Praising the Sun… in 4K.
Dark Souls is getting a long-awaited and much-deserved revisit in the form of Dark Souls Remastered, coming to PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and — surprisingly — Nintendo Switch on May 25, 2018.
As a game that, in only a handful of years, defined a generation of games and whose influence will probably be seen for years to come, Dark Souls doesn’t have a whole lot we’d ask FromSoftware to drastically change. But there are a few ways we’re excited to see the beloved adventure improved for current gen platforms, and for the incoming wave of new Dark Souls fans.
Watch the Dark Souls Remastered trailer below:
Here are 7 things we hope Dark Souls Remastered fixes.
Technical improvements: resolution, UI, and framerate
These are obvious ones, considering they were specifically mentioned in the official announcements and we’re talking about a remaster.
As dearly as we love Dark Souls, that 1024×720 resolution on the PC port does not do it any favors, and its sometimes jittery 30 FPS is of course a major sour point for players, who had to turn to popular mods like DSfix to address these issues. Nobody has fond memories of stuttering their way through Blighttown, an already difficult to navigate level that required extreme vigilance at every turn.
But even the poorly optimized areas aside, the world of Lordran is gorgeous in its own sad, dreary way, so we’re excited to see it in 4K and running at a smooth 60 FPS on PC, PS4 Pro, and Xbox One X in general. We hope with the improved resolution comes better UI scaling as well, which was another issue popular mods aimed to fix. Read more about specific resolution and framerate specs on our Dark Souls Remastered wiki.
Another obvious one that the official Dark Souls page specifically pinpoints, but we felt the need to highlight anyway — multiplayer. The original version of Dark Souls only supported one to four co-op players via P2P, and a lack of password matchmaking made it difficult to pair up with friends. Dark Souls Remastered will support up to six players at a time, feature dedicated servers for online play, and a built-in password-based matchmaking system.
But those aren’t the only ways Dark Souls Remastered could overhaul the multiplayer experience. Dark Souls 3’s online mode was greatly improved with the addition of activity signifiers, an easy way to indicate the most active zones for PVP and co-op. A similar system would be an easy and non-intrusive way to breathe life into Dark Souls Remastered’s multiplayer component.
Better online support also means a potentially revitalized PVP arena in the Artorias of the Abyss DLC, which will be included in the remastered edition, and a much-needed overhaul of the Gravelord Servant, a popular but at times confusing covenant whose true potential FromSoftware has the opportunity to fully explore in a remaster.
Character re-spec options
Part of the allure of the first Dark Souls was slowly learning the ins and outs of its systems and experimenting with the best builds and gear alone, with friends, or as part of the larger, budding community, especially when it was still young. But unless you have hundreds of hours to invest in trying out new things, it’s possible for new players to totally mess up their build. How many first-timers put a ton of points into Resistance only to realize later what a waste of souls that was? The (limited) option to re-spec stats introduced in later Souls games would vastly improve the first game, especially for the inevitable influx of new players who might make mistakes leveling up.
Dark Souls is known for being challenging, but fair, so it’s only right that it includes more built-in options for physical accessibility as well. In the original version of Dark Souls, you could remap keyboard inputs, but not gamepad controls, making it harder for players with specific controller needs to circumvent physical disabilities. Even if you don’t have special needs, being able to adjust controls to your liking is always a nice option to have.
Update aged mechanics
It’s a small one, but being able to roll into and stagger certain enemy types in later Dark Souls games made escaping from tight and potentially deadly situations so much more balanced. There are rumors that the remaster will run in Dark Souls 3’s engine, which if true, would indicate slight changes to gameplay and combat. The community can debate for eternity about the pros and cons of what that would entail — I’d personally be worried about any significant changes — but a quality-of-life mechanic like roll staggering enemies (or even omnidirectional rolling while locked-on) is an easy addition.
Everyone hates on Blighttown, mostly for the disorienting framerate drop, but I actually love its awful, vertical maze of jagged, dilapidated walkways. It’s an imposing, messy level design where the risky genius of Lordran shines strongest, but it’s unfortunately plagued by terrible performance. With framerate issues addressed, I don’t think players would hate Blighttown as much as they do.
Lost Izalith, on the other hand, suffers an entirely different problem: it’s a total bore. It’s full of vast, open areas, empty aside from a few scattered, recycled enemies. It’s noticeably more linear than previous regions. It contains one of the most hated bosses in the game. If it weren’t for Lost Izalith containing a handful of important encounters with beloved NPCs, it would have very few redeeming qualities at all. Even director Hidetaka Miyazaki admits it was rushed, and cited the Bed of Chaos as one of his “greatest regrets” in an interview for Dark Souls: Design Works.
While I personally don’t hate the Bed of Chaos as much as other players, knowing Miyazaki had another boss in mind for Lost Izalith has always been a sad bit of trivia — the level could have been so much more. A Dark Souls remaster is an opportunity not only to improve on a level fans and even its developers overwhelming agree was a disappointment, but sneak in something new without betraying the original vision… because that vision was never fully realized to begin with.
Better character creator
It’s small and inconsequential, but Dark Souls character creators have never been ideal. Characters often end up looking different in-game than they do while you’re designing them, and minor things like hairstyle options could be expanded. Again, not a big one, but something that would be nice to see improved in a remaster.
Those were some of the things we’d love to see more in Dark Souls Remastered. Let us know your thoughts in the comments.
Chloi Rad is an Associate Editor for IGN. Follow her on Twitter at @_chloi.
Source: IGN PC Articles