Gamebytes and Bots
Gamebytes and Bots
Dark Souls Prepare To Die screenshot
Dark Souls Prepare To Die screenshot
Dark Souls Prepare To Die screenshot
Action, RPG

DEVELOPER: FromSoftware
GENRE: Action, RPG
MODES: Single-player, PVE, PVP
STEAM RATING: Very Positive


DEVELOPER: FromSoftware
GENRE: Action, RPG
MODES: Single-player, PVE, PVP
STEAM RATING: Very Positive

REVIEW: Played Dec 2013
REVIEW: Played Dec 2013

If I was to pick a poster child for everything that could go wrong with porting a console game to PC, Dark Souls Prepare to Die would be it. And yet, the game itself is terrific. So, if you are considering buying this game, there a few important things you need to know.

Dark Souls, a console port, is the spiritual successor of Demon's Souls, which was a PS3 game only. When fans clamoured for a PC version, the developers clearly stated that they were inexperienced with porting to PC. FromSoftware did their best in the time allotted by Bandai Namco, but the resulting conversion to PC indeed reflected that inexperience needing several user mods to fix the problems. Fortunately, once you get past the problems of getting it set up, there is nothing wrong with the actual game. However, you need to be prepared to install the mods, which may themselves create problems.

Dark Souls Prepare To Die screenshot

You should also know that Dark Souls is intense to say the least. The game is punishing. It is one of the most challenging games I have played. It is, however, also quite unique and intriguing. Although it makes the game harder, it is possible for single-players to get through this game alone by remaining in the state called "hollow." However, you may find a couple of the boss fights very difficult. I did end up needing help on one boss, but persevered on all of the others.

In the beginning, it can be very frustrating until you get some practice on how to play and obtain some upgrades. You are punished severely for dying, and you will die often and have to play entire segments over and over again. If you do not enjoy this type of challenge, you would be wise to stay clear. The game does no hand holding, there are no ingame tutorials, except for a few controls in the beginning, there are no maps and no real indications of where to go when, except for some hints through dialogue with NPCs. There are, however, vast amounts of information given online with lots and lots of things you need to know. Fortunately, you can alt-tab out of the game to look things up as you go, but it's easy to misstep as there are few barriers to going into areas too advanced for your level. Also some people make the mistake of killing NPCs that can affect other things in the game.

Although there are several classes to choose from at the start with differing beginning stats, this will not hinder you from changing tactics later. However, the skill points are limited, so you should decide at some point which way to go. Weapon and armor stats and how they are affected are quite convoluted with no ingame help, so either look these up or try experimenting. This is not a run and gun game. Generally, trying to bully your way through fights will get you killed. Slow, steady, and patient wins the day and you must learn the weaknesses of enemy types as well as your own vulnerabilities. The AI are not pushovers.

There is no quicksave and the game utilizes a checkpoint saving system in the form of lit bonfires. Although you lose humanity and soul currency if you die, you revive at the latest bonfire you rested at and can return to where you died to pick up your stuff as long as you don't die again before doing this. However, if you quit the game, you will restart at exactly the point where you quit. I would advise backing up your saves. Unfortunately, all the enemies respawn with the exception of the bosses. Bosses are very hard and there's lots of them, so you have to look for tactical ways to beat them.

Multiplayer and co-op are integrated into the game and are not separate modes, making this game quite unique. But this causes its own problems when people don't like or want to be invaded. Being hollow or human while playing online, determines whether you can be invaded by other players. You also need to be human to summon others for help. Unfortunately, you will meet twinkers and cheaters, but even honest invasions can get pretty annoying when you are trying to reach and kill bosses. Once the area boss is dead, you can't be invaded in that area regardless of your status. It is pretty cool to see phantoms of real players running through your game. You can play offline, but will not see the messages or players in this case. However, you can still summon help from NPCs for certain bosses.

I used the community made mouse fixes, but still had to do a lot of fiddling around with getting proper mouse and keyboard bindings as the game hints are all given in controller form. Controls in the mod dsmfix.ini override the ingame controls for some actions so you don't have to worry about binding those. But you will have to experiment if you are going to use the mods. Afterwards, the game is perfectly playable with the keyboard and mouse, but using a controller will fine tune some movements.

The visuals are not the best for a game of this age, but very suitable for a game of this style. Almost medieval in looks, buildings give the impression of vast age and dereliction. The graphics were certainly not optimized for the PC.

After you finish the game, you can play New game + retaining most of your equipment. You can continue to level up, but multiplayer has level parameters for summoning and invading.

I've given you all the bad news first, but this game, if it fits your tastes, is really quite amazing. There are several classes, upgrade choices and covenants that give perks, although most of these are for multiplayer. One of the great things is the almost unlimited variety and combinations of weapons and armour without feeling overwhelmed by it. You can really personalize your character and feel like it's all yours. There is a tremendous satisfaction in getting through this game.

Dark Souls 2 does not suffer from the same degree of consolitis, but it does make some fundamental changes in the gameplay, so of course there is the usual debate of which one is better. One of those changes is not being able to stop invasions without playing off-line or disconnecting your internet before starting the game. If you disconnect ingame, you may get banned. Another is a severe health penalty when in hollow form, which effectively penalizes single-players. There are two versions of Dark Souls 2, the original, and the updated version called Dark Souls 2: Scholar of the First Sin. As of Dec 2017, both are still available. Dark Souls 3 has an in-game single-player mode and again changes how the hollow mechanic is handled.

Update - Jan 2015: Dark Souls originally required GFWL (Games For Windows Live) to run, however, FromSoftware converted the game to Steamworks in Dec of 2014 and in 2017, the game is still very active.

Game Issues Experienced

How to access the additional ingame content wiki

Dark Souls has been converted from GFWL to Steamworks Updating your game to Steamworks. Make sure you are using the latest versions of user fixes for the mouse and keyboard Steam Community and read how the switch has affected these. Download the latest fixes from the author's site. DSFix 2.4 seems to be the latest metaclassofnil or nexus

Development Note

With the strong petition from North American and European fans crying for a PC version, the producers of Dark Souls PTD admit that their main priority was to get the game on PC as quickly as possible. This resulted in a poor port as they were not truly experienced with PC development. The publisher Namco Bandai made the final decision for them as it would have taken too long to add PC features such as resolution, keyboard controls and higher frame rates. Apparently, the Japanese market for PC games is very minimal. However, From Software was upfront about the situation and modders ultimately helped make the game more PC friendly.

Although FromSoftware, a Japanese developer, has been around since 1986, they did not come to international notice till releasing Demon's Souls in 2009 for the PS3. In addition to the Souls games, they also developed Bloodborne for the PS4.

NOTE: For the vast majority of PC games, many digital distributors will offer "Online" CD keys that can be added to your Steam Library
Other games in series:   Dark Souls 2
Dark Souls 2: Scholar of the First Sin
Dark Souls 3
  • Genre: Action, RPG
  • Developer(s): FromSoftware
  • Publisher(s): FromSoftware, Bandai Namco Games
  • Platforms: Microsoft Windows, PS3, Xbox 360
  • Release: Aug 2012
  • Mode(s): Single-player, PVE, PVP
  • Media: Download, Optical Disc
  • DLC Available: Included
  • OS: Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7
  • CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo E6850, AMD Phenom 2 X2 940, 3.0 GHz
  • RAM: 2GB
  • Hard Drive: 4GB free space
  • Video: NVidia GeForce 9800 GTX, ATI Radeon HD 4870
  • Sound: DirectX 9.0c compliant
  • Shader Model:
  • Input for PC: Keyboard & Mouse, Xbox 360 Controller
  • DRM: Steamworks
NOTE: Minimum requirements are those officially published at the time of the game's release.
Official Site - Bandai Namco   Update To Steam
How To Transfer
Cheats: cheat happens
To indicate what kind of performance you may get, compare your specs to the system this game was played on. You can also try  Can You Run It
  • Version:  Steam Download
  • OS:  Windows 7 SP1
  • CPU:  Intel Core i5-3570K 3.40GHz
  • Ram:  8GB
  • Disk Drive:  DVD/CD
  • Video:  ATI Radeon HD 7870 2GB
  • Shader Model:  5
  • DirectX:  11
  • Resolution:  1650 x 1050
  • Input:  Keyboard & Mouse
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