Dark Souls PC, a "questionable" port: will you buy it?

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#1 Posted by JoeyRavn (5007 posts) -


#2 Edited by JoeyRavn (5007 posts) -

The first previews are in and, oh boy, aren’t they disheartening. For everyone who’s been following the trials and tribulations of Dark Souls on PC, the fact that From Software is doing a very… questionable job at porting the game. It seems that, after all, the game will improve on the framerate of the console versions in some parts of the game (most notably Blight Town and New Londo Ruins). And let’s not forget that the PC version comes bundled with a DLC that on consoles is going to be $15. But, despite this, the game is locked at 30 FPS and an internal resolution of 1024x720 regardless of what output resolution the player has selected. And as we all know, PC gamers tend to take this stuff very seriously (me included).

So, what are your thoughts on this? Would you buy a port of a game in such state? Are you able to overcome the obvious technical limitations of a port like this one in order to play a game you really want to play?

Edit: In case I'm not very clear about it, I'm just using Dark Souls as a recent and viable example. My question goes out for every game in the same situation as Dark Souls.

#3 Posted by Bell_End (1208 posts) -
#4 Posted by Bourbon_Warrior (4523 posts) -

People petitioned so they put it on PC, it doesn't have 1080p resolution or 60 frames per second but it is the game that many people loved on the consoles and now they can play it on PC.

#5 Posted by Jrad (624 posts) -

It's a pity about the resolution, but the experience is still going to be superior to the console's. As long as the port is never inferior (and the Dark Souls port isn't inferior -- at worst, it's on par) I don't have any problem buying them.

#6 Posted by scarace360 (4828 posts) -

No 1080p, uses GFWL, and 30 fps. That's just an xbox version on my computer.

#7 Posted by AhmadMetallic (18954 posts) -

I don't like frustratingly hard games that make me angry so no

#8 Posted by emem (1972 posts) -

I honestly can't play games with 30 FPS without getting a headache which is why I'll probably wait until there's a 60 FPS patch/crack. Sadly it would most likely make online play impossible, but what can you do... I really want to play the game.

#9 Edited by Roland_D11 (193 posts) -

@scarace360: Yes, it is. And what is so bad about that? DS is a fantastic game on consoles, it doesn't need 1080p to look good. It is a lot cheaper than the console versions, has more content and the framerate issues are fixed. I wonder if the 30fps lock was neccessary to not ruin the way the combat feels in DS. GFWL may be questionable, but this happened because From Software knows the matchmaking of Live from the Xbox-Version of the game.

And From Software did never try to deceive their fans. They were very open from the start about the technical limitations of the PC version (resolution, 30fps lock, rudimentary mouse/keyboard support, GFWL).

#10 Posted by Humanity (9875 posts) -

IF you don't own any consoles then this is great news but if you already have it for the 360 or PS3 there isn't a huge incentive to getting it again unless you're some diehard fan. I loved Demons Souls but honestly never finished Dark Souls, not because it was too hard but because I just didn't find it as engrossing as Demons. Probably the constant lack of direction was also a factor - in a game where you can cheaply die from unknown dangers at any moment, having to wander around aimlessly not even knowing if you're heading in the right direction is a bad design choice if you ask me. In Demons you knew you basically have to go forward - it may be tough but that was the way to go. In Dark Souls you can get pretty far before realizing you're in the wrong place at the wrong time.

#11 Posted by bibamatt (1089 posts) -

I guess I can't help feel a little bit sad about the resolution (I'd have really liked it at least 1080p), the fact that it's be an improved frame rate is a winner for me. It has some really bad chugginess on the console version so, even if it's locked at 30fps, that's a massive improvement over my well used PS3 version. While some pessimists may see this as a 'bad port', I think an optimist could see it as the best version of the game available. It's an incredible game. If you want the superior version, this is it. Bring it on.

#12 Posted by MattyFTM (14424 posts) -

The way I see it, From Software aren't PC developers. They're console devs. They know how to develop good console games. The fact that we're getting a PC version at all is a huge step. They've gone to a lot of effort to port this game to PC's because the fans wanted it. It does everything the console version does. It's not like we're getting a worse game than it was on consoles. We're not getting anything extra, but I'm fine with that considering where the developers expertise lie.

And ultimately, they've been totally open about all of this. It's not like they've put out the game without telling people the score. Plenty of PC games get put out in a semi-broken state without a word of warning. They're putting this out in a (presumably) working state, giving us total forewarning of the limitations of the port. They could have put it out without saying anything. They could have got all the day 1 sales before anyone realized it was lacking certain things. But no, they flat out said what the game was going to be, despite knowing they would get some negative press for it. Whichever way you look at it, that's awesome.

Moderator
#13 Posted by Laini (186 posts) -

I'm going to buy it and I hope it does well. It's a shame it's not a better port but if this does well and they make another Souls game perhaps we'll see a proper PC port of that.

My worry is that a bunch of people signed that petition for the sake of it and weren't actually planning on buying the game anyway, or will just pirate it.

#14 Edited by CptBedlam (4455 posts) -

@Roland_D11 said:

@scarace360: Yes, it is. And what is so bad about that? DS is a fantastic game on consoles, it doesn't need 1080p to look good. It is a lot cheaper than the console versions, has more content and the framerate issues are fixed. I wonder if the 30fps lock was neccessary to not ruin the way the combat feels in DS. GFWL may be questionable, but this happened because From Software knows the matchmaking of Live from the Xbox-Version of the game.

And From Software did never try to deceive their fans. They were very open from the start about the technical limitations of the PC version (resolution, 30fps lock, rudimentary mouse/keyboard support, GFWL).

This.

The port is clearly not for double-dippers who wanted a dramatically improved version. Hell, this was pretty much clear from the start judging by From Software's comments.

But an "xbox version" is still better than no version at all. The game wasn't lauded because of its flawless technical execution on consoles. Quite the opposite: it was lauded despite the numerous technical issues that plaqued the console versions which should tell you just how good it is.

PC gamers skipping on this purely because of the weak port job are way too in love with graphics and their hardware. It's okay to be disappointed with the port but PC gamers should still play it.

#15 Edited by JoeyRavn (5007 posts) -

@Bell_End said:

http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2012-08-09-dark-souls-pc-preview-the-devils-bargain

this EG preview was really positive. other than the resolution 'problem' they said it was fantastic.

as long as it looks as good as it did on the PS3 but runs smooth, im happy

Yeah, I linked the article in my first post. I'm sure the game is great, but I wanted to focus on the technical aspects of the port rather on the quality of the game itself. Or, better yet, despite the quality of the game itself :P

I myself have the game pre-ordered for more than a month now. Still, I would have loved to get a "proper" PC version, if you know what I mean.

#16 Edited by MB (12943 posts) -

H. Other - I already own the game for Xbox 360, but am unable to resist Steam sales so I will buy it during the inevitable 75% off sale...which will probably be before the end of the year.

Moderator
#17 Posted by Char12 (69 posts) -

I don't see what the problem is? Its better than the console version, The framerate is not bad, 30 was fine for console, it will be fine for PC. Though the resolution cap may be annoying at times.

Bottom line you shouldn't give up on such a great game on such a small issue.

#18 Posted by NaDannMaGoGo (338 posts) -

I'm not interested in the game and thus won't buy it.

If I was interested, I wouldn't buy it due to the port conditions.

Playing a 3D game with roaming camera at a shitty resolution and 30fps - good god!

#19 Posted by Karkarov (3230 posts) -

@scarace360 said:

No 1080p, uses GFWL, and 30 fps. That's just an xbox version on my computer.

You mean like a port? Seriously, you wanted Dark Souls on PC.... this is Dark Souls.... only you can play it on PC. If it had to have better textures, better resolution, FXAA, and all this other crap to be worth your time then you never really wanted to play the game to begin with.

#20 Posted by phrosnite (3518 posts) -

D. I'm going to wait to see what the reviewers have to say.

#21 Posted by Shivoa (643 posts) -

Yep, deal breaker. I'm a coder, so I know that saying someone doesn't have a specific experience with certain hardware/software isn't an excuse. It's in the professional competence requirement section of the code of conduct of the trade body for coders in the UK. If you are clawing in the dark you're an amateur and there's no shame in that but you're not a pro. Resolution agnostic design has been best practices in the PC market for over a decade, if you don't have the technical competence to complete a port then you need to do professional development or hire in expertise to complete your commercial product if you don't expect a portion of your potential customer base to walk away from the bad deal on offer.

You know who had a lot of experience at 480i development and no experience with HD: the majority of console-only coders before this gen. You know what wouldn't have been acceptable: if 360/PS3 games came out and were 480p upscaled, 4:3 aspect. I would not buy something so technically crippled by either lack of publisher funding for a proper development cycle or technical expertise from a team who were unwilling to seek outside help on this aspect of their job. And I'm not going to buy this.

#22 Posted by J12088 (462 posts) -

Yes.

I loved the console version and it's slow down and stuff was managable if it's like that on pc I'll get by. What i didn't like was having my save wiped 3 times and having to start over. A problem i can solve on the PC by making a back up of my save.

#23 Posted by Terramagi (1159 posts) -

I ran higher resolutions back in the 90s. The quality of the port job is simply inexcusable. Is it so goddamn hard to make it so your UI scales, instead of taking up a quarter of your screen no matter what?

No, that Ubisoft dev calling everybody who owns a PC entitled children who need to shove a bottle in their mouths and shut the fuck up on NeoGAF doesn't count. It's UBISOFT, why would you take their opinion seriously?

#24 Posted by scarace360 (4828 posts) -

@Karkarov said:

@scarace360 said:

No 1080p, uses GFWL, and 30 fps. That's just an xbox version on my computer.

You mean like a port? Seriously, you wanted Dark Souls on PC.... this is Dark Souls.... only you can play it on PC. If it had to have better textures, better resolution, FXAA, and all this other crap to be worth your time then you never really wanted to play the game to begin with.

Ive already played the game and no i never asked for it on pc. But if you are gonna do a port job you might as well give us some options with it. Does it even have FXAA options?

#25 Posted by Terramagi (1159 posts) -

@J12088 said:

Yes.

I loved the console version and it's slow down and stuff was managable if it's like that on pc I'll get by. What i didn't like was having my save wiped 3 times and having to start over. A problem i can solve on the PC by making a back up of my save.

It's GFWL. So no you can't, actually.

#26 Posted by scarace360 (4828 posts) -

@CptBedlam said:

@Roland_D11 said:

@scarace360: Yes, it is. And what is so bad about that? DS is a fantastic game on consoles, it doesn't need 1080p to look good. It is a lot cheaper than the console versions, has more content and the framerate issues are fixed. I wonder if the 30fps lock was neccessary to not ruin the way the combat feels in DS. GFWL may be questionable, but this happened because From Software knows the matchmaking of Live from the Xbox-Version of the game.

And From Software did never try to deceive their fans. They were very open from the start about the technical limitations of the PC version (resolution, 30fps lock, rudimentary mouse/keyboard support, GFWL).

This.

The port is clearly not for double-dippers who wanted a dramatically improved version. Hell, this was pretty much clear from the start judging by From Software's comments.

But an "xbox version" is still better than no version at all. The game wasn't lauded because of its flawless technical execution on consoles. Quite the opposite: it was lauded despite the numerous technical issues that plaqued the console versions which should tell you just how good it is.

PC gamers skipping on this purely because of the weak port job are way too in love with graphics and their hardware. It's okay to be disappointed with the port but PC gamers should still play it.

You see I wanted to double dip but there is no point for me to that's probably why im disappointed with this. But if this was my first time playing it and it was on Pc my only problem with it would be that it uses GFWL i have had terrible experience with it.

#27 Posted by ashenozzie (24 posts) -

I played this on a TV on my xbox version and I thought it looked OK. Having the same thing on a 24 inch monitor is going to be OK.

Arguing about numbers can be very fun, but odds are you won't be able to tell once you actually play the game.

The best part of this for me is that I will have 30 fps in every location, unlike the xbox version which had severe fps issues at times, though a friend that came over and played a bit said it was smoother than his PS3 version. YMMV on that.

#28 Posted by Shivoa (643 posts) -

@ashenozzie said:

Arguing about numbers can be very fun, but odds are you won't be able to tell once you actually play the game.

Should've gone to Specsavers, seriously.

#29 Posted by Terramagi (1159 posts) -

@ashenozzie said:

I played this on a TV on my xbox version and I thought it looked OK. Having the same thing on a 24 inch monitor is going to be OK.

Arguing about numbers can be very fun, but odds are you won't be able to tell once you actually play the game.

The best part of this for me is that I will have 30 fps in every location, unlike the xbox version which had severe fps issues at times, though a friend that came over and played a bit said it was smoother than his PS3 version. YMMV on that.

Yes, I'm not going to be able to tell how nauseatingly huge the UI is.

And no, Blighttown still dips unless you have a RETARDEDLY powerful rig. Like, "can run two instances of The Witcher 2 on Ultra at the same time" powerful.

#30 Posted by MattyFTM (14424 posts) -

@Terramagi said:

@J12088 said:

Yes.

I loved the console version and it's slow down and stuff was managable if it's like that on pc I'll get by. What i didn't like was having my save wiped 3 times and having to start over. A problem i can solve on the PC by making a back up of my save.

It's GFWL. So no you can't, actually.

GFWL doesn't do anything special with save files. They're stored on your hard drive just like any other game and can be backed up just like any other game.

Moderator
#31 Posted by Freshbandito (689 posts) -

PC Gaming, turns out it 'is' all about the resolution and making your hardware sweat being more important than gameplay. It honestly makes me feel sad that pc gamers will shoot this down just because it doesn't have triple-double bufferilterising on it's antibump-map-aliaspixels.

#32 Posted by Giefcookie (610 posts) -

I already got it on PS3 and the improvements aren't big enough to warrant the purchase.

#33 Edited by NaDannMaGoGo (338 posts) -

@ashenozzie said:

Arguing about numbers can be very fun, but odds are you won't be able to tell once you actually play the game.

Get your eyes checked. If you cannot distinguish between twice the pixel size on a computer monitor there's something wrong with you, not us.

Same for framerate. In fact, here's an interesting article in that regard:

http://www.100fps.com/how_many_frames_can_humans_see.htm

#34 Posted by Terramagi (1159 posts) -

@Freshbandito said:

PC Gaming, turns out it 'is' all about the resolution and making your hardware sweat being more important than gameplay. It honestly makes me feel sad that pc gamers will shoot this down just because it doesn't have triple-double bufferilterising on it's antibump-map-aliaspixels.

You're the kind of person who hears "low FoV causes me to become nauseous" and starts complaining about entitlement issues.

#35 Posted by Humanity (9875 posts) -

@MattyFTM said:

@Terramagi said:

@J12088 said:

Yes.

I loved the console version and it's slow down and stuff was managable if it's like that on pc I'll get by. What i didn't like was having my save wiped 3 times and having to start over. A problem i can solve on the PC by making a back up of my save.

It's GFWL. So no you can't, actually.

GFWL doesn't do anything special with save files. They're stored on your hard drive just like any other game and can be backed up just like any other game.

I was about to comment as well. I honestly never checked so I don't know but to my knowledge it doesn't do anything with your saves that services like Steam wouldn't?

#36 Posted by MattyFTM (14424 posts) -

@Humanity said:

@MattyFTM said:

@Terramagi said:

@J12088 said:

Yes.

I loved the console version and it's slow down and stuff was managable if it's like that on pc I'll get by. What i didn't like was having my save wiped 3 times and having to start over. A problem i can solve on the PC by making a back up of my save.

It's GFWL. So no you can't, actually.

GFWL doesn't do anything special with save files. They're stored on your hard drive just like any other game and can be backed up just like any other game.

I was about to comment as well. I honestly never checked so I don't know but to my knowledge it doesn't do anything with your saves that services like Steam wouldn't?

It's possible things have changed, but I did a fair bit of messing around with Fallout 3 save files. They were just stored in [user]/Documents/My Games/Fallout 3, the same way most other games store save files.

Moderator
#37 Posted by Char12 (69 posts) -

@Terramagi said:

@ashenozzie said:

I played this on a TV on my xbox version and I thought it looked OK. Having the same thing on a 24 inch monitor is going to be OK.

Arguing about numbers can be very fun, but odds are you won't be able to tell once you actually play the game.

The best part of this for me is that I will have 30 fps in every location, unlike the xbox version which had severe fps issues at times, though a friend that came over and played a bit said it was smoother than his PS3 version. YMMV on that.

Yes, I'm not going to be able to tell how nauseatingly huge the UI is.

And no, Blighttown still dips unless you have a RETARDEDLY powerful rig. Like, "can run two instances of The Witcher 2 on Ultra at the same time" powerful.

How would you know that? Have you played it? Funny how all the previews are saying the framerate is much smoother than the console version

#38 Posted by Shivoa (643 posts) -

@MattyFTM said:

@Humanity said:

@MattyFTM said:

@Terramagi said:

@J12088 said:

Yes.

I loved the console version and it's slow down and stuff was managable if it's like that on pc I'll get by. What i didn't like was having my save wiped 3 times and having to start over. A problem i can solve on the PC by making a back up of my save.

It's GFWL. So no you can't, actually.

GFWL doesn't do anything special with save files. They're stored on your hard drive just like any other game and can be backed up just like any other game.

I was about to comment as well. I honestly never checked so I don't know but to my knowledge it doesn't do anything with your saves that services like Steam wouldn't?

It's possible things have changed, but I did a fair bit of messing around with Fallout 3 save files. They were just stored in [user]/Documents/My Games/Fallout 3, the same way most other games store save files.

GfWL can play around with save files, not all games use it. The save files can be locked to your profile and so encrypted and sometimes this does cause a lot of pain for users. On top of the few percent of users who simply get crash errors from GfWL on their machine and so that technology does literally mean they cannot play the game (and even if that is later fixed, why would anyone take the risk with their money on a new game on the chance that maybe this one doesn't crash like the last one on their PC).

#39 Posted by Jack268 (3387 posts) -

I don't see what's so "questionable" really. I understand people want to tweak their settings, but come on. People asked for Dark Souls on PC, they got an exact port of Dark Souls. 
 
That said, I already have it on my PS3, so I wont pick it up.

#40 Posted by yinstarrunner (1233 posts) -

It's very disappointing.  It could have been so much more.  I'm pretty sure that the 720p is going to look pretty crappy on my monitor, but I'll be picking this up anyway.  Hopefully it will sell well enough that the next Souls game might come out sooner on PC, and with better quality.

#41 Posted by Humanity (9875 posts) -

@Shivoa: I keep being amazed by these horror stories of GFWL since I actually really enjoy it and never had issues. Yesterday I won Dirt 2 in some Steam giveaway so I start it up and it had GFWL and it already knew my info from when I played bulletstorm. Got logged in instantly, tried out a single race and got a bunch of achievements - I dunno I thought like "oh cool nice and smooth"

#42 Posted by CL60 (16906 posts) -
@Humanity

@Shivoa: I keep being amazed by these horror stories of GFWL since I actually really enjoy it and never had issues. Yesterday I won Dirt 2 in some Steam giveaway so I start it up and it had GFWL and it already knew my info from when I played bulletstorm. Got logged in instantly, tried out a single race and got a bunch of achievements - I dunno I thought like "oh cool nice and smooth"

Ive never had any issues with GFWL either, it's always been smooth for me.
#43 Posted by Vextroid (1427 posts) -

I'll buy it. Hoping it can be modded and the modders can help clean it up, the same way modders cleaned up RE4 for PC.

#44 Posted by JoeyRavn (5007 posts) -

@ashenozzie said:

Arguing about numbers can be very fun, but odds are you won't be able to tell once you actually play the game.

Maybe you can't, but most people can and will. The difference between 30 FPS and 60 FPS alone is jarring. I'm not saying the game will be unplayable or anything, but you should try and see it for yourself. There's a world of difference between higher resolutions and framerates and lower ones. The game will be fine and everyone will get used to it after a while, but, hey, the difference is there.

@Jack268 said:

I don't see what's so "questionable" really. I understand people want to tweak their settings, but come on. People asked for Dark Souls on PC, they got an exact port of Dark Souls.

Think about it the other way around: imagine that when CD Projekt Red ported The Witcher 2, they did little to nothing to adapt it to the possibilities of the hardware they were working with. Sure, it's The Witcher 2 on Xbox 360, but it plays at 2 FPS at most. I don't think anyone would give it a pass so lightly as in the case of Dark Souls. When people asked for a port to PC, it was obvious that they weren't asking for a strict port that does barely nothing to take advantage of the expanded features of a PC in comparison to a console. Of course, we're not talking about rebuilding the game from scratch to add Direct X 11 tessellation and ubersampling... We're talking about basic features of a PC game like, you know, uncapped framerate.

I can't help but think that the idea of PC gamers as "elitist" is downplaying the importance of a good port. If it had been the other way around, I'm sure people would be in arms about it.

#45 Posted by Shivoa (643 posts) -

@Humanity: I have no issue with GfWL, it works for me (and I get achievements on my 360 profile, no bad thing for tracking my gaming) and the updates aren't even that wonky and behind the times any more. The encrypting of save games (optional, I think it also is an optional thing on 360 and prevents games from being copied about or used by someone who isn't you as a achievement hack) is shitty but many GfWL games don't use it and that's a freedom issue; we have a lot of freedom issues with PC games (like DRM).

But there is more than enough forum chatter from people who do not have that experience. Their experience of GfWL is crashing, unending cycles on uninstall/reinstall, inability to log into an account (in some games that can't save or refuse to start at all without being signed into Live) and so on that do make these games unplayable in some cases. Some people can't get the Steam in-game interface to work on their PCs, but that will never prevent you from playing a game from steam (because you can always turn it off). PCs have so many hardware and software combos that there will always be edge cases. And some of those edge cases will justifiably say that GfWL is the reason they won't buy this game as that technology simply doesn't work seamlessly or at all on their PC. It's the same as added DRM, it is a decent reason to reject to option to purchase something. It adds exactly nothing to the core experience (the game itself) being sold and can screw up and leave you without the thing you paid for working correctly. Why would you give the executives making those decisions the data (in purchases) to say this is acceptable if you don't agree that it is.

#46 Posted by Freshbandito (689 posts) -

@Terramagi said:

@Freshbandito said:

PC Gaming, turns out it 'is' all about the resolution and making your hardware sweat being more important than gameplay. It honestly makes me feel sad that pc gamers will shoot this down just because it doesn't have triple-double bufferilterising on it's antibump-map-aliaspixels.

You're the kind of person who hears "low FoV causes me to become nauseous" and starts complaining about entitlement issues.

And i take it you're the kind of person who gets awfully defensive and puts words in other's mouths?

#47 Posted by Gargantuan (1887 posts) -

I was going to buy it but the fact that it uses GFWL and apparently is a very bad port means I'll buy the PS3 DLC instead.

#48 Edited by Seppli (10251 posts) -

I bought a PS3 for Demon's Souls, respectively it's the game that pushed me over the edge. I enjoyed both Demon's Souls and Dark Souls immensely. Definitely a hallmark gaming experience. Many singleplayer experiences should find inspiration in the Souls series' take on online multiplayer inclusion in predominantly singleplayer-driven experiences. It kinda brings together the best of both worlds.

Shame the port doesn't do the platform justice, but as long as it's functional, and you haven't played the game yet, you should do yourself the favor and buy the game. Experience it for yourself. It's brilliant.

#49 Posted by Joeyoe31 (820 posts) -

Shit port of Dark Souls? Rather just wait for the PS3 version. Plus then these PVP builds wouldn't go to waste.

#50 Edited by Seppli (10251 posts) -

@NaDannMaGoGo said:

I'm not interested in the game and thus won't buy it.

If I was interested, I wouldn't buy it due to the port conditions.

Playing a 3D game with roaming camera at a shitty resolution and 30fps - good god!

Looking at your avatar - I'm assuming you like Diablo, and its atmosphere, loot, infernal challenge and such - you definitely miss out if you skip Dark Souls. Grieveous error indeed.

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