Dark Souls Remastered
The original Dark Souls is still one of the best games in the franchise, and it was no shock that Bandai Namco planned to remaster the title for the Xbox One and PS4, and later for the Nintendo Switch. The key word in this whole process is remastered, which means this isn’t simply just a rerelease, or is it a definitive version with loads of DLC. Instead, this game has been rebuilt (in part) from the ground up to appeal to modern console owners. Does it hit the mark so many years later? We think so.
This review will be examining the major changes between the original release and the remastered version, and will not focus on the games story or gameplay elements, except to say that both were exceptional when they were created years ago, and are still exceptional now when brought over to the Xbox One and PS4.
But what about other improvements? Have textures and graphics been updated? Has frame rate increased? Were bugs from the original game worked out for this release? The answer is almost always a resounding, yes!
The biggest change to the look of the game comes from volumetric lighting, which casts a whole new light on the already impressive graphics of the original title (when they were released that is). But everything from the textures to shadows have seen a vast improvement. Although Dark Souls Remastered isn’t hitting the graphical capabilities of games designed originally for modern consoles, it’s not far behind, and you won’t be saying, “Man, this games looks like it came from the 360/PS3 era. The resolution throughout is also much sharper, and added visuals help enhance the game play as well.
Bonfires look more like bonfires, and flickering lamps look more like flickering lamps. It is the subtle changes that make playing through Dark Souls a second time so rewards. Well, that and…
Improved Frame Rate
On the PS4 and Xbox One, Dark Souls Remastered is running at a fairly solid 60 frames per second, at 1080P, which is a huge leap over the original 30fps and 720P resolution. While the original game was good enough because of the quality of the gameplay, the remastered version’s improvement in performance just makes the title even more desirable and enjoyable. Essentially, the developers have made a great title, an amazing title.
No Quality of Life Improvements
Outside of a few minor things, everything from the original game is present in the remastered version, including HUD placement, mini-map engagement, and more. If you’ve played the original Dark Souls and all the available DLC, there won’t be a ton new here.
This is the best version of Dark Souls, and while the graphical enhancements aren’t perfect throughout the entire experience – there are a few dingy areas where textures seem to be muddled – the steady 60fps is enough of a reason to take a stab at this masterpiece. The developers have done an excellent job improving performance and visuals. While some might have been hoping or quality of life upgrades found in subsequent Dark Souls titles, it still feels good to play the original like it was developed. There is something about playing it that feels familiar, and I’m a fan of that!
This review was carried out using a code provided to us by the publisher on an Xbox One X provided to us by Xbox Canada.