My very first journey through Lordran was one of admiration and frustration. Sure, Dark Souls frustrated the heck out of me, but it was an adventure I will never forget. When Dark Souls: Remastered was announced a few short months ago - I was ecstatic. Here I got the chance to wade through Lordran one more time, but this time in a "definitive" version of the game. Let's take a deeper look at the remaster and everything it brings to the table.
The most noticeable changes in the remaster are the upgraded textures, the new volumetric lighting and of course, the framerate. Most, if not all textures have received an overhaul in the remaster. The game looks crisp and neat, but if you inspect some textures up close, you will notice the blur on them. Overall the fresh coat of paint makes the game look good, but the game is definitely showing its true age. The lighting looks fantastic; the item glimmers and especially the fog walls look great. For instance, the Pyromancer's fireball is no longer a yellow orb thrown at your enemies. Now it actually looks like a legitimate ball of flame. Lit bonfires provide a faint light source which lends a great deal to the atmosphere of the game. The framerate is buttery smooth, with it being stable at 60fps on my PlayStation 4 base model. These enhancements are great additions to an already great game and provide that extra smoothness that was missing from the original.
Quality of life changes has also been added to make the experience that tiny bit better. No longer do you have to track all the way back to specific covenants locations to join them, this can now easily be done at any bonfire. One extra bonfire has been added in the game which provides easy access to Vamos the Blacksmith in the Catacombs. The last nifty little change comes in the form of using multiple items at once. You can now select the number of items you want to use instead of using one by one. Players of the original Dark Souls will remember how irritating it could become to use 50 Soul of a Lost Undead by selecting each one before using it.
All the technical enhancements and quality of life changes are great, sure, but, if you've played the Prepare to Die edition in its entirety, you've already played Dark Souls: Remastered. Sadly, the remaster is just that - a remaster. Everything from the original game is still exactly the same. Enemy placement, item locations, the HUD, everything is a direct copy of the original. If you are going into Dark Souls: Remastered thinking they gave it the same treatment as Dark Souls 2: Scholar of the First Sin, you'll be sadly mistaken. This is literally my only gripe with the game. The term "fresh coat of paint" is normally used when describing a remastered game - this has never been truer than in Dark Souls: Remastered. The game could have benefited tremendously from a few small changes. I really wish they took their time and had given Dark Souls: Remastered the same treatment they gave Scholar of the First Sin.
The multiplayer side of the game also received some changes. As with the previously mentioned quality of life changes, the multiplayer changes are also on the small side. The amount of players in a multiplayer match has been bumped from four to six. Invading players will also now have half the normal amount of Estus Flasks; this results in less drawn out PvP encounters. The most significant change to multiplayer is the shift from Peer 2 Peer connections to dedicated servers. When summoning, it felt just a little snappier and when being summoned, the load times felt a tiny bit shorter. It doesn't fundamentally change the game, but it's a nice shift to streamline the online experience a bit more.
With all this said, Dark Souls is still a fantastic game, whether it is in its original or remastered form. It's still a brutal RPG that will have you frustrated the one moment and awe-struck the next. Thankfully, all the elements that made the original so special is still present in the remaster. Having Dark Souls on a current generation console is great, the low-ish price point and all DLC on-disc makes the package all the more attractive. If it is your first time picking up Dark Souls, you are in for a treat, however tough and frustrating that treat might be. If it is your second or third time purchasing the original Dark Souls, you will not regret returning to Lordran for one last adventure.
Dark Souls: Remastered doesn't change anything from the original's formula. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but it’s also not the best decision. Longtime players might find the lack of new features a problem but will enjoy all the technical enhancements. For new players, however, there has never been a better package or time to experience Dark Souls for the first time. Dark Souls: Remastered is currently the best way to experience the original classic on a console.
*Reviewed on PlayStation 4
Kingdom Hearts devotee, From Software fanboy and aspiring Audiophile (the good kind that believes in FLAC files). Vincent enjoys writing about games almost as much as playing them.
Please login to post comments.
PS4, Xbox One
25 May 2018
Latest ReviewsBrowse All Reviews