new podcast about Dark Souls as part of it's Phoenix Down series.
Phoenix Down is hosted by Drew Leachman and Matt Quinn. Each segment focuses on an older game the duo decides upon with another member of the ZTGD crew or special guest. They play through and discuss the mechanics and how well it holds up today. It is the ultimate in backlog elimination.
Wednesday - September 25, 2013
Dark Souls - 75% Off On Steam
You can buy Dark Souls: Prepare To Die for 75% off on Steam. This is a good opportunity for anyone that hasn't played the game yet.
Save 75% on Dark Souls™: Prepare To Die™ Edition during this week's Midweek Madness*!
Dark Souls is the new action role-playing game from the developers who brought you Demon’s Souls, FromSoftware. Dark Souls will have many familiar features: A dark fantasy universe, tense dungeon crawling, fearsome enemy encounters and unique online interactions. Dark Souls is a spiritual successor to Demon’s, not a sequel. Prepare for a new, despair-inducing world, with a vast, fully-explorable horizon and vertically-oriented landforms. Prepare for a new, mysterious story, centered around the the world of Lodran, but most of all, prepare to die.
Friday - September 06, 2013
Dark Souls - Covenant of Humanity
USgamer has a two part editorial for Dark Souls. You can read the first part here.
The name for the PC version says it all, really. Dark Souls: Prepare to Die. In a time where games don't so much hold your hand as they do smother you in positive feedback, Dark Souls stands as an anomaly. Beloved for its savagery and lauded for its fair-but-tough-as-Battletoads design, From Software's action role-playing game provides no quarters, no allowance for mistakes. Where victory in another game is all but predestined, Dark Souls will contest every second you spend alive; a nightmarish Horatius at the bridge. To reach the end of the bleak, sprawling pilgrimage that the game puts you on, you'd need more than time. You'd need perfect execution, a fierce sense of obstinacy and the willingness to die again and again.
The second part continues the article.
What do you do when you've done it all? What do you do when you've beaten one of the most unforgiving experiences known to gaming kind? You go back to the beginning, prepared to prove that flesh trumps binary.
"People either get addicted to trying out new builds and beating the game (PvE) over and over, or they become a Darkwraith and pledge to make the game as hard as it is for everyone else as it was for them. It's as if beating this game gives you the same motivation the the games bosses have; you want to kill anyone who is trying to beat Dark Souls." jpflagg remarks.
A good example would be those affiliated with the Gravelord Servant Covenant. Considered by many to be even more antagonistic than the Darkwraiths, Gravelords seem to live exclusively for a solitary purpose: to hurt.
Friday - August 30, 2013
Dark Souls - Ballad of the Dark Lord
This Dark Souls Lore video covers the aspect of the so-called Dark Lord ending, but it spans beyond the ending alone. This video starts from the conception of the pygmy's dark soul, looks into the mind of the darkwraith and then leaps through time to the extinguishing of Lord Gwyn's Fire Link by the Dark Lord.
If I have learned anything about Dark Souls, it's that nothing is quite as simple or just as it seems. Ambiguity is very much a theme in Dark Souls and with this video I try to put some perspective on what is ideally considered the "bad" ending of the game. The Dark Lord ending is considered the morally unjust ending due mostly to its association with words like "Dark" the "Darkwraiths" themselves and doing away with the "light" which is usually associated with good in straightforward storytelling, but Dark Souls is anything but straightforward. Also, opposed to the Link the Flame ending, the Dark Lord ending is about seizing power instead of self-sacrifice.
Thursday - August 22, 2013
Dark Souls - Retrospective @ Hardcore Gamer
Hardcore Gamer has a new retrospective article looking back at Dark Souls, and looking forward to Dark Souls 2.
It’s been quite a while since I completed my journey through the depths of frustration, anxiety and accomplishment. I laughed, I cried, I screamed at my TV screen with an unquenchable blood-thirst; all in the name of fun. And with Dark Souls II quickly approaching, I’m reminded of my experience; the very one that dragged me back to the early days of gaming; days when success was a matter of skill and practice, rather than routine.
The sequel to Dark Souls, consciously titled Dark Souls II, is set to follow in the dark, demonic footsteps of its predecessor, with an all new graphics engine, a new hero to lead, a new storyline to explore, and a new world expected to contain substantially more content and areas of interest. It looks as if I’ll be leaping to my death from a prettier cliff next time around, perhaps rushing from a group of even angrier skeletons. We’ll still be repeating our actions, dying as frequently as we dominate, if not more so. We’ll still be learning from our errors, as well as the errors or successes of others. No longer will we be able to memorize AI attack patterns as easily, furthering the horror with varied beasts to battle or frantically escape from.
Tuesday - August 13, 2013
Dark Souls - The Joy of Crossing The Finish Line
VG24/7′s Dave Cook has an article were he explains he finally finished the game, and gives his impression of it.
It’s over. I finally did it.
Completing Dark Souls has got to be one of my most proudest moments as a gamer and for the first time in years I actually feel like I earned victory, instead of having it dispensed through obligation.
This is not a case of simply coasting through a game’s plot or funnelling your way along corridors to see some end credits. Dark Souls is an endurance test from the word go and while it seems intimidating at several junctures you just have to keep reminding yourself that each of the game’s challenges – however seemingly impossible – were made to be beaten.
I’d forgotten this golden rule after giving up on the game last year. By that point I had just passed Sen’s Fortress and I was getting read to battle my way to Ornstein & Smough. I had heard many intimidating horror stories about these guys before, and the fact that my VG247 work was really piling up caused me to file my Dark Souls disc away. I vowed to return again one day.
Completing Dark Souls was a proper test of patience, determination and skill that I almost gave up on several times. But now I can finally say “I did it!”
Monday - August 05, 2013
Dark Souls - Examining The Games Armor Sets
Entertainment Buddha has an interesting article on Dark Souls about the various armors you can wear throughout the game. The writer focuses on the story behind each set.
Dark Souls is, for all intents and purposes, one of the best designed video games of all time. Everything from level design, to combat mechanics and even the Souls series signature online component, fits perfectly within the context of the game itself. Much has been said about Dark Souls – be it positive praise or otherwise – but, from a sheer design aspect, it feels like one of the game’s most refined features often gets overlooked. The armor design found in Dark Souls perfectly fits the game’s aesthetic and serves to immerse the player into the world of Lordran.
Perhaps the best aspect of Dark Souls’ armor design is that it does have the ability to go unnoticed. All too often, games tend to feature armors that lean more towards the absurd then anything else. An overabundance of spikes, massive hulking pauldrons, or countless belts are nowhere to be seen within Dark Souls. Armor design in the game heads down a more minimilistic path, and even with some of the more over-the-top armors in Dark Souls, within the context of the lore, the armor makes sense.
Saturday - August 03, 2013
Dark Souls - First-Person Mod Created
A modder by the name ofDark Souls. Though a word of warning using this mod will cause you to be nauseous.
Tuesday - July 23, 2013
Dark Souls - Retrospective @ Upcoming Technology
Upcoming Technology takes a look back at Dark Souls and tells us why it's one of the best games ever made.
What is the best part about playing a video game? Is it the thrill of watching the visual effects of a plane crash through a building and the amazement of the graphical destruction caused by the building crashing down to pieces? Is it the Hollywood style action sequences which keep the adrenaline rush going till you eventually want to jump out from the window to try and catch that ledge? Is it the thrill of racing or playing in a football game which one might not be able to achieve in real life?
All of these can qualify as perfectly valid reasons for playing video games. But for me, they’re a bit too superficial. My reasons for playing games are much more basic. For me, its all about failing and trying again to correct myself. The possibility of death and the chance of life after it really intrigue me. I love a challenge, and I love to be rewarded for playing well and punished for being stupid. And in that regard, I feel Dark Souls is the best game I’ve ever played.
Thursday - April 18, 2013
Dark Souls - Mod to Replace HUD
A Dark Souls fan named Soul_Slasher has put together a mod that replaces the heads-up display (HUD) in Dark Souls with the one in Dark Souls 2. The mod is avaible and downloadable from Dark Souls Nexus.
Also dont forget about the "DXfix" mod which allows you to adjust the game's rendering resolution, improve the quality of the Depth of Field effect, add SSAO and SMAA, load texture mods, and more.
Sunday - April 14, 2013
Dark Souls - 2.3 Million Sales
Actiontrip has news that Dark Souls has sold over 2.3 milllion games since its release in 2011. While not the greatest amount ever sold it's still impressive given the targeted audience.
“Dark Souls (PS3) 375,000 units in Japan and overseas (PS3, Xbox 360) for a total of 1,300,000 and 1,675,000. Subsequently, 137,000 sold foreign (360, PC PS3, Xbox) to sell a total of 692,000 of the 555,000 units, including the additional content Dark Souls: Artorias of the Abyss edition (PS3, PC) 2,367,000 accumulated.”
While the game originally released on PS3 before moving to PC and Xbox 360, the original was not released on 360 in Japan. From Software said during the presentation Dark Souls 2 would be made available on Xbox 360 at launch in Japan.
Friday - November 09, 2012
Dark Souls - How to Tweak @ RPS
Rock, Paper, Shotgun has an article on tweaking Dark Souls for the PC, starting with the obvious DSfix mod from Durante but also the DSMod controls mod and a bit on save games and other odds and ends.
Monday - October 29, 2012
Dark Souls - Artorias of the Abyss DLC Review
Eurogamer serves up a review of Artorias of the Abyss, a Dark Souls DLC pack for consoles (already included with the PC version). The score is 9/10 and here's a sample:
For Dark Souls fans the sense of overcoming a seemingly insurmountable challenge is everything, and the Artorias of the Abyss DLC brings its fair share of mountains to climb. The new single-player campaign is also faithful to the eerie, mysterious mood of the core adventure, largely thanks to some beautifully crafted, sprawling areas to explore and the twisted creatures that populate them.
Thursday - October 25, 2012
Dark Souls - DLC Artorias of the Abyss Released for Consoles
Namco Bandai announced that the console version of the Artorias Abyss DLC is now available for download at the PS3 and Xbox 360 marketplaces. PC owners of the game already have acces to it as it came with the Prepare to Die Edition for the PC.
Monday - October 08, 2012
Dark Souls - Review @ NoHighScores
Just in case you missed the previous batches of revies here is one more Dark Souls: Prepare to Die review at NoHighScores:
The PC edition of Dark Souls is both a blessing and a curse in some ways, however. The game resolution at launch was a huge issue with some gamers until a user made a small patch file to allow you to crank up the res on higher end machines. For me that was a minor issue, even if I did appreciate the better visuals. A much larger issue is Games for Windows Live. I simply cannot stay connected to it for long stretches at a time. In fact it’s usually a matter of minutes before he “You have been disconnected from Games for Windows Live” message appears and the game is forced to autosave and reloads to the title screen. This happened nearly every single time I played and is easily the most aggravating aspect of the PC edition. Am I alone in this? I have no idea but all I know is that much of the online experience was hampered by it.
Tuesday - October 02, 2012
Dark Souls - Two More Reviews
Two reviews for Dark Souls: Prepare To Die have showed up, both positive.
All things considered, I cannot say I'm disappointed with the product. Sure, "out of the box" the quality of the port is atrocious, but unlike most of its competitors Dark Souls: Prepare to Die only requires two small fan mods to bring out its full potential. The new content is also really good and on par with (or sometimes even better than) the main game, even if it rarely brings anything substantially new to the table.
So, should you buy the PC version or get the console version and wait for the DLC? The PC is definitely the superior singleplayer option (as befits the Master Race) with its superior performance, eye candy and mod potential and thus provides the ultimate Dark Souls experience. But if you already own a console version of the game and/or you are mostly into PvP, you are better off waiting for the DLC to arrive on consoles or at least for a Steam sale. Praise the Sun!
Dusty Cartridges gave it a 10:
I’m going to get a little personal here – there is a good chance that I am way too close to this game to review it for newcomers. I’ve poured anywhere between 90-120 hours into this game. Aside from magic builds and sorceries, I know this game back to front, and trying to describe it, in all of its wonderful glory as a game and as a truly complex, sublime piece of art, is incredibly hard. I could talk about the new armour set I found is great because it gives very similar protection to Havel’s armour but without the weight, or how useful the new pyromancy skill is when dealing with shield bearing enemies, or how Prepare to Die turned Artorias from a simple legend into a character that you couldn’t help but admire and despair over. But that is another article for another time.
Monday - October 01, 2012
Dark Souls - Review Roundup #4
here is a collection of reviews from the last week for Dark Souls: Prepare to Die.
Desslock gave the game 4.5 stars out of 5 for Gamespy:
While this port isn't the significant enhancement that we'd all hoped for (to put it kindly), Prepare to Die Edition is still clearly the definitive version of Dark Souls. It plays smoother, multiplayer is improved, mods have enhanced the resolution and promise further improvements, and there's content not currently available on the consoles. PC gamers have had to wait a while, but we now have the best version of Dark Souls anywhere, and it's almost-unique type of challenging and rewarding gameplay has made it one of my all-time favorite games.
RPGFan likes it for 85%:
The port itself isn't anything to write home about, so what about the new Artorias of the Abyss content? Explained simply, it's more Dark Souls. If you hated the original game, it's not going to change your mind. On the other hand, if you loved it – it's more Dark Souls! There are several new areas, all of which are up to the consistently high artistic standard of the rest of the game. The layout of one or two of them is a bit muddled, but they're just as well put-together as the main game, and the sense of interconnectedness that was such a well-beloved hallmark of the original release is still here.
Strategy Informer gives it a score of 9.4.
Worth Playing likes it a bit less at 7.3.
Gaming Nexus feels it is worth a 7.0.
Thursday - September 27, 2012
Dark Souls - Exploring the Design @ Gamasutra
Robert Boyd (Cthulhu Saves the World) looks at the design of Dark Souls at Gamasutra, arguing the game isn't necessarily as hard as its reputation suggests:
Why has Dark Souls achieved mainstream success and has not remained merely a cult favorite? I'd like to argue that a major factor behind Dark Souls' success is the disconnect between its perceived difficulty and its actual difficulty. Dark Souls presents itself as an impossible challenge to the player outwardly, but inwardly, the game is subtly designed in many ways to help the player achieve the impossible.
(Note: this article includes a few spoilers.)
The publisher of Dark Souls actively sought to brand the game as a difficult game from day one. Just look at the name of the game's official website: PrepareToDie.com. Marketing the game as being extremely difficult increases the game's perceived difficulty without changing the actual difficulty at all.
2. It lets the players make their own rules
After stacking the odds against the player (with a huge, hostile world), the game starts stacking the odds back in the player's favor. First things first -- Dark Souls doesn't force the player to play the game in any particular way. Want to play a heavily armored knight, a light-on-her-feet warrior, a mage, a priest, or all of the above? Sure thing. The game lets you use the style of hero that you feel most comfortable with. Although the player chooses one of several set classes at the beginning of the game, class selection only determines the player's starting stats and equipment; where you go from there is entirely up to you.
Wednesday - September 26, 2012
Dark Souls - Interview @ VG247
VG247 has an interview with Hidetaka Miyazaki, the game director at From Software, the company behind this game. As always, an excerpt, this time about why Dark Souls is a superioer game:
Miyazaki offers us his own take on why he feels Dark Souls is a superior game, “One of the main achievements is the feeling of exploration given by the connected multi-level map. Another favourite is that players can share a moment of the bell ringing in online mode. As a creator of the game I have experienced both success and failure but I feel that our policy of creating a game that all gamers, regardless of different nationalities can immerse themselves in, was not wrong and it was supported by our development team.”
Thursday - September 20, 2012
Dark Souls - Artorias of the Abyss DLC to Release on October 24th
The DLC, Artorias of the Abyss, that the PC-oriented edition contained will be available for PS3 and Xbox 360. If you picked up a copy of the Dark Souls game before they announced the Prepare to Die Edition, you can buy this DLC from October 24th. A quote from the press release, courtesy of Gamebanshee:
CERGY PONTOISE, FRANCE – 19 September 2012 - NAMCO BANDAI Games Europe today announced that the Artorias of the Abyss content that debuted in Dark Souls™: Prepare to Die™ Edition will be available for purchase via digital download on both the PlayStation®Network and Xbox LIVE® on October 24th, 2012 in Europe and Australasia. In Dark Souls™: Artorias of the Abyss, acclaimed developers FromSoftware take console gamers into the depths of hell through torturous dungeons, unrelenting boss battles, and the most challenging of gameplay experiences in video games today. The Artorias of the Abyss DLC content will also provide console players with an enhanced online PVP (player vs. player) mode allowing players to assemble battles against one another for all-out fights to the death that console fans have been waiting for.
Monday - September 17, 2012
Dark Souls - Review @ Gaming Trend
In a review of Dark Souls: Prepare to Die, Gamingtrend rates the game with a score of 91. The review is subtitled with: "Fix the bugs yourself".
First, let’s start with the controls. Now, I am a stubborn PC gamer of the old school – a school that didn’t bother with fancy-pants devices like “gamepads”. In game after game, I try and succeed to force the mouse/keyboard combo to work for me despite suggestions to the contrary, and until this point I’ve managed to succeed. With Dark Souls PC? I could not do it. Unless your reflexes and hand-eye-coordination works in some kind of alien relation that would no doubt confuse and frighten me, don’t bother trying to play this game with anything but a controller, short of getting into some real over the top customization of said controls.
Actually, strike what I said: the fact is, getting into rather technical manipulation of the game’s internals is going to be rather unavoidable if you want a maximally enjoyable gameplay experience. Let me run down the list of what I had to do to really get this game playing properly. I used a fan-made 360 controller emulator to get my off-brand gamepad to work with anything approaching the grace of the console controller. This involved going into the emulator itself, tweaking and fixing things to be appropriately tuned for Dark Souls itself.
Dark Souls - Two More Reviews
Here are 2 more reviews of Dark Souls: Prepare to Die.
Adrenaline Vault 3/5:
Before going into detail as to why I’m disappointed with what should have been a good niche game for PC, I need to be upfront and tell you that Dark Souls requires Games for Windows Live. It saves your progress constantly to your online profile, so you have to be logged in constantly to play (I had the Steam version, so this might not be the case in other versions). Thus, no access to the Internet means no gameplay. And if you hate Games for Windows Live, then you’re out of luck. It also has a weird effect on multiplayer. It seems as if Dark Souls uses a kind of cloud-based peer-to-peer setup. Even if you’re not actually in a multiplayer game, others who are in your part of the cloud are sometimes visible as ghosts, and you can leave messages for one another scrawled on surfaces (a nice touch). So, the good news is that anyone eager for multiplayer will find it incredibly easy to get hooked up with people. The bad news is that you have no choice but to be online and available for multiplayer.
Otaku Study B:
I won’t deny, for games of this caliber I am generally not a PC gamer… preferring the controls of a controller be it for the Playstation, XBox or even a trusty WiiMote. I was curious as to how they would adapt the control schema to the keyboard given the sometimes need for quick reaction and careful movements. To put it into perspective as to how my experience was with the keyboard controls… I barely got out of the prison cell starting point before moving to the pad. This might just be me, but the combination of mouse and keyboard controls do not work and if you do not have a game pad (Eg. Xbox 360 PC Pad) for your PC….. good luck to you there!
Wednesday - September 12, 2012
Dark Souls - Review Roundup # 3
Here are some more reviews of Dark Souls Prepare to Die.
Destructoid does not really have a review but share their impressions.
Perhaps my favorite aspect of Dark Souls -- the ability to summon other players and invade their worlds, which nicely complements the brutal, cryptic setting of Lordran -- is less than ideal here. The community seems pretty solid already (with the occasional follow-up "thank you" message on Games for Windows Live after a successful boss run), but "summoning failed" is all too common a sight.
TechZed has a review without a score but don't list many of the shortcomings that have been reported elsewhere.
The graphics of this game are wonderful. The Darkroot Garden present in the game is so green that you will feel as if the air around you has gotten warm. The surreal shores of Ash Lake are as if you are walking in some kind of dream. All of the locations are finely detailed, and they are able to stay in the minds of the players. Everything has a sense of beauty, which can’t be ignored, and it’s all because of the attention given to the graphics of the game.
Slimgamer rates it with 4 out of 5 stars.
Now, I say that Dark Souls is a ‘well made’ game – I am of course referring to the original build of Dark Souls which came out on console back in 2011 – the PC (Prepare to Die) edition has been created solely through fan outcry that there was not a PC version. From Software have basically taken their console version of Dark Souls and pushed that square peg against the round hole long enough until it finally fit into place and then pushed it out of the door. Normally this would be a critics dream playground, a shoddy port from console to PC seems to be the ‘in’ thing these days but From Software have openly said that this is all the fans asked for so it’s all that they delivered – I can’t really blame them for that.
And finally the Bellingham Herald with no score but a positive tone.
"Dark Souls" is harmonious - a rare quality which often separates good games from great ones. The artwork, gameplay mechanics, and level design all work together to support the uncompromising, oppressive feel of the game. The new content in the PC release fits right in. While connection issues are still a problem, it's a minor complaint when compared with the staggering number of things "Dark Souls" gets right. "Dark Souls" is a modern masterpiece - a confident title that stands above its contemporaries with much larger budgets. While it wasn't designed with PC inputs in mind, and should be played with a gamepad, "Dark Souls" is every bit as magical on the PC as it is on consoles. If you haven't experienced "Dark Souls" yet (or even if you have), this new edition is well worth the asking price.
Monday - September 10, 2012
Dark Souls - Reviews
Dark Souls: Prepare to Die has been reviewed by TweakTown scoring 90%.
In an age where gamers complain incessantly that games are too easy these days, and too short, Dark Souls comes out to show just how tough a game can be. From the outset you have no lengthy tutorial (one does exist however), no handholding or guides, nothing. It is you versus the world the game is set in and that is what makes it one of the most unique gaming experiences around.
2D-X also have taken a look at the game without scoring it but concluding this:
This is the console version of Dark Souls, playable on PC. It’s playable and it’s great, tense, grim stuff. Yes, this port is lazy and weird, but it’s also on PC because the fans wanted it there. It’s better than no lazy port at all. The outside fixes — a controller and the work of a programmer unaffiliated with Namco Bandai or From Software — plus all the additional content almost make the PC version the optimal way to play the game. Until you factor in Microsoft’s woeful DRM, and the huge graphic overlay for equipped items and weapons, but that should get sorted out by the tireless efforts of the PC gaming crowd.
Sunday - September 09, 2012
Dark Souls - PC Performance Analysis
An analysis of the performance of Dark Souls: Prepare to Die on PC has been made by Dark Side of Gaming with the following conclusion:
All in all, Dark Souls PC is a quick cash-in and nothing more. Namco Bandai didn’t want to invest time and money on the PC version and that’s precisely why it did not let another studio handle this port. From Software is also to be blamed here, as it doesn’t take much PC expertise to change some global values of your game’s code. This is the same studio that developed the damn game. It’s not like another studio – with no access to its source code – was responsible for porting it. From Software has also used GFWL, a service that was not asked on the Dark Souls PC petition. In fact, a lot of PC gamers asked From Software to avoid using it. The reason why From Software decided to use it is simple – as Capcom’s Sven said a while back, 95% of GFWL system calls are identical to Xbox Live. And hey, why should you rewrite something when you have it up and running by 95%?
Dark Souls - DSfix v1.0 Released
DSfix v1.0 has been released, bringing a number of improvements to Dark Souls since we last looked at it. This latest version adds fully configurable keys and integrated SSAO but previous versions added features such as save-game backups, HUD-less screenshots, intro skipping and more.
Friday - August 31, 2012
Dark Souls - Prepare to Die Edition - More Reviews
Another preview of Dark Souls: Prepare to Die showed up at Forbes. The reviewer feels it is a good game but the port is rather bad, but becomes better with some custom fixes.
I tried playing with mouse and keyboard as long as I could. It was excruciating. I praised the sun when I finally got my Xbox 360 controller working. Running at 1080P internal resolution with anti-aliasing cranked up to 16X and an Xbox 360 controller…the game is sweet. I meant that. It’s already the best version of the game once you make these changes. This means that on the day the game is released, the modding community has already made this game awesome.
I know a lot of people are pissed off about the port, and I think they’re totally justified in feeling burned. If From was hitting blockades, Namco or From should have brought in some people to help. If a modder can make such an enormous fix in such a short period of time, experienced PC game designers could have come in and really helped From along.
In addition also Rock, Paper, Shotgun checked the game out.
Dark Souls resembles an RPG, with its levels, stats and classes, but that’s only one aspect of the game. Killing monsters and collecting souls is kind of like gathering experience, sure, and it’s certainly possible to grind, min-max and become the best possible version of whatever it is you want to be, whether agile assassin, armoured knight, archer, cleric or wizard. Thanks to the multiplayer sharing of the world I’ve seen phantom images of other players who are as unlike my character as another humanoid could be. One lonely figure, clinging to the solace of a bonfire’s glow, was the spitting image of Rincewind, pointy hat and all.
Dark Souls - Prepare to Die Edition - Review Roundup # 1
Several websites have reviews for his game. I'll quote from two of them and list the rest.
Metro has a review 8/10. A quote about how you start the game:
You exist in a land where the bad guys have already won - society is in terminal decline and everyone is turning into undead 'hollows'. That's how you start the game, but some trick of fate allows you to keep your human mind. You can even transform back into a person by obtaining 'humanity' from dead enemies - although it's a rare commodity and, as you may have heard, dying is a very frequent occurrence in Dark Souls.
Inc Gamers has a review as well 10/10. A quote about how
Dark Souls is a game that pokes at our soft, flabby bellies and laughs at the way other titles have babied us with cheap gimmicks and easy rewards. It’s a game whose mechanics are the perfect reflection of its bleak, desolate world. You will suffer, you will learn and you will feel triumph after elated triumph when you succeed. The subversion of traditional RPG thinking (levelling up is nothing compared to good equipment, and skill trumps all), tremendous physicality of its combat and clever integration of co-op play are just a few highlights from a truly outstanding title.
Wednesday - August 29, 2012
Dark Souls - Prepare to Die Edition - Review @ Eurogamer
Eurogamer has reviewed Dark Souls for PC, dismissing the port complaints against the strengths of the game. The score is 9/10 and here's a sample:
The title of the 'Prepare To Die' edition plays up what the game's known for, of course, and this expanded version is the result of PC gamers clamouring to have a game like this on their systems. There is much that has been complained about: the locked resolution is one example, which has almost instantly been unlocked by an enterprising neogaffer. Other demands, while desirable, are not realistic, because they would have required From Software rebuilding the game entirely.
In general, the arguments are wearying and all that needs to be said is this: Dark Souls: Prepare to Die Edition does not come with the technical options you would expect from a well-engineered PC game, because it's a port of a console game, and that's all From Software ever promised to deliver. Anyone who passes up Dark Souls for this reason is cutting off their nose to spite their neckbeard of a face.
Tuesday - August 28, 2012
Dark Souls - Prepare to Die Edition - Review @ PC Gamer
A quote about if the game is for you:
Ask yourself how you pronounce ‘PC game’. If your emphasis is on the ‘PC’, then run. Run far from Dark Souls and don’t look back. There is nothing for you here. There are many reasons to run. The twisted, shrouded, uneasy medieval fantasy land of Lordran stretches away like the darkest night. Go the wrong way, probe too deeply into the inky depths, and the things that lurk there will get you. My best analogy: it reminds me of being six years old and hearing a noise downstairs in a dark house.
A quote about the unfairness in the game:
I don’t blame you. That feeling never goes away. Fifteen hours into Dark Souls, I fought a ten-foot bipedal goat man. He was armed with two vast cleavers, and supported by two vicious dogs. Raising my shield, I could deflect the goat demon’s blows, but staccato bites from his mutts raised my poison gauge to critical levels. Swinging my mace in a wide arc, I crushed the skulls of the dogs, but I was poisoned, losing health as I was backed into a corner. The goat demon reared back to strike. I darted between his legs, aimed a blow at his heel, and promptly keeled over, dead from the dog’s venom. YOU DIED. This is bullshit, I’m turning this off.
And the conclusion:
If you know the trip downstairs will be long, hard, and sometimes uncomfortable, but you want to take it anyway because you know it will reward you like nothing else – if that noise downstairs leaves you too curious to climb back into bed and cover your ears – then Dark Souls: Prepare to Die Edition is waiting for you at the bottom of the stairs. I suggest you go and investigate.
Dark Souls - Prepare to Die Edition - Coming to Consoles
Namco Bandai, the studio behind the game, has announced that the so far pc exclusive Prepare to Die Edition will be available for consoles on Oct 26th 2012, it will be a boxed version though:
Dark Souls: Prepare to Die Edition will be released as a boxed product for consoles, Namco Bandai has announced. Launched (and modded!) this week on PC, the Prepare to Die Edition features all of the original Dark Souls content along with a new expansion called "Artorias of the Abyss" and brand new PVP matchmaking. This new console edition will launch in Europe and Australasia on October 26. For those who already own Dark Souls on console, the new content is slated for a downloadable release as well. We've contacted Namco Bandai to see if the retail edition is headed to North America as well.
Thanks Joystig :)
Saturday - August 25, 2012
Dark Souls - Released, Trailer, Rendering Mod
Catching up on some items, you're probably aware Dark Souls: Prepare to Die Edition has been released on Steam:
Dark Souls: Prepare To Die Edition is Now Available on Steam!
Prepare for a new, mysterious story, centered around the the world of Lodran, but most of all, prepare to die. You will face countless murderous traps, countless darkly grotesque mobs and several gargantuan, supremely powerful demons and dragons bosses. You must learn from death to persist through this unforgiving world. And you aren’t alone.
Dark Souls: Prepare to Die Edition will include an untold chapter in the world of Lordran where the player must stop the spread of darkness at all costs by facing and defeating the Dark Knight Artorias.
There's also a release trailer and, as discussed on our forums, a clever user has already worked on the internal 1024x720 resolution problem and released a mod. The author notes it's too early to know how well this works for the entire game, but it doesn't make any changes to the code and is easily removed.
Tuesday - August 21, 2012
Dark Souls - Trailer from Games Com
A trailer for this game has been released during Games Com. If you want to see what you can expect, please follow this link to Youtube.
Friday - August 17, 2012
Dark Souls - Preview @ bit-tech
Catching up on a few links...bit-tech has a preview of Dark Souls: Prepare to Die Edition.
Personally, I struggled just to make it through the opening sections of the game but still found the slowly unfolding lore and rules to be bafflingly, brilliantly labyrinthine. Dark Souls' unashamedly involved stats and jargon-saturated systems are a breath of fresh air (or possibly stale air from the early 1990s) for an industry that's increasingly orientated towards accessibility.
You might think that this depth means Dark Souls is a far greater fit for the PC than it was for consoles. That's certainly what a lot of people thought and, conceptually, they might be right - but realistically the implementation Namco has taken isn't as good fit as you might think.
This is the bit where I said I'd come back to and where I talk about being annoyed with Dark Souls on the PC - and not just because it uses Games for Windows LIVE, either. Though that certainly doesn't help.
What was much more of a problem was the performance, which was lacking to the point of skipping frames even though it was running at only medium detail, non-extreme resolutions on beefy Alienware gaming laptops.
Thursday - August 09, 2012
Dark Souls - Hands-on @ RPS, Eurogamer
Rock, Paper, Shotgun has gone hands-on with the PC version of Dark Souls. For the fans desperate to play it on their preferred platform, it's Dark Souls on the PC. For those dubious about the quality of the port, be prepared to have your fears justified:
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.
Eurogamer also has a preview up, with some differences in the detail of their experience:
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.
Thursday - June 21, 2012
Dark Souls - System Requirements
The system requirements for the Dark Souls PC port have been added to the Steam store page:
OS: Windows XP , Windows Vista, Windows 7, or newer
Processor: 2.6 GHz Dual-Core
Memory: 1 GB (XP), 2GB (Vista/7)
Hard Disk Space: 4 GB
Video Card: 512 MB RAM, ATI Radeon 4850 or higher, NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GT or higher
Sound: Direct Sound Compatible
Additional: Multiplayer requires microphone headset support
Information aboutDark Souls: Prepare To Die Edition
Developer: From Software
SP/MP: Single + MP
Play-time: 40-60 hours
Voice-acting: Partially voiced
Regions & platforms
· Platform: PC
· Released at 2012-08-24
· Publisher: Namco Bandai