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PC Port Report: Dark Souls II - Destructoid




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Dark Souls II  




PC Port Report: Dark Souls II photo
PC Port Report: Dark Souls II

5:00 PM on 04.24.2014

It's better than the original on PC but still isn't perfect


The appearance of the original Dark Souls on PC was welcome but it was... let's say troubled. Its innovative online mode was married to the much maligned Games for Windows Live service and the game was locked at a piddly 1024x768 resolution. Whilst it's understandable developer From Software's lack of experience in creating PC games would have affected the final product, it was still a bitter pill to swallow for PC gamers keen to get their hands on a Souls game.

Whilst enterprising modders would fix up some of the problems, the onus was on From Software to deliver a much more capable PC version of Dark Souls II. They certainly haven't made the same mistakes as before but it still isn't the fully featured PC port many would have hoped for.

Dark Souls II (PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360)
Developer: From Software
Publisher: Bandai Namco
Release: April 24, 2014
MRSP: $49.99/£39.99

The PC version of Dark Souls II addresses the two big problems from original version.

To start, there's no GFWL support for the online features -- but considering Microsoft is discontinuing its PC service, that's not really a surprise. There are no cloud saves however, which is a shame if you're planning on playing on more than one PC.

Additionally, there are plenty of graphics options this time, which makes a welcome change, however this is still clearly a port of a existing console game, make no mistake. Although the opening menus can be navigated using your mouse, it becomes completely clear that you should be using a controller all the time with this version. 

Namco released the recommended system specs for Dark Souls II but considering its appearance on the previous generation of consoles, it shouldn't be too much of a burden for an average PC. Whilst the range of graphics options might not be up to the level of a PC-exclusive title, there's room to adjust textures, lighting, anti-aliasing, and both motion and camera blur. My monitor's native resolution of 1920x1080 was supported and the in-game text looked sharp and crisp.

As such, don't be afraid to crank up the graphics settings, despite what the auto-detect option may assign you. Despite having a powerful desktop, I was assigned "medium" for almost all of the graphical settings available. Cranking them up certainly makes a difference as the approach to the coastal hub area of Majula looks stunning. 

However, some things can only be improved so much; some character models still look pretty basic despite turning up the graphics settings. It can become really obvious standing next to certain NPCs but on the whole, From Software has done a much better job with Dark Souls II when it comes to graphics.

On the controls side, using a gamepad is definitely the way to go; whilst a keyboard and mouse combination is feasible (the keyboard bindings are completely customizable), the gameplay has clearly been designed around a controller.

The only major problem I had was that Dark Souls II did not want to play nice with Big Picture Mode on Steam. Each time I tried to launch the game on my TV, it crashed and booted straight back to the desktop. Aside from the Big Pictures issues, I felt Dark Souls II performed well and I had no crashes or any game-breaking bugs hinder my experience.

If you were hesitant about buying Dark Souls II after the less-than-stellar port of the first game, then you won't have anything to worry about this time.





Dark Souls II gets a pretty sweet first-person mod photo


Dark Souls II Design Works book is full of bleak, gloomy pictures photo


Dark Souls II's final Lost Crowns DLC chapter is here photo


Dark Souls II's third DLC, 'Crown of the Ivory King' delayed photo


Feel the icy chill of these Dark Souls II Crown of the Ivory King DLC screens photo


Review: Dark Souls II: The Crown of the Old Iron King photo


Dark Souls II gets patch 1.08, fixes and balances in tow photo


Review: Dark Souls II: The Crown of the Sunken King photo


One week to go: More Dark Souls II DLC screens while we wait photo


Here's what Dark Souls II would be like as an eSport photo


Dark Souls II Updates, Screenshots, & Videos







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timeline following:
Dark Souls II



11:30 AM on 10.23.2014
Dark Souls II gets a pretty sweet first-person mod

Dark Souls II had a few of the toughest bosses in the series, but they'd be especially hard if you played the game in first-person. That's what a modder named Benzoin-Gun has done, detailing his creation in the vid...more



4:00 PM on 10.16.2014
Dark Souls II Design Works book is full of bleak, gloomy pictures

Today in news that made me squeal like a fanboy, From Software has released a Design Works book for Dark Souls II just like its predecessor in Japan. It features over 200 pages of the darkly beautiful art of the Souls world,...more



3:00 PM on 09.30.2014
Dark Souls II's final Lost Crowns DLC chapter is here

After a brief delay, the Dark Souls II DLC trilogy has come to an end with Crown of the Ivory King. It's available today on Steam and Xbox 360 and tomorrow on PlayStation 3 for $9.99 -- or you can get all three add-ons bundle...more



12:00 PM on 09.22.2014
Dark Souls II's third DLC, 'Crown of the Ivory King' delayed

Bandai Namco has announced that the third (and presumably final) DLC for Dark Souls II, the Crown of the Ivory King, has been delayed by one week. Originally it was set for this Wednesday, but now it's due on September 30th a...more



10:00 AM on 09.18.2014
Feel the icy chill of these Dark Souls II Crown of the Ivory King DLC screens

Snow isn't a common theme with the Souls series, so it's interesting that the upcoming Dark Souls II DLC Crown of the Ivory King will take place on an icy tundra. This new batch of screens looks suitably dreary...more



4:00 PM on 08.27.2014
Review: Dark Souls II: The Crown of the Old Iron King

While Dark Souls II brought me back to that special place that I found with Demon's Souls in many ways, the first DLC pack, Crown of the Sunken King, didn't go far enough with its concepts. It's really hard to give ...more



8:00 AM on 07.25.2014
Dark Souls II gets patch 1.08, fixes and balances in tow

Fresh off its new Crown of the Sunken King DLC, From Software has updated and tweaked Dark Souls II for everyone. Weapons have been balanced (with extra or decreased damage depending on the item), and spells have be...more



8:00 AM on 07.22.2014
Review: Dark Souls II: The Crown of the Sunken King

2014 has been very good to me, but Dark Souls II is one of my favorite games of the year. Many debates have raged on as to whether or not it's as exceptional as its predecessor (Demon's Souls is better than bot...more



7:30 PM on 07.15.2014
One week to go: More Dark Souls II DLC screens while we wait

The last batch of images for Crown of the Sunken King left me anticipating this Dark Souls II DLC which is, oh good, only a week off. There's more where that came from. Using an item acquired in the DLC, players will reach th...more



10:00 AM on 07.05.2014
Here's what Dark Souls II would be like as an eSport

A lot of us would find eSports far more alluring if the genres associated with these competitions were more diverse. We see plenty of first-person shooters, RTS, fighting games, and MOBAs. But what about something atypical l...more




eSports

10:30 AM on 09.20.2014
The Red Bull Battlegrounds StarCraft II grand finals are live!

Man, it feels pretty good to talk about StarCraft II esports again. I've been way more focused on Dota 2 recently and it's nice to go back to what helped get me into the scene. Anyway, the grand finals for the Red B...more



5:00 PM on 09.07.2014
ESPN: eSports are not actually sports

Are eSports real sports? ESPN's intrepid leader doesn't seem to think so. “It’s not a sport — it’s a competition," ESPN president John Skipper said Thursday at the Code/Media Series conference in New Y...more



5:45 PM on 07.28.2014
ESPN 'delighted' with Dota performance, expanding eSports coverage

ESPN 2 has aired competitive hot dog eating, log cutting, and a lot of boring poker. Still, it surprised me that ESPN 2 aired a brief bit on Dota 2's The International, and that the online-based ESPN 3 aired the entire compet...more



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