hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

Dark Souls: Prepare to Die Edition

Preview: Dark Souls: Prepare to Die Edition

11:00 AM on 08.15.2012 // Alessandro Fillari
  @afillari

Praise The Sun! After the Internet’s impromptu petition to get Dark Souls released onto the PC, Namco Bandai and From Software have done right by the community, and even took things a few steps further. Now, PC gamers will prepare to die as From Software’s brutal action-RPG makes its debut on the new platform.

Dark Souls: Prepare to Die Edition will attract new blood and players looking for punishing and challenging gameplay. Even more exciting is the fact that PC gamers will get a first shot at the brand new downloadable content, Artorias of the Abyss, which comes packed with the game.

Dark Souls: Prepare to Die Edition (PC)
Developer: From Software
Publisher: Namco Bandai
Release: August 24, 2012

MSRP: $39.99 (Steam, Games for Windows Live)

For the uninitiated, Dark Souls is an open-world action-RPG set in the world of Lordran, where death is only a mere obstacle on the path to victory. The reputation that From Software’s title has is well earned. The game revels in offering a harsh, but fair challenge to players. Death is literally used as a method to help players learn the ropes and overcome powerful foes and deadly dungeons. This quasi take on the classic trial-and-error gameplay has earned the Dark Souls a dedicated and hardcore following. And now, PC players will finally get a shot at the series.

Considering the anticipation for the PC version, it’s important to talk about the specifics of its release. It's a given that there are many PC players expecting a number of graphical options and tweaks to adjust and customize, which is fair. Unfortunately, the Prepare to Die edition keeps things pretty limited. As painful as this is for PC gamers to hear, this particular release will be a near direct port of the console version and will be capped at 30 frames-per-second. Moreover, the customization options for the game are limited to display resolution and frequency, anti-aliasing, and motion blur.

From Software’s reasoning behind this is because they wished to offer an equal experience to its console counterpart, in terms of visual fidelity and gameplay. Of course, this won’t do much to quell any disappointment with the lack of customizations. I know this is going to upset a number of players looking to get their hands on it, but take heart; the PC release still holds up remarkably well, despite not taking too much advantage of the new platform. The game’s performance is much better than the console releases, with little to no technical hiccups. Also, the Prepare to Die edition will support both gamepad and keyboard/mouse play styles, which can be customized to your liking.

Our preview began at a bonfire in the Sanctuary Garden, one of the new areas added to Dark Souls in the Artorias of the Abyss DLC. Players will travel back in time into Lordran’s past and uncover mysteries of the kingdom they inhabit. During this quest, players will encounter brand new enemies, collect new armor and weapons, and face off against some menacing new bosses. Towards the end of the Sanctuary Garden, we encountered one of the new stage bosses, the Sanctuary Guardian. A giant white chimera with a penchant for lighting attacks, the Sanctuary Guardian proved to a be tough adversary. After several deaths, and beating my head against the table in frustration, the chimera was eventually defeated -- and I got a hefty amount of souls, the game’s currency, for my efforts.

Pressing on to the next area, we encounter one of the new NPCs named Elizabeth, a sentient fungi who offers you to enter a covenant with her. Just as in the original game, players can choose to side with an NPC, ignore them, and even kill them out right to loot them. In any case, we venture forth towards the Royal Wood. This forest area is very reminiscent of the Darkroot Garden, expect for the fact that it’s much larger and far more dense. Not to mention, the area is littered with brand new enemies such as the wooden scarecrows and a new variant of the stone knights.

After avoiding much of the waves of enemies, and taking out monsters when necessary, we approach a seemingly abandoned ruins and we’re treated to a cutscene with a rather odd-looking monster. As it approaches in preparation for a fight, out of nowhere a large knight dispatches the monster in a single blow and readies for battle. After being referenced several times throughout the original game, fans will finally will be able to go toe-to-toe with the infamous knight Artorias -- and he definitely lives up to his legacy.

The fight with the dark knight was by far one of the most intimidating fights I’ve encountered in Dark Souls. Despite his large size and use of only one arm, he’s extremely quick and has an arsenal of vicious attacks that’ll take players out in 1-2 hits. As you can probably guess, I died and struggled against him numerous times. After several attempts, our time with Dark Souls came to an end.

While it wasn’t there being demonstrated, another new feature added was the inclusion of PvP matchmaking. Dubbed the Battle of Stoicism, players looking for a break from dungeon crawling will be able to enter a brand new dedicated battle arena and test themselves against other players online. Matche types range from one-on-one, two-against-two, and four-player deathmatchs. Upon entering the arena, players can activate a marker and set up the matchmaking process. The inclusion of a dedicated PvP matchmaking system should be a welcome relief for returning fans who had to perform rather unorthodox methods to have an organized PvP match.

Dark Souls: Prepare to Die Edition is a well-intentioned release for the PC crowd. While the specifics of the customization options will now doubt deal a blow to PC gamers, the game itself is still very much deserving of a chance. Especially for new players looking to break themselves into the series. Now is a good time as any to jump in. Dark Souls: Prepare to Die Edition will be available for the PC on Steam and the Games for Windows Live Marketplace on August 24th. Console players anticipating the Artorias of the Abyss DLC should expect it sometime this winter.



Alessandro Fillari, Staff Writer
 Follow Blog + disclosure afillari Tips
A San Francisco native, he's an admirer of the city's diverse culture and lifestyle. Prior to joining the staff, he was a contributor and an editor for his college newspaper where he wrote articl... more   |   staff directory

 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our moderators, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding *.disqus.com to your whitelists.

 Add your impressions

 Quickposts
Status updates from C-bloggers

SeymourDuncan17 avatarSeymourDuncan17
Xbone journey continues! I thought I would like Dead Rising 3 well enough as a huge fan of 1/2, but I must say I find it's emphasis on hard drama laughable and the game fundamentally disingenuine. Guess I'm moving on to Forza Horizon 2.
TheDefenestrator avatarTheDefenestrator
I dig the feature in Until Dawn where, if you have the Playstation camera, it will record you briefly during jump scares for you to watch later. It's a really neat use of an underused peripheral. Too bad I'm dead inside and never react to them.
Shinta avatarShinta
[img]http://i.imgur.com/oZ7CQJa.jpg[/img]
nanashi avatarnanashi
Fallout Shelter: Impossible to Learn, Easy to Master.
Mike Wallace avatarMike Wallace
Not saying this is the case, but Kojima has gone on record as being a huge Mad Max: Fury Road fan. Konami decided to release MGSV on the same day as Mad Max TVG. They're trying piss on Kojima's lawn, man.
ooktar avatarooktar
Downloading Phantom Pain. ETA, 16 hours. Just in time for lunch tomorrow.
Mr Knives avatarMr Knives
OH WOW. Talk about a complete about face. After slogging through the horrid beginning and slow ass swap sequence this game picked up exponentially. So far, I'm enjoying the hell out of it now. All if forgiven. Thank you based Kojima.
Rad Party God avatarRad Party God
Oh, joyful night. [youtube]https://youtu.be/6EfhAFA2yFE[/youtube]
techsupport avatartechsupport
After a summer of on-and-off casual play, I've finally reached lv. 34 in Destiny :')
nanashi avatarnanashi
also Fallout Shelter just made me utter this: "I have to get these pregnancies done.." life is trivial in this game!
Mr Knives avatarMr Knives
Let it be known that Metal Gear 2 for MXS has aged horribly and is no fun to play. In the midst of a MGS marathon, looks like I'm skipping ahead to MGS.
Rad Party God avatarRad Party God
"Available: 31 August - This game will unlock in approximately 2 hours" HOLY SHIET! [youtube]https://youtu.be/9jK-NcRmVcw[/youtube]
nanashi avatarnanashi
-nudge nudge- hey Sony, discount Ys: I and II Chronicles and Ys: Seven on the PSP :D
RadicalYoseph avatarRadicalYoseph
Just out of curiosity, does anybody here still play Mario Kart 8 at all frequently?
Cosmonstropolis avatarCosmonstropolis
Neighbors ended up calling the cops. I hid under a cardboard box. Police officers were perplexed but went back to their patrol routes after a minute or so.
techsupport avatartechsupport
!a new MGS: Ground Zeroes update file auto dl'd and installed..the day prior to MGSV... hmm.. coincidence? OR... coincidence?
GoofierBrute avatarGoofierBrute
Just got an email from Nintendo saying that my Club Nintendo reward has been shipped and is on its way. Now it's the end of an era. *pours one out for Club Nintendo*
wutangclam avatarwutangclam
I've been thinking of starting up a criticism-minded "game of the month" type podcast. Would anyone be interested in something like that? If you'd wanna be part of it, let me know, I'm generating ideas and looking for contributors
CJ Andriessen avatarCJ Andriessen
Playing the most difficult strategy game ever: trying to figure out what order to beat your backlog in.
ChillyBilly avatarChillyBilly
Transient Ryu stays ripped by riding the rails and throwing other transients off of his rail cars - [IMG]http://i22.photobucket.com/albums/b321/Felth/homeless%20ryu.jpg~original[/IMG]
more quickposts


Contest!


destructoid's previous coverage:
Dark Souls: Prepare to Die Edition


  May 19

Namco 'seeking avenues' to continue supporting Dark Souls on PC

It's the usual Games for Windows Live for the time being


  Oct 02

This Dark Souls mod makes enemies more aggressive

And yes, there's actually demand for such a thing


  Apr 29

Super Best Guide! Dark Souls

Learn to be best at videogames forever!


  Nov 02

Dark Souls director tells the truth about the pendant

After much speculation, we finally have an answer


View all:powered by:  MM.Elephant

Ads on destructoid may be purchased from:



Please contact Crave Online, thanks!



Seriously

Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme


Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo



Back to Top


We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -