We’ll be getting a remastered version of Dark Souls coming to PC, PS4, and Xbox One on May 25th. The Switch version has been delayed to an unknown date.
We now know more details about what exactly to expect from this remastered version as well. While there won’t be many changes to the gameplay, there will be some quality of life improvements that take their cues from Dark Souls III.
We’ve already confirmed a few things that Souls fans will want to know. Specifically, that Blighttown is well and truly fixed, and runs at a nice framerate. You’ll find some specific resolution/framerate info below.
The most notable gameplay changes are:
- Blacksmith Vamos, in the Catacombs, has a bonfire next to him now so you can easily upgrade fire weapons
- All platforms will have dedicated servers
- You’ll be able to enter passwords to be matchmade with a friend
- The Dried Finger (enabling more invasions) will be available earlier, from an Undead Burg vendor
- Much like Dark Souls III, invaders will have half the Estus charges, and can’t otherwise heal
- You can consume items as a group (such as large batches of tangible souls)
- Covenants can be swapped at bonfires
- The Arena will support 3v3 battles and six-player deathmatches
- No consecutive summoning of allies
- Mappable buttons
- Regional matchmaking can be turned on or off
That last point is interesting. In previous versions, there were only two “regions” the game would recognise: Japan, and not Japan. If you were anywhere but Japan, disabling cross-region matchmaking would only disallow Japan. You’d still be matched up with the rest of the world.
Otherwise, these are all positive, quality of life changes that everyone can get behind. We’ll keep an eye out for any changes that weren’t announced, but we don’t expect any alterations to weapon balance or enemy difficulty/placement.
The announcement was made with a fairly generic trailer:
Dark Souls was a highly experimental masterpiece with lots of hits and misses. We tend to wax poetic on the finer points and gloss over things like the Bed of Chaos. So we reached out to Bandai Namco to see if From Software would be taking the opportunity to make any fixes.
The answer is Dark Souls will be kept pure. No new content is confirmed, no changes or additions will be made. This is mainly a technical update — which is especially welcome for PC gamers. When From Software originally brought the game to PC due to a wildly popular petition, the port was almost unplayable unless you installed user-made mods.
Now you can have 4K resolution, with 60 frames per second. More importantly, you can expect the multiplayer servers to be online for a long time to come, fostering jolly cooperation years down the track.
Here’s what to expect in terms of specs for each platform:
PS4 Pro and XB1X: Upscaled 4K
PC: Native 4K (2K textures)
|Handheld mode: 720p
TV mode: 1080p
|Framerate||30 fps||60 fps||30 fps|
So it’s very much a Dark Souls: Remastered, and not a Dark Souls: Tweaked and Rejiggered.
If you’re unfamiliar with the Artorias of the Abyss DLC, you’re in for a treat. It’s some of the best content in an already stellar franchise. Fighting the knight Artorias, the black dragon Kalameet, and Manus, father of the Abyss, are all memorable boss encounters.
Most multiplayer will take the form of summoning a friendly phantom, being invaded for pvp, or both. The 6-player multiplayer shown in the table is a niche scenario in which you use a Dried Finger. Multiple invasions can also occur when you and a coop friend encounter an invader from the Gravelord covenant, who can pester you with black phantoms until you and other invade their world.
Importantly, the new version will prevent players from constantly summoning friends to their world over and over. In previous games, including Dark Souls III, it was possible to concentrate on avoiding damage while an endless stream of allies is summoned.
Even though topics like the Bed of Chaos are usually met with rolled eyes, and some covenants were as good as broken, it all adds to Dark Souls‘ experimental charm. All those things will be kept the same, and I wouldn’t even expect From to tweak item statistics.
That’s good too. Item and weapon stats are absolutely not balanced in Dark Souls, and it allows you to do some bonkers things with theorycrafting like the one-shot boss challenge.
Knowing From Software, it probably won’t even feature a more comprehensive tutorial, despite Dark Souls being notorious for not explaining itself very well.
Whether that creates more problems for Switch users is something we’ll explore in more detail later. It’s a different audience, but there may also be technical limitations on the smaller screen and joycons.