For those not in the know, Dark Souls was a medieval fantasy action RPG developed by From Software and released on PS3 and Xbox 360 in 2011. The sport took the world by storm; gaining critical acclaim dependent on the thickness of its battle, intricate level design and world lore, in addition to garnering commercial success with over two million units sold worldwide.
the primary accomplishment of Dark Souls was in how it was able to refine gameplay mechanisms incorporated from the cult-classic Demon’s Souls and introduced at the primitive Kings Field series; resulting in popularization of the sub-genre called ‘Souls-like’ and bringing it into the mainstream consciousness as a permanent fixture of the videogaming zeitgeist.
After seven long years since its first release, Dark Souls Remastered intends to deliver this last-gen classic, together with its own ‘Artorias of the Abyss’ DLC, to the current gen console systems and PC hardware, in order to enable new crop of gamers to experience the Souls staple combat, level-design and challenge of Dark Souls and its sequels on a single platform.
While the first Dark Souls is considered a classic, the character of Dark Souls Remastered begs the question if its gameplay keeps up to modern standards, or has it become obsolete and eclipsed by Dark Souls II and Dark Souls III and religious successors such as Bloodborne and Nioh?
Set under the background of dark medieval dream, Dark Souls explores themes of dragons, gods, demons and undead plague in addition to the impending cycle of light and dark. The game abandons the standard of exposition heavy story in favour of a more mysterious method of storytelling, where lore is imparted through Things and weapon descriptions, NPC interactions and ecological information.
The core gameplay mechanics in Dark Souls revolve around a blend of strategic combat, exploring inter-connected labyrinthian levels, fighting varied group of enemies and gaining experience to level up stats and weaponry.
This adventure comes in form of Souls, which act as the primary currency of the sequence. Souls are obtained by defeating enemies and may be used for levelling up your character, updating your weapons and purchasing things, weapons, armour and spells from other NPCs. This mechanic is employed in fashion where death results in the players losing all unspent spirits unless they have the ability to recoup their spirits on their very next attempt.
While this mechanic may function as a source of frustration and challenge during gameplay, the often-touted high problem of this Souls games is a complete misnomer. Dark Souls has a endurance based tactical battle system that rewards careful strategy and punishes rash actions. The trick to success is not to confuse it for a mindless hack and slash game and try to determine patterns for each new enemy and exploit its motions based on the surroundings and terrain.
Dark Souls provides a 40-50-hour effort through an immersive world that’s engaging enough to induce players to invest 100+ hours researching hidden locations, finding hundreds of new weapons and dozens of spells in addition to experiencing the endless spiral of entering New Game + and outside.
Since this isn’t a remake, Dark Souls Remastered is basically a simple port of the ‘Prepare to Die’ variant which was released on PC in 2012 with scant graphical touches, better resolution, steady framerate and a couple of quality-of-life improvements which serve to replace primitive systems of the past and bring the Dark Souls experience closer to that of its sequels.
These quality-of-life improvements essentially include adding the ability for gamers to re-map jump button, ability to resize the user interface, select and use multiples of an item at exactly the exact same time, change Covenants in bonfires and an addition of a suitable bonfire near a specific blacksmith.
Moreover, where the previous versions struggled to maintain 30fps during gameplay, Dark Souls Remastered keeps a steady 60fps, even at the infamously laggy levels like Blighttown, Lost Izalith and New Londo, which were notorious for ruining framerates in previous gen versions.
But, despite these improvements, the actual fear of playing Dark Souls Remastered is whether its gameplay programs have become obsolete by existence of its direct sequels such as Dark Souls III or indirect successors such as Bloodborne. Fortunately, none of those games which came after its launch were ever able to the capture the uniqueness of their very first Dark Souls match, which was its interconnected world.
While the first Dark Souls is known for its souls mechanic or unforgiving difficulty, its actual hallmark has been the intricately detailed and intuitive world layout. A design choice that made every degree a deliberately crafted experience that seamlessly connected to other areas, making every single nook and cranny equally important and their exploration a compulsion.
This total level design stays unchanged in Dark Souls Remastered, since the game keeps this interconnected world where doorways and passages that apparently lead nowhere early on, prove to be smart shortcuts to several segments of the overworld; a feat that’s made even more impressive when considering that there’s zero loading, and a great deal of verticality to the design of the planet.
While the game universe stays the same, Dark Souls Remastered does present it with a few graphical improvements, most notable of which is increased resolution output. Where the initial versions of Dark Souls were locked at 720p, Dark Souls Remastered renders the match at 1080de on foundation PS4 and Xbox One, native 4K on PC and in an upscaled 1800de on PS4 Guru and Xbox One X. The pixel density of the first game holds up nicely as it still provides a sharp beautiful picture in the higher and upscaled resolution.
Aside from additional antialiasing afforded through the new variant of this game, the lighting version of this game as received a large overhaul. Dark Souls Remastered not only makes changes to effects such as dust particles, charms, item drops and fog doors but also adds volumetric impact and ambient occlusion to resources that light up the surroundings through its reworked lighting system.
But, not all change is positive in regards to Dark Souls Remaster’s new lighting system. Though the game does benefit from better particle effects and revived environment and object reflections, the remaster’s lighting creates several cases with flat light, lack of deep blacks and lack of blossom shader effect from the skybox.
This leads to lack of atmospheric glow in the environment and creates a washed out, less lively texture, reminiscent of the first version of Dark Souls 2, until its light was color corrected in Scholar of the First Sin version.
Likewise, the improvement in stripes is also a mixed bag. When some textures are touched and tweaked, other textures remain the same, making a visually inconsistent experience. In addition to this, most, if not all the assets in the sport are copied right from the original version of the game.
In actuality, the old PC version of the game with free DSfix and 4K mod has considerably better textures and seems crisper in contrast to this remaster. Unfortunately, with the launch of Dark Souls Remastered, Bandai Namco has obtained Dark Souls: Prepare to Die Edition off the Steam store.
Aside from the tiny quality-of-life gameplay changes and inconsistent visual improvements, one of the significant changes caused by Dark Souls Remastered is in its revitalized multiplayer. The game sees an assortment of changes made to the online multiplayer of the first game; such as the inclusion of dedicated servers, the highest amount of players online increased to six, and also with password matchmaking, which was initially introduced in Dark Souls III.
Additionally, Dark Souls Remastered also allows PvP arenas to feature 3v3 and 6 player deathmatch game modes, to go along with the 1v1, 2v2 and 4 player deathmatch modes which were already in place in the first Dark Souls. Arena may also utilize password fitting for play with friends or tournaments, with respawn points currently being random rather than in fixed places.
Unfortunately Dark Souls Remastered doesn’t afford same amount of effort for modifications or additions to the singleplayer gameplay experience of Dark Souls. The game sorely lacks simple improvements like addition of omni-directional rolling or reworking of Lost Izalith, and neither does it feature cut material in the original game or remixing of thing and enemy locations, as was done in the current-gen Scholar of the First Sin version from the vanilla last-gen edition of Dark Souls II.
At the end of the afternoon Dark Souls Remastered is a direct port of a 7 year old last-gen game with a small face-lift, and the value it brings to the table is directly connected to the expectations of the participant.
if you’re a player who’s seeking to experiencing Dark Souls for the first time, whether as a complete newcomer to the Souls franchise, or somebody who underwent newer games in the series and wanting to play the first, then Dark Souls Remastered is the perfect entry point into Dark Souls as a match in addition to the “Souls games” generally.
But in case you already have the game the question you should ask yourself is if stable framerate, upscaled resolution and revived online multiplayer are enough of an incentive to repurchase and replay the match? If the reply to this question is an absolute yes, then Dark Souls Remastered is the sport for you; if not, then there isn’t much value for you in this remaster merchandise.
Gameplay:-LRB-********)As a loyal remaster of Dark Souls, Dark Souls Remastered features the identical engaging and challenging stamina-based tactical action within the first, now supplemented by few quality of life improvements and assortment of additions to its multiplayer component.
Presentation:-LRB-********)While Dark Souls Remastered does improve framerate, resolution and chemical effects, the existence of washed out light and irregular textures enhance its overall presentation.
The game keeps its distinctive storytelling structure that highlights bulk of narrative construction on lore obtained through item and environment exploration, instead of plot development through expositions and cutscenes.
Worth:-LRB-********)Even after thinking about the standard of classic game accessible, Dark Souls Remastered still struggles with providing enough improvements to justify the asking price for which absolute Remakes are published in present sector.
Verdict:-LRB-********)Besides a couple of quality of life improvements, better resolution and extra online functionality, there is nothing else new in the package provided by Dark Souls Remaster. While it successfully serves as a capable de facto variant of Dark Souls for new players, the game doesn’t hold much value for anybody who already owns preceding version on PS3, Xbox 360 or PC.