Dark Souls originally launched on console in October 2011. You’d be forgiven for thinking that the PC version of Dark Souls took an excessively long time to arrive, debuting 10 years ago today. However, Dark Souls: Prepare to Die Edition isn’t a simple case of the money men being in control. It’s a wonderful example of listening to the fans and giving them what they want. Hence the title also receiving an Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 release.
The PlayStation 3 exclusive Demon’s Souls launched back in 2010 to significant critical acclaim on an international scale. Such an unexpected response to what could easily have been considered a B-Movie to Call of Duty, Halo, Final Fantasy et al, the success of Demon’s Souls lead to a sequel backed by one of the most well established publishers in the industry. Of course, when faced with a much more significant budget there are also greater demands placed on the return. This lead to Xbox 360 gamers getting their first taste of the series. But what about PC gamers? Dark Souls plays its slower paced, cautious tale in a comparable fashion to what many would argue are traditionally PC RPGs. So it was only right that this audience would get the opportunity to see what the fuss is all about.
Dark Souls: Prepare to Die Edition – Fan Service at it’s Finest
A release born out the cries of the audience. Dark Souls: Prepare to Die Edition is a direct conversion of the original experience. The PC edition comes with the Artorias of the Abyss DLC available for free. However, this is clearly an appeasement rather than excessive generosity.
The game plays exactly as any fan of the console version might expect. Beginning in the Undead Asylum, you are a warrior that has been chosen to leave the land and travel to Lordran. Set on a pilgrimage to ring the two Bells of Awakening your quest has only just begun. However even by this point it’s likely that you will have faced overwhelming odds. Dark Souls is a videogame designed to teach you a series of rules and then beat you into submission when you don’t adhere to them. It’s about skill and challenge, and for many there is no better way to play.
Classic Souls is Classy
A series of different class types are available to the player when beginning the videogame. And it recommended to try a few before investing hours, lest you find that a troubling enemy down the line is just too great for your skill level. Players can go in fierce and brutish or take their enemies down at range. Rely on being able to use magic to patch-up the cracks or being forceful with your command of fire. Whichever direction you choose to go in, you’ll likely find that the class you’re best suited to in Dark Souls: Prepare to Die Edition is not necessarily that which you would choose for a more traditional RPG experience.
Prepare to PC Port
The visual quality of Dark Souls: Prepare to Die Edition received some criticism at launch. Frankly, the issue was been overstated. Even on a moderately powerful PC Dark Souls: Prepare to Die Edition is on a par with it’s console counterparts. And while there is little option to customise the visual output, setting all available options to their maximum and running on a modern system delivers a noticeable difference; impressive for a videogame which in near all other aspects is a simple port from console to PC.
The decision to use the Games for Windows – LIVE service was met with significant criticism when originally announced. However, the title is now available to purchase via other digital distribution services. Thankfully, this means that the subtle pseudo multiplayer of Dark Souls – arguably one of it’s most widely respected features – delivers just an enticing a series of tools and wide-ranging compatibility.
As a PC adaptation of a very popular console videogame there will always be detractors. However Dark Souls: Prepare to Die Edition delivers the same experience as Dark Souls with a noticeably better visual quality. Is that not exactly what the fans were asking for? Dark Souls: Prepare to Die Edition arrives as fan service. A product design to satisfy the demand of consumers. It is not a thinly veiled attempt to repackage the game for a new audience. You can sing about numbers and hardware support all day long, but the simple fact of the matter is that Dark Souls: Prepare to Die Edition brought the familiar, critically acclaimed Dark Souls experience to PC. For most, that was enough.
Elden Ring PC Fans – You have Dark Souls to Thank
It was the success of Dark Souls: Prepare to Die Edition that paved the way for future PC releases. Indeed, subsequent Dark Souls titles saw a simultaneous PC release. As did the likes of Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice and even this year’s Elden Ring. Arguably, without the success of this first step PC players may have been left in the dark for some of FromSoftware’s greatest Souls titles.