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Dark Souls: Prepare to Die Edition Preview

by Diogo Miguel August 14, 2012

It’s a crime that most PC gamers haven’t had the chance to play the superb Dark Souls. It seems that petitions do work though, since the PC version was announced not too long after a successful petition was organized. PC gamers also get treated to some extra content that won’t cost anything.

Faithful Dark Souls fans with the console can still buy this content at a later date. So, can the PC version live up to the high expectations set up by the console version of Dark Souls?

What players will notice once starting Dark Souls on PC is how shockingly good it looks. It’s almost as if it was developed with PC gaming in mind. Not that it looked average on consoles, but everything looks more detailed when playing through.

Perhaps it’s all down to the new areas that PC players are being rewarded with for being so patient. Starting off in a narrow area in a new area named Sanctuary Garden feels a lot like stepping into the shoes of a gladiator. It’s not surprising that a fearsome winged Sanctuary Guardian creature awaits the player in an arena shaped area further on ahead.

Fighting this beast is no easy task, which isn’t surprising for seasoned Dark Souls players, but might scare newcomers on PC. This beast will take some serious skill to outwit. It will get more aggressive as its health goes down. Only those with a powerful weapon and sturdy armour can defeat it. This suggests that these new areas will only become accessible once the player has explored other lands.

This isn’t necessarily bad considering that most PC players are going to explore the land of Lordran. These players are in for a treat as it runs exceedingly well in a laptop/PC, with the recommended requirements. On some very rare occasions, the frame rate drops that plagued the console versions still occurred. However, it’s so minimal that it isn’t enough to worry about how this PC conversion has been handled.

Everything from the console version has been carried over to this PC version. This means that PC players can explore the various areas that make up the land of Lordran. However, the new areas are not only inspiring but are worth playing through the whole game again (for console owners who can’t wait) just to experience them. Defeating the guardian winged beast will make it possible to explore a dark forest. There are many paths to take and a few surprises to keep players on their toes.

These new areas also contain new wonderfully bizarre characters to interact with. A talking mushroom right in an area after the winged beast fight is one of these unique characters. Elizabeth the talking overgrown mushroom lady will ask the player for help. This is the sort of reason that makes Dark Souls such a unique experience.

Some of the new enemies found scattered in the forest, and the ruins found within it, are rather disturbing. A scarecrow like enemy for example is brutal and will relentlessly chase the player’s character if not defeated.

Going into further details as to how Dark Souls works would involve making use of knowledge that comes from playing the console version. This is unfair for those who are new to the PC version. But expect plenty of areas that require the player to actively search for new paths.

However, it’s best to jump into this twisted world of fantasy without knowing what lies within. But anyone brave enough to do so is in for a fantastic journey. Just don’t expect Dark Souls to go easy on you. It is dubbed the “Prepare to Die” edition for a reason, but every single one of those deaths is meaningful, and will make it possible to learn from costly mistakes.

There aren’t any issues with the controls given the fact that a wired controller is supported. It just makes it even easier to get used to the various actions. It’s fairly difficult for newcomers to immediately understand how everything works.

But Dark Souls is designed so that players can learn as they play. It just feels more rewarding to take down diabolically difficult bosses without much hand holding.

This PC version of Dark Souls has everything that made the console version so successful. The inclusion of new content like weapons will surely only make it even harder to resist.

It took nearly a year but PC gamers are in for a treat that is literally to die for.

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