Hands On (Heart): Dark Souls

By RPS on April 20th, 2012 at 4:00 pm.


Mr Florence, known for his mild verse, has been playing Dark Souls on the console boxes, and wants to convey that experience to you now.

Hi. Rab Florence here. Dark Souls is coming to PC, and so I must talk to you about it. I think that the game is one of the most important designs of the past decade. I’m so glad you’re all going to be able to play it. It doesn’t feel like a console game. Don’t worry about that. Within its dark halls and its vast caverns, there is the ambition and experimentation of the very best PC games. I love it. I love it so dearly that only poetry can properly express that love. I wrote this in a forest last night. Thanks to RPS for publishing this piece, and thanks to you for reading it out loud in your place of work.


TO A DARK SOUL

Praise the Sun.
Oh, Praise the Sun.
What once was ended
Again begun.
With stone in fist and sword in hand
Once more into this nightmare land.
A foe you feared is now a fool,
Your blade is quick, your temper cool.
With ease, you take his head away.
His soul is yours again today.
And on, and up, and further in
A Narnia of death and sin.
And here, a bell, and there, a thing
Make that there die, make this here ring
And hurry to the friendly fire
Before the sour fates should conspire
To fling you to the rocks below
Or poison you and take you slow.
And as you sit and take your rest
Your heart stops pounding in your chest.
You send this universe away
And go to live your waking day.

But it is there, is always there.
Undead Parish – always there.
Darkroot Basin – always there.
In your mind, yes, always there.
Sen’s Fortress, mercy – always there.
Anor Londo – always there.
Blighttown, mercy – always there.
In your soul, yes, always there.

And there you always will return
To bend a knee and praise the sun.
To mend a world,
Oh, Praise the Sun.
What once was ended
Again begun.

__________________

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250 Comments »

  1. CheesyJelly says:

    Does RPS have a Poet Laureate position yet? I think it needs one. And a competition to decide the winner.

  2. kyrieee says:

    I’ll take that as a recommendation then.

  3. Phantoon says:

    I liked how Blighttown was even worse than Act 5 in Demon’s Souls.

    • Underwhelmed says:

      No, no it wasn’t

      Blight town was fun. Act 5 was not. Pretty large distinction really.

    • shaydeeadi says:

      Blightown was easy, took me about 90 minutes from opening the gate to killing Quelaag. Easiest part of the game by far. Framerate wasn’t even that big a deal since I installed it to HD.

    • akeso says:

      Blighttown was the best reason in game to have the master key

    • Meat Circus says:

      I loved Blight Town. It’s not particularly difficult. The big fuckers with the clubs are so slow that they’re a backstab party, the blowdart bastards don’t respawn, and everything else can be easily pulled one a time and swiftly dispatched. And there are two conveniently-placed bonfires! Luxury.

      And Quelaag’s a piece of piss once you learn how she signposts her deathblast.

  4. Grovy says:

    I see you raving about this game on twitter all the time Rab and obviously I’ll get it. How can you say “It doesn’t feel like a console game” when they apparently spent so little time on the PC controls that they recommend a game pad though? Presumably we’ll have shite FOV and other console stuff designed for a tv half a room away too. Still looks like a great game despite that.

    • shizamon says:

      Why do you think that a mouse and keyboard are better for every gaming experience? A keyboard isn’t even analogue, there is no immersion IMO. You can have the best animations in the world and yet your character either walks at their slow speed or runs at their fastest, not to mention diagonal direction movement. And for lack of keys, just use a shift button on the controller, I’ve played games with 2 shift buttons, effectively 42 buttons.

      • Brun says:

        I don’t think people have a problem with Gamepads or any other form of control. They just don’t want to have a particular kind of control forced on them by bad design.

        • shizamon says:

          I can understand that everyone has their preference, but take some initiative people, use a key mapper.

          • qrter says:

            I’m all for being proactive, but when I pay actual money for a game, I don’t think it’s unfair to expect that said game has been made to function properly.

          • Brun says:

            Pay careful attention to my last sentence. In particular “forced upon them by bad design.” If the game doesn’t work well with KBM that’s fine. Plenty of games are like that. But Namco has said already that they aren’t going to be putting a ton of effort into the port. So that begs the question – how much of that gamepad “recommendation” is because the game’s functionality really needs it or because they were lazy with the port?

          • shizamon says:

            @ qrter – Guess I’ve just bought too many Bohemia Interactive games, ha.

            @ brun – I honestly feel like this game would be very very difficult with a mouse and keyboard, because mostly your focusing on precise body movement, not where the camera is pointing. But it will be interesting to try.

          • Meat Circus says:

            Dark Souls requires a joypad. It really does. KBM was never going to work for this game. By focusing on joypad controls, they are focusing where it matters.

          • Feriluce says:

            Why does it “require” a gamepad? What sort of control do you get with a gamepad that you couldnt get with a mouse and keyboard in a game like this? As far as I can see its a regular third person action game, a genre that works perfectly fine with mouse and keyboard.

          • Brun says:

            Analog control. KBM control schemes only have one analog input (mouse), while console controllers have two (Left Stick and Right Stick). Precision movement is supposedly quite important in this game, meaning that analog movement is necessary.

            I really wish the thumbstick on my Razer Nostromo was an analog stick, as it would alleviate the need for a gamepad in this case.

          • poevans says:

            Precision movement is EVERYTHING in this game. Without dual analog sticks, you would never even get out of the tutorial area. The game has a real sense of weight, and kbm would just not work.

          • Feriluce says:

            That is just not true though. I can get just as precise movement with m+k as I can with a pad, even more so because I’m not used to the pad.
            You also do have analogue movement in a third person game like that. Your mouse is analogue, and you control your movement just as much with the camera as you do with the actual keyboard itself.

          • Brun says:

            Character movement needs to be analog. In a game like Skyrim you have three speeds: Walk, Run, and Sprint. That works with a digital input like a KBM because you can use toggles or shifts to change the speed that the WASD keys make you move.

            Analog movement means that run speed changes continuously instead of transitioning between discrete speeds. That kind of precise control of movement speed is necessary for Dark Souls’ combat mechanics to function properly.

          • Feriluce says:

            While I dont exactly use a gamepad often, I mostly find myself not using the analogue speed controls at all. Usually when you want to move, you want to move now, and then you just floor the stick. I’ve also never had any problems with nonanalogue speed control in third person games ever.

          • Brun says:

            You will have problems with it in Dark Souls. That’s what we’ve been saying. The combat mechanics it uses are part of what makes it a unique game and they demand the use of analog movement.

          • DrGonzo says:

            Ball sacks. Said it before, Arkham City and Asylum are great with a mouse and keyboard, there is no reason dark souls wouldn’t work well with it. The pad controls were horrendous anyway.

          • Baresark says:

            People are really confused about a.) what Dark Souls “requires” and b.) the advantages and disadvantages of KB+M. The assumption that KB+M is in some for inferior to a 360 pad is simply not true. It’s simply different, not worse, not better. The game does not “require” two analog sticks, that is a fallacy. There are only 3 actual speeds for this game. Walk, run, and sprint. Easily done.

            All that said, I am used to using a gamepad, so it’s not that big of a deal.

            People need to get over this thing where they confuse preference for fact. Having a much more acttive camera control scheme would make the game far better. And there have been plenty of times where the camera controls + the analog movement has caused me to die on the PS3 version because of how inaccurate and imprecise the game really is with it.

          • Baresark says:

            @Brun – Everytime this game comes up that is all you have to say. You are wrong about the movement. Yes, there is more than just three speeds. But there is no advantage to creeping instead of walking. The fact is, you must creep because you constantly fight the camera in the console version. With mouse control of the camera, you would not need to fight it.

        • malphigian says:

          I don’t think people have a problem with Gamepads or any other form of control. They just don’t want to have a particular kind of control forced on them by bad design.

          bad design?!. You take that back!

          Anyway, seriously, fellow PC gamers, get your heads out of the sand! Dark Souls is one of the best games of the last decade, and it is exquisitely and precisely designed to work with a controller.

          It is impossible to effectively port the game controls to mouse and keyboard. You have no way to do analog movement, which is absolutely critical to the tight feel of this game. Not to mention the wild variation in mouse sensitivity losing the precision of camera control.

          Many games can be made to work well with mouse and keyboard, many games work *better* with mouse and keyboard (FPS, RTS, etc), but not 3rd person action games, and not Dark Souls most of all. Get a controller, people, you won’t regret it.

          • Feriluce says:

            I own a controller myself, and I have played games like prince of persia and asscreed with both control methods. I can say from experience that I am much more precise in these games with a keyboard and mouse than I am with a pad.
            I also fail to see how people having varying sensitivity somehow changes the precision of the control method. You can change the sensitivity of your analogue sticks as well you know.

          • shizamon says:

            It’s because moving your body in this game = aiming. AND many times you have to lock onto enemies, therefore you can’t have time to unlock, move your mouse to 215 degrees and press W + spacebar to diveroll away. Even if you weren’t locked on this would take wayyy too much time and you’d be dead, much easier to simply pull left-backish on L analogue and press a face button.

          • Baresark says:

            There it is again, the analog movement fallacy. Get your head out of the sand, there are so many ways in which one is inferior to the other (that goes both ways). But to say that the game will not work the preferred way of a gamer is just wrong. Having put about 130 Hours into the PS3 version and more than that into Demon’s Souls, I would love to be able to tackle this game with a M+KB. I’m ultimately fine with a 360 pad, but my “preference” (the subject of this post) is with a KB+M. You are talking about your preference, then saying that is’t he only way to play the game. Well, you are wrong.

          • Feriluce says:

            Why would I need to turn my camera all the way around to roll away? Why could I in that situation simply not press s instead of w and roll backwards?

        • Underwhelmed says:

          You cannot play this game without analog movement. KB/M is about the stupidest and most futile way you could possibly try to tackle it, because movement in this game matters A LOT more than viewpoint. The entire fighting mechanic is based around positioning, timing, and strategy. Having 4 direction all or nothing movement will make the game near impossible.

          If you can’t stand that the dev isn’t wasting its time on a control method that is futile for this game, then show your disdain for their choice and don’t buy it. Also stop complaining about it constantly. Do you think if you leave enough comments about it here the Namco is going to fix it?

          • Feriluce says:

            I keep seeing this fallacy here. Your camera is the reference point for your movement keys, and the camera is analogue. If you seriously think that you can only go along 4 straight lines with regular pc controls, then I dont know what to say to you.

          • Brun says:

            See my comment above. The problem is not direction, it’s speed.

          • delta_vee says:

            Feriluce:

            Nonono. The camera is *not* locked to movement in Dark Souls. You could certainly play it with mouse and analog stick, but not with a keyboard. Analogue movement of the mouse doesn’t map to movement at all.

          • Feriluce says:

            Well that is an obvious addition to the pc port then isn’t it?

          • Baresark says:

            LoL, another retarded statement. Stop talking about something you don’t know anything about. And the camera is your reference to movement, contrary to the tripe you are talking. It is always. If you turn the camera in Dark Souls so you are looking at your wonderful characters face, then press left, he goes left, not right (despite left being the character right).

          • Highstorm says:

            People keep saying that analogue movement is vital in this game. Could someone please explain just how that is so?

            I played Demon’s Souls on the PS3 and I can’t recall a single instance where it was vital that I only half or quarter push on the movement stick. If I wanted to move, I pushed it all the way. Yes position was important, but moving at half-speed in that process was never necessary, let alone vital.

            Did Dark Souls change somehow to make this so? I really am curious.

          • Baresark says:

            No, nothing changed in the controls from Demon’s Souls to Dark Souls. They are talking out of their ass. I would dare say that none of them have ever played a PC game. There is no necessity for analog movement in this game. There are only 3 relevant speeds. Walk, run, and sprint. All done just as well on a KB.

          • Memphis-Ahn says:

            “There is no necessity for analog movement in this game.”
            Confirmed for not even getting to Anor Londo’s buttresses.

            EDIT: Actually, I’d go as far as to say you haven’t even gotten to Sen’s Fortress.

          • Runs With Foxes says:

            Confirmed for not even getting to Anor Londo’s buttresses.

            EDIT: Actually, I’d go as far as to say you haven’t even gotten to Sen’s Fortress.

            What’s that supposed to mean? Are you another person who thinks it’s impossible to walk in a straight line with a mouse and keyboard? Because that will come as surprising news to the millions of people who have played 3D platformers with a mouse and keyboard.

            With some minor control tweaking it would be far easier to walk in a straight line with the precision of mouse control.

            Edit: and before you respond with ‘confimred fir niot polaying the game lolol’, I do own Dark Souls and have played both Sen’s Fortress and Anor Londo.

      • Squire says:

        I just can’t use shift -keys on a controller.

        I grew up playing both Amiga and consoles and I press left-shift to walk/run while using WASD almost instinctively but if a controller-based game has shift buttons in its control-scheme to perform more complex actions [Arkham City, recent example] I end up never using those commands…I can play a PC game with 30-40 keyboard commands and remember them all and press them without looking at the keyboard but I just can’t be do that on a controller, just feels wrong.

      • Grovy says:

        I already have a 360 pad for playing console ports with typically atrocious mouse controls like forced mouse smoothing, bad or no sensitivity options and, the big one, forced mouse acceleration. I just thought it was strange for Rab to say it doesn’t feel like a console game when it still has console controls and expects you to use a console controller.

        • Brun says:

          Rab is playing it on consoles. Therefore, whatever is making him say that it doesn’t feel like a console game is unrelated to technical specifications or control schemes.

          • Grovy says:

            What else is there that separates games by the machine they’re running on other than control scheme/ control hardware and things like FOV and interface because they’re made to be viewed on a distant television? Does Rab think console games and PC games all share a separate aesthetic or atmosphere or something, and despite this being a console game it feels like it’s a PC game? I don’t understand.

          • Brun says:

            Console audiences are generally thought (well, at least by the PC community) to have different tastes in games, preferring easier, more dumbed-down fare with liberal hand-holding (see Call of Duty et. al.). Dark Souls isn’t like that, and feels more like a game made for PCs back when PC was the primary development platform and ports were made from PC to consoles (not the other way around).

        • Ragnar says:

          There’s so more that differentiates PC games from console games than the control input. Console games are set at fixed resolutions, no graphics options, usually fixed sound options, with a low FoV of 60 or so, are often capped at 30 fps, and limited on save slots. PC games should support a wide range of resolutions, should include much higher textures and art assets, graphical options for stuff like AA and different texture levels, sound support for everything from headphones to surround, a higher FoV, a framerate of up to 60, and unlimited save slots. If nothing else, the graphics power of PCs far outdoes consoles, so the game should reflect that.

      • derbefrier says:

        its just become a mantra of “PC Elitist”, you know those guys that call console port if every specific PC feature ever used is not in a game they cry betrayla and crap like that.. I have been PC gaming since the mid 90s and have always used a controller for certain games not because i had to(well i guess for some to be playable, try playing mortal kombat on a keyboard its terrible) but because for some games its just the better choice. the keyboard wasn’t designed for gaming the controller was. and a lot of games are designed with the controller in mind especially console ports. It doesnt make it right i know but it is what it is just quit being so cheap and spend 20 bucks on a controller .

      • Nic Clapper says:

        Everyone seems to have derailed Grovy’s initial comment by going into whether they like kb/m or gamepads more for 3rd person games. Your preference doesn’t matter. The point here is that this very clearly will feel like a lazy console port for all the typical reasons (more then just the control method).

        Thats not to say it won’t be fun…Ive played and enjoyed other lazy ports (loved Darksiders). But, any of the given lazy ports I’ve played would’ve been even better with care and consideration for the system being released on. As a consumer there really isn’t anything wrong with expecting quality…its not like they are giving this stuff away for free.

    • subedii says:

      Not every game works with KBAM.

      I mean I thought Devil May Cry 4 was easily one of the best ports I’ve ever played, and personally, I wouldn’t recommend using a keyboard for that unless you enjoy the occasional self-flagellation.

      • Ragnar says:

        It’s not even a matter of console ports. Just look back at classics, such as Tie Fighter. Sure, you could play it with a mouse, but doing a barrel roll was the biggest pita ever. I never even tried to play Descent without a joystick.

        I’ve had a gamepad for about as long as I’ve had computers. It’s just that back then it was a wired MS Sidewinder that plugged into the joystick port of your soundcard and now it’s a wireless Xbox 360 controller.

    • Alexander Norris says:

      You know how people usually complain that console games are dumbed down and too easy? Dark Souls isn’t dumbed down or easy.

      • Underwhelmed says:

        People bitch about games being “dumbed down and easy” until they play one that isn’t, and then they are all “it is unfair and poorly designed”

        • Ragnar says:

          People that bitch about games being “dumbed down and too easy” are either much better gamers than I am, or have way more free time on their hands.

          I beat Mega Man 2 so many times in so many ways back when I was a kid. Now, I can’t even get through the Mega Man 9 demo (stupid elephant with his bouncing balls). Could I get through the demo with enough time and practice, sure, but at that point it becomes more work than play, and in the time it would take me to do so I could play a whole other game that would be a lot more fun.

    • subedii says:

      Not every game works well with a KBAM.

      I mean personally, I felt Devil May Cry 4 was one of the best ports I’ve ever seen. And I wouldn’t recommend playing it with a keyboard unless you’re into the odd spot of self-flagellation.

      • Feriluce says:

        DMC4. Probably the worst pc port to date.

        • subedii says:

          Care to elucidate on that mayhap?

          Because I could easily rattle off a dozen ports that were FAR worse, and not many that I felt were better.

          In fact, I’ll just say it right now, if you felt that DMC4 was the worst PC port ever made, your experience of any ports at all is exceptionally limited.

          • Dominic White says:

            DMC4 is one of the best console ports ever. It’s the definitive version of the game. The best graphics, more playmodes, more options, more features.

            They didn’t redesign the game for the PC, but so what? That’s why we have USB ports.

          • Feriluce says:

            Well the main thing is that it didn’t have ANY mouse support. That basically puts it in the category of worst ports ever by default.

          • Dominic White says:

            @Feriluce – So, are driving games and flight sims automatically unplayable for you? Because those tend not to have mouse control either. Tell us, oh enlightened savior of PC gaming, how you would apply mouse control to a game like DMC4 anyway. I’m genuinely curious.

          • subedii says:

            Hahahaha… no.

            You remember that bit where I was saying that not every game works with KBAM? Yeah, that’s the bit that you really need to be paying attention to right now.

            A mouse based control scheme can work with many games. It would not work or be practically feasible with DMC4. Or else, I would be genuinely interested in hearing how you would go with such an implementation, without changing the perspective to OTS.

            Actually before that, I genuinely want to know: Have you actually played the PC version of DMC4?

          • Feriluce says:

            You could have the mouse control the camera. You know like it does in every other third person game on the pc.
            Also I have played the pc version of DMC4. I actually bought it before I owned a controller, and I can safely say that if you do not own one of those, buying DMC4 is about as useful as throwing money out the window.

          • TCM says:

            Controllers are cheap.

            Cheaper if you happen to own a PS2, which really, any gamer worth his salt should — you can get a PS2 controller to USB adaptor cord for about 3 bucks on Amazon, and it works like a charm.

          • subedii says:

            “You could have the mouse control the camera. You know like it does in every other third person game on the pc.”

            Except as stated before, this is not an OTS action game, the camera is deliberately distanced and detached from the player in order to give a wide-angle view of the arena. What you’re asking for, quite aside from remodelling the entire camera system, would force the gameplay to work fundamentally differently.

            And yes, surprisingly, playing without a gamepad isn’t going to work out well, that’s the control interface that the gameplay was designed around. I already said that in my first post. I wouldn’t recommend playing a flight or space combat sim without a joystick either. Here’s another game I may as well throw in: Freespace 2 is also one of my favourite games of all time, but if you try to play that with a keyboard, you’re not going to “make” it work the same or better as with a joystick.

            Merely being on PC does not mandate that keyboard / mouse is the ideal interface for a title, or even viable depending on the title. Oh but wait, you say before you bought a controller. So tell me then, do you actually own a controller, at current? A working one which you can use to play games of this sort?

          • Feriluce says:

            It doesn’t demand that its the ideal interface, but any game on the pc should work adequately with a mouse and keyboard. Releasing a shoddy port like DMC4, is akin to releasing an fps on consoles without controller support. Its not the ideal control method, but its the default control method for the platform, just like m+k is for the pc.

          • subedii says:

            Again, DMC4 was by no means a shoddy port, and as I explained, a mouse simply doesn’t WORK for that style of gameplay because it is not an OTS game. As it stands your ‘less than ideal’ interface was implemented via keyboard. There was no practical way to add mouse control to the system in use that wouldn’t simply be a worse duplication of the keyboard controls. You can keep saying “it SHOULD work” until you’re blue in the face, that doesn’t make the interface you’re suggesting any more practical, unless you’re fundamentally changing the game.

            And the example you’re looking for would be more akin to porting Starcraft 2 to run on a gamepad. The interface, and in fact, the core gameplay would have to be reworked just to get it to work with any semblance of functionality, and even then, it would be a different game as a result.

            The benefit that we have PC-side, is that unlike on the 360, we actually have access to the full variety of control inputs.

          • Ragnar says:

            Clearly some games just need to be marked “Gamepad / joystick strongly recommended” just as some are marked “Requires an internet connection to play” and some console games are marked “Requires a hard drive / kinect / PS Move / Motion+ to play.” Then everyone knows what they’re getting into, and no one gets upset.

          • Feriluce says:

            Why do you say “Its not a shoddy port” and then explain to me exactly why the port is bad? It isn’t optimized to work on the pc in any way. If the camera system just doesn’t work properly on the pc, then it should be changed for the pc version. A good port is a port where the game is properly optimized for the platform its going to get ported onto. DMC4 was so clearly NOT optimized for pc in any way shape or form, and that is why its a horrible port.

          • Beva says:

            “If the camera system just doesn’t work properly on the pc, then it should be changed for the pc version. ”
            Camera system is a part of the game, changing it would be making a whole different game. Some attacks do one thing when locked on, others when not locked on. It’s a massive part of the gameplay mechanics. If you can’t get your head around that and just want to play Rune, then play Rune. Sigh, will this particular discussion NEVER end. Let it go already.

          • TCM says:

            Let me clear this up for you.

            DMC4′s _entire game design_ relies on having the camera a certain way. What you are saying is not “the game should be optimized to run on PC”, you are saying “the game should be altered on a fundamental level, which would require complete level, enemy, and other system redesigns to work with it.”

            What you are saying is akin to “Port Flight Simulator whatever to consoles, making sure that it has full functionality, but works fine with a standard controller”. Or “Port this RTS to consoles, but make sure we can use over the shoulder camera and have full playability from that level”.

          • subedii says:

            Why do you say “Its not a shoddy port” and then explain to me exactly why the port is bad? Why do you say “Its not a shoddy port” and then explain to me exactly why the port is bad? It isn’t optimized to work on the pc in any way. If the camera system just doesn’t work properly on the pc, then it should be changed for the pc version. A good port is a port where the game is properly optimized for the platform its going to get ported onto. DMC4 was so clearly NOT optimized for pc in any way shape or form, and that is why its a horrible port.

            You keep saying this, but frankly the fundamental crux of the issue which you are refusing to acknowledge is that you cannot change the camera system to OTS without changing the gameplay. At which point, it DOES become a bad port, you are making a different game. This is something that emphatically should not be changed for the PC version.

            A good port is one optimised for the platform it is being ported to. Optimisation does NOT mean changing the gameplay model. Continually complaining about how they should have changed the camera system, and with it (and this is important) the way that the character is controlled and interacts with their environment, is doing precisely that.

            You keep saying that it was not optimised for PC in any way shape or form, look, I’m tired of that line, it’s just flat out wrong. I’m not even going to sugar-coat it: You are plainly wrong.

            Let’s even leave aside the standard stuff for a second, things that even far too many PC-only games get wrong or simply don’t do (I’ve lost count of the number of games that don’t know how to alt-tab properly. Or don’t have a benchmark for speccing your settings for framerate. For that matter, after 40 odd hours playtime it’s still pretty much crash free, where far too many dedicated PC devs seem to use the platform as an excuse for “it’s OK if it’s a bit buggy”). They also added in additional gameplay modes that took advantage of the enhanced processing power available to them. These are features that they wanted to have console side (new gameplay mode with masses of enemies and and all enemy encounters completely reworked, turbo mode with 20% speed increase) but fundamentally could not do so because they were pushing the hardware base so hard console-side whilst still trying to maintain a solid 60 FPS framerate. These are excellent additions for a game of this nature, focussed as it is around combat.

            I can’t realistically think of anything that they left out of the port that could be considered a “requirement”. In every measurable way, it has everything that the console versions had, and more (heck, it even has DX10 shaders for lighting and shadows), at which point it becomes the definitive version of the game. Which is practically unheard of in itself.

            What you are asking for (a mouse based gameplay mode) isn’t a necessary addition to a port, it is a change to the gameplay. Otherwise, it’s controllable (just about barely) with a keyboard, and there’s not feasible way to add mouse support to that movement / combat system that wouldn’t just be replicating keyboard control in a worse manner.

          • Baresark says:

            @subedii – Haha, are you smoking crack. You literally just made up a bunch of lies about the game. The distance of the camera from the character literally makes no difference to the mouse controlling the camera. It’s not DMC4 on the PC because there was no camera controls on that game. The camera was always fixed on a specific location in each area.

            I’ll give you an example. The Witcher 2: Assassin of Kings – on the PC the mouse controls the camera. When you use a 360 Pad, the right analog controls the camera. And I can safely say that precision is more important in the Witcher 2 because the character animations are a lot more detailed and take a bit longer. I don’t really understand why people are having this fight. It’s a subject of laziness that they do not give it proper control support. I am fine with that, I have it on the PS3 and I’m more than used to a controller. But don’t sit there and act like somehow the controller is better, when in fact it is a matter of preference.

            Besides, all of that is moot because the frame rate cap will more than ruin the game.

          • subedii says:

            The Witcher 2′s combat model is fundamentally different from that in DMC4. This is something that is easily recognisable, and yelling about my “smoking crack” and deliberately “making up lies” isn’t going to change that (not that I’d expect you to dispense with the ad-hominems any time soon. We wouldn’t want to ask the impossible). The control scheme from the Witcher 2 is not something that would work in DMC, or Bayonetta, or Ninja Gaiden, or similar games. Player movement is relative to a fixed, wider angle reference point, and the reason it’s based around that is because it allows for better crowd-control and comboing in an arena situation, especially with fast paced combat. It’s no more a subject of “laziness” that DMC kept its camera system than Witcher 2 keeping its camera system. Both games have combat systems and gameplay design that are tied closely with the perspectives being used, and likewise changing the Witcher 2′s camera with an associated change to lock on mechanics would change its gameplay feel.

            You talk about Witcher 2′s longer combat animations, that’s pretty much an aspect of this as well. These games have far faster combat, with combat moves that are executed with far more precise timing and direction, with far more swapping between combatants and far more focus on split-second evasive moves (literally, the gap between a regular evade and a “just” evade is all of a few frames). There is a fundamental and key focus on building and keeping uninterrupted combos, which a game like the Witcher isn’t really interested in with its stutter-step combat. Gameplay design where it’s a fundamental necessity to be able to see a large area because you are acting over a large area (and you will note, unlike the Witcher, characters like Dante or Bayonetta traverse distances between foes even at mid-range near instantly, and have a variety of moves that are effectively short-range teleports and grapples into and away from enemies, all dedicated to keeping the combo going. Because that’s what counts), constantly pin-balling between enemies and evasion in order to keep the combo meter up. You’ll find a wide variety of combo-videos for those games. You won’t for Witcher 2. There is a reason for that.

            Witcher 2′s combat is deliberately paced, but certainly not fast paced, neither is it constant, or even all that precise, at least not compared to the other aforementioned games (and heck, it even goes into slow motion whist you pick your bombs or signs to use. Not exactly ideal if you wanted a combo based game to begin with). It’s also why for example, those games have always had a strong emphasis on trying to maintain a rock solid 60 FPS framerate where most console games opt for 30. Due to the speed at which things take place, it makes a very noticeable difference to the smoothness of the combat. This is something I genuinely wouldn’t care about in Witcher 2′s gameplay (aesthetically you could make the argument, but that’s not what we’re talking about here), it’s just not fast enough to matter. And indeed, the console version of Witcher 2 runs at 30 FPS, not 60, and even PC-side, a lot of players will be doing the same because it doesn’t matter to the combat and they’d prefer to pump up the visuals instead.

            3rd person action games exist with player controlled, OTS camera systems. They play differently, and I would never consider something like the Witcher 2′s combat in the same style or genre as that of DMC. Neither would any console player that’s played it as far as I’ve seen so far.

          • Baresark says:

            @subedii – I mentioned DMC4 to address other things in the comment thread. I was more comparing The Witcher 2 with Dark Souls. Meaning that camera control with the mouse is a superb idea for Dark Souls because of the similarities in action between what the player must do in both The Witcher 2 and Dark Souls. I didn’t make myself clear, and I apologize for that. I was also saying that the animations for the Witcher 2 are longer, so there is a lot more to consider than the twitch evading of Dark Souls. Don’t get me wrong, I love both games.

          • delialli says:

            @baresark

            I’m really bored of seeing you in these comment threads. You’re rude, and you’re taking a grey-area issue and making it all-or-nothing. This is besides the fact that in my opinion you’re badly wrong. Movement and camera are separate analogue controls in this game and it’s a vital part of what is a very good control system. Ten years ago, I played Deus Ex on a 500mhz PC with no graphics card. It was so jerky that I had to look away after throwing a grenade because of the awful slow-down explosions would trigger. I stuck with it though, because it’s a great game. By the same token, I imagine someone with no controller experience might find it easier to struggle slightly through this than to learn (seen that video of an ex-soldier with damaged hands pwning at CoD using his wrists???), but if there’s an option, you should use the control system that THE ENTIRE GAME was designed around.

            BTW, for anyone who’s played through this, Dark Souls with James on youtube is a pretty funny walkthrough. He’s at least moderately amusing and it’s fun to see the frustration building into elation when he finally takes down a tricky boss.

    • Brun says:

      The biggest problem I have with it is the attitude they’re taking RE: port quality. They’ve basically admitted up front that the port is going to be shoddy, which is a self-defeating move. I imagine that most people who signed that petition were looking for a proper, quality port, not just “a version playable on PC.”

      • Ragnar says:

        I agree, they could have phrased it a lot better. They could have said that they weren’t going to implement mouse + keyboard because the game is designed around using a controller and wouldn’t work without it. I could accept that. The way they said it, it sounded like they weren’t going to implement it because it would be a direct port with a minimum amount of effort put into it, which is not what any customer wants to hear.

      • Beva says:

        Yes, I would much rather be lied to as well. I mean, I would find out AFTER I buy the game anyway, so it’s all fine, right?

    • Verio says:

      Read this – this is what sold me on Demons’ Souls, and I think does a good job getting across why this game (and its prequel) are so important. It also illustrates why you could say this is not a “console game”, going by the modern definition of “here let me hold your hand so you see everything with minimal fuss”

      http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/25238/Analysis_The_Game_Design_Heaviness_Of_Demons_Souls.php

    • Lone Gunman says:

      I think he meant that the game is a bit more experimental which you tend to get with the independent PC scene.

    • Casimir's Blake says:

      Grovy, I share your concerns.

      But I feel it still isn’t as much of an issue as the fact that Dark Souls is an RPG in third person. I have never once been able to take such games seriously, and having played through all four King’s Field games, and attempted Dark Souls on a friends 360, it feels just like any third person RPG: controlling a marionette, attempting to hack & slash, ending up fumbling and button mashing.

      From Software were at their peak with the King’s Field series. Dark Souls does remedy the “open world” situation (because Demon’s Souls wasn’t, and sucked mercilessly because of it), but it’s still a third person RPG: lacking immersion, and irritatingly imprecise controls.

      • Mman says:

        If a game being third-person somehow makes you lose your mind and start button-mashing and thinking things are “hack and slash”, that’s your problem (and, in Dark Soul’s case, will get you killed).

        Not to mention the fact that very, very few first-person games have got melee combat right.

        • LennyLeonardo says:

          Yes. One of the great things about Dark Souls is that it doesn’t really conform to any genre classification you throw at it. Personally I think it’s closer to Survival Horror than RPG, but it still exists somewhere in the space between. Instead of bringing your dull reductive assumptions to it, just play it, and you’ll have fun.

          As for button mashing, this is the absolute antithesis of a button masher, and is all the more refreshing for it.

          Oh yes, and it does become incredibly immersive, but that has little to do with the story, voice acting, or script. That’s just not the kind of game this is.

  5. noom says:

    That poem does rather succinclty sum it up.

    Currently polishing off my third playthrough, and looking forward to the fourth.

  6. Brun says:

    Again begun.

    I feel like a lot of our experiences with Dark Souls PC will be “again begun” when GFWL eats our saves.

  7. Freud says:

    Dark Souls haiku.

    Gamepads can’t be used
    by a true PC gamer
    I have poopy pants

  8. Baresark says:

    All the hubbub aside from the the whole GFWL, minimal KB+M support, minimal options, this is still gonna be so awesome to play on my computer. I have stopped playing the PS3 version for the moment and am content to not play till this comes out. PC gaming for the win!

  9. DestructibleEnvironments says:

    What emotion and heart, in this piece!

    Just a tiny question: Will us PC gamers be lost, seeing as this is a sequel? Or is this more of a brawns instead of brains series?

    • subedii says:

      It’s not really a “sequel” sequel as such, IIRC it doesn’t follow on story-wise from Demon’s Souls.

    • Meat Circus says:

      It’s thematically similar to Demon’s Souls. Indeed the beloved melee combat and unforgiving bleakness are almost unchanged. But it is neither sequel nor prequel.

    • Mungrul says:

      It’s not a sequel; it’s a spiritual successor. See, Demon’s Souls was PS3 exclusive, therefore Sony own the rights to it, so From Software went ahead and created Dark Souls, the same kind of game with exactly the same engine and many of the same systems yet in a different, much bigger world. I think they also muddied the water somewhat with multiplayer factions, but it’s still an outstanding game.

    • Henke says:

      Even though it’s not a sequel you’ll certainly be lost. The story is a confusing mess. Halfway through the game a giant snake tries to explain it all but I have no idea what he was on about.

      Loved the hell out of the game nontheless. :D

      • Meat Circus says:

        More to the point? Frampt was almost certainly lying to you.

        You need to seek out Frampt’s other end in the Abyss if you want to know the truth of the Dark Soul and the Furtive Pygymy (so easily forgotten) who found it.

    • Underwhelmed says:

      The story is subtle, and told in bits and pieces by the people that populate the world. It is very easy to miss large chunks of it if you are not paying attention, but there is one there.

      As previously mentioned though, the story has nothing to do with Demon’s Souls (or King’s Field which both games are the spiritual descendants of) There is a character that appears in both Demon and Dark, but it’s a minor one, and knowing who he is doesn’t really make much difference.

  10. f1x says:

    Is it, Dark Souls, the Ghost & Goblins of this modern times?

  11. TheApologist says:

    Not strictly on topic, but… well, I really do like RPS an awful lot.

    The Four are great of course, but Rab and Nathan and Richard Cobbett and DanGril – it manages to be consistently great, and yet, as in this case, often unexpectedly so.

    • RagingLion says:

      Hear, hear.

      I still feel a slight hole from the departing Kieron and Quinns which I don’t think has quite been filled but there’s still nowhere else I know which can throw out a random feature of such quality on a whim.

    • tossrStu says:

      I’d add Tim Stone to that list too. My interest in wargames and simulators is minimal at best these days, but his writing is just so darn entertaining that I gladly read the Flare Path every week.

  12. wodin says:

    Still very confused on why this is raved about as the youtube vids I’ve watched just looks like another standard RPG Skyrim style.

    Please inform my ignorance…

    • Meat Circus says:

      The best way to understand it is to play it.

      But know this: it is like Skyrim in no way which matters, and in almost every design decision it is the anti-Skyrim.

      • Grygus says:

        Well since Skyrim is approximately fantastic, I hope this is inaccurate.

      • Meat Circus says:

        Huh, you were interpreting this as an insult?

        Strange as it may seem, it’s possible for two things to be *completely different* and yet *both excellent*.

        • Grygus says:

          An insult, no. Wildly exaggerated, yes. So this is a graphically ugly, completely linear game with intrusive UI, turn-based combat on a grid and no story that uses save points? That would be completely different from Skyrim with no important design decisions in common.

    • shizamon says:

      Well for one, it just has a unique feel, something that is not easily explained, but absorbs you (well some of us).

      Another thing is every weapon feels different, speed, attack types, etc. There is a lot of varying strategy depending on whether your using 1 sword 2 handed, sword and sheild, spear, whip, magic, bows, etc. Dodging is a big factor, as a lot of the enemies are large and slow (except for striking), but kill you with one hit, very different from Skyrim.

    • wodin says:

      Hmmm…sounds good then..thanks for that makes it more clear on it’s appeal.

      • shizamon says:

        Also the story is very subtle and not in your face, but putting the pieces together yourself (if you’re so inclined to look into them) was very satisfying for me. Oh, and you’re going to want to use the wiki probably while playing through the first time, maybe not, but it will make things a lot less painful.

        • Oozo says:

          I linked to them before, I link to them again: The following two pieces explain, in my opinion, best why the game is what it is (hint: nothing like Skyrim):

          Former-RPS-young lad Quintin Smith on Demon’s Souls:
          http://www.gamesetwatch.com/2009/09/column_battle_klaxon_the_game_design.php

          And Chris Dahlen on the carefulness of the design:
          http://tinyurl.com/79ospp2

          Sometimes, words say more than a thousand videos.

        • noom says:

          I’m going to strongly but politely disagree on that point. For the real painful experience I’d avoid the wiki and just suffer for your first playthrough. Hit the wiki for your second to find out what you missed if you then feel so inclined.

          • db1331 says:

            THIS. Play it blind your first time through. I did, and it was an absolute blast. Some of my favorite times were in that one second as you walk through a fog wall, where you know something huge and terrifying awaits you on the other side, but you don’t know quite what to expect. It would have been ruined if I had seen or read about each boss ahead of time.

    • JackShandy says:

      I can’t think of a single thing in a video of Dark Souls that looks “Skyrim style”. Come on, really, you’re just dismissing it off-hand.

      I get annoyed when people rave about things to me too. I’ll like what I want, asshole, leave me alone.

      • Blackcompany says:

        Now there’s a somewhat unique comment (and a sentiment on the rise across the internet.) Someone associated something with Skyrim as a dismissal of the game. Curious, how the perspective on Skyrim seems to have shifted somewhat since its release.

        Most associations of a game with Skyrim are intended to complement the associated game. This seems inclined toward the opposite. I just so happen to agree.

        Not a “hate Bethesda” thing, mind you. Just a recognition of the fact that the rose colored glasses may have cracked a little regarding Bethesda RPG’s.

        That is, frankly, a good thing.

        • JackShandy says:

          Skyrim’s fine, but when he prefaces it with the phrase “just looks like another standard RPG” I’m going to assume he’s using it as an example of a bad game.

      • mckertis says:

        “I can’t think of a single thing in a video of Dark Souls that looks “Skyrim style”. ”

        Come now, you must be blind. That initial prison level is pretty much screaming “OBLIVION !!!”. Its exactly the same, visually.

        • TCM says:

          Except for the enemies, the lighting, the open spaces, the visual storytelling, and the oppressive, lonely atmosphere.

          So, not like Oblivion at all, really.

          (And yes, I am in fact only referring to the initial prison area)

    • Baresark says:

      You are confusing the look of the game with the feel and how it plays. It is literally nothing like Skyrim… at all. But, you won’t even begin to understand your error till you have played it. It’s such a completely different game it may well blow your mind.

  13. Meat Circus says:

    Rabert Flarence is correct in all thangs.

    Dark Souls is magnificient, beautiful and brutal. It’s important. It’s important because it loves you, but pretends to hate you. But only because it loves you so much it wants you to do better.

    It’s not angry, it’s just disappointed.

  14. Meat Circus says:

    I can’t take this!

    Praise the Sun!

    (Please recommend this message)

  15. Freud says:

    You gotta pay the toll troll
    If you wanna get into that demon’s soul

  16. db1331 says:

    I finally beat the game last week. I’ve never been so happy and also so relieved to beat a game as I was with Dark Souls. I was pretty pleased that I went into the last boss completely blind and beat him on my 2nd attempt. Then I fired up NG+ and beat Orenstein and Smough in about 2 hours. I’m actually enjoying the game even more on NG+ than my first time through, now that I know where to go and what strat to use for each boss. All that’s left is to do it.

    • Max.I.Candy says:

      totally agreed.
      i usually tend to ignore the achievements but after my first playthru i absolutely loved getting all of the dark souls ones.
      getting all the weapons, armour and all the enchantments is a must.

    • Baresark says:

      It was the same with both Dark Souls and Demon’s Souls for me. Both games only get better each time you play them. By the time you start a NG+ you are intimately familiar with the game. Your play experience is then enhanced by the lack of surprise and you can then completely concentrate on combat without any issues what so ever. The first time I played through Demon’s Souls I was scared of everything. By the second play through I would back stab everything. 4 enemies around me, no problem, avoid, attack, avoid, attack… it just gets better and better.

      • db1331 says:

        I hear you. At first I thought I was over-leveled or over-geared on my NG+, because I was one or two shotting all the early enemies. Then I got hit by a hollow soldier, and it took off 1/4 or more of my health, so then I figured I was probably just where I should be stats/gear wise. The reason everything seemed so much easier was because my skill level had increased so much.

        Now I just need to visit old Sif so I can drop in on The Four Kings. I can’t wait to get back to it.

  17. trjp says:

    Fair warning – the last game I saw Rab flag-waving for was Second Life :)

  18. Kaira- says:

    Reminded me of a certain musical piece, namely Anor Londo: A Musical Tribute

  19. Feriluce says:

    The game is going to be locked at 30 fps, and possibly even 720p. I’d say skip this one. GFWL, I could overlook. fps lock and not even a resolution option? That basically makes it into a piece of useless garbage.

    • Dominic White says:

      Yes, just like the console versions were useless garbage. I mean, completely unplayable with those limits. Nobody enjoyed them, honestly. Rab, how dare you sing – literally – praises of that trainwreck!

      • Brun says:

        If PC gamers wanted to play Dark Souls with console limitations, they would buy it on a console. That’s what Namco doesn’t seem to understand. The majority of people who signed that petition wanted to play Dark Souls on their PC because it’s a better platform – not because they didn’t own an Xbox or PS3.

        For the moment it seems that Namco will be delivering to us an Xbox 360 game that can run on PCs. What people wanted was a PC game.

        • Dominic White says:

          So, let me get this straight – you don’t actually want Dark Souls on PC. You want a new game that’s like Dark Souls, but redesigned to remove all hint that it’s actually a console game. Great! Well, that clears things up.

          Enjoy never being happy about multiplatform releases, ever.

          • Brun says:

            I expect some improvement over the console version to take advantage of the additional power and versatility of the PC platform. Other multiplatform games manage to do this well enough – I can give several examples. As it stands now it sounds like Dark Souls PC will basically throttle your performance back to Xbox 360 levels. Combine that with having to use a gamepad and deal with GFWL, and there’s not much value to buying this on PC over picking up an Xbox 360 copy.

          • TCM says:

            Unless, say, you don’t own the consoles and MIGHT want to try what’s been hailed as one of the game design triumphs of this generation, but don’t want to buy the consoles for it.

            (Although really, I’d recommend owning at least a PS3 or 360, at this point, but that is neither here nor there — some people don’t have the money, television, whatever for it)

          • pipman3000 says:

            @brun

            okay i’ll go buy a whole new console just to play one game because the pc port might not be perfect and it’s better to have nothing at all then to have something that’s imperfect.

      • Feriluce says:

        The game could be the next coming of the messiah, and I’d still not buy a pc port like that. Why in the world would want to play a game that runs at 30 fps (Close to unplayable for me), and that will look blurry due to not supporting the resolution of my screen? If they dont feel a pc port needs even basic adjustments to the pc platform, then I’m definately not going to support it with my money.

    • theleif says:

      You know, I have no problem with having to use a controller to have the best experience playing the game. Some games are designed with one control scheme in mind and redesigning it would demand you redesign the game ground up as well. I wouldn’t expect to have an as good experience playing a strategy game on a console, designed for a PC. I can also understand why they go for GFWL instead of building a new network code for the game from scratch. Integrating steamworks for example is probably much harder than it sounds. I don’t like it, as I’ve had lots of trouble with it, but I understand why.
      But, I can not understand if they release the game with a fixed (upscaled) resolution or lock the FPS. If they want me to pay 50€ for the game I expect them to at least optimise the engine as far as possible. 50€ is a lot of money after all, especially when you consider this will be “free money” for Namco and/or the developers.
      Sidenote: I have heard this claim a couple of times, but is this information actually from any official source or is it only an overblown rumour?

      Edit: Fantastic poem by the way!

    • Max.I.Candy says:

      you know this how? where has it been confirmed it will be limited to 720P and 30fps?

      • Unaco says:

        From this article here, most likely. To quote…

        …PC version would be identical with the console versions. A straight port with no change in resolution and he specifically says not to expect 60fps. Oh, and don’t expect any kind of optimizations for the PC.

        The more I’m hearing about this port, the less I want it.

        • Max.I.Candy says:

          well it does also say this-
          “UPDATE:
          Since there is one hell of confusion about it, Miyazaki was obviously reffering to the game’s assets when he was talking about the resolution. Sure, Dark Souls PC might not support all kinds of aspect ratios, but you’ll be a fool to think that it will be simply locked to a 1280×720 resolution. No, it will have a nice choice of resolutions, that’s for sure. The game even uses GFWL which means that it HAS to support resolutions up to 1080p.”

          so that only leaves the problem of the 30fps cap, which, if it does actually happen, i’m pretty sure i can live with (yes, i love DS THAT much)

    • Baresark says:

      Those things were not confirmed at all. I don’t think anyone would release a game that doesn’t fit standard screen resolutions anymore. I think they meant it won’t support higher than 1080. Where the game will upscale just fine to 1080.

      An FPS cap is my biggest concern. I’ll just have to wait till some hacker unlocks frame rate if that happens. But, as I said, no one said those two things at all.

    • Baresark says:

      Holy shit… I eat my words. 30 FPS… that’s it for me. I know the people will consider this just useless whining, but you should learn about a thing before you condemn it, it will not be playable with the FPS are locked. I’ll have to wait to buy it till it’s rectified one way or the other. As an example, we all remember how bad the Blighttown frame drops were. Imagine playing the whole game like that. That is literally what it being capped at 30 FPS will feel like.

      I was willing to take it on the chin for so many other things. Not a lot of graphic options? I can deal with that. GFWL? it sucks, but it’s not the first game I would own with it. But the FPS cap was the thing that was the breaking point for me.

      They should literally not bother releasing this. There are just too many things that are going to be wrong with it. They will only use this as an example as to why they don’t publish on the PC. What idiots they all are.

      “People wanted hamburgers, so we shit in a bowl, made patties out of it, fried it, put it on a bun with ketchup and pickles, but then people only complained about them. That is why we don’t make hamburgers, because you can’t make people happy.”

      Idiots.

      • TCM says:

        You do know the console version’s framerate is 30 FPS, right, and the blighttown frame drops go below that?

        If anything, Blighttown will be far, far smoother on the PC version.

        • Baresark says:

          Oh, I’m completely aware of what the console frame rates are. You must not be aware that they have it locked there because TV’s have a refresh rate of 30Hz, meaning 30 draws per second. And a PC monitor has 60Hz (the lowest ones do, some go at 120Hz, even higher in really rare cases). Meaning that the game is only drawing every two intervals instead of every one interval. This would be the equivalent of playing the entire game on the consoles at only 15 FPS. It will not be smooth, so it is no longer worth playing.

          Class dismissed.

          • YourMessageHere says:

            No. FPS is PER SECOND in all cases and is generally independent of the refresh rate – seconds are not twice as long at different refresh rates. Monitors match refresh rates to resolutions, which is why a CRT monitor (remember them? I still use one, at 1280×960@85Hz) used to have a huge list of different refresh rates, to adapt to different resolutions. A monitor refreshing at 60 Hz and displaying at 30 FPS will as you say draw once every two intervals, but the intervals are half as long, meaning the displayed result will be practically the same as the console effect, although the qualitative difference will be perceptible only subconsciously. It will run at 30 FPS on a PC.

          • Baresark says:

            The problem is that there is still lack of information when you are below the monitor refresh rate.

            Long story short, 1080p televisions (you can’t even buy 1080i anymore) run at 60Hz, so I was wrong there. But all it did was double the refresh rate of the old 1080i TV’s. They compensate by displaying a new pass for 1/60th of a second and then display the same information the next 1/60th of a second. So despite it refreshing 60 times per second it is still only displaying 30 passes of information, but there is no lack of data in there. It’s compensated for, so it looks smooth. In the case of a modern flatscreen monitor that has a set resolution (unlike your awesome old CRT) the refresh rate is completely relevant to the frame rate. In the case of a computer monitor, it is displaying true 60 Hz (in my case, other monitors obviously have other refresh rates)(not progressive scan like televisions) which means that there is lack of data every other interval (since it’s not displayed the same way as progressive scan), which makes it look choppy.

            Even if you don’t like my data, or how I stated it.. or whatever else: in practice, it is noticeably less smooth to play a 30 FPS capped game on a 60Hz computer monitor.

            In the case of CRT’s, you don’t have choppiness with the image, you have flickering, which is just as good for getting a headache. This was only in the instance where you refresh rate was not high enough though, so a higher CRT refresh rate got rid of the flickering.

  20. Dominic White says:

    May the merry men and women of Rock, Paper, Scaleless engage in jolly co-operation as a new dawn rises upon Lordran. Praise the Sun!

  21. MonolithicTentacledAbomination says:

    So these impressions are of the console version, not the PC version?

    It’s a nice poem, sure, but many of us already own the game on consoles….

  22. wuwul says:

    WTF is this shit? (article)

    Has the guy actually tried a pre-release PC version or is this just bullshit out of his ass?

    Care to explain why it’s “one of the most important designs of the last decade”?

    • Brun says:

      Has the guy actually tried a pre-release PC version

      First sentence, in italics:

      Mr Florence, known for his mild verse, has been playing Dark Souls on the console boxes

      • Dominic White says:

        And as for ‘why do people like this game?’ – well, you can just google up any of the HUNDREDS of reviews and dissections of the design. Even quite a few pieces on Gamasutra, I believe.

  23. Fiwer says:

    What the hell happened to Cardboard Children?

  24. Platinum says:

    It’s funny when people say k&m is the wrong input method for this game (i’ve played it countless hours and i’m sure it will work even better with a k&m, specially the camera control) and at the same time the most successful genre on the consoles, FPS, is played with the wrong input method, a gamepad.

    Maybe the next COD, Battlefield, etc, should be made k&m only and then expect console players to have them in order to play as they should.

    • TCM says:

      God no. The primary reason either souls game wouldn’t work with K&M is simple: WASD is not analog.

      Good frigging luck going through Blighttown without analog control.

      • shizamon says:

        Haha, yeah really, have fun!!

      • Platinum says:

        That’s exactly what i said when i first saw someone using a gamepad with a FPS – “Good luck aiming with that thing”. And then auto-aim was invented. You might not know this, but some people have been successfully playing racing games with keyboards for years. Even pure simulators. Of course it’s not a wheel, but it works. My point is, if they bother making the game work with a k&m, the game will work with a k&m. Simple as that.

      • Baresark says:

        Haha, WRONG. You clearly don’t know anything about the matter, so you should stop commenting on it. You are simply being comfortably ignorant when you say things like that. I’m not saying keyboard is the best for everything, but to assume it couldn’t work as well, or even better is just wrong and misinformed. You are taking your preference and acting as if it has any bearing in this situation, which it does not.

        • TCM says:

          This isn’t a matter of personal preference, this is a matter of “movement cannot only have two settings for you to succeed in this game as designed”.

          (Those two settings being “go” and “don’t”)

          • Baresark says:

            Once again, you are being ignorant. There are so many PC games that have at least 3 different movement speeds (walk, run, sprint). Where do you get your information from? It’s just ridiculous. Learn about something before you condemn it.

          • puzl says:

            Sure, but good luck switching between these 3 movement speeds on your keyboard, whilst also controlling your characters movement, selecting your weapon/shield/catalyst, whilst also selecting your items such as estus, etc… the point is, doing all this simultaneously on a keyboard is going to be a nightmare. Just wait until you play against some of the difficult bosses and especially the PVP aspect. It’s a complete juggle on the gamepad, let alone trying that shit on a KB/mouse. Oh god, it’ll be HORRIBLE.

          • YourMessageHere says:

            Puzl: that sounds just like playing a fast FPS, moving in three dimentions, aiming, firing, selecting weapons, using items and interacting with the world, toggling settings, using quick comms macros and so on. People have been doing all this with a keyboard and mouse for nigh on fifteen years. Granted that I’ve not played this, but irrespective of actual control requirements, complexity of simultaneous actions is not a fight a pad can ever win. It’s a juggle on a gamepad because you’re using only four digits maximum, and two share time and movement between buttons and analogue controls; you can use at least seven at once on a keyboard and mouse, more with extra mouse buttons, and the analogue input is independent of those.

  25. Max.I.Candy says:

    its funny, everytime a new peice on how great Dark Souls is is published, it brings out more of the same angry ppl that havent played it and are just desperately trying to bash it for whatever reason they can.

    I’m desperately holding off playing thru a 5th time on the 360, (in wait for PC version instead), and like i said before the PC version was revealed, i would be happy as long as its playable with better frames and supports 1920X1080, the fact there is extras is just a nice bonus.

    • Unaco says:

      They also bring out the steadfast defenders, who refuse to see that a shoddy/quick port is not acceptable to some, claim that anyone complaining is a whining, entitled baby, and that asking for some consideration of the differences between the consoles and the PC is like asking the Devs to create an entirely new game, from scratch.

      • Max.I.Candy says:

        blindly defending somthing is stupid also, but quite a few ppl, me included, where pretty much expecting a port like this.
        sorry to repeat myself but, having 1080p and a steady framerate is all i craved while playing DS on my 360. so if i can get that i am happy :)

        • Ragnar says:

          Some on here are saying that it’s locked at 720p and 30fps. If that’s the case, and particularly if it uses the default console FoV, then the only reason to get it on PC is if you don’t have a console.

          • Unaco says:

            I think the 720p thing is unlikely. It came from a translation in Famitsu Magazine, and apparently there’s some confusion because of that… the specific term that was used doesn’t have an exact translation to English, or it can mean several things. I linked an English article covering it a little further up thread, and there’s some other talk about it on the forums here.

            The 30fps thing is a given now though.

          • Baresark says:

            It was talking about texture quality at 720p. It will support 1920×1080 screen resolutions, but they are simply going to upscale the textures, meaning they won’t look as good.. It will be frame capped though, making it not worth playing at all. The whole game will feel like Blighttown. I’ll pass. Too bad, this game could have been really awesome. The worst bit is that some hacker will come along and make their team of programmers look like school children because he will unlock the frame rates and make it display however people want it.

          • Crane says:

            The whole game will feel like Blighttown?
            You played Blighttown at 30FPS, did you?

          • Max.I.Candy says:

            the whole game will not feel like Blightown!
            BT was crap because framerate drops to single figures.

          • Baresark says:

            Oh the ignorance. I’ll do this again. HDTV refresh rates are 30Hz. So consoles are locked at that rate. It would be pointless for them go higher since it wouldn’t be noticeable. 1Hz is one draw operation. That means you get 30 draw operations per second and that outputs 30 frames per second. So, it appears completely smooth to the eye.

            The lowest refresh rate for a computer monitor is 60Hz. That means it displays 60 draw operations per second. So, PC games tend to try and work as best as they can at 60 Frames per second, so it appears smooth to the users eyes (one frame per one Hz).

            How does this crazy science apply to what I’m saying? We’ll use simple ratio to show what I’m saying. And ideal ratio for this case is 1:1. So, 30 Hz and 30 FPS is 30:30 or 1:1 (same thing, see?) 60Hz and 60 FPS is 60:60 or 1:1 (once again, same thing).

            This is where it gets fun and proves my point. Watch:
            60Hz and 30 FPS is 60:30 or 3:1 or 0.5. That is one draw operation every 2Hz. Now, lets apply that ratio to the other equation. 30*0.5=15.

            So, that means that it’s the equivalent of playing Dark Souls on the PS3 at 15 FPS. Which is why I said the whole game will play like Blighttown. 1 draw operation every 2 display cycles makes the game not smooth to play.

            Class dismissed.

          • Dominic White says:

            Wait? What!? NO! 60hz is standard for HD, you doof. There’s a huuuuuuuge difference on consoles between games running at 30fps and 60fps and you’d have to be blind not to tell the difference. 30fps is perfectly fine for a slower game like Dark Souls, especially as it partially masks it with motion blur, but there’s still a massive difference between the two.

          • Baresark says:

            LoL, egg on my face. It was supposed to read 2:1, not 3:1. We all know 3:1 is not 0.5, but 0.33.

          • Baresark says:

            @ Dominic White – No. HDTV’s are 30 Hz. Take my television and my three monitors. I have a Sanyo 32″ 720p television with an HDMI and DVI connector. When I use the HDMI, it is only a running at 30Hz. But when I use a DVI connector, it runs at 60Hz. It’s the same thing for my 23″ Asus monitor, My 23″ Samsung monitor, and my 27″ Samsung monitor. Just go to any store that sells TV’s and look at the labels. HDMI is always running at 30Hz.

            Also, if you drop below 60 FPS on the PC it becomes choppy. Most PC gamers draw the line at around 35-40 FPS before they consider a game unplayable. Also, there are many action titles on the consoles that have the same 30 FPS limit on them, but they are still smooth. It’s because TV’s run at 30Hz.

            Our ability to learn is what actually separates us from the animals. So learn something or be an animal, those are your options.

          • Baresark says:

            @ Dominic White… again -

            There are only 173 games that run at 60 FPS between all the consoles to date. There are some ridiculous TV’s out there that run at super high refresh rates though. I just saw an add today for a 60″ TV that ran at 240Hz. I think it’s potentially for 3D though. For instance, for 3D PC gaming, you must have a monitor that runs at, at least 120 Hz.

          • Kaira- says:

            >HDTVs are 30Hz

            What on earth am I reading here? Even my old telly has 60Hz. Quoth the Wikipedia on HDTV:

            HDTV in former PAL countries operates at a frame rate of 50 Hz and HDTV in former NTSC countries operates at 60 Hz

          • TCM says:

            Even further research turns up that, since TVs were invented, essentially, they’ve been 50hz (PAL) or 60hz (NTSC).

            And, even looking up your TV model…

            http://www.walmart.com/ip/Sanyo-32-LCD-HDTV-DP32648/10929989

            Looks like 60 hz to me.

          • LionsPhil says:

            Standard tellies operated at 50/60 Hz interlaced. It isn’t directly comparable to a progressive-scan framerate since it’s only ever updating half the lines per frame, which reduces the video bandwidth requirement.

            Don’t forget that refresh rate is also somewhat a legacy of the CRT, referring to how often it can light up dots of phosphor, and thus keeping the dreaded migrane-inducing flicker at bay. That’s why 100Hz televisions existed, even though nobody was sending a video signal at above ~25FPS, even on DVDs (remember, two passes are needed to draw each frame, because of the interlacing—but the frame may be designed to account for this, having half of the lines a half-frame ahead, which is why you have to deinterlace things you rip from DVD sometimes. See why I said it wasn’t directly comparable above?). For designs with constant backlighting, like most flatpanels (but not plasma), I’m not entirely sure what the benefit of a scaled-up refresh rate is supposed to be (maybe it’s for this, which deliberately reintroduces flicker to trick the eye into reducing motion blur)—which is why many even high-quality computer flatscreens only bother with only going up to 75-ish when in the CRT era anything below 85 was a bit naff.

            What you can actually shunt over an HDMI link is another matter. A cursory glance at WP seems to indicate 60-75ish non-interlaced, depending on version and resolution.

            The real shame is that “HDTV” could have cleared up a lot of this mess, along with overscan, which is a whole other complex mess of failure and hate. But it didn’t. And it trashed our pleasant 4:3 aspect ratio for computers in favour of one that’s only any cop for movies. Sigh.

          • Baresark says:

            LoL, all that explanation, while it worked out beautifully, was for naught. I can say when I’m wrong. TV’s were always 60Hz (NTSC anyway).

            But, they would only display the odd numbered lines in the first 1/30th of the second, and the even numbered lines in the second 1/30th of a second. So, things only really displayed at 30 Frames per second.

            But, upon research, HDTV’s do in fact display 1080 lines at 30Hz (that is 1080i). But here is the weird part. People who work in the industry of television like to believe that doubling the refresh rate can double the resolution (which is so weird, I can’t even begin to comprehend it). So, they make them run at 60Hz. So, in order to compensate they display 1080 lines for 1/60th of a second, then they display the same thing for next 1/60th of a second (that is 1080p). This also effectively only displays things at a rate of 30 actual new intervals a second. But it’s filling the empty space with the same thing it just showed, so it gives the illusion of two things:

            1. It looks smooth because there is no lack of image.
            2. Things are running technically at 60Hz, even though it’s only displaying the information of 30Hz

            This is why consoles are capped at 30Hz.

            PC monitors are different. The refresh rate 60Hz and it is receiving and displaying 60 draw cycles within that one second, where TV’s are only displaying 30 Frames of information in that same 60 seconds. This is why Black Ops on the console didn’t look nearly as smooth as it did on the PC (when people got it to work right)…..

            So…. I’m not wrong but I am, at the same time. Which makes me question reality in general. I can be wrong, and I can be right… but it’s hard to be both simultaneously……..

          • Baresark says:

            I should say, consoles aren’t capped at 30 FPS, but that is why most games are 30 FPS and still look smooth. It’s not about speed of a game, it’s about what is actually displayed. I’m guessing that the console games that do run at 60 FPS are actually displaying 60 FPS, but the experience is by and large the same.

          • Max.I.Candy says:

            @ Baresark

            Is class still dismissed?

          • UncleLou says:

            :D

          • fish99 says:

            @Baresark

            There has never been a single HDTV made that refreshed at 30 Hz, and neither PS3 or 360 have a 30 fps cap. There’s loads of console games that run at 60fps (at 720p like Forza 4, and even some at 1080p like Wipeout HD). 1080i is irrelevant since very few games use it, the large majority use 720p. You also don’t understand that when a TV broadcast is interlaced, the 2 packed interlaced frames are not from the same source frame, but from consecutive frames, so an interlaced broadcast is actually 60 fps half vertical resolution which is why TV broadcasts have much smoother motion than film.

      • TCM says:

        My HDTV is 60 hz…in fact, I believe 60 hz is standard on HDTVs.

        “HDTV in former PAL countries operates at a frame rate of 50 Hz and HDTV in former NTSC countries operates at 60 Hz.[25]”

        Wikipedia — looking for a better source.

        Random PCmag thing:

        http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2379206,00.asp

        “This is a time-honored tradition, because American TVs have displayed 30 (actually, 29.97) frames per second and functioned at 60Hz since time immemorial.”

        I’ve come across other stuff that leads me to that conclusion as well.

        Googling “30hz HDTV” doesn’t turn up anything being sold — every HDTV listed seems to have more than 30 hz.

        Can I perhaps suggest, that in your great ego and willingness to point out why everyone else is a moron for not doing their research, your own understanding is flawed?

        • Baresark says:

          LoL, you should google the difference between 1080i and 1080p. I wasn’t calling anyone a moron, I was actually calling them ignorant, meaning they did not have the knowledge in the first place. A moron is someone who knows that hitting himself with a hammer will hurt, but does it anyway. Ignorant is hitting yourself with a hammer because you don’t know it will hurt.

          • LionsPhil says:

            Generally speaking, it is a good idea to know what you’re talking about before calling people ignorant and giving them lectures if one doesn’t want to come off as an Internet blowhard.

          • Baresark says:

            LoL, welcome to the internet.

            In all serisousness though, you should read my followup responses, it’s totally valid. This has been an awesome topic because I learned quite a bit. Now it’s your turn, blowhard.

          • TCM says:

            God you’re a prick.

            I have nothing more to add, just wanted to mention it.

          • Baresark says:

            It’s true, I get impassioned (that is code for prick) about things. I just get annoyed (my own fault, no one elses, I admit) when people say apple = orange. Everything I said aside, all the data (both the right stuff and the wrong stuff), you can ask any PC gamer if they notice a difference in a game that is capped at 30 FPS on the computer, and the vast majority will say it’s definitely not as smooth as it is at 60 FPS. I remember this same debacle with another game I can’t remember… Divinity 2: The Dragon Knight Saga for the PC. The company capped it and there was a massive outcry about it. And when they finally did fix it, it was a lot better.

            So, I’m a dick, and I truly am sorry about that. I am like anyone, I just want this game to be successful. And they are simply ensuring that as many people will not buy it as want to because of it’s various already announced faults. I was fine with GFWL, few options, I own a 360 pad for the purpose of playing games that are better on the PC with a controller, I’m fine with them upscaling textures to 1080, I love this game on the PS3 and I was looking forward to buying it again for the PC… but the game will not be smooth. I exaggerated, it won’t be as bad as it was in Blighttown (impassioned pricks scream bloody murder about stuff all the time afterall), but it does matter that it’s capped, and it will make a difference in the game, and not for the better.

    • Runs With Foxes says:

      its funny, everytime a new peice on how great Dark Souls is is published, it brings out more of the same angry ppl that havent played it and are just desperately trying to bash it for whatever reason they can.

      I haven’t seen a single person on this website call Dark Souls a poor game, or even overrated. There is no ‘bashing’ here. There is frustration at a deliberately half-assed port.

      If you really want to blindly defend deliberately half-assed ports, I guess that’s your right.

  26. BooleanBob says:

    Those mushrooms were bad then, were they Robert?

  27. Unaco says:

    Nice article/poem. I guess. Better than John’s poem/song about the Game of Thrones RPG… but that’s really not saying much.

    It’s a shame about the PC port for this though… Nothing I’m hearing is even slightly encouraging… GFWL, no re-mappable controls, no proper KB+M support, no graphical options (probably just presets), no FOV options, no options for aspect ratio, locked to 30fps, no optimisation for PC.

    The game has great potential. But this is just coming across as a shoddy port.

    • Yuri says:

      If it makes you feel better, the technical aspects of both Demon’s Souls and Dark Souls were nothing extraordinary even by strictly console standards.

  28. yeastcapp says:

    Never played Dark Souls, don’t have the hardware, but that was a great poem

  29. cjlr says:

    Demon’s Souls is better.

    Why can’t we have a port of that, so some enterprising soul can fire up an unofficial server?

    • Ysellian says:

      Demon Souls is a Sony exclusive.

    • TCM says:

      More accurately, Sony (SCE Japan Studio, specifically) codeveloped the game, and has the rights to it…or something like that.

      • Baresark says:

        I thought it had to do with Atlus Games. They released both the Japanese and US version (I think….) and I thought they were a Sony exclusive publisher. I could easily be wrong about this though, wouldn’t be the first time. :P

        Though, now that you mention it, I think I recall seeing an SCE logo in there somewhere.

        Edit: There it is, it was primarily developed by From Software but the SCEJ helped. Good call.

    • fish99 says:

      It’s not something I’ve seen discussed very often, but I agree Demon Souls was the better game, mainly due to story/world setup and how it felt bleaker, darker and lonelier. Dark Souls story and ending were pretty weak compared to Demon Souls, and if anything Dark Souls had more framerate issues. The Demon Souls bosses were better too IMO, if anything Dark Souls just has too many.

      Dark Souls is quite a bit longer though, I always got the impression that Demon Souls was cut short due to time/money constraints, hence the broken world 6 teleporter stone, and some of the worlds having just 2 areas, whereas world 1 had 5.

  30. Raff says:

    A beautiful poem about a beautiful game. Shame the comments section is DailyMail-stupid. This is why we can’t have nice things.

  31. Crane says:

    I just want to note that the people saying: “The frame rate will be locked to 30 FPS” are reading rather more into his comment than was actually there.
    From what I’ve seen, the best translation of his actual words is “The framerate won’t be 60 FPS”, in the context of improvements on the console version.

    Now, to me, it seems that this could be read as “don’t expect a load of optimisation that leads to a massively increased framerate”, rather than “we’re artificially limiting the framerate for no good reason”.

    Granted, even if that is the case, it could still be considered a rather lazy port, but it’s a rather different situation than them actually locking the framerate.

  32. Platinum says:

    Can’t wait for the “piracy on PC killed our brilliant game” excuse after they make a piss port.

    • TCM says:

      “Let’s dismiss this out of hand and not bother paying attention to see if the port is actually good when it’s released, thus convincing them it wasn’t worth the effort to port at all.”

      • Baresark says:

        Not for nothing man, but they are already telling us it will be a bad port. It will have the frame rate capped, it will have no graphic options, and it will have minimum KB+M controls. I mean, I was ready to say screw it all and it was an instant buy for me until I found out about the frame cap.

        In all fairness, no one is dismissing anything. It’s like waiting for someone to get off a bus you know they are not on, you are not dismissing the people on the bus, you are simply not waiting for anyone else.

    • Raff says:

      Can’t wait for the pirates playing offline complaining that they’re not seeing what the fuss is about.

      • Crane says:

        I played DaS and DeS offline, and loved it.

      • Baresark says:

        No offense, but the “online” features of the game are not that great. They are bare. I love the shit out of this on PS3, but I don’t read what people put down, I don’t watch how people die from their blood spots, and nothing is more annoying when I’m actually trying to play the game and somebody is so compelled to invade my world and try to kill me (succeed even sometimes). The PC will have the best version of online where they will outright have a PVP mode. Too bad it will be completely marred by the fact they put the worlds shittiest port out.

        Pirates will simply get to play this for free. And they won’t be bothered by other people.

      • Max.I.Candy says:

        totally untrue.
        the game is brilliant played SP or MP.
        i wanted the extra challenge on my first playthru and didnt summon once for help and never got invaded either.

        FromSoftware wanted the game to feel as lonely as possible and never intended it to be a strong Co-op game.
        The PvP side of things is purely meta game.

  33. CaLe says:

    All you need is kill.

  34. clumsyandshy says:

    Praise the Sun!

  35. Moorkh says:

    Nice poem that. Kinda. Just like the game it seems.

    Too bad it’s clearly not for me. I can’t be bothered to learn to use a completely different input device (that I’d need to buy especially for this, and that I am convinced is inferior to what I have) just for one game, one that doesn’t in any meaningful way consider that I’m not sitting in a coach in front of a low-res tv&toy set but at a desk with a far more powerful and versatile machine underneath.

    The question must be asked, though: Why are there no (gaming, at least) keyboards with (optional) analogue keys? This should be technically possible and useful in a number of ways, shouldn’t it?

    • shizamon says:

      I looked for one forever, I think it’s just plain dumb that there isn’t one out there. But considering that keyboards won’t let you use more than 3 button presses at once, not surprising, well none that I’ve used, could be the games’ programming though I guess.

  36. Dominic White says:

    The funniest thing about all the ’30fps and 720p? UNPLAYABLE!’ comments? The console version doesn’t do either of those. The game runs at consistently under 30fps, dropping into the single-digits at times, and neither the 360 or PS3 version actually render at 1280 x 720, instead upscaling a lower-pixel-size image up to that screen space.

    So even if somehow they they decided to slap those two very strange and arbitrary limits onto the PC version, it’d still be a notable visual improvement over the (almost universally loved) original. But it’s apparently enough to ruin the game for some people already. Jeez.

    • Soapeh says:

      I played through From Dust recently, a bare-bones port with high resolution support but few other graphics options and a 30fps cap. At the start there was a niggling feeling in the back of my mind that a it would be less sluggish at 60fps and therefore more enjoyable. Once I learned that the physics were tied to the refresh rate I accepted that performance wouldn’t improve with any patches, official or fan-made, and continued to enjoy the game.

      I assume Dark Souls’ physics are tied to the 30fps refresh rate and as long as it doesn’t drop below that then I’m certain I’ll be happy with it. I think Stacking had the same physics refresh and as much as I wanted 60fps for a smoother experience, it ultimately didn’t mar my enjoyment of that game either as the art direction was so strong.

      • Dominic White says:

        There was an unofficial patch to remove the frame limited from From Dust. Problem is that, as you say, it broke things. A lot of the physics just stopped working as they should, because the entire game was coded around 30-ticks-per-second timings.

    • Baresark says:

      There was a similar idea behind why they capped the frame rate in LA Noir, they said it was tied to the facial animation technology they used. Incidentally, some hacker released a fix to get it to run at 60 FPS. Lo and behold, it was just a lazy port. It worked perfectly at 60 FPS and it played noticeably better. From Dust was a broken game from day one on the PC. It was a terrible port that didn’t work right from the beginning. They physics were not tied to the frame rate. That doesn’t even make sense. And in this case, that is not true. They outsourced their physics to a Havok. They just license out the physics engine so companies don’t have to go through the steps of creating their own physics. That said, at no point is the physics tied to FPS. That said, as an example. Saints Row: The Third used Havok and that game operated perfectly on the PC.

      • Khemm says:

        You’re wrong. The 30 fps cap in LA Noire is tied to the physics engine, with 60 fps enabled, car handling is broken, especially braking. “Lazy port” my ass.
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GqHz3a-u0l0

        • Baresark says:

          This apparently didn’t happen to everyone who used the patch to get 60 FPS out of the game. A lot of people played through the game at 60 FPS without a single issue. Though it’s easily conceivable that the patch messed something else up. This doesn’t mean the gameplay is tied to the physics. It just means the patch was only put in place to get it to run at a full 60 FPS but wasn’t tested beyond that.

  37. PC-GAMER-4LIFE says:

    PC gamers are never ever happy…..GFWL is not the bad guy here quite the opposite it hopefully allows more time to optimise the game for PC…..but don’t see anyone creating a petition to optimise the game for PC do you I wonder why……oh I get it Steamworks is ok regardless of the port quality!!!! Yeah that makes a lot of (non)sense!!

    • LionsPhil says:

      Take your Ritalin.

    • Baresark says:

      It’s true, if GFWL was the only bad thing it wouldn’t matter one bit to me. But no one seems want to put out any petition for optimization to the platform. But, GFWL is a hot button where controls, options, and FPS aren’t taken into account. It’s all ridiculous. It’s like the entirety of the game community used up all it’s fight in the whole GFWL thing and now that is all that matters, which is dumb.

    • eclipse mattaru says:

      Here, you need some of these: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

      I can trade you for some periods and exclamation marks, I see you have way too many of those.

  38. Jason Moyer says:

    Being the ultimate super hardcore PC Gamer, I hope this supports some sort of analog stick-input, since I’m super hardcore and that sort of gaming input predated mouse and keyboard in PC games by about 10 years.

  39. Shadram says:

    Oi, Florence! This is all well and good, but what the hell happened to Cardboard Children/Diaries?

  40. bill says:

    Having read endless ENDLESS hype about Dark Souls, for about a year now, I still have ZERO idea about why it is important or special. It looks like a dozen other 3rd person action RPGs. It looks ok, and apparently it’s hard.

    But why is it special or interesting??

    • TCM says:

      The primary reason is that it is a game that proves how successful the ‘old doctrine’ of game design can be when given proper care and attention.

      The Souls games aren’t games that are ‘hard’. They are games expressly designed with a very high difficulty curve, while expecting the player to be able to think for themselves and work the game out. Ordinary enemies are difficult to face until you know their patterns, tricks, and tactics, at which point you can effortlessly cut down what once killed you infinitely – yet these can still provide a threat if you let your guard down. Brute force leveling tactics are not enough to win the game, no amount of stat bonuses will protect you from the bosses, each of whom are unique and challenging, with their own aesthetic and methodology. There is zero hand holding in the game, and any guidance you receive can be ignored (at your own peril — if you find yourself trapped in the Tomb of the Giants, it is your own fault for pursuing a route clearly not yet meant to be traveled). You are free to make your own decisions about how to build your character, what faction to join, and how to resolve the problems of the world. The game treats you like an intelligent person, and expects you to respect it in turn.

      The world design is also fantastic, a fantasy world that is in ruin, creating an atmosphere of loneliness and decay. Speaking of design, the monsters are unique and imaginative, from true horrors such as the Gaping Dragon to twists on familiar archetypes like the Wheel Skeleton. The story is told through background details, and incidental conversations with people you may or may not find, lending an air of mystery to the proceedings — and anybody who directly informs you of the nature of the world may, in point of fact, be distorting it to their own ends.

      The Souls games are significant because they are not safe, marketable titles. This is an original IP in a world of sequels, and genuine difficulty in a world of snoozefests or complete misunderstandings of what difficulty is (Protip: Frustration is not a good indicator of challenge, it is a good indicator that your challenge is broken. Length alone is not a good indicator of difficulty, it is a good indicator of time spent). And that alone is laudable. The fact that the game is genuinely very good only makes it more impressive.

      This isn’t to say it’s a flawless game — the story can be opaque and confusing to those who miss critical details, and some character builds genuinely are better than others. But it is the sense of exploration, and danger, from going into a world where you have _no idea_ what is a threat, no idea what is around the next corner, no clue as to if you should open that door — and the rewards you gain for taking risks and overcoming them — that makes this game.

      If you intend to play Dark Souls, don’t read anything about it. The game is at its best when you are entirely blind, or relying on the things you yourself learned.

      • bill says:

        I’ve already read a lot about it, but nothing illuminating. It’s like people TRYING their hardest to explain why it’s great, but it’s clearly something you can’t really put into words.

        I jsut watched some gameplay videos on youtube and it looks nothing special at all. So there’s clearly some kind of magic touch to it that has to be played to be experienced.

        From the gameplay videos it looked basically like Severance: Blade of Darkness. And from your description it sounds the same. Now I liked severance, but I wouldn’t claim it was a truely unmissable or defining game. From your description it also sounds like it has some of the appeal of Ninja Gaiden… but it looks much more slow paced and with enemies that telegraph their attacks a few hours in advance and attack in slow motion to give you a time to dodge. But NG had the same thing about the early enemies slaughtering you, until you learned to slaughter them with your eyes closed.

        Still though, it looks like a dozen other 3rd person fantasy hack/slash games. It looks mystifyingly unappealing if you haven’t played it.

        • Khemm says:

          “Now I liked severance, but I wouldn’t claim it was a truely unmissable or defining game.”

          Wow… You’re an evil, evil person with a black heart. How can you say such horrible things.

        • UncleLou says:

          “I jsut watched some gameplay videos on youtube and it looks nothing special at all. So there’s clearly some kind of magic touch to it that has to be played to be experienced.

          From the gameplay videos it looked basically like Severance: Blade of Darkness. And from your description it sounds the same. Now I liked severance, but I wouldn’t claim it was a truely unmissable or defining game. ”

          I am not sure you’ll feel the magic if the videos don’t do anything for you. I saw videos of Demon’s Souls a few years ago and immediately knew I’d buy a PS3 just for this game. Which I did, and which I’ve not regretted once.

          FWIW, Severance is a good reference point. But then I do consider that game unmissable and defining.

  41. superflat says:

    Need hollow.

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