Up-res the sun! Dark Souls: Remastered prepares to live

dark-souls-remastered-pc

Whatever Dark Souls maestros From Software have planned for their next game proper is an only slightly-teased mystery, but here’s some fine news to make our own souls ache less during that wait. Dark Souls, the original and greatest in the series (Bloodborne excepted) and also one of the best PC games ever, sez us, is getting a remastered edition.

Update: confirmed for PC on May 25 via Steam, with 60FPS 4K support. Hurrah!

Now, officially all we know is that Dark Souls: Remastered is coming to Nintendo Switch this May, but mere hours before that, Kotaku UK ran with a rumour they claim to have verified from multiple sources, saying that a) Switch version to be announced today b) it’s coming to PS4, Xbone and – praise that ol’ fire-orb – PC too. They were on the money for the first part, so let’s pray the same’s true for the second.

For your first glimpse of DSR, here’s an announcement trailer:

We’re hoping to hear confirmation about other versions very soon (edit – have it, see below), and will update this piece as and when. There’s a timer on the Dark Souls Japanese website which looks set to reach its end in just a few minutes, which will hopefully reveal all.

Meantime, the Switch version lands on May 25: “Beautifully remastered, return to Lordran in stunning detail,” claim Ninty. Fingers crossed for a day’n’date PC release too.

Update: and that is indeed the case, it’s been confirmed to us – Souls Remastered on PC, on May 25th this year. We can expect to “Experience the rich world of DARK SOULS in upscaled 4K resolution with 60FPS when playing on a PlayStation 4 Pro system, Xbox One X, and PC,” apparently. Here’s a packshot too, like in the ’90s:

dark-souls-remastered-pc

73 Comments

  1. Mungrul says:

    Much like MMOs, your first Souls game will always be your favourite, and for me that was Demon’s Souls.
    I’m a bit sad the servers are being closed down on February the 28th this year. But the game will still be playable in offline mode.
    It’s a shame it’s a Sony title, as I feel a modern multi-platform remaster would do gang-busters.

    Still, Dark Souls on a portable? That’s pretty cool.

    • killias2 says:

      Demon’s Souls was my first, but I’m not sure it’s my favorite. Pretty much every game in the meta-series has something going for it, even DS2 despite the constant maligning. Dark Souls or Bloodborne is probably the best overall, but Demon’s Souls, obviously, still has a special place in my heart. In fact, I wouldn’t mind a less “Dark” and more “Demons”-flavored Souls title in the future.

    • fish99 says:

      Demon’s Souls was my first and yet I’d put it comfortably behind Dark Souls and Bloodborne.

    • dylan says:

      Demon’s Souls remains my favourite, despite not being as good of a game as Dark Souls. The reason is partly because it was my first, but moreso because it has one of the most inspired end bosses in any game I’ve played.

      • cultiv8ed says:

        Dark Souls II was my first but I actually Prefer I over the other 2. Sadly I’ve never played Demon’s Souls as its not available for PC.

    • Alien says:

      Same here. Demons Souls has a special place in my heart… Dark Souls and Bloodborne never felt as immersive as playing Demons Souls for the first time.

      It is not just because it was the first Souls game I played – there is something “rough” about it, it`s such a strange beautiful thing…

      And the atmosphere was much better than the atmosphere of DS or BB…

  2. basilisk says:

    Nonono, From Software, you were supposed to remaster Demon’s Souls, not Dark Souls. But it’s an easy mistake to make. Now go fix it, please.

    • killias2 says:

      That would be up to Sony. Sony owns the trademarks/IP associated with Demon’s Souls. Even if something was announced, it’d be PS4 only.

    • Michael Fogg says:

      Yes. News of porting Demon’s Souls would make me much happier than this cashgrab.

      • Nevard says:

        Why would it be less of a cash grab if they ported the one you like more?

        • Michael Fogg says:

          It would be nice for us PC peasants to finally get to play Demon’s, dontcha think? While this slightly shinier version of a newish, already 4k-ready seems very pointless.

          • Nevard says:

            I don’t see that “This previously PS only game is now on PC” is much different to “this previously console/PC only game is now available in handheld format”, to be honest.
            They are putting it on devices it wasn’t on previously, with a direct positive benefit to the play experience.
            It might less directly affect you, though.

      • montorsi says:

        Oh dear, they’re remastering something in exchange for currency, I do declare this a travesty of the largest order.

      • PancakeWizard says:

        How is this a ‘cashgrab’? It’s never been on Switch, and if I remember correctly the original port to PC was a dog’s breakfast, so surely this is a welcome do-over?

        • Ben Damage says:

          This. I would love to play through the game without all the hacking bollox you have to mess about with to make it work. I had it on my old assed laptop and somehow managed to get to Ceaseless Discharge, but try to even make the game launch on my PC and it would CTD every time.

    • Alien says:

      Exactly. Everbody can play the original Dark Souls in 4K. I currently play it in native 4K on an OLED TV: It looks amazing! No need for a Remaster…

      Demons Souls on the other hand is running @ 720p on my PS3 and it looks very bad on a 4K panel (I know that it is possible to emulate Demons Souls with 4K native res, but the fps drop a lot, even on a high end pc).

    • fish99 says:

      If they did, it would almost definitely be for PS4 only not PC.

  3. Premium User Badge

    Qazinsky says:

    “…greatest in the series (Bloodborne excepted)”

    You’ll have to excuse me, Alec, while I move away from you and the splash zone.

    • Dale Winton says:

      Correct though Bloodborne is a better game. First Dark Souls is probably the best game you can get on PC though

  4. Faldrath says:

    I hope it’s a bit more than just enhanced graphics… there are some conveniences from DS3 that I’d like to see in DS1, like bonfire warping from the beginning and no armor reinforcement.

    • Addie says:

      Probably only an irritation on your first playthrough, as otherwise you’ll know what equipment you’ll be using up to O&S, and can warp afterwards anyway.

      Alternatively, if they could patch levelling and armour-/weapon- reinforcement at bonfires into the other Souls games instead, that would probably do a lot for their atmospheres.

    • Kitsunin says:

      I think no warping at first was a great design choice in the world of Dark Souls 1. In the early game, the world only felt so wonderfully well-connected and expansive because I had to had to trek from place to place now and again. Also, the fact that shortcuts in all games after were basically identical (leading to a bonfire and therefore leading to a warp and entire rest of the world you’ve previously visited) limited the excitement and wonder they could elicit massively. Finding an elevator or a gate leading back to Firelink Shrine was both exciting (due to the convenience) and full of wonder (having the location you just came from click into place within the world in your mind).

      I’m well into playing Bloodborne now, and I honestly don’t know how its world fits together because there’s no reason for me to think about its layout in a broad sense. After all, the only thing that matters is how to advance and how to get to a lantern, when all lanterns lead to the same place. I could describe the different locations and the way they connected to one another right off the top of my head for DS1.

    • Urthman says:

      I think bonfire warping would have ruined some of the best parts of Dark Souls for me. In fact I kind of lost interest later in the game when you could start warping around. It made the rest of the game all about finishing up the last handful of bosses instead of the world as a whole.

    • MikoSquiz says:

      I hope From don’t do that. The way the world interconnects and loops back on itself, and as a result feels like a Place, is much of the charm of Dark Souls. The back half of the game feels a bit like an afterthought because they couldn’t reasonably keep it up and had to slap on a waypoint quick travel system as a make-do.

      I do hope they restore the Shiva of the East quest line (the Painted World and the Dark Wood Grain Ring exist because they were part of the quest line, but they ended up not finishing and instead cutting the quest line), finish building Lost Izalith (..you know that area that’s just a field of lava with a bunch of the back halves of undead dragons standing in it, all pasted in facing the same way?), and generally restore or finish up the various this’ll-have-to-go and that’ll-have-to-do bits.

    • fish99 says:

      I feel like forcing you to travel back and forth rather than warping makes the world seem more solid, more connected, and larger in a way too. It also makes the sense of relief when you open up certain shortcuts even greater. I kinda wish the game had no warping, except maybe just back to Firelink after killing a prime boss.

  5. HiroTheProtagonist says:

    Wait, I thought Prepare To Die Edition was the remastered version, since you could upscale to 4K on PC already.

    Dunno if I’ll buy it, I liked the game well enough the first two times I bought it (once on 360, again on PC during a Steam Sale), but three times is pushing it.

    • Addie says:

      Durante’s mod does indeed let you run it at 4k / 60 fps, but the engine is so inefficient that you’d need an absolute monster of a machine to run it like that. I get about the same framerate on DS1 as I do on DS3 on max settings at the same resolution, for instance.

      Would agree on buying it again, though. Might be worth a couple of quid in a sale if I’ve a hankering to play it many years from now.

      • laiwm says:

        Technically you can only run it at 59fps with the Durante mod, as running it at 60 causes a few weird bugs like clipping through the floor after sliding down a ladder. I believe that jump/roll distance is tied to framerate as well, although it’s not that noticeable. Really looking forward to the remaster.

        • Vandelay says:

          I regularly fall through the floor when going down the ladder that is in-between the dragon and the gate to Undead Parish. I understand that is to do with using DSFix for 60fps (or 59/whatever it actually is). I only heard that after I was killed there 2 or 3 times in a row.

          And using jumping is tied to the frame rate. I never really noticed, but there is a jump to a merchant just before the Iron Golem that I believe isn’t possible without limiting to 30fps. Not sure of any others, but no doubt there are some that are much harder than they should be.

          • Addie says:

            As well as those parts, at 60 fps there’s issues with:

            – the ladder between Sunbro and the lower Burg

            – a jump in the upper Burg, after climbing up onto a roof after the merchant and jumping back to the first building to your left as you entered the Burg

            – the jump onto the church roof leading up to the crow’s nest in undead settlement is much harder than it should be

            – some of the branches above the water-wheel thing in Blighttown are lethal, and will throw you for miles if you look at them funny

            I think you can toggle the 30fps cap with the num-lock key if you’re going to be doing some jumping, and just don’t slide down ladders if you’re worried. Also, if you fall through the world, then quitting out and restarting takes you to solid land again – if you’re fast enough to quit out when you fall, you can also cheese the iron golem this way.

    • welverin says:

      Well, remasters are really about porting games from old consoles to the current ones, PC just whatever updates happen to be made along the way.

    • Crafter says:

      The shoddiness of the first pc version still leaves a bad taste in my mouth..

      I might buy it on the Switch at some point under 10$ though

    • MajorLag says:

      PtD edition is easily one of the worst PC ports I’ve ever seen in my entire life, and it was never updated to fix its many, many problems and instead relies on a fan patch to be playable. For me personally, that was enough to ensure I’d never buy anything from that developer again. It’s one thing to release a bad port, it’s quite another to never fix it.

      I guess what I’m saying is that a re-re-master isn’t the worst idea considering how awful the first one was.

  6. sleepisthebrotherofdeath says:

    Could never get into this because it felt so janky and dated. Maybe a remastered version is exactly what I need.

    • BeardyHat says:

      It won’t feel any different, that is how Dark Souls feels when you first begin playing it. I felt that way and complained to a friend (who loves the series) about it and he helped me master the controls and how everything works.

      It feels chunky and clunky the first time you play it, but once you’ve got the hang of it, you might (I did) fall in love.

      • Nelyeth says:

        To be fair, compared to the faster-paced Dark Souls 3 (and/or Bloodborne), Dark Souls 1 feels slow, which is frustrating when you do 3->1. Some of the animations also feel a bit clunkier, and while still miles ahead of most (if not all) other similar games from that period, it does feel a bit dated.

        • BeardyHat says:

          Good to know; I actually haven’t gone back to the original since I’ve played 3. Hell, I still haven’t finished 3 yet, so I need to get there at some point.

  7. causticnl says:

    and its now confirmed it wont be part of the Prepare to die edition, and will be a seperate purchase.

  8. Creeping Death says:

    I hope we get more information soon as, so far, I’m unclear as to the point of this other than the obvious console “4k at 60!” approach.

    I just hope they aren’t touching anything mechanically. I’ve no interest in a Dark Souls 1 that plays like 3 or allows bonfire warping from the beginning. I also really hope (though doubt it) that multiplayer works between remastered and Prepare To Die.

  9. Eleriel says:

    … But I just bought the Prepare to Die edition *yesterday*!

    damnit.

    • Premium User Badge

      Dios says:

      Steam has refunds now.

      • Eleriel says:

        Aye, but I bought it through the Humble store for a 10% discount.
        Also I have probably already played just over 2 hours anyway.

    • MajorLag says:

      Well at least you can say you now own one of the worst PC ports of all time.

  10. crazyd says:

    … only 60 FPS? That’s considered a good thing / acceptable? You guys got some low standards.

  11. Premium User Badge

    Drib says:

    I wonder how many people will complain that it’s “only” 60 FPS, saying that their eyes bleed and fall out at anything short of 180Hz or somesuch.

    • laiwm says:

      One just beat you to the punch, lol. As a 144hz monitor owner, 60fps is perfectly acceptable and I’m looking forward to playing DS at that framerate (although I’m hoping to be able to push it higher).

      • crazyd says:

        I never said anything dramatic about my eyes bleeding, I just don’t think FPS locks are acceptable in modern PC releases. It makes this remaster feel lazy, and I don’t want to support lazy releases.

        • montorsi says:

          Too bad, so sad. You are free to pitch them on re-creating the game in a new engine that doesn’t disagree with higher framerates, but I suspect your pleas will fall on deaf ears.

          Dark Souls looks and feels great at 60 FPS. Here’s hoping the remastered looks as good as DS3.

        • DantronLesotho says:

          It’s not a laziness thing though, the mechanics of the game is based on the framerate. Unlocking it would throw off all its timing, which is what happened when DS1 was first released and people unlocked it. It’s a part of the mechanics of the game, not dev laziness.

          • fish99 says:

            When you switch the PC version to 60 fps it has a very minor effect on the game (jump distance is slightly reduced due to higher gravity, and you occasionally fall off a few ladders). What that shows is that the vast majority of the animation and mechanics are not tied to the framerate, and those remaining issues a decent programmer could fix in an afternoon.

    • MajorLag says:

      It’s funny, we used to play games like Star Fox (on the SNES in case there was any confusion) at 15fps and people didn’t really complain about it. I get that standards are higher in a world with ludicrously more powerful hardware, but claims that unplayability are grossly exaggerated.

  12. DuncUK says:

    I wondered why Dark Souls : PTD Edition hadn’t been on a Steam sale for absolutely ages. Now I see, it’s because they didn’t want to kill the market for this newer edition.

    • causticnl says:

      doesnt matter since the remastered edition is a seperate release.

      • DuncUK says:

        It does matter, someone that’s recently bought and completed Dark Souls 1 at a knock-down sale price is much less likely to buy the new version at full price.

  13. Maxheadroom says:

    So this isn’t the “Dark fantasy game inline with fan expectations” they were confirmed to be working on is it?

    As much as I liked Dark Souls (and all the other soulsborne) im kinda done with it now ive finished it. Can I still hold out for Bloodborne 2 or perhaps a new IP or is that all dashed by this announcement?

    • Vandelay says:

      I expect that this isn’t related. I definitely can’t see how it ties in with the brief teaser released recently.

      I expect there will be a completely new game announced soon. I am expecting it to be a new IP, but would be really happy with more Bloodborne. Even more so if it released from its Sony shackles and can be played smoother than the original was.

  14. zagibu says:

    Dark Souls at 60 FPS without GFWL? Sign me up.

    • Procrastination Giant says:

      GFWL hasn’t been a thing in the pc version for a while, though. They moved away from that nonsense and migrated everything (Multiplayer, Achievements, etc) to steamworks servers back in late 2014, actually.

  15. indigochill says:

    Funny, I was -just- pining for a remastered Dark Souls. The combat just doesn’t feel the same in the sequels, but the visuals in the original are getting to be a bit more murky than I’d like.

  16. Alien says:

    Why no “Demons Souls Remastered”? This is what we really need.

    I currently play Dark Souls in native 4K on an OLED TV. Looks absolutely breathtaking; no need for a “Remaster”…

  17. Syt says:

    Funny, I was thinking the other day that I would love to see DS1 remastered in the engine of DS3, and now they’re doing exactly that according to VaatiVidya. I approve.

    • Addie says:

      Assuming the level editor was evolved between games rather than completely rearchitected, then you might just have to load the original levels into the DS3 editor and save them back out in the new format. Would make sense, and you’d expect From to have the expertise.

      Interestingly, there’s a level viewer that lets you view the collision maps for all of the games, so you can view all of Lordran / Drangleic / Lothric from any angle, and switch the view of various zones on and off, which makes me think at least some of the code is shared between the games.

      link to kayin.moe

  18. Nietzscher says:

    Truly one of the best games I’ve ever played. Hopefully, they’ll not only give it fancy graphics but also update the two unfinished areas Demon Ruins and Lost Izalith as well as fix the horrible Bed of Chaos encounter. That would push DS1 to be my fav game of all time.

  19. Aspirant_Fool says:

    Dear everyone, please stop buying these so I can have a new Armored Core game.

    ; _ ;

  20. Blackcompany says:

    Was just thinking about how nice it would be to dive back into Souls by next winter. I’ve walked from grind centric MMO’s forever and will have AC:Origins finished by then…

    …So, yep…buying this by late year for sure.

  21. SaintAn says:

    Tried playing Dark Souls 1 but the weapon physics were really bad so I stopped pretty fast. Hope they fix that with this remaster.

  22. Raoul Duke says:

    I have bounced off Dark Souls 1 many times.

    I don’t care that it’s hard. I care that it is probably the worst example of bad UI design ever and makes zero effort to explain its largely arbitrary game mechanics. I shouldn’t need to read extensively online to figure out how to play a third person combat game, nor should I have to spend any time at all sifting through uniformly brown menus created by a brain damaged donkey in MS Paint while choosing items and characteristics which have no discernible connection to anything happening in the game world.

    • Gustaw Gnusny says:

      Maybe your problem was that Dark Souls is a third person action-RPG game, thus the numbers and playing with them is important. Swinging a weapon wasn’t that hard on the other hand and is done with a simple button press.

      Don’t ever play Dragon’s Dogma then. I love it, bu thet UI is even worse than in fiest DkS.

      Or Monster Hunter. Boy, mastering the UI navigation in crafting and character management is as hard as some bosses.

    • fish99 says:

      That’s a huge exaggeration. None of the obscure stuff is remotely needed to play the game. Loads of people play and beat the Souls game without looking anything up.

      What combat mechanics does the game not teach you? It teaches you backstab, drop attack, and parry and riposte. Stuff like leveling, upgrading armour/weapons, kindling, the game interface tells you what they do and how to do them. You just need a basic level of inquisitiveness and the ability to read.

  23. Blowfeld81 says:

    Will not buy it again.

    If your old version updates to remastered for free, ok. But I am not paying for proper updates to an already released game.

    We pay now for all these “remastered” titles and it will end up blowing in our face, leaving fewer original new IPs, selling more recycled products and who knows, maybe after all these micro transaction developments and alpha tests you have to pay for instead of getting a game for free for bug finding, some clever corporate dude at EA will find a game where they start with the “Paid update model”;

    People will scream and shout, but as usual, a big chunk of them will buy the update pass, so they receive bugfixes and vip treatment at customer service and wohhooo, it comes with a yellow skin of something that was brown before.

    Damn, I start to hate humanity.

    • Harvey says:

      I agree with you. The remaster should be a free update to those who have already bought the “Prepare To Die Edition”.

      They had never planned on making a PC port in the first place and made a good deal of money from being convinced by their fans who then fixed their shoddy port out of love for the game. It would be terribly decent of them to update those fans copies for free while selling a shiny new version to bring new fans to the fold.

      Alas, it probably won’t happen, but I’ll always have the 300 hours of fun I got from playing it originally.