Runs great but at a small, annoying cost.
It seems to me that there is a big trend happening with these new consoles. Back in the PS2/Xbox era going into the PS3/Xbox 360 era, we ended up getting a decent amount of games appearing on both generations. This time around, we’re doing it again, but with a nice “Definitive” or “Remastered” slapped on the cover. Sure, it’s not all bad. I’m a sucker for certain games as well I won’t lie. Just so happens, the Souls series is one of those series.
Released just over a year ago, Dark Souls II was a game I absolutely loved. No, really. Look at my review. I still stick by it. I know a good amount of Souls fans have their issues with it, and even I had my fair share of them. Dark Souls II is not a perfect game. Later on after the 360/PS3 release of the game, the PC port was released. It was a pretty big difference with the 60 frames per second that actually changed up a lot of the game. Timing is always a big part of these games, and having everything move at 60 fps was game changing. The PS4/Xbox One version is basically the PC version – 1080p, 60 frames per second, and it looks great. There is an issue, though that I will bring up a little later regarding the frame rate.
Platforms: PS4, XB1, PC
Price I’d pay $59.99
Multiplayer: Online co-op and versus via invasions
So, what are the new things that were added to this already massive game? It’s more than what people may think. Of course, the DLC that hit the 360/PS3 versions is all here, adding even more hours to the game, but what many may not know is how From Software has changed up things. Enemy placement and which kinds of enemies that are present have been redone completely. Tougher enemies will be seen earlier on, and some enemies will not be where players last remember them. It changes up pretty much everything for players that have played the previous versions. And since this game is all about memorization and timing, it really feels like a different game at times.
Now brings me to the 60 frames per second issue I mentioned earlier. The PC version and the new console versions all run at 60 frames per second and it looks and runs great, but the game was originally programmed at 30 frames per second. There is a mechanic in Dark Souls II where when players hit certain things, their weapon degrades and will eventually break and have to be repaired. Making it to a bonfire before it breaks will restore its durability. Double the frames means double the amount of time a weapon spends hitting things, which makes weapons degrade twice as fast. This makes the game almost a chore to play at times. It is very noticeable and really drags down the feeling of exploration that I had originally on the Xbox 360 version due to me having to go back to bonfires to repair my weapons and in the process respawn all the enemies I had just killed. Luckily, From Software said they would be addressing this issue in a patch, but we still don’t have a date for when this will actually hit. Until then, it is a major annoyance.
Do I still love Dark Souls II? Of course. I still think it is a fantastic action RPG that the Souls fans will love, and have more than likely already played. The bigger question is should you pick up this version of the game? Well, players that haven’t played the DLC for it can get numerous hours out of just the new content. With the enemy placement changed, it really does offer a newer challenge to veteran players, and while the double weapon degradation is really, really annoying, it can be managed. It’s just going to take a lot of backtracking. PC players that have already played the game and DLC are the ones that will maybe think twice before going through it again, while Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 players will get the most out of it.
Review copy of game provided by publisher.