With the upcoming release of Dark Souls PC, we thought it would be appropriate to share our thoughts on the ideal and proper PC version of Dark Souls. Obviously, most PC gamers would love to see better textures and better graphics but let’s be realistic; that ain’t gonna happen. Therefore, we’ll be realistic on our demands and we’ll present you what features the PC version of Dark Souls should support. PC gamers demanded this game to get released on their beloved platform and it would be wise for Namco (and the company porting it) to support them.
One of the first things that are pretty much essential for Dark Souls PC is proper support for keyboard and mouse. We’ve seen lately a lot of console ports that try to emulate that gamepad sticks from X360 and PS3. We’ve said countless times that these do not translate ideally on the PC, unless you rework those control schemes in way similar to the one of Alan Wake PC. Therefore, Namco should get the controls right and there shouldn’t be any kind of mouse acceleration. Mouse acceleration kills the immersion and gaming experience and is the most common issue of multiplatform games. Namco should offer 1:1 camera controls, especially for a hard game like Dark Souls.
The next major feature is the ability to remap controls. We are a bit worried about this feature, as Namco’s latest game – that was developed by Bugbear – featured only certain layouts. PC gamers want to use specific keys so there shouldn’t be any limitation in that area. The same can be said about the gamepad support. PC gamers want to remap their keys to their liking and every game should support such things. Surely, you can use emulators and third party programs to use different keys. But we can’t see why we should be forced to go through all of this in order to play a game properly.
Dark Souls PC should also come with a few graphical options. After all, not all PC gamers own high-end PCs. Players should be able to adjust their game to maintain high framerates. Presets are good but let’s face it; they don’t always work the way they were meant to. We are expecting minimal graphical options here, but here is hoping that Namco will suprise us with Dark Souls PC.
As usual, we’d love to see a FOV option. A low FOV can cause nausea and headaches. We’ve already discussed the importance of a FOV option in games and why developers choose a low FOV setting on consoles. The same FOV value does not translate ideally on a PC game – due to the fact that the player is closer to the monitor – and that’s precisely why there should be an FOV option. With the recent complaints about the lack of it from other multiplatform games, we can only hope that Namco will include it. Still, something like that seems a bit unlikely as this is Namco we are talking about. Of course, something like that could not be an issue if the development team behind it know the PC audience and their demands.
Another issue from which some multiplatform games suffer is the lack of 16:10 and 4:3 resolution support. Yeah, this is an issue for a specific number of PC gamers but the team porting the game could easily support all aspect ratios. We’ve seen a lot of ports supporting them and it’s not a big deal in doing that to begin with. This is one of those small things that make a huge difference to the overall feel of the game. So make that happen Namco.
The aforementioned features are those that should be present on the PC version from the get go. Of course, we’d love to see other features like DX11 with tessellation support, native support for both MSAA and 3D Vision, higher quality textures, new effects like POM on terrain, and proper SLI/CrossFire support from day-one but as we’ve said in our prologue, let’s be realistic for this port. And quite frankly, most of these features are not as important as those we’ve already mentioned and we are pretty sure that even those won’t be included in the game. Sure AA is something that needs to be addressed but there is no reason to worry about it right now as we already have both FXAA and SMAA Injector Tools that work with most DX9 games.
Make no mistake, we are happy to see Dark Souls hitting the PC with additional bosses but we seriously hope that Namco will give some love to this PC version and include those features. Dark Souls PC could very well be a big hit for the publisher. Just look at Alan Wake PC with its additional PC features. Alan Wake PC has recouped all its development and marketing expenses in less than 2 days and let us tell you that it wouldn’t if it didn’t feature all those simple – yet important – PC features. So make it happen Namco. Don’t let this be a shoddy console port because this game has a lot of potential.