Death Comes To The PC
Dark Souls was notorious for being an unforgiving game when it launched last October. Some players were scared off by its sheer difficulty, while others praised it for being so brutal and challenging. While I was hardly able to get anywhere in the ten minutes I played of it at E3 last year, Cheat Code Central’s Amanda Kondolojy seemed to quite enjoy herself. In fact, in her review she claimed “Running through the same area ten times just to beat a mid-level boss to get to the next checkpoint may seem foolish to some, but there is an incredible addictiveness to it. Getting just a few more souls and then finally beating that beast or dragon feels immensely satisfying, and I don’t think there’s any other game out there that can quite replicate the experience.”
Whether you loved it or hated it, though, it’s hard to deny that it was doing quite a bit to stand out from the crowd. And this, at least, made it admirable in its own right. I certainly can’t be the only one to think so, as NAMCO Bandai revealed at their Global Gamers Day in Las Vegas last week that Dark Souls had shipped 1.5 million copies in its first three months, and had sold through almost 1.3 million of those. Fine, so this proves that there are several gamers out there with a death wish.
There was one community of gamers, though, who felt particularly left out of the equation. I speak, of course, of the PC crowd. In fact, these people were so vocal about their desire to see Dark Souls land on the PC that they formed a petition, managing to get almost 100,000 signatures in an incredibly short amount of time. Now, more often than not, these types of petitions amount to nothing more than a pipe dream. But not in this case. NAMCO Bandai has listened to the fans, and has officially announced that a brand new edition of the game, titled Dark Souls: Prepare to Die Edition, will be heading to PC this August.
While in Las Vegas last week, we were given a chance to sit down with a couple of the guys from FromSoftware and learn a few details about this new version of Dark Souls.
First of all, it’s important to note that this is said to be almost a direct port of the console version, only with some extra goodies tied in. FromSoftware did make a point to stress that this is the final version of the game, meaning everything from all the console patches will be here too. However, we weren’t able to get any confirmation one way or another whether any of the additional content will be showing up on console versions as DLC in the future. At this point, I’m thinking it’s probably best to not get your hopes up.
So what extras can PC players expect? First of all, there will be at least four additional bosses and three new NPCs. Also, the world is getting slightly bigger, with the addition of two or three new maps. On top of all that is an additional online stage, though FromSoftware was quite clear that the single-player element (with its minimal amount of interactivity with other players) would still be the main focus of the new content. Of course, all these numbers are rough estimates, and the final counts on all these things are yet to be determined.
For those worried that this content might feel tacked on, we’ve been assured that it’s all still very story-based. The plot is said to revolve around Altorias, a name that should be familiar to those who played the console version of the game (especially those who put forth the effort to forge a particular greatsword). Much of this story is said to take place in Darkroot Garden, though we haven’t been able to confirm whether this is the same Darkroot Garden as in the console version, or if this will be a somehow expanded or altered version of it.
Now, while all this is great news for PC gamers, I have to offer a word of caution here. FromSoftware wasn’t able to tell us anything about mod support. I’d like to remain optimistic and assume that will be included in the package, but the impression that I got from the Q&A session I attended was that this was something that they hadn’t even considered. In fact, they weren’t even able to tell us if there would be custom keymapping in this version of the game, and they felt strongly that a gamepad would still be the preferred method of play. The bottom line here: Don’t expect an Elder Scrolls-style modding community to spring up around this.
Still, for PC gamers who simply want to see what all the fuss is about, this will be their chance to finally try it out for themselves while scoring some additional content to boot. And that’s not really a bad thing, is it?
Dark Souls: Prepare to Die Edition hits shelves on August 24, 2012, so PC gamers only have to wait until the end of the summer to enter the game’s infamous world of hurt.