|Dev: From Software|
|Pub: NAMCO Bandai|
|Release: August 24, 2012|
|Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p||Blood and Gore, Partial Nudity, Violence|
The visuals are well-crafted, for the most part. Dark Souls offers impressive environments, detailed and frightening enemies, and fluid animations. The creepy music and decent voice acting add to the atmosphere, too.
PC gamers might want a little more than that, though. All the minor glitches from the console versions return, and what's worse, the PC port doesn't take advantage of modern computers' power advantages—the resolution and frame rate are capped, and the textures are muddy. (There's a fan-made patch that fixes the resolution problems for most PCs, but not all.) When it comes to graphics, this is a "port" of the console game in the truest sense of the term.
As for the controls, they're easy to get used to, but you'll definitely want a USB Xbox 360 controller. There is a default keyboard configuration, but it's incredibly clumsy, and the developers don't even pretend there's a chance you might use it—all the on-screen instructions pertain to the gamepad. (No, you don't "Press A" to pick up items when you're using a WASD movement setup.)
There's ten hours of new content in the "Prepare to Die Edition" as well, making it the definitive version of Dark Souls (at least until the new material becomes console DLC in a few months). There's a new chapter of the story, including fresh areas, bosses, enemies, and NPCs. As I said above, most players probably won't finish the game—which was up to 100 hours long to begin with—so it's not that big of a deal that this version has more of it. But if you're a hardcore Dark Souls fan, or if you're confident in your ability to wring every last cent of value out of the game, the Prepare to Die Edition is the way to go.
With its high difficulty, punitive checkpoint system, and trial-and-error gameplay, Dark Souls isn't for everyone. But with the Prepare to Die Edition, PC gamers finally have a version of Dark Souls to call their own, and longtime fans of the game have some new content to work with. Graphical hiccups aside, that makes this port a success.
Date: August 24, 2012