Hands-On: Dark Souls Prepare To Die Edition

By Adam Smith on August 9th, 2012 at 12:02 pm.

Darksidersouls.

This was never part of the plan. Dark Souls is coming to PC because so many people asked for it, just as Demons’ Souls only travelled West because an unexpected demand arose. There have been worrying signs that the port will be less than optimal and, having now played the Prepare to Die edition, it’s my sad duty to report that the experience is far from smooth. It’s still Dark Souls though, with more content than on console, and, framerate issues or not, there’s nothing else quite like it.

GFWL, or whatever it’s called these days, is in. That’s the worst of the bad news I think, although I do seem to dislike Microsoft’s sentry system more than most. The official word is that it’s being used to implement the all-important multiplayer, including a PvP system that is new for the Prepare to Die edition. The game will be available direct from Namco’s digital store, through Steam or in an actual box with all sorts of fancy goodies, but wherever you get it, you’ll have to sign in to GFWL.

The other bad news concerns technical issues that have, as far as I can tell, carried over from the console versions. No worse but no better. More on that at the end but first, because Dark Souls would still be a brilliant game even if it shot you in the foot every time you played it, I’m going to talk about why the existence of a PC version is still good news.

If you’ve played either of the Souls games already, then let it be known that your PC weeps at night as you caress the coarse plumpness of a consolepad thumbstick, bewitched by the flickering screen of the television and the backside-enfolding cares s of the couch’s embrace. It’s OK though. Sometimes these things must be done. I’ve spent about fifty hours with Dark Souls, my computer pining for me the whole time, and I don’t regret a minute, even if I am occasionally reduced to a quivering mass of anguish and rage by a particularly horrible section of such a brutal game.

In any world, touching a dark pulsating tendrilous mass is probably a bad idea. In Dark Souls waking up in the morning is a bad idea. This is worse.

Everyone talks about the difficulty, to the extent that anyone who has never played the game might expect to load it up and be killed instantly by a skeleton riding a heatseeking nuclear missile toward them. Being killed by such a thing would then, of course, cause the game to delete itself and the disc onto whose surface it is scratched to disintegrate. Unlike so many fictions, when you die in Dark Souls, there are consequences.

It’s not quite like that, of course, and the game’s difficulty isn’t about punishing the player’s mistakes, even though it can feel like that at times. Dark Souls wants to teach you and while that may sometimes involve liberal application of the cane or more capital forms of corporal punishment, its intentions are good. At root, its design is the antithesis of any game that rewards continued effort by making the character more powerful without giving any thought as to whether the player has become more skilful. From Software’s philosophy is thoroughly opposed to the avatar-centric style that still reminds me most strongly of RPGs, with their levelling up and increasingly weighted dice rolls, but with the rise of unlockables it’s no longer confined to one genre.

Dark Souls does have levelling but it’s not simply a reward for time spent, it’s a reward for time spent well. Dying resets the world, with all monsters back in place and the player reawakening at the last bonfire they rested at. Spending souls to increase abilities is only possible at bonfires and also resets all enemies, so levelling is all about one reward weighed against multiple risks. If you die in a dangerous place (that’s pretty much all of the places) then your souls will be even harder to recover, because anything you haven’t spent is left with your corpse.

This picture is a more accurate description of my experience than all the words.

There’s much more complexity than these short descriptions can communicate, whether in finding a balance in expenditure on equipment and skills, or swapping clothing and weaponry to switch between heavily armored beast-knight and spindly loincloth-clad acrobat as the situation demands.

Dark Souls is a difficult game but it’s a game that you – yes, you, not the hulking man-flesh that you are controlling on the screen – will become better at as you play it and it’s incredible to experience that and realise how rare the feeling is. I play, I die, I revisit, I explore, I witness, I die, I learn, I play, I triumph, I die, I quit, I return, I learn, I persist, I die, I die, I die…

The Prepare To Die edition, which contains around ten hours of content that will be exclusive to the PC until the console release this winter, killed me a lot. To provide a tour of one of the new areas, a forest garden that borders a screaming abyss, From Software decided the wisest thing to do would be to drop me in a dungeon, shut off from the wider world. Sure, I could just walk up the steps but there was an arena at the end of the corridor and in that arena there was a Sanctuary Guardian. Imagine a cross between a griffon and a manticore and then imagine that it hates you and you are trapped inside a room with it.

It's a giant clutching hand with a mouth in the middle of its palm. I think it is. It's definitely going to kill that little man.

I played, I died, I played, I died, I played, I died. I died, I died, I died. Stupid, probably, not to have prepared for this eventuality.

There were shouts of anger – OH WHY WHY WHY, FUCK YOU, CHEAP BASTARD – as journalists ground themselves down against the rampaging beast. Then someone succeeded and the room fell silent. How had he conquered the beast?

His tactics were passed from one person to the next and soon we were all learning, all improving even though there was no new equipment to collect and no way to boost our stats. We were becoming better at the game because we were learning the patterns, when to dodge, when to block, how and when to strike, and we were sharing our experiences.

Dark Souls is a collaborative game and even though we weren’t directly co-operating, as is possible, we had soon created a pool of knowledge. It took me more than an hour to defeat the Guardian but when I did, I almost punched the air before remembering that I’m quite reserved in that extremely British manner. I did push my chair away from the desk and consider nipping outside for what would have been very much like a post-coital cigarette, but then I remembered that I’m quitting (I’m always quitting, always dying) and decided to go and explore more of the game instead.

A mushroom asked me if I could be a saviour again. I don’t think I’ve ever been much of a saviour and I’m disconcerted by talking fungi but I said ‘yes’ because saying ‘no’ would have been anticlimactic after I’d had to kill a poisonous winged bastard just to earn the privilege of chatting with the mushroom queen, or whatever she was.

Don't sneak up on golems with weapons that are bigger than you. It's stupid.

The world of Dark Souls is weird, in that unintentional way that suggests the people who designed it weren’t trying to be wacky or offbeat, they just reckon fantasy worlds should be a little more fantastical and a little more frightening than your Tamriels and your Middle Earths. Case in point: the mushrooms appear to be under attack by gardeners made out of twigs. That’s the best way to describe the things that were soon killing me with pitchforks and hedge clippers. At one point, a group of them advanced on me while tilling the earth, stabbing me in the feet as they did so. My worst imaginings finally came to pass and I was gardened to death.

It’s a big, open area, this particular chunk of new content, with giant stone golems capable of crushing with a single blow as well as the mad gardeners who, like so many creatures in Dark Souls, are easy to defeat as long as you don’t allow your concentration to falter. Try to rush through an area or become overconfident and they can overwhelm just as easily as the larger monsters can overpower.

It’s possible, probably essential in fact, to use Dark Souls’ systems against it. It’s practically encouraged as during the process of repeating an area, the flaws of each enemy become more and more noticeable. Those stone golems aren’t quite as deadly once you realise how incredibly dense they are, not just in form but in thinking. Lead them to the abyss, which is an angry scar in this otherwise picturesque patch of forest, and it’s not too hard to convince them to stumble over the edge and down to…well, whatever it is that’s at the bottom of an abyss. I stared into it for a while and it probably had a good look at me as well, but I don’t know what’s at the bottom even though I fell a couple of times just to satisfy my curiosity. Unless it’s a massive black sign with ‘YOU DIED’ written on in red letters, but that bastard thing is everywhere.

Who wouldn't want to go to the creepy, ruined tower? In fact, that might not even be a building. Get closer and it probably turns out to be a giant's eyelash. He's the next boss.

The new area is weird and mysterious enough to fit beautifully into the whole horrid world and, although it’s hard to quantify content in terms of time with a game built around repetition, if there’s ten hours of extra stuff to see as claimed, then I’d imagine at least three areas. New weapons, enemies, bosses and all that malarkey as well. The Prepare to Die edition will be the bestest version of one of the best games of recent times.

But the PC version has all the problems of the console version. It’s not that the game has somehow become worse in translation, it’s that the power of the PC hasn’t been used to make it any better. In terms of visual design, Dark Souls is stunning, but it’s never been at the bleeding edge tech-wise, which is why it’s so surprising to see it stutter and crawl on the PS3. In some areas it’s not just annoying, it’s functionally detrimental. In a game that challenges timing and encourages caution, the framerate can be a killer.

Although I didn’t see any huge stutters I didn’t see any of the areas that suffered in that way on the consoles. The framerate does fluctuate from place to place though, with some areas noticeably slower than others. There’s no reason that a decent PC shouldn’t be able to handle what’s on screen but the port has been quick and apparently there wasn’t a great deal of PC experience to draw on in the team. I’d rather wait longer and see everything outsourced if optimisation can’t be achieved internally. Is this a literal case of ‘less haste more speed’?

My bow is bigger than me but that is a dragon and it will still eat me and then poo out my armour AND the bow. These alt-texts brought to you due to a request by Dzenan Suljevic.

Keyboard and mouse controls are in and can be completely reconfigured, although I have to admit to a fondness for the gamepad for this one. There’s basic visual customisation but the game doesn’t look any different to the console versions from what I could tell, though I didn’t have them side by side. It’s strange to be playing the game on PC at all because even when the petition took off and the possibility grew, it just didn’t seem like something that would happen. I imported Demons’ Souls back in the day because it didn’t seem likely to receive a European release. Now the sequel is coming to Steam in a few days. That’s amazing, but – and it’s the kind of ‘but’ Sir Mixalot would admire – this doesn’t show dedication to our platform. It feels more like taking a look at the premises and deciding whether it’s worth sticking around.

I’ll understand if people find the GFWL implementation and the technical problems too much to stomach but I’m already hoping that whatever comes next concentrates on the PC from the start. Like the game, perhaps this is a learning curve for From and Dingy Souls will finally recognise the platform that can help eradicate its technical hitches once and for all. Given how unlikely the journey has already been, it’s possible.

We’ll have more on the game and the porting once we have code on our own PCs and can pick it apart. For now though, it’s with a certain amount of regret that I fear I’ll be cherishing the game but cursing the port.

Dark Souls: Prepare To Die Edition is out August 24th.

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237 Comments »

  1. marbled says:

    I’ve got this on 360 – only put about 25 hours in and am only at Anor Londo, but those 25 hours have been some of the most rewarding gaming I’ve ever experienced. I’ve left it alone for a few weeks to play other games, but I will be back – I have to beat it!

    This is not a game you can understand by watching videos (I put off buying it for ages as it really didn’t look that good) or reading previews – you have to play it to get it. Shame the PC version has the same technical flaws, but on consoles the experience is definitely worth the annoyances.

    • Ephaelon says:

      There’s a point, as you play, which you don’t really notice creeping up on you as you struggle, die and retry, when everything sort of just ‘clicks’ and the game starts to make sense. It doesn’t make it any easier but there’s a definite sense of grown confidence and reduced hesitation on your actions due to the accrued experience.
      I definitely look forward to replaying the game with a different build on the PC, that I’ve been putting off no the xbox, and laugh at the first large monsters that scared the hell out of me when I met them the first time.

      • Ragnar says:

        I only played the original, Demon’s Souls, and found my experience to be rather different. At first, I hated it. It was too hard, I kept dying, and after several hours I turned it off with the intention of returning it and never playing it again.

        But that night and the next day, I kept thinking about it. I kept thinking, “Wait, am I really going to let this game beat me?” So the next day I popped it back in, went at it again, and after a few more hours managed to progress and get past the point where I was stuck. You really do learn and get better.

        Though original had terrible sign-posting. For example: You’ll come to a fork in the road. Going left leads to your death. Going right also leads to your death. One of these paths is much harder than the other, and may even be a dead end, but since both paths lead to death it’s easy to chose the wrong path and spend an hour trying to defeat the tougher challenge. I’m guessing the sequel is the same way.

        • thebigJ_A says:

          Its signposting is actually much improved. It’s still possible to bash your head against the harder route, but only if you don’t try the other way.

          At Firelink Shrine, the place you go after the intro, there’s several paths. All of them will kill you, but one has enemies you can’t harm at all (yet) and the others (except one) have enemies you can barely hurt (yet). The path you’re expected to go on has enemies clearly visible ahead that are very much like the ones you’ve faced already. Go that way.

          (Though, for a bit more advanced strategy, it may be worth your while to do a quick suicide run down the other paths. There are some useful items not far. Hell, one of the runs doesn’t require getting as far as where the enemies start, come to think of it, so not even ‘suicide’ necessarily.)

        • pilot13 says:

          Dark Souls 101: Go up the stairs at firelink shrine.

    • dE says:

      I’ve sunk so much time into this game, as I recently found out, and still discover new things and learn new things – and still die an awful lot. I love how the combat is almost never reflex based -unless you go for parry. It’s always a question of being prepared and patient. And the best thing in my opinion, truely is a second playthrough. The Capra Demon? Uh, why did I ever have problems with that? The Hydra? How did I manage to die here – and so bloody often to boot?

      When you get it, whan that magic moment clicks, the whole game suddenly seems easy. Everything is manageable. You can deal with everything. Forgetting Curse Equipment against a certain boss? Yeah I can do… ARGHARBL WTF HOW WHY?

      • Gorf says:

        and the parry/riposte and backstabs are so fucking satisfying! ….also making a ninja character equiping dark wood grain ring flipping around, doing massive crits with a beefed up Uchitanga or Washing pole…..good times good times….as good as future playthru’s are,tbh though i would give anything to be able to experience the game for the first time again, that was just pure magic.

        • dE says:

          I second the notion to “forget” all the details for a real second playthrough. The cursing, the rage and then… the wonder. The darkwood grain ring took me ages to find though. I didn’t even know it existed for a pretty long time, always wondering why everyone in PVP was doing those backflips. Well hidden little thing.

          Anyways, parry/riposte are especially satisfying in PVP. Seeing someone fishing for a backstab, only to parry them by sheer luck (as I lack the skill to do so consistently) is great. I also hope a PC port means more people doing playthroughs. I’ll especially look out for those that stop after the first episode. The horror stories of the first enemy you meet. Oh the horror.

          • thebigJ_A says:

            This is why I’m looking forward to the new content so much. I had the guide, given by a friend my first time through. It was essential, and yet I wish I’d not used it.

            Mostly, though, I want the new lore. The game has such beautiful, deep, amazing lore.

  2. Eclipse says:

    so… is it locked to 30fps?
    Carmack was talking about the importance of 120fps and an higher refresh rate for monitors, and still some developers are happy with making games capped at 30 :\ MEH

    • Adam Smith says:

      I only have the experience of my eyes during a play session so I’m a little hazy on the exact technicalities but we’ll hopefully be able to get some details of exactly what’s happening under the hood near release.

      It does seem to have almost exactly the same issue as the console versions though. But, again, hard to be sure with limited playtime on an unfamiliar computer in specific areas of the game!

      • Zanchito says:

        Does anyone know what engine is running the game? If it’s UE3 or something like that, it might be susceptible to common user-based mods and optimizations.

      • Snidesworth says:

        According to the article on Eurogamer “it’s a relief to say Blight Town now plays without all the constant chugging.” Blighttown being an area notorious for its truly abysmal framerates. So not good, but definitely better.

        • Reapy says:

          Great. Was going to ask that, that was the only area of the game where it really struck with a vengeance.

          My other big question, and perhaps this is un answerable, is the networking… I want to actually see comments get up/down voted, or comments with more than 2 ratings.

          I want to see more local ghosts around. I want to actually see the miracles leave residual effects that boost my own. I want to not have to wait 30 min to assist or invade a player (even at the right boss and at the right level). I want gravelord to actually do something and invade other people’s worlds.

          I love the covenant idea, but i just felt like it had so many flaws in how it worked. Would have hoped this got tweaked out some in this version.

          • ZephyrSB says:

            My other big question, and perhaps this is un answerable, is the networking… I want to actually see comments get up/down voted, or comments with more than 2 ratings.

            This was really my biggest gripe with moving from Demon Souls to Dark Souls. They shifted away from a central server to peer-to-peer ‘shards’ – being in covenants was to supposed to put you in shards that were ‘closer’ to players of the same type, but in the end it just made it harder to play with/against friends and totally destroyed that whole ‘all alone in a crowd’ feeling the original had – the world simply felt empty instead.

        • Voon says:

          Oh, thank god. I hated that fucking shithole. Partly from the terribad framerates on the consoleboxes and how the place was designed to make you fall down into the abyss. Now that’s one less problem.

        • Gorf says:

          this is the only thing i really cared about so this is perfect news, every other complaint is meaningless to me….and btw blightown is actually a really well designed level.

        • top8cat says:

          That’s good to hear, as long as it runs I’m in. I guess I’m just different, but I could careless about 30fps and 720p on a game like Dark Souls, as long as it runs smoothly. It could be because I play old classics all the time, but the only way I would be upset is if it was their second port or it ran horribly.

    • Hoaxfish says:

      I believe they’ve officially said they wouldn’t attempt to up the frame-rate, even in the areas where where there were significant drops.

    • Inarborat says:

      Carmack = decades of experience developing PC games and a brilliant technical wiz.

      From Software = a Japanese company with next to no experience developing a PC game, a company that mainly creates games for the Japanese gaming market, of which the PC is probably a distant 5th place in terms of preferred platforms.

      By all means, call them peers and expect the same results!

  3. pakoito says:

    I play Monster Hunter on PC, and I can endure this. And now I’m off the comments because this game, like a movie, I don’t want any detail/picture spoiling any discovery.

  4. Walsh says:

    YOU DIED

    I’ll probably buy this game again on PC just to encourage this sort of thing.

    • Screwie says:

      My thoughts exactly.

      I will buy this. I may not play it for months because it comes out the day before GW2, but I’ll buy it at release nonetheless.

    • onsamyj says:

      I already have preorder in my hand for that reason! Well, my virtual hand, it being Steam version and all.

    • dazman76 says:

      An excellent sentiment Walsh, and I think I’m with you :) I haven’t played either of the games, but I’ve been hovering around the “tempted” mark for some time now. I hate lazy ports with a passion, but if buying this does convince people to improve the situation, that has to be a good thing.

      It definitely does clash with GW2 though – so maybe I’ll bag it next month. Definitely on the purchase side of tempted now though, mostly due to Mr. Smith’s excellent article writing style :) Cheers Adam :)

    • Monkey says:

      I agree that i would like to encourage bringing great games to the PC but i’m afraid to encourage shoddy ports aswell.

      I will buy it though, money talks loudest

  5. AmateurScience says:

    I am excited or this despite the caveats. It comes out 3 days before I’m due to hand in my PhD thesis – I suspect I shall be rewarding myself with some extended playtime!

  6. Unaco says:

    What a shame.

    • Hoaxfish says:

      Games for What a shame

    • noodlecake says:

      You mean “How fantastic”. It’s pretty cool that there is a port at all. Surely gameplay is the most important thing in a game and it sounds like Dark Souls is very good in that department.

      • Unaco says:

        No. I mean “what a shame”. Because, it’s a shame that there are so many technical issues with the port.

        Yes gameplay is the most important thing… But if the technical issues get in the way of the gameplay, it doesn’t matter how fantastic and wondrous that gameplay is.

        • Gorf says:

          but if blightown is fixed then there is no other real technical issues that would lessen your enjoyment, though i agree it is a shame that this hasnt been polished to the degree its worthy of.

          • Unaco says:

            It would… if Blighttown performance was the only technical issue. But it isn’t. There’s still the FPS lock, the minimum FPS system, the use of the console “1024×720 internal framebuffer” and the largely pointless output resolutions, GFWL.

            These are all other, real technical issues. Performance in one area of the game is not the only technical issue involved.

          • Gorf says:

            like i said, they wont lessen your enjoyment……… (if youve already played on the console and enjoyed it)

          • Unaco says:

            Please, don’t tell me what will or won’t affect my enjoyment of the game. I won’t try and dictate your attitudes to you, if you’ll do the same… OK?

            If a minimum FPS system kicks me offline when I’m alt-tabbed for a minute, that will lessen my enjoyment of the game.

            If the graphics have to be stretched/distorted from 1024×720 to whatever output I want, that will (likely) lessen my enjoyment of the game.

            If GFWL loses and/or corrupts my save game, either losing all progress or just a session’s progress, that will lessen my enjoyment of the game.

          • Gorf says:

            Ok fair enough. However Adam didnt mention anything about distortion/stretching and for all you know you wont have an issue with a corrupt save or getting kicked (personally ive never had an issue with saves on gfwl games, but get I the point), if thats the case then your enjoyment wont be any LESS then the experience you had on the conlole, and for me this is the reason i am willing to forgive these issues on this one occasion.
            I see it as extra content plus some dedicated PvP, a fixed Blightown, and an experience that will at least be on par with my 360 version. And, hopefully, this will go someway into encouraging FROM to develop for PC next time they make a game like this.
            I understand your reservations, i’m not ignorant to it, I just see this as a fairly unique situation that i was never expecting to actually happen, so I’m willing to be more accomodating.

    • Ultra Superior says:

      Demons can soul my ass.

  7. spacedyemeerkat says:

    According to Eurogamer, it’s not only locked at 30FPS, it’s also running with the same internal framebuffer as the consoles: 1024×720.

    • Unaco says:

      There is also a minimum FPS. And that doesn’t mean it will never drop below that. In online play, if you drop below 15 FPS for whatever reason (what happens to FPS when you alt-tab? Does it count as 0?) for a time, you get kicked. I can see that causing some ‘issues’ to say the least.

      • Askeladd says:

        Don’t forget to add the wonders of GFWL to the equation.

      • nearly says:

        let’s be honest, the minimum framerate thing is GOOD. this is a game that requires you to learn and adapt in the course of mastering it. if your framerate dips and you find yourself dead by an unknown cause or an unseen action, you just got screwed over. I’d much rather see my framerate dip and know that I can log back in to resume safely and not have to trek back to a trap or enemy that I know nothing about.

    • Eclipse says:

      and here goes all the hope I had for this port, not gonna buy it.

    • Xardas Kane says:

      Here’s hoping they fix it post-launch.

      • Vorphalack says:

        Yeah, i’m not going to buy this at launch, but i’ll watch it and see if either it can be modded or gets some post release TLC.

    • Roshin says:

      Bad port, locked framerate, and GFWL on top of that. I might pick it up at 75% off in a sale at some point. To think I even bothered to sign the petition.

      • Eddy9000 says:

        Can it technically be called a ‘bad port’? I mean the graphical performance is exactly the same as it was before, and slightly better in some aspects by all accounts, certainly not worse.

    • povu says:

      Seriously, 1024×720 fixed resolution stretched to whatever resolution you have? I’ve never heard of any port that bad. That’s going to look horrible in 1920×1080.

      Hopefully modders will be able to fix it.

    • alilsneaky says:

      MINDboggling that rps chooses not to mention the resolution issue, it’s an obvious huge dealbreaker (guess this game now vies for the worst port ever award alongside saints row 2) .

      Internet ‘journalism’ lol, fuckin worthless

      • Unaco says:

        To be fair, I don’t think Adam got that much time to really delve in and look at the options and technical aspects and those sort of things. Seems like this was a hands on at an event or similar. Like he says, there’ll be more on the technical aspects when they get their hands on code.

        • remote says:

          I don’t think he got any “hands-on” time at all. This reads like he watched the trailer and chose to lace a review of the original game with some speculation on the PC version.

      • Toberoth says:

        If you truly think RPS’s journalism is “fucking worthless” then I would suggest you stop reading it and commenting on it. Honestly, it amazes me how incredibly rude towards the staff some of the commenters have become over the last few months.

        • Eddy9000 says:

          I’d like to second this, the RPS comments thread used to be a polite and constructive forum and while it still contains that it’s being increasingly brought down by people who are just fucking rude.
          There is a forum for comments about the website where feedback can be left so keep it there and keep it civil.

    • AngelAtTheTomb says:

      Seriously, the 1024 frame buffer is the worst thing about this. I don’t even know of many PC gamers anymore who will lower their resolution one notch (say from 1920 down to 1600 or whatever) because it just looks so damned awful on modern LCDs. Most would much rather take the FPS hit.

      It’s 2012. How do we have a game that is still running at a max resolution from 12 or 14 years ago?

      • Snargelfargen says:

        Wait, what? Am I misunderstanding something, or is the game really locked to 1024×720?

        That’s… crazy. Sounds like From is trying to reinvent the wheel instead of hiring people who have worked on ports.

        On the other hand, the game won’t need anti-aliasing, since running an lcd monitor below it’s native resolution makes everything blurry!

  8. golem09 says:

    I wonder whether we will just be able use a standard large adress awarness exe on this one to eliminate all framerate problems.

    • dazman76 says:

      That’s no guarantee that frame rates will be reduced I’m afraid :) FPS problems are often down to code that is simply badly written, and/or poorly optimised. No amount of extra memory can help a crap bit of rendering code, or map data that hasn’t been properly tuned. Raw performance of things like the GPU and CPU will help, but often not enough to make a worthwhile difference. Crap code is always crap :)

      Also, if this is a fairly direct port of console code, simply upping the memory won’t help – if the code isn’t written to take advantage of as much memory as possible, it won’t even care about the extra capacity. It’s like adding extra fuel tanks to a vehicle, when you don’t actually have extra fuel to fill them with – and you can’t distribute the fuel from the original tanks :)

      • AngelAtTheTomb says:

        Case in point: FS X. It’s been out…what, six years almost, and only now are graphics cards getting absurdly beefy enough to run it at more than 15 FPS…

        Bad code. Very very bad code.

    • simonh says:

      In super-simple terms, performance can be divided into two parts: loading things and running things. Issues with loading things causes chugging; quarter-second pauses when running around and such. Issues with running things is what causes low FPS.

      More memory helps with loading things, but generally does nothing about running things (though hearing about the state of the port it’s unlikely that the game’s been programmed to take advantage of more memory anyway).

    • pakoito says:

      Rule of thumb for PC ports is: if it was developed in Japan, try to avoid it. Those guys have great creative minds, but coding wise their PC skills are all over the place. And you know internally is even worse when you find Japanese code documentation in JPG.

  9. JackDandy says:

    Damned shame about the porting quality. However, I still signed the petition, and I’ll still be buying and playing this.
    Hopefully, the game’s good enough to make me overlook it’s techinical limitations.

    Would you say the FPS is at 30 and has some dips here and there?

    • Adam Smith says:

      Clever tech man Thomas Morgan, who was there on the day and doing all sorts of Digital Foundry style tests and comparisons, has captured all that detail rather well.

      Check out his Eurogamer preview.

      He did get to see Blight Town, which I didn’t, and the “constant chugging” is apparently eliminated. That was my big fear – that the worst parts of the console experience would still be there. The final six paragraphs of Tom’s article cover it all.

      We’ll have more once we have review code obviously.

    • simonh says:

      Normally I get annoyed when the FPS dips TO 30 FPS, just hearing “30 FPS with dips” is fucking depressing. :(

      And “1024×720 framebuffer” WTH!? Even the ports that can’t be bothered to change the help screens from showing Xbox-controls don’t have that problem.

      Here’s hoping that the community will be able to eventually fix what the paid developers haven’t been able to, then I’ll definitely get it.

      • Askeladd says:

        My theory on the porting disaster is as follows:

        1. GFWL is horrible, because they want it to be horrible. I can see no other way how they could archive such a mess continuously. This is because the real money is for them on the XBAWGS and they want the games to stay there, which leads to my next point.

        2. Making porting more difficult then it needs to be, but still making it possible. Thus making it unappealing for developers in the first place to port over. Combined with exclusive deals they make their console interesting for the consumer.

        I mean we are talking about MS right? If they really wanted to make both platforms interchangeable they could surely do it. But from a company’s perspective it wouldn’t make sense.

        Please discuss ;>

        • Unaco says:

          The porting issues are not down to MS. The only thing to do with them is GFWL, which won’t be proving a barrier to optimisation, graphics options, etc.

          If MS really wanted to make porting as difficult as they can (because they are cackling f*cking Bond Villains like you seem to think) then the XBox wouldn’t be as close to PC as it is.

        • simonh says:

          I’m “okay” with GFWL, at least once you’ve got through it and you’re in the game you can usually pretend it isn’t there. GFWL is just a shell handling online-stuff though.

          The MS-product which is handling the game proper is DirectX/Direct3D, which is pretty damn decent and generally regarded as the best there is (the competitor is OpenGL). The responsibility for the performance lies solely in the hands of the developers.

        • fish99 says:

          I don’t see how/why you’re blaming Microsoft for the quality of the port. The game already has a DX9 version running on the 360. DirectX isn’t hard to use, porting from 360 to PC isn’t hard.

        • Askeladd says:

          Thank you for your replies

          Interesting information you supplied me with.I now think a bit differently about what I said, but bits of what I wrote could still hold truth.
          It is just that I don’t see a truth but instead see many truths.

          MS isn’t just coders that sit there and mash the keyboard.
          They have market strategists that try figuring out what the company should do and what it should not. If I’d sit around everyday figuring out what the company should do, I’d consider those things I said above.

          And saying that porting over is easy: That may be true, but under what circumstances? AFAIK they have to use GFWL as a platform.

          Sorry, I just see some similarities that appear to be more then just plain coincidence.

          P.S.: I never said MS is evil. Just try to look at them from more industry oriented point of view. I try to be open minded.

          • fish99 says:

            Microsoft don’t have a strategy of making porting games from 360 to PC hard. They could easily make a proprietry API for the 360, but they don’t, they use DirectX.

            Also no once forced FS to use GFWL. And GFWL has no impact on any of the porting issues being discussed here, it’s just a networking system, it has no impact on graphics, framebuffers, framerate limits, any of that stuff. All that stuff is just the game being rushed because Namco only gave FS a few months to make the port, which is basically because Namco don’t think it will sell enough to justify doing a better job (which takes more time and money).

      • Xardas Kane says:

        Oh wow, didn’t know about the frame buffer, that’s absolutely horrible!

  10. Shantara says:

    Sleeping Dogs – August 17th
    Darksiders 2 – August 20th
    Dark Souls – August 24th
    Guild Wars 2 – August 25th

    Why are you doing this to me?!

  11. Snidesworth says:

    “Dark Souls is a difficult game but it’s a game that you – yes, you, not the hulking man-flesh that you are controlling on the screen – will become better at as you play it and it’s incredible to experience that and realise how rare the feeling is.”

    This, absolutely. I remember going back and starting up a new character when I was half way through the game, just to try out a few different things. What had been a tense few hours of exploration, frantic combat and death became a radically different experience when I walked in armed with the knowledge and skills I’d accumulated with my first character. It’s not just a matter of knowing what you’re going to be going up against either; the game trains you to react to the unexpected better. When an enemy appears from an unexpected quarter you’ll react quickly to extricate yourself from the situation rather than flailing in a panic before dying. It teaches you to observe and evaluate (as well as look up), to expect ambushes and traps and take precautions against them, and to simply play better than you did when you first stumbled out of the Undead Asylum.

    I’m very much looking forward to the new content, as well as crossing my fingers and hoping that the inherently low framerate in some areas is overpowered by my PC.

    • Henke says:

      Indeed. :D I spent 54 hours with my first character and only made it about halfway through the game. Started the game up again a few months later, created a new character and played though the whole thing in about 50 hours.

      This was a fantastic write-up by Mr Smith btw. Really captured what’s so great about the game in a better way than I ever could’ve phrased it.

  12. Inigo says:

    Well, at least the game doesn’t do something stupid like boot you offline if your framerate drops below a certain level.

    OH WAIT.

  13. dE says:

    While I don’t exactly look forward to GFWL eating my savegames time and time again, I’m wondering if its inclusion improves the multiplayer aspect. It was excessively difficult to play with your friend. You could summon people, but who came was based on a lot of factors you had no influence over. Getting to play with your buddy proved downright hard (and probably wasn’t intended).

    Does anyone know if they changed that with the GFWL inclusion? Meaning, could I just invite a specific friend instead of a random stranger to my world? And how does the PVP fit in, is it still the same invasion thing going on or does it use some form of matchmaking now?

    • Adam Smith says:

      Hopefully more about PvP will be revealed at Gamescom since it was mentioned rather than explained. I think there will be matchmaking. And simply judging by some of the items I sneakily looked at in my inventory, there do seem to be some changes to the invites and invasions as well.

      Didn’t actually get to try any multiplayer though so don’t want to speculate too much. Full thoughts on that will have to wait ’til release.

    • derbefrier says:

      you know i keep hearing about GFWL screwing up saved games in the past. I have never had it happen to me with any of the recent ones, at least on a legitimate purchase. I have also heard this tends to happen with those who use pirated copies of GFWL games, don’t know if there’s any truth to that but the one time i tried to pirate a GFWL game i had horrible issues with save files so i can believe it. This is also not something i have heard about happening in the last few big GFWL games like Batman so i wonder is this a thing of the past people just cant seem to let go of? I have 5 or so GFWL games i bought off steam and have never had any issues. If the service is as bad as people claim i was sure I would have all sorts of issuesbut not a single one arose so i ask. What was the last legitimately purchased GFWL game you had issues with save files on? I just have this notion that these problems people constantly bitch about have long been fixed and people are just holding a grudge.

      • Unaco says:

        I’ve had very few actual issues with GFWL (the usual… its update process is frustrating, the interface is a little awkward, I kept forgetting my password etc.). Once it’s all installed/updated though, it’s usually OK. I have had issues with it and my saves though. With Arkham Asylum I couldn’t save if I wasn’t connected to the ‘Net. In Bulletstorm, my connection dropped while I was playing, the saves became corrupted and I lost all progress from that session. Perfectly legitimate versions, purchased through Steam. Absolutely, positively nothing to do with piracy whatsoever.

        GFWL is well known for corrupting saves, and issues with saves though. Arkham City had a big issue with it, that required a patch. It’s not the worst thing in the world, but there are definite issues with GFWL and save corruption.

        • PC-GAMER-4LIFE says:

          GFWL Corrupt saves are mainly an issue with people not using an online GFWL profile or those avoiding registering the game & or using Xliveless the problems are over stated & excessive as long as the game is legit & registered to a gamertag with an online GFWL profile its not an issue at all.

          Some developers like Rocksteady chose to encrypt savegames but that’s down to how the developer uses GFWL as it also supports cloud saves since 2009 but few use that service either.

          Most people have no issues but like most things in life the vocal minority always make themselves heard the loudest!!!

          The biggest issue here is the textures needing to be upscaled by the display prepare to die the horrible looking upscaling on older GPU/TFT combos time to get that GTX680/690 & over sample the internal resolution reported to the OS!!!

          • Unaco says:

            I wasn’t using any workarounds, or XLiveless or anything like that. GFWL still corrupted my Bulletstorm saves, and refused to save in Arkham Asylum when my ‘net connection was down. Everything was legit, properly registered, fully updated, online profile etc.

            I don’t have that many issues with GFWL… once I install the game and go through the update/entering u’name/p’word dance, and get that saved, it’s usually fine. But the issue with corrupting saves I have had… not often, but have had it. As have many, many, many others… it’s not an overplayed thing. It’s a common problem.

          • derbefrier says:

            @Unaco

            yeah the updating and some stuff that should be painless can act stupid sometimes but it seems i was at least partially correct in my assumption. It sounds like bad things do happen but only occasionally(which could be said about any digital product really) and this is just another case of the internet making a mountain out of a molehill. I didn’t doubt there has been or even still are problems its just when my own experience with the software directly contradicts the the general consensus that “Its a broken piece of shit” I have the urge to figure out what the real story is.

            and thanks for the responses.

      • andytt66 says:

        GFWL has messed up save games for me on both Arkham Asylum and Fable 3. That’s enough for me to never use the bloody thing again.

        (Except when Arkham City was on sale, and I forgot that it used GFWL… but I’d like to think that if I’d remembered I’d have given it a miss)

        Basically, it comes down to this : Steam has never actively eaten a save game of mine, so I don’t mind using it. GFWL has, so I do. I realise other people have had different experiences, but they’re not the ones who get to decide whether or not I buy a game.

      • subedii says:

        I love how issues with GFWL means piracy now.

        Here’s a hint: No they DON’T. And yes, Both Batman: Arkham Asylum and Arkham City had major issues with savegame corruption. I should know, it happened to me in both (Rocksteady had to patch in a workaround for the 2nd game). You can go ahead an ask on the offical forums if you don’t believe me.

        Also happened to me in Gears of War. Didn’t happen with Halo 2, that just gave me the ridiculous patch run-around that every GFWL game always gives me when I try to update it. Grief, it was a mission just to get the Arkham City DLC installed.

        Meanwhile, I have a tonne of other issues I could recount with GFWL, but most of those apply to its online architecture. If you’re really insistent on knowing more (and personally, I wouldn’t bother if I were you), I can copy-paste one of my lengthy posts on the topic.

        Basically, just trust me when I say there are plenty of reasons to dislike GFWL as it currently exists. I wasn’t always down on GFWL. I actually had high hopes for it once. Five years ago. When I got it with Gears of War and Halo 2. They’ve had a lot of time to improve it since. They haven’t.

        I’ll still tolerate it (just about), if the game is offline focussed and I can largely ignore it. With anything online? No chance.

      • Ninja Foodstuff says:

        The issue I had with it, was before I understood how the system [doesn't] works. I had to do my bi-annual reformat of my windows partition and backed up the save games.

        Lo and behold, once I restored them, they didn’t effing work. I now know that you have to back up the sodding GFWL profile as well (actually I just use GSM now) but that was a miserable experience. Thanks microsoft. After 4 RRODs in 3 years and then that crap, I’ve sworn off anything with Microsoft branding. Even switching on the remaining xbox on a rare occasion and looking at the new dashboard makes me feel like I’ve stumbled onto some unsavoury youtube comments.

      • dE says:

        It’s a bit odd I have to defend myself from various assumptions and accusations when it comes to GFWL. So let’s get the more important ones out of the way: I do in fact own the games. I’m also not using xliveless.

        The newest game that ate my savegame was Batman: Arkham City. I’ve also had savegame issues with Dawn of War II, Batman: Arkham Asylum and Fallout 3. Although in the latter, the symptoms pointed towards Fallout 3 being the culprit. Generally, games where Savegame Encryption is enforced for Gamerpoint Purposes, end up eating the savegames at times. The issue is with the encryption and how that ends up rather error prone for several reasons. In the end, GFWL suspects you’re cheating achievements and eats your savegame as a result.
        Not a lot of games use encryption anymore for that very reason, although some more prominently do (like Arkham City). Problem is, that’s a Dev Choice. So chances are it can creep up in any GFWL title. It sometimes does and often doesn’t. Still leaves a uncertainty on the buyers side as you can’t be sure – until the threads with lost savegames come flooding in or enough time has passed.

  14. delusionsofnoir says:

    I signed the petition for this as I wanted it on PC over my PS3 copy.
    However if the port’s not going to be very good I won’t feel like I have to buy this.
    …will be annoying if they turn around and say that it failed to sell on PC after all this though.

  15. Lekker Pain says:

    Signed the petition, game yesterday disappeared from Steam in my country. Well there goes my purchase.

    Thank you Gays for Weiner Lie.

    • Hoaxfish says:

      but brad, you said you were 10 inches! Get out of my bed!

    • onsamyj says:

      Someone can trade it for you. I can’t – it’s restricted to my region.

    • igame says:

      You can still buy it from GamersGate or GreenManGaming. They usually don’t impose those silly regional restrictions, especially GamersGate (GMG has been known to do that occasionally).

      GamersGate Link – If you have the IGN Prime discount, you can get it for 15% off.
      GreenManGaming Link – GMG does frequent sales, especially for preorders. So keep an eye out for a 20%-25% sale on DS before release. They’ve had it before, and it’s likely they’ll offer it again at some point too. They did the same for Darksiders 2 a few days ago, BTW.

      Both of the above versions link to your Steam account. You’ll get a code to register on Steam.

    • eclipse mattaru says:

      Well fuck me sideways, it disappeared from the Steam store for me too. It was there until a couple days ago, now it’s gone. This really pisses me off. I dislike people that look for flimsy excuses for pirating games, but this is one reason I would respect, and I could really consider doing it myself, in fact.

      I know I can buy it at GG -I was gonna do that anyway because I have that IGN thing discount and I can get a bunch of tasty blue coins and whatnot-, it’s not about that, it’s about being in motherfucking 2012 and still having to put up with this fucking regional bullshit. These fuckers are being jerks to me, why shouldn’t I be just as much of a jerk and simply play the game for free then? Goddamnit it.

  16. Shantara says:

    Dark Souls is apparently not available in my region (Eastern Europe) despite giant banner I see on Steam homepage every time I log in. I’m sure it was open for preorders a week ago. Well, that’s just great… Do I have to thank GFWL for this idiocy?

    • PC-GAMER-4LIFE says:

      Blame Steam they are at war with MS so are the only digital store who refuse to sell GFWL games outside the official 35 supported countries yet everyone else happily sells them with a disclaimer about making sure you have the correct region account/gamertag!

      • Unaco says:

        Or… Blame MS/GFWL for not supporting more than 35 countries.

        • PC-GAMER-4LIFE says:

          Or blame Steam for being an arse about it !!! Gamersgate/GFWM/Gamefly/Origin & anywhere else that sells PC games digitally do not mind selling GFWL games to anyone its only Steam being blatant as always which is why so many GFWL games sold by Steam bundle the outdated GFWL client instead of adding value to their customers by taking a few moments to copy the newist GFWL client to the copy they are selling!

          • Unaco says:

            Or blame MS/GFWL for only supporting 35 countries, and don’t blame Steam for following the rules that MS/GFWL provide.

    • igame says:

      Copying the same comment from the thread right above:

      You can still buy it from GamersGate or GreenManGaming. They usually don’t impose those silly regional restrictions, especially GamersGate (GMG has been known to do that occasionally).

      GamersGate Link – If you have the IGN Prime discount, you can get it for 15% off.
      GreenManGaming Link – GMG does frequent sales, especially for preorders. So keep an eye out for a 20%-25% sale on DS before release. They’ve had it before, and it’s likely they’ll offer it again at some point too. They did the same for Darksiders 2 a few days ago, BTW.

      Both of the above versions link to your Steam account. You’ll get a code to register on Steam.

  17. phenom_x8 says:

    This hands on and watching the sleeping dogs trailer before makes me very happy to live as a PC gamer in this era. Man, one more thing I’m happy with is this : http://pcsx2.net/ 1.0 version of PCSX 2, the ps 2 emulator, time to replay and finish my dusty FF XII I guess.

  18. TheApologist says:

    Is there a reason modders won’t have fixed these issues around two days after release?

    (Not that they should have to, I’m just wondering if GFWL is some kind of barrier to mod support)

    • onsamyj says:

      We can hope.

    • AmateurScience says:

      I think it might take a bit of time as this is a proprietary engine as far as I know. Still frame buffers and FPS limits appear to be bread and butter issues for all those talented modder types out there.

    • Snidesworth says:

      It probably will be, unfortunately. Hopefully not an insurmountable one, though I’m of mixed feelings about mods. On the one hand making the game run better and look nicer would be a fantastic thing. Altering the gameplay experience probably wouldn’t be, seeing how one of the main themes of it is that you improve yourself to overcome the obstacles it places in your way. Mods that change the game world would be against the spirit of that challenge.

      Though the prospect of balanced, community generated content is tantalising.

      • TheApologist says:

        I was mainly referring to the technical stuff of locked 720 resolution and max 30fps which seem like a real shame but, as AmateurScience says, relatively bread and butter for modders to fix.

        I think you’re right, though, that in this case that mods dabbling in gameplay systems given the importance of the difficulty balance and the particular multiplayer component might well hurt the experience of the game.

  19. MadTinkerer says:

    GFWL…?

    Mmmmmmmmmmmmaaaaaaaybe. I have been wanting that Bioshock 2 DLC that should have been on Steam more than a year ago but is GFWL exclusive for some obviously quite mad and not even a tiny bit rational reason. (But I suppose the decision itself fits in with the themes of the game.)

  20. lambomann007 says:

    “GFWL, or whatever it’s called these days, is in. That’s the worst of the bad news I think” Oh good, I can stomach that. I think I must be the only person in the world that’s never had a problem with GFWL :/
    Anyway as to it being a ‘bad port’, can I play the game on PC? Yes. Are the keyboard+mouse controls okay? Sounds like it. Well, that’s good enough for me. It doesn’t need to be 10x better than the dirty console versions, I just need to be able to play it on my pc.
    I’m sure with experience, they’ll learn how to optimise when making PC games, but what they’ve given us is good enough. Plus I doubt it would’ve been good for them to take longer making it, having it come out after all the excitement’s died down.

  21. kareha says:

    As much as I would like to play this game I just can’t spend money on what sounds like a completely shoddy port.

  22. Teovald says:

    I am looking forward to a game that dares to be hard : I played to Assassin Creed Brotherhood yesterday and its difficulty is a joke : I infiltrated a fortress, but I don’t have to worry about corpses since nobody can discover them since they are reset at each checkpoint.
    Even if a corpse is spotted the only reaction I got from a guard discovering his buddy with a throwing knife in the throat was “who did that ?” followed by 5 seconds of walking around before returning to his initial position without even sounding the alarm.
    Platforming is also a joke : there is only one possible way and the camera highlights it for you. I don’t feel any accomplishment when reaching the top of an impossible contraption in these conditions.
    If I compare it to my memories of Thief, I wept in silence in front of my illuminated screen and I haven’t even thought about the extremely easy fights yet.

    So I am all for an hard game. However GFWL is a big NO. I don’t want the service and the only experience I had with it resulted in lost savegames and I had to do backups regularly to avoid having the cloud wiping them for me. I guess I will buy the game when it will be at 5€ during a sale.

  23. RedViv says:

    GFWL just deleted my Toy Soldiers save file due to “corruption”.
    Now, that’s only four or five hours of time.

    Everyone draw their own conclusion when it comes to Dark Souls.

  24. Abndn says:

    Issues or not, I’ll be buying this. Dark Souls is a game capable of making lasting memories, which few games can. I want From to make more games, and I want them on the PC; buying the game while criticizing its flaws seems our best bet if we want sequels on our platform.

    • Henke says:

      I’ve already played through it on 360 but I’ll defenitely be getting the PC version as well, for the added content. Not sure if I can hold out for a price drop, or if I’ll cave in and get it on release. Will have to wait for some reviews before making my mind up.

    • db1331 says:

      I feel exactly the same way. From is quickly becoming one of my favorite developers. After falling in love with Demon’s Souls I went and bought 3D Dot Game Heroes just to show them some love, and it is just so fucking charming and delightful I can hardly stand it. I might be a little bias, being a huge Zelda fan, but it is just everything I love about gaming. I even got a really good laugh at one point, when I entered a cave with NPCs and items that were clearly a shout out to Demon’s Souls. I talked to one NPC and he said something like, “I thought this game was supposed to be really hard? This is easy!” If you have a PS3 and haven’t played it, you should:

    • Gorf says:

      this is the reason anyone who signed the petition should buy the game….regardless of any issues they have with gfwl or locked framerates.

  25. kud13 says:

    can you play this in single-player?

    good to hear that M+KB are in and customizable. I was not gonna get a gamepad for one game.

    GaFWL still reallly sours the deal. May wait till xmass.

    • Abndn says:

      On the console version you could turn off the online component, so I’d imagine so. I recommend keeping the online component on though, because it’s unique and adds a lot to the game. A middle ground is to keep online on but stay “undead” whenever you don’t want to co-op or fight with other players.

      • db1331 says:

        You can still co-op in “Undead” form. You can’t summon help into YOUR world, but you can help out another player in his.

        • HothMonster says:

          But as undead you will not be invaded, irrc. Which I believe is what he is referring to.

          The online component is awesome though, if for nothing other than the notes on the floor and the shadows of people around you.

          • db1331 says:

            I know. I was just saying you can still do co-op without the risk of being invaded, if that’s what he was worried about.

  26. abandonhope says:

    I could overlook everything except GFWL. Just can’t do it.

  27. MrPo0py says:

    I do hope they do the right thing and release some sort of demo for this so we can see if it will run ok. Looks like my PC meets the requirements listed on steam almost exactly.

  28. ClockworkTiger says:

    “… Dark Souls would still be a brilliant game even if it shot you in the foot every time you played it…”

    I hear Microsoft is working hard to get that feature into GFWL very soon.

  29. Hoaxfish says:

    I’ve avoided GFWL so far, so I’ll probably stay clear of this unfortunately.

    I didn’t sign the petition because I didn’t want to pressure them into something that they obviously hadn’t planned for, so at least I’ve avoided being one of the number doing a u-turn.

    Hopefully some of the design lessons seep into other companies, or the company sticks adds PC releases while dropping GFWL (rather than feeling screwed over by petitioners who then backed out).

  30. Dominic White says:

    It’s funny how PC gamers can turn “The Prepare to Die edition will be the bestest version of one of the best games of recent times.” into “This is unplayable dreck and worthy of angry boycotting”.

    It bears repeating: This is one of the best games in years. The PC is getting the absolute best version of it. Now is not the time to kick and scream and flail. It might not be better-than-consoles to the degree you had hoped, but you’re still literally getting the absolute best there is. Nobody else is getting better. You’re not second-class customers.

    • Eclipse says:

      sorry but I just cannot play anything that runs on 30fps, really, it makes me feel sick

    • InternetBatman says:

      It’s a bit premature to say its either the best or worst version of the game.

      • Dominic White says:

        Same game + More content + Better performance + More options = Better. Eurogamer confirm that Blighttown in particular ran better than ever. That was a sticking point in the PS3/360 versions because it was the widest, most open area with the most enemies, and pushed the engine further than the hardware could really support it. If it’s running better on PC, that’s pretty much proof positive that the engine is taking advantage of the better hardware, even if not to the degree hoped.

    • kud13 says:

      except the purpose of GaFWL’s existence is to show PC gamers they are second-class citizens for not playing Game X on M$oft’s playbox

    • Unaco says:

      “It’s funny how PC gamers can turn “The Prepare to Die edition will be the bestest version of one of the best games of recent times.” into “This is unplayable dreck and worthy of angry boycotting”.

      That’s funny… I didn’t know PC Gamers were making this port. I thought it was video game developers. If anyone has ‘failed’ to live up to expectations, it’s the developers, surely. PC Gamers haven’t, for example, limited the game to using “the very same 1024×720 internal framebuffer as the console versions, regardless of which resolution has been set in the menus”.

      If now is not the time to “kick and scream and flail” (personally, I see it more as voicing objections and concerns), then when is?

      • Goronmon says:

        Actually, the developers are exactly living up to expectations. They have said from they start that they knew little about PC game development, and weren’t willing to spend much in the way of time and resources on the port. People still clamored “Who cares, port it anyways!”. So, they did exactly what they said they were going to do.

        • Unaco says:

          People still clamored “Who cares, port it anyways!”.

          Who did? I certainly didn’t.

          • Toberoth says:

            I did. By all accounts the console version was excellent, and by all accounts this version is better.

    • Eddy9000 says:

      Yeah, I’m still trying to work out how an ‘exactly the same if not a little better’ port of an excellent console game can be marked down for not being shinier than it was before just because it’s been ported onto a platform that could allow for this.

  31. Eclipse says:

    this is going to be the worst PC port in history:

    - 30 fps lock
    - low, locked resolution
    - GFWL

    Thanks for the effort Namco, but no, I got better games from developers that care about it to play

    • dahauns says:

      Now now. No need to join the WORST PORT EVAH WHARRGARBL legions.
      It may be a classic low-effort port (of which there sadly are too many), but the have to try harder to reach the greatness of timeless gems like Resident Evil 4 PC or Saints Row 2 PC.

    • Inarborat says:

      Nah, Mass Effect 3 is one of the worst ports ever. Those knuckleheads at Bioware with PC experience, porting a 360 lead platform game, an insane budget and one of the biggest publishers in the industry backing them couldn’t even figure out how to implement the 360 controller. And the sound was truly abysmal in ME3

      • EPICTHEFAIL says:

        Wait, what? The sound was perfectly fine in ME3, at least to a non-audiophile. Also, who the hell would play a TPS with a controller on PC? Damn right they didn`t support something so impossibly asinine. It was on the same level of quality as the previous 2 games. Of course, since it is popular to bash anything ME-related, admitting that anything about it was good (a lot of things were) probably carries a death sentence.

        • Gorf says:

          “who the hell would play a TPS with a controller on PC?”

          LOL,get lost…..i play (almost) all thirdperson games with a controller, and i’m pretty sure i’m in the majority here.

        • Eddy9000 says:

          “who the hell would play a TPS with a controller on PC? ”

          Like, loads of people?

          I’m still convinced that epicthefail is some kind of advanced trolling AI program.

    • Shooop says:

      I’m pretty sure that (dis)honor belongs to Gears of War.

      The damn thing wouldn’t even open on PC.

    • Goronmon says:

      From Software basically admitted that if they did a PC port, it wouldn’t be a very good one. People still demanded them to do it. So they are doing it.

  32. Freud says:

    Anyone who buys this and then whinges about framerate issues or it being better with a gamepad, I hope genitals grow out of your forehead.

    You have been warned over and over again about this game.

    • nizzie says:

      Anyone who buys this and then whines about shitty ports in the future, well.. has no right to do so. You buying lazy ports only encourages them to continue with that practice. I, for one, am not going to play a part in this.

      • malkav11 says:

        I for one am only too happy to encourage From to continue porting games to PC. They’re brilliant, console gaming is not.

      • Freud says:

        That’s fine. Vote with your wallet. It’s your right as a consumer. Don’t complain when others make a different (informed) decision than the one you make.

      • Eskatos says:

        And anyone who doesn’t buy this and whines about interesting games not being ported over in the future also has no right to complain.

        • Vinraith says:

          What if I don’t consider Dark Souls interesting?

          • HothMonster says:

            I would have to guess you didn’t play it then. Even if you don’t like it I would be surprised if you didn’t find it interesting.

  33. Atic Atac says:

    This year is the 30th anniversary of me playing video games regularly (Got my Sinclair spectrum in ’82).I’ve played nearly everything available and noteworthy since then.

    Dark Souls for me is the pinnacle of this. It is the best game I have ever played and probably ever will play. Tough but rewarding, awe-inspiring, imaginative and just plain fantastic all around. It’s still hard to pick up a game now 6 months after I finished it. Everything else pales. No joke.

    • Gorf says:

      +1.
      been playing since vic20, and DS is up there with the most memorable titles.

    • obie191970 says:

      Go get a PS3 and play Demon’s Souls. It’s worth it just for that game. More difficult because there are no campfires – You have to beat the boss on each level without dying or you’re back at the beginning of the level. On top of that it had World and Character tendencies. If you die in a level, it actually gets harder, beat the boss and it gets easier. The addition of special mini-bosses for Pure Black and Pure White tendencies would mean you were constantly tracking your tendency. It was a really cool mechanic.

      I loved Dark Soul’s and its definitely the more polished of the two, it has a better variety of environments and is probably twice as large. But as an introduction to that fantasy world from FROM, Demon’s is a kick-ass game.

    • NothingFunny says:

      Nah man, Ufo XCOM is still the pinnacle

  34. derbefrier says:

    pre ordered this the second it showed up on steam. I can not wait. The port sounds like what i was expecting, nothing too fancy. but good enough. for all the GFWL haters this is one game you need to make an exception for it truly is one of the best games to come out this generation and if you like challenging ARPGs that dont hold your hand, suck it up and buy this I promise you wont regret it.

  35. Slinkyboy says:

    They said if they sell enough copies, they’re gonna work on making the PC version much more superior to the Console version.

    • Unaco says:

      I say if they worked on making the PC version as good as it could be (whether that makes it much more superior to the Console version or not), then they would sell a lot more copies.

    • Kleppy says:

      Man, the video games industry is the only one in which the consumers have to buy a shitty version to entice the developers to maybe make a better version. I wouldn’t buy any PC game from these guys, just get a 360, there are so many great console games I feel PC only gamers are really missing out (in addition to being treated like the black sheep of the industry.)

  36. Rudel says:

    This game (and DeS) is the only reason I keep my PS3 pluged in the TV. But sadly I will not buy it for the PC with those technical restrictions. I did not sign the petition btw, so no need for a bad conscience..

  37. caddyB says:

    Praise the suuuuuuun

  38. eightbitrobot says:

    This just reminds me about the horrible consoles ports from the Xbox and PS2 era..

    I was ready to buy this if they did a good job porting it since I enjoyed it on PS3, but not in its current state, especially not with GFWL and the framerate issues people are talking about.

    But yeah, I hope they learned something on the way, and I hope the next iteration of the Souls series will be on PC day one.

    • TCM says:

      “Nobody bought our port even at the bare minimum of cost, sir.”

      “I knew this wouldn’t be profitable, oh well, now we know better than to port our games to the PC at all.”

  39. Kdansky says:

    I bought a PS3 to play Dark Souls. Most expensive game I ever played, still totally worth it. I’ve said it before: It’s also fun to watch. My wife practically begged me to play it so she can watch and comment.

    • db1331 says:

      This is so true. My wife, who normally doesn’t play anything outside of Mario, loves to watch me play the Souls games. When I barely survived that ambush of the three undead thieves on the way to Capra Demon, she said it was almost too intense for her to watch. She caught me fighting the Tower Knight in Demon’s Souls last night and afterwards said it was awesome.

  40. Nameless1 says:

    Not buying it, not worth it.

  41. Craig Stern says:

    As always, Mr. Smith, I am delighted by your prose. I was a little concerned for a moment that you were about to topple into the “RPGs are about grinding rather than skill” Abyss, but you hedged your language carefully and appear to have emerged intact.

  42. mikmanner says:

    It’s hilarious how much I’m looking forward to playing this when I already own it on the XXXBoXXX

    • mikmanner says:

      HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA (straight face)

      I’m just excited to play it at a high resolution and on my PC monitor where my face is never more than 1 inch away, with my good speakers so I can hear those same 4 fucking footstep sounds in brilliant clarity instead of muffled out of my TV.

  43. db1331 says:

    I hope someone can mod back in “YOU DEFEATED.” I miss that so much.

  44. Snargelfargen says:

    So what’s the difference between Dark Souls and the previous game? I played a bit of Demons’ Souls on a friend’s ps3, and I’m rather curious about the plot. Is this an Expandalone sort of thing?

    • Reapy says:

      I didn’t play the first one, but as far as I know, it is a separate world and plot from the first one.

      The other major points I read from players is that dark souls is more forgiving, meaning it doesn’t 1 shot you coming around a corner and things like that. Also, bonfires are spread out more and positioned a bit better, so you don’t have to travel out as ‘deep’ as in the first one.

      The one thing people didnt like is the networking switch from servers to p2p connections, meaning less people were connected to one another at once, and there were less comments rated up and reacted to.

      • obie191970 says:

        There were no bonfires in Demon’s Souls. You had to beat the boss each level without dying or you started back at the beginning. That and a mechanic called World and Character tendencies. It’s too in depth to fully describe here, but in short, if you died the world actually got harder. When you beat the boss, it got easier. There were other triggers for Black and White as well, but that’s the gist of it. The cool thing was when you got a level to either Pure Black or Pure White, it would spawn a mini-boss – All of which dropped a really special piece of gear. Other than those two things, it plays exactly the same. Demon’s wasn’t harder than Dark, it was just less forgiving.

        In response to the server thing, I think a lot of people played offline as I mostly did. Your world tendency was actually affected by the global tendency, so a lot of people would play offline to have more control of where their world was at. Atlus would sometimes do events like turning every world to Pure Black for the week of Halloween and Pure White for New Year’s.

    • dE says:

      There were some licensing issues. As far as I know, Sony had an exclusivity contract with them for their franchise (which is why Demon’s Soul is PS3 only). With Dark Souls, they wanted to reach additional markets but wouldn’t be able to do that, given their exclusivity deal with Sony.
      So they ended up obscuring the Story to a point where it can be considered its own little universe. BUT, if you’re doing some deep digging, you’ll find that there are still a lot of lore connections to both Demons Souls and Kings Field. Just obscured to the point where it could be called its own game.

      Gameplay wise, Dark Souls is (in my opinion) just all around more polished, a rather expanded experience, while Demon’s Souls generally seems to have the more interesting boss fights. I wouldn’t go as far as to say it’s more forgiving, but there are no more “SUDDEN DEATH” moments – if and only if you observe your surroundings carefully.

      One way or another, it seems people will favour whichever of the two they played first. You’ll end up getting so good at the game, that starting the other will make it seem overly easy in comparison.

    • Snargelfargen says:

      So basically, don’t stress about it and just play the game? Excellent, thank you.

  45. Cold Steel says:

    Someone needs to unleash the Modsquads!

    I really hope there will be a way around GFWL, all efforts on activating my only GFWL game, Dirt 2 have been futile thus far.

  46. Cosmo Dium says:

    Pre-ordered. Honestly don’t care about GFWL or the graphical issues. I’d rather show my financial support and encourage From Software to keep moving in the direction of PC development for the long haul.

    I know people don’t like GFWL in principle (or practice), but as long as the service doesn’t actively ruin the Dark Souls game experience, what’s the big deal?

    • eclipse mattaru says:

      I was lucky enough to not have suffered this particular problem, but GFWL is famous for eating people’s savegames as recently as Arkham City. That alone, in a game as tough as this one, could become a gigantic deal.

      Also their multiplayer implementation has historically been a joke –and again, that’s a rather important component of this game.

      I’m thinking about buying this anyway, mind. The price is not bad, and Eurogamer claims you can just muscle through the framerate issues, which was my main concern. And I’m REALLY intrigued about all the praise.

  47. Shooop says:

    I’ll only consider buying if they have some patches after release.

  48. DerekG says:

    Is there a way to change the FOV or is it going to look like we’re playing with our face one foot away from the console version?

    • igame says:

      Is FOV really an issue with a third person game? Especially one with the camera already pulled back enough? I mean I’d understand if it was anything like RE6 which is just ridiculously stupid, but this?

  49. WhataShame says:

    Well, steam pre-order canceled. I accepted the 30 fps, console textures and lack of a proper k&m support, but 1024×720 locked rendering resolution in a game that comes out on pc in 2012… that’s just wow… I’ll pirate the shit out of this game.

    • magnus says:

      Bollocks, you were going to pirate it all along, I can read your sort like a book.

      • dE says:

        Pretty much that.
        While I have my own opinion on Intelectual Property and things like that (coming from a scientific career, I’m all for Open Access), if you pirate a game you either shut up about it, or grow a backbone and leave out the excuses.
        What you’re essentially doing is bragging “look ma, I’m tough as shit, announcing my mal and illegal intent in public” but with handbrakes on “but I’m still a decent guy, they forced me to!”.

        • WhataShame says:

          Considering that I bought Binary Domain, which also was a pc port that came out of nowhere, and got a great running TPS with a functioning (albeit empty) multiplayer.

          Really, all I wanted was to get a decent port and play a great game. I paid for it, but now I see no reason to support these developers, it doesn’t give me any high moral ground, but what’s there is there. I’m still interested in the game, just not enough to invest my money in it.

          • dE says:

            The natural and reasonable course of action would be to wait for a sale. If your interest in the game is high enough that you want to play it, pay according to your interest. If you want to pay nothing, that means your interest in the game equals zero.

          • Toberoth says:

            I agree with dE totally here. Announcing that you’re going to pirate it just makes you look like a dickhead.

    • Beva says:

      Why would you pirate something you find unacceptable to play in the first place? Boggles the mind. If you like to play games, get this. If you like to dick around with sliders and get the MAXIMUM out of you rig get something else? If you like both those things, get something else?

    • magnus says:

      And it’s always the same routine;

      1. Pirate.
      2. Play for 5 minutes decide it’s ‘shit’.
      3. File away with the other copies.
      4. Start another download.
      5. Play for 5 minutes decide it’s ‘shit’. Ad Infinitum.

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