I FINISHED DARK SOULS! + PC edition thoughts.

Posted by Lysergica33 (517 posts) -

Holy SHIT, what a game!

What a game indeed. I've had the game since release day on PS3 but never finished it. The recent release of Dark Souls: Prepare To Die Edition has given me new impetus to play and complete the game.

I decided on a pure END/DEX based character after having good experiences with my experiments with Dex based characters on PS3. I ended the game at about Level 80 32 hours of soul crushing dungeon crawling later. A new player can expect to at least double this length. I have had a year to learn the mechanics and only now, 11 months later, has every aspect of it finally clicked and unified to reveal the bigger picture at work.

Getting to Anor Londo took me all of 10 hours, a good 8 or so hours of that playthrough was mat farming and crafting and generally trying to avoid going to explore areas I knew were going to be problematic, the rest was all content I had zero experience with, but I found none of it to really pose that much of a challenge. I'd heard after Anor Londo it doesn't really get any more difficult, and I'd have to say it really doesn't. By the time you finish Anor Londo, if you've been playing well you should be pretty well geared up, enough so to have pretty much anything you'd need to tackle the upcoming areas, and I most definitely was. In fact I felt over-geared and over-levelled somewhat. I also did certain things out of what I saw as being the intended order. I killed Sif around level 70 if I remember correctly, whereas I should've probably been tackling that fight around level 45, thus rendering him to be an utter cakewalk. However, the game was still immensely satisfying for its entirety and as I continued to journey forth into the very depths of Lordran itself, the game just became more compulsive. I could feel the end of the game coming, I could feel the game, the narrative, and indeed my character's arc that had become a kind of loosely woven tapestry of archetypal badass granny wanderings, drawing to a resolution.

Last night (having just two more bosses to kill before the I faced the big bad...) I decided to continue onwards and not stop until I completed it. Around 7:30 this morning I killed the final boss and I have been buzzing ever since. To finally beat a Souls game after being an ardent fanboy of the series (but not a good enough player to sample the full extent of their delights) for a couple of years feels incredible.

However, I did not do any of the new content. I am going to do that on a new character with which I am going to make different choices and side with different people with a totally different build. I wanted to do a run through of the original content. I also skipped the painted world, the great hollow and ash lake. It seemed wrong to go to them when the forwards momentum to the endgame was so strong.

I've already gotten started on NG+ but I'm not too sure what I am going to do with this character yet. I'm considering getting into PVP but I am an END/DEX pure and it seems like pretty much all other PVP-ers have magick pouring forth from every known orifice (and a few that have yet to be discovered.)

The artistic design of the world of Lordran really comes alive on PC, revealing the true nature of the care that's was taken with absolutely every aspect of the visual presentation of the game. All of what you see in the PC version is essentially exactly what was on the console versions, just at a potentially much higher resolution, and I'd say that really speaks volumes about From's talent. Sure the console version runs at an abysmal 1024x768, but all those details that are now so clear were always there in the first place, just waiting to be glimpsed in all their glory, which kind of just blows my mind considering just how much more rich the world feels compared to my experiences with the PS3 version.

I play with these specs:

i5 2500k @ 3.3ghz (stock)

4GB 800mhz ram

2x MSI GTX560Ti Twin Frozr MkII (stock speeds)

Using Durante's Res Fix I'm rendering at 1.5x the size of 1080p and downscaling it. No SSAO or SSAA from DSfix 1.0. 4x AF, 16xAA being handled by my second GPU. The game looks gorgeous, perhaps even nigh-on photorealistic at times. Upon closer inspection a fair few of the textures aren't quite as high fidelity as they could be but the way the colour and contrast filters are used, the tasteful and realistic looking motion blur, the artistic design of the areas and the atmosphere that the sparse soundtrack creates (consisting mainly of sword clashes, footsteps, low rumbles and wind noises and the occaisional boss theme or sorrowful string melody) combine to really sell Lordran as an alive, majestic and deadly place.

The mood and atmosphere of the game really is second to none. The lore is very rich, despite it being woven into the game's fabric with great subtlety and the game's graphical fidelity on PC helps to hammer it home further, with the details of statues, decorative floor tiling and architectural complexity becoming leaps and bounds clearer.

To put it succincty:

If you were to make a case for being a graphics whore as a means to enhance a game's artistic intent, this game could (and probably should) be it.

Dat motion blur 8)

This leads me on to another point. This may be a "bad port" but it's still absolutely the definitive version of this masterwork of a game. With Durante's Res Fix and a Mouse Fix (only saw this on the steam forums in passing; I have no actual experience with it myself as I used a PS3 controller,) there is zero excuse to not buy this game. I implore each and every PC gamer who feels scorned in some way by the sloppy porting job and the inclusion of GFWL to find it in their hearts to let that slip. The game is perfectly stable, looks stunning, plays fantastically with a controller (and it seems like it has the potential to play pretty damn well with a mouse and keyboard too at the time of writing,) and offers a truly unique action-RPG experience.

Buy this game, because if you do we may just get to see a proper PC version of the next installment of the hallowed Souls series and wouldn't that be something...

(Disclaimer: I am not a PC fanboy, I love all gaming platforms equally. Just incase anyone tries to call me some kind of PC elitist or something..

Also I wrote this while rather sleep deprived. Apologies for any bad spelling or grammar in advance. Don't hestitate to point any mistakes out, I'll endeavour to fix them immediately! If you enjoyed/disliked my write-up please let me know too, and give reasons as to why, I'd like to develop my writing style further.

Peace out - Lysergica33)

#1 Edited by Lysergica33 (517 posts) -

Holy SHIT, what a game!

What a game indeed. I've had the game since release day on PS3 but never finished it. The recent release of Dark Souls: Prepare To Die Edition has given me new impetus to play and complete the game.

I decided on a pure END/DEX based character after having good experiences with my experiments with Dex based characters on PS3. I ended the game at about Level 80 32 hours of soul crushing dungeon crawling later. A new player can expect to at least double this length. I have had a year to learn the mechanics and only now, 11 months later, has every aspect of it finally clicked and unified to reveal the bigger picture at work.

Getting to Anor Londo took me all of 10 hours, a good 8 or so hours of that playthrough was mat farming and crafting and generally trying to avoid going to explore areas I knew were going to be problematic, the rest was all content I had zero experience with, but I found none of it to really pose that much of a challenge. I'd heard after Anor Londo it doesn't really get any more difficult, and I'd have to say it really doesn't. By the time you finish Anor Londo, if you've been playing well you should be pretty well geared up, enough so to have pretty much anything you'd need to tackle the upcoming areas, and I most definitely was. In fact I felt over-geared and over-levelled somewhat. I also did certain things out of what I saw as being the intended order. I killed Sif around level 70 if I remember correctly, whereas I should've probably been tackling that fight around level 45, thus rendering him to be an utter cakewalk. However, the game was still immensely satisfying for its entirety and as I continued to journey forth into the very depths of Lordran itself, the game just became more compulsive. I could feel the end of the game coming, I could feel the game, the narrative, and indeed my character's arc that had become a kind of loosely woven tapestry of archetypal badass granny wanderings, drawing to a resolution.

Last night (having just two more bosses to kill before the I faced the big bad...) I decided to continue onwards and not stop until I completed it. Around 7:30 this morning I killed the final boss and I have been buzzing ever since. To finally beat a Souls game after being an ardent fanboy of the series (but not a good enough player to sample the full extent of their delights) for a couple of years feels incredible.

However, I did not do any of the new content. I am going to do that on a new character with which I am going to make different choices and side with different people with a totally different build. I wanted to do a run through of the original content. I also skipped the painted world, the great hollow and ash lake. It seemed wrong to go to them when the forwards momentum to the endgame was so strong.

I've already gotten started on NG+ but I'm not too sure what I am going to do with this character yet. I'm considering getting into PVP but I am an END/DEX pure and it seems like pretty much all other PVP-ers have magick pouring forth from every known orifice (and a few that have yet to be discovered.)

The artistic design of the world of Lordran really comes alive on PC, revealing the true nature of the care that's was taken with absolutely every aspect of the visual presentation of the game. All of what you see in the PC version is essentially exactly what was on the console versions, just at a potentially much higher resolution, and I'd say that really speaks volumes about From's talent. Sure the console version runs at an abysmal 1024x768, but all those details that are now so clear were always there in the first place, just waiting to be glimpsed in all their glory, which kind of just blows my mind considering just how much more rich the world feels compared to my experiences with the PS3 version.

I play with these specs:

i5 2500k @ 3.3ghz (stock)

4GB 800mhz ram

2x MSI GTX560Ti Twin Frozr MkII (stock speeds)

Using Durante's Res Fix I'm rendering at 1.5x the size of 1080p and downscaling it. No SSAO or SSAA from DSfix 1.0. 4x AF, 16xAA being handled by my second GPU. The game looks gorgeous, perhaps even nigh-on photorealistic at times. Upon closer inspection a fair few of the textures aren't quite as high fidelity as they could be but the way the colour and contrast filters are used, the tasteful and realistic looking motion blur, the artistic design of the areas and the atmosphere that the sparse soundtrack creates (consisting mainly of sword clashes, footsteps, low rumbles and wind noises and the occaisional boss theme or sorrowful string melody) combine to really sell Lordran as an alive, majestic and deadly place.

The mood and atmosphere of the game really is second to none. The lore is very rich, despite it being woven into the game's fabric with great subtlety and the game's graphical fidelity on PC helps to hammer it home further, with the details of statues, decorative floor tiling and architectural complexity becoming leaps and bounds clearer.

To put it succincty:

If you were to make a case for being a graphics whore as a means to enhance a game's artistic intent, this game could (and probably should) be it.

Dat motion blur 8)

This leads me on to another point. This may be a "bad port" but it's still absolutely the definitive version of this masterwork of a game. With Durante's Res Fix and a Mouse Fix (only saw this on the steam forums in passing; I have no actual experience with it myself as I used a PS3 controller,) there is zero excuse to not buy this game. I implore each and every PC gamer who feels scorned in some way by the sloppy porting job and the inclusion of GFWL to find it in their hearts to let that slip. The game is perfectly stable, looks stunning, plays fantastically with a controller (and it seems like it has the potential to play pretty damn well with a mouse and keyboard too at the time of writing,) and offers a truly unique action-RPG experience.

Buy this game, because if you do we may just get to see a proper PC version of the next installment of the hallowed Souls series and wouldn't that be something...

(Disclaimer: I am not a PC fanboy, I love all gaming platforms equally. Just incase anyone tries to call me some kind of PC elitist or something..

Also I wrote this while rather sleep deprived. Apologies for any bad spelling or grammar in advance. Don't hestitate to point any mistakes out, I'll endeavour to fix them immediately! If you enjoyed/disliked my write-up please let me know too, and give reasons as to why, I'd like to develop my writing style further.

Peace out - Lysergica33)

#2 Posted by nosferat2 (34 posts) -

Very well written piece here. It was enjoyable to read. Kudos!

#3 Edited by Ravenlight (8040 posts) -

Congrats on not letting the game make you its bitch. Now grab it by the short-and-curlies and beat NG+

#4 Posted by lilbigsupermario (840 posts) -

Congratulations for finishing the game! That's pretty quick to finish the game in 32 hours!

Defeating Gwyn is the only thing I need to do in my first playthrough (I'm playing in PS3). And I still need to do the new content when it arrives in consoles. I'm just one battle away from finishing it, but I don't want to end it just yet so I'm creating the weapons from the boss souls hehe! Maybe I'll try to complete it this weekend. :)

#5 Posted by Lysergica33 (517 posts) -

@lilbigsupermario said:

Congratulations for finishing the game! That's pretty quick to finish the game in 32 hours!

Defeating Gwyn is the only thing I need to do in my first playthrough (I'm playing in PS3). And I still need to do the new content when it arrives in consoles. I'm just one battle away from finishing it, but I don't want to end it just yet so I'm creating the weapons from the boss souls hehe! Maybe I'll try to complete it this weekend. :)

I've played it enough on console to be able to get to Anor Londo within about 3 hours. It took me about 10 to get there this time, but I was being more thorough. I got stuck at Seath on the console version with about 53 hours played on that character, just for comparison's sake.

#6 Edited by Humanity (8840 posts) -

After looking at all those PC screens of Dark Souls I recently booted up the game on my 360 thinking maybe I'll finally finish off the last two bosses, and man that game looks so goddamn bad on the 360. Prior to Dark Souls release I did a playthrough of Demons Souls as a magic user to get ready for the new game, and even back then I thought Dark Souls looked a lot worse in comparison. Seeing the PC screenshots is kind of insane when you go on to launch the game on your console and it appears as if everything has a gaussian blur effect running on it. Also the performance issues are really grating.

#7 Posted by Eurobum (244 posts) -

@Lysergica33 said:

Using Durante's Res Fix I'm rendering at 1.5x the size of 1080p and downscaling it.

This makes no sense (to me), what's your screen resolution? Is it 2,880px × 1,620px like in the screen shot above, which is by the way 2.25x the size of 1080p, considering graphics rendering scales to total number of pixels.

Isn't the whole point to avoid the blur/artefacts caused by scaling from one resolution to another, by rendering the game at the same resolution as your screen?

There are new fixes coming out every other day, maybe it's worth to hold off the purchase for now, the multi player doesn't work all that well anyway, and PvP is said to be plagued with cheaters.

#8 Posted by emem (1961 posts) -
@Humanity said:

After looking at all those PC screens of Dark Souls I recently booted up the game on my 360 thinking maybe I'll finally finish off the last two bosses, and man that game looks so goddamn bad on the 360. Prior to Dark Souls release I did a playthrough of Demons Souls as a magic user to get ready for the new game, and even back then I thought Dark Souls looked a lot worse in comparison. Seeing the PC screenshots is kind of insane when you go on to launch the game on your console and it appears as if everything has a gaussian blur effect running on it. Also the performance issues are really grating.

Well, if you have only played or seen screenshots of a console version it probably still looks pretty good. It's the same story for people who, for whatever reason, play console games only and think that games look great, run smooth, and that there's no need for new hardware... they just don't know any better.  
 
If I only had a console I would definitely not look at PC screenshots right now. It always sucks when people get different gaming experiences because of the hardware they choose to play their games on ,  but hopefully in a year or so all versions will look the same.
#9 Posted by Lysergica33 (517 posts) -

@Eurobum said:

@Lysergica33 said:

Using Durante's Res Fix I'm rendering at 1.5x the size of 1080p and downscaling it.

This makes no sense (to me), what's your screen resolution? Is it 2,880px × 1,620px like in the screen shot above, which is by the way 2.25x the size of 1080p, considering graphics rendering scales to total number of pixels.

Isn't the whole point to avoid the blur/artefacts caused by scaling from one resolution to another, by rendering the game at the same resolution as your screen?

There are new fixes coming out every other day, maybe it's worth to hold off the purchase for now, the multi player doesn't work all that well anyway, and PvP is said to be plagued with cheaters.

Yeah I'm rendering the game internally at 2880x1620. I said 1.5x since I got those numbers by multiplying 1920 and 1080 by 1.5 since rendering it at twice the size of 1080p was too heavy for my system (this game doesn't utilise SLI worth a damn from what I can tell, thus why I dedicated my second GPU to AA.) I'm not brushed up on the technicalities of screen resolutions and such, so x1.5 with windows calculator is just how I got those numbers. If that's incorrect in terms of how many pixels are actually being rendered, my apologies! No blur or artificats for me. I had a bit of screen tearing but I sorted that out quickly.

And yes, the multiplayer elements are tempermental at best. It's EXACTLY how they were on consoles though, speaking from experience. The PVP was also plagued with cheaters and twinks on the console versions too. From don't moderate things at all, which is a damn shame. There are duel clubs out there though. Just got to know the right people I suppose. I'm not much of a PVP guy myself. If you wanted to get into Souls PVP, grab Demon's Souls and level a character to 120 as quick as you can before the servers close down. It's pretty commonly accepted that the PVP in DeS is far superior to that of DkS.

But yeah, the multiplayer isn't going to be fixed any time soon. Still worth it or the PvE. The PVP is just one part of the package, which is still great fun despite the problems.

#10 Posted by Loafsmooch (314 posts) -

Great writing! You really manage to come across on how immersive and beautiful the DkS experience is, while barely even touching on the famous "difficulty" topic of the Souls games. Gotta get my hands on the PC version just to see all those textures and small details that were impossible to notice on the 360.

#11 Posted by Tru3_Blu3 (3192 posts) -

I'm 80 hours in and I just killed the Undead Lord Guy. To read that you've beaten it in 32 shows some real moxie.

#12 Edited by Sursh (243 posts) -

I like the way you word things Lysergica33!

My experience with Dark Souls was catastrophic, I then proceeded to realize this after my controller snapped from the beating I issued onto it.

But kudos to your accomplishment, I'm compelled to read what you have to offer next.

#13 Posted by Lysergica33 (517 posts) -

@Tru3_Blu3 said:

I'm 80 hours in and I just killed the Undead Lord Guy. To read that you've beaten it in 32 shows some real moxie.

This is after a year of botched character builds and slowly figuring out how all the mechanics and stats work in tandem. Once it all snaps together the game becomes really quite easy. So if this was a first playthrough you could add at least 50 hours to my completion time. It took me about 40 hours to get to Anor Londo on my main on PS3. So I don't really think it's anything particularly special to have finished it so quickly all things considered!

And thanks for the compliments guys. This inspires me to write something a little more in depth and well thought out.

#14 Posted by Dad_Is_A_Zombie (1225 posts) -

Very nice write up. I finished a playthough on the PS3 and it became my GOTY last year and one of my all time faves. This PC version is so damn tempting!

#15 Posted by me3639 (1728 posts) -
@nosferat2 said:

Very well written piece here. It was enjoyable to read. Kudos!

My thoughts exactly. Congrats to OP for completing the game and i concur with a lot of your praise.

This edit will also create new pages on Giant Bomb for:

Beware, you are proposing to add brand new pages to the wiki along with your edits. Make sure this is what you intended. This will likely increase the time it takes for your changes to go live.

Comment and Save

Until you earn 1000 points all your submissions need to be vetted by other Giant Bomb users. This process takes no more than a few hours and we'll send you an email once approved.