PC gamers never got to experience Demon’s Souls, possibly my favorite title of the PlayStation 3/Xbox 360 gaming generation. It was so good that the Master Race unsurprisingly lobbied their asses off for — and eventually earned — a PC port of its excellent spiritual sequel, Dark Souls.
It just kinda sucks that said PC port turned out to be a bucket of 720p, 30 FPS crap.
From Software got a chance to redeem themselves with Dark Souls II. I’ve been itching to play it ever since the console release over a month ago, but I was banking on an improved PC version this time around. So, I grit my teeth and waited it out.
From the moment my screen read “Things Betwixt” and I saw my character rise from the ground in the iconic animation, I knew the wait was worthwhile. I was playing a Souls game in 1080p at buttery-smooth 60 FPS.
I’m only about five hours in, but I still haven’t gotten over the giddiness from that revelation.
Let’s face it: In April of 2014, Dark Souls II is decidedly a last-gen game, at least visually. It’s kinda ugly. Every epic landscape and ghastly cave is accompanied by all sorts of jaggies and some rather rudimentary lighting. It’s not going to win any awards for its graphics.
But in a game this difficult, where every step, angle, and attack needs to be performed at just the right time in just the right place, a consistent frame rate can mean the difference between spending those hard-earned souls on leveling up and kissing them goodbye forever (along with the hours it took to grind for them).
Function over form, folks. Dark Souls II can be as ugly as it wants to be when it plays like this. If you’re playing this game on a console, you don’t know what you’re missing. Is it too late to ask for a PC re-release of Demon’s Souls?