Dark Souls Remastered Review – Rekindled
From Software’s long-running Souls franchise has garnered quite a following worldwide. While the third and final game in the series has been available for some time, Bandai Namco decided to remaster the original game for modern consoles and computers. Many changes and tweaks have been made to From Software’s tried and true formula since this game has been released, so it’s very interesting to return to the game that established a bold new world, as well as further cemented their “Souls-like” style. Are the visual and quality of life improvements enough to make the return to Lordran worth your time? Read on to find out!
Dark Souls Remastered
Publisher: Bandai Namco
Developer: From Software
Platform: Windows PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Switch (Reviewed)
Release Date: May 23rd, 2018 (PC, PS4, XB1), October 19th, 2018 (Switch)
Players: 1 Player
Dark Souls Remastered brings a 2011 recreation furiously thrusting into the contemporary gaming scene with all of its unforgiving boldness. The sport runs at a whopping 4K and 60FPS on Windows PC, PlayStation four, and Xbox One now. The Switch model is capped at 1080p docked and 720p in hand-held mode – each of which might be locked at 30FPS.
For the sake of this assessment, I’ll be commonly comparing the PS4 and Switch versions of the remaster in phrases of overall performance. The Switch version suffers in terms of advanced textures, bonfires and estus consuming looking fancier, and the better framerate visible in the other versions. However, the Switch model can nonetheless look and perform pretty nicely, particularly for a 2011-released sport.
Dark Souls Remastered being commonly a visible and overall performance improve additionally brings into query whether or now not proprietors of the authentic sport ought to double dip. In my humble opinion – that is sufficient of a visual and performance upgrade to warrant a 2d replica. It seems like a wholly new game, and this will also have an effect on gameplay too.
Regardless of which platform you’re playing the remaster on, certain regions infamous for chugging framerates, like Blighttown, are actually a breeze because of the locked framerate. Random framerate drops discovered someplace else are long past, so now the simplest issue you could blame demise on is your own ineptitude. You could even say the clarity and overall performance increase gets rid of a number of the mystery.
Areas with actually vibrant and blooming lighting fixtures that could sometimes obscure risks or enemies are actually tons clearer with the stepped forward resolutions and framerates. This is both an excellent and a bad issue in case you regularly cross from pre-HD to HD-best gaming, particularly in games just like the Souls franchise – where you need to be looking each single piece of your screen.
Despite the game looking higher and satirically much less mysterious or foreboding due to its better decision, the whole thing else interprets very nicely. Environments and textures convey collectively the darkish and doomed world of Lordran, human characters and monsters alike are typically notable, and various animations or consequences absolutely convey said characters or monsters to existence.
As this is purely a remaster, there aren’t virtually any changes made to the gameplay itself that could be considered a legitimate game changer. This is essentially the definitive edition of Dark Souls, and it is also the extremely good Artorias of the Abyss growth.
Furthermore, you received virtually see a distinction among the first rate HD versions on PC, PS4, or Xbox One and the Switch except you’ve got them strolling side with the aid of aspect. I totally loved what I noticed each on PS4 and with the Switch in docked or hand-held mode. The sport actually appears that a whole lot better, and it’s wonderful.
While middle gameplay is untouched, there are high-quality of existence enhancements that ensure matters easier. You can now devour multiple gadgets immediately, making redeeming accrued souls simpler – as well as cementing your allegiance to a covenant. You can also change covenants at any bonfire now.
Overall, as greater of an admittedly casual Souls fan, I thoroughly loved my time revisiting Dark Souls, in large part on the Switch. I’ve constantly kind of dabbled inside the franchise and loved it, however my time studying this remaster genuinely made me come to love its dark, unrelenting international.
The system that has worked so nicely, pioneered in large part via the Souls franchise, has finally enraptured me. This isn’t always your normal hacky-slashy action RPG, as a substitute you’re thrust right into a brooding and contemplative game of physicality and methods. It’s an entirely hostile revel in, and I find it irresistible.
This brings up another trouble with the game closing in large part untouched – if you were let down by way of Dark Souls as a Demon’s Souls fan, you’re going to have the equal enjoy right here in terms of development and linearity. Likewise, improvements made in Dark Souls 2+three are not on this game.
The first half of of the game is an high-quality cognizance on exploration and storytelling via inference, with the aid of that I mean you’re not subjected to uninteresting cutscenes or “press X to exquisite” cinematic gameplay. Instead, you’ll be exploring each nook and cranny in search of clues, higher gear, and of direction – enemies.
Much of the game is ready that little victory you ultimately manage to obtain following numerous deaths, because you’ll glaringly die – loads. The moment you subsequently well known your faults and sincerely study via doing, you’ll sooner or later overcome the barriers in Dark Souls.
This is essentially classic gameplay and difficulty distilled, presented in modern form to a new generation of gamers accustomed to being literally hand-held through an entire video game. I revel in it, and yet, I feel depressed this has become a novelty in the modern era due to lame hand-holding.
You progress through meticulously laid out worlds and levels – as the game gets a bit more linear in the latter half – dying and learning as you go. This is textbook difficulty you’d see from generations ago, and yet the Souls franchise has become synonymous with challenging gameplay.
I don’t want to get preachy about the combat and challenge that Dark Souls presents nor do I want to sound like a jaded old grognard. I thoroughly enjoyed my time with the game and think, during certain pivotal times, it presents a legitimate challenge. I just wish people would see the game for what it is and not as some novelty for its difficulty, which is nothing new.
The story of Dark Souls, much like any great epic, is cyclical. Undead humans, driven beyond the “hollow” state due to losing their humanity, are corralled into asylums in the hope one undead is chosen to fulfill the prophecy and rekindle the First Flame. This flame keeps the world from essentially falling into darkness – literally, and ending.
Most of the actual story and lore behind the Dark Souls franchise is cryptically told via the odd NPC interaction here and there. Most of the time you’re simply wandering around in the dark, trying to survive and defeat your enemies, fighting against a world crumbling into darkness. This cycle, this journey achieved by a chosen undead, must happen every thousand years.
The stark emptiness and desperation the game drops you into is definitely a welcome contrast to the majority of games that beat you over the head with explanations. You’re forced to stumble around and figure out how to save a world already screwed – with realistically no help at all. Against all odds, through undeath, the story itself mirrors the players challenges to overcome.
The soundtrack in Dark Souls, handled by none other than Motoi Sakuraba, known for his long pedigree of titles at Bandai Namco including the Tales of franchise, establishes a dark and disturbing world in which you really feel screwed. The majority of music you will ever hear are the melodies of impending doom – mostly played during boss fights.
During said boss fights the music perfectly highlights the battle itself and really heightens the anxiety and outright desperation in that moment. I guarantee if you turned off the music these battles would be a thousand times less intimidating, and yet, they really create a series of peaks and valleys in regards to your nerves.
Every once in awhile, you’ll get a moment to rest – and sometimes the accompanying ethereal tune which helps take the edge of the last boss battle off. The majority of the game, however, is silent but filled with the foley noises of your own feet. Weapon noises, exasperated yells, injured screams, clanging of weapons, all of the various noises are excellent and well crafted.
The wonderful nothingness you may occasionally sense as you discover and reduce down enemies to absolute silence is brilliantly cathartic. It facilitates heighten the moments whilst you confront a huge awful dude, as the ones crushing tunes are practically overwhelming after hours of silence highlighted with the noises of demise and struggle right here and there.
I came into playing Dark Souls Remastered with the desire of subsequently getting addicted to the collection like so many others, considering the boat had lengthy in the past sailed beyond my very own backlog. I became no longer simplest fully bewitched, I thoroughly loved my time with the sport. I surely wanted more of this sport, and will without difficulty come again to it usually within the futures – and now on the move too!
While there are lingering problems with Dark Souls as this is truely a remaster, they’re in large part inconsequential as this is a awesome recreation. Sure, the sport may additionally certainly be channeling old college trouble and storytelling, but there’s clearly not anything wrong with that. If you’re bored with present day video games treating you like an little one, please supply Dark Souls a risk. Enjoy undeath.