What to expect: Namco Bandai releasing Dark Souls for PC PDF Print E-mail

Fans and PC gamers were overjoyed earlier this year when Namco Bandai administrator Tony Shoupinou announced that - in response to a petition with more than 92,000 signatures - a PC version of the highly acclaimed Dark Souls would be released.

The dark fantasy game has received stellar reviews, praising its excruciating difficulty and innovative multiplayer features. You can check out our review of it here.

The process was started by Shoupinou, in response to a forum post on the 2th of January, where he wrote (English is not his first language) “There is always possibilities to have games adapted on PC and the good news is that Dark Souls is not a 100% typical Console game so the adaptation is possible. Now to make things happen, let's say the demand has to be properly done. someone to make a successful petition? [sic]”

The petition was started a day later, on the 6th of January 2012, with Shoupinou making his announcement on the 12th of January 2012. “Damn you are amazing! I honestly wasn’t expecting such a massive support,” he enthused, “My boss(es) even came to talk to me about this!”

This is another example of the recent trend of game developers listening to their fans, with Mass Effect 3 creators Bioware agreeing to revisit the ending of their game, in response to heavy fan criticism.

What’s so great about the game? Well – first of all, it’s considered a revival of the 8-bit gaming era. Remember when you leapt over projectiles (think Megaman), firing back when possible, and then suddenly, one of the projectiles hit you – boom! Death! Instantly!

The PC version has understandably been renamed Dark Souls: Prepare to Die.

You may not think that that sounds particularly pleasant, but in the gaming world, there is a rising sentiment that gaming is becoming too easy. Regenerating health and quick saving or loading from checkpoints upon death have really soured the ‘achievement’ of completing a game. It’s no longer about cautious strategies, now it’s just about going in, guns blazing, and reloading if death ensues.

However, not all that glitters is gold – some concerning statements have arrived since their demonstration of their fan-love. Firstly, it is rumoured that Dark Souls will be limited to 30 frames-per-second (the standard in gaming, but not really desirable by performance enthusiasts).

If that wasn’t bad enough for the beauty-seeking performance-overclockers, the game is also reputed to not be getting improved textures, meaning they won’t improve from their 720p originals (meaning 1080p HD amazingness is unachievable) – an annoyance for gamers who have widescreen HD monitors.

Namco Bandai also won’t be fixing lag-issues prevalent in console versions for PC either.

To kick PC gamers while they’re done: the creators advise that the game will have “minimal keyboard & mouse support” and that they advise players to use a gamepad.

The final straw, to some, was the announcement that the game will ship with Games for Windows integration. To be honest, I don’t mind Games for Windows – so that one doesn’t concern me much.

However, they will be offering a new area, some new foes and characters – and armour.

Is it really worth porting if your goal is to “… get the PC version out as soon as possible, it's more strictly a port from the console version,” and that because of your haste, “haven't been able to step up into doing any specific optimisation for PC.”

I’d still play it. Due for release on the 24th of August, 2012.

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