Dark Souls II review for PC

Platform: PC
Publisher: Bandai Namco
Developer: From Software
Medium: Digital
Players: 1-3
Online: Online

As popular as the Souls series of titles has proven to be, it took an outside source to make Dark Souls on PC become an acceptable port in the eyes of most fans. That?s not going to be the case with the PC port of Dark Souls 2. This port, which is excellent, really shows that developer From Software and Bandai Namco have learned some valuable lessons when it comes to meeting PC expectations. The end result is the definitive Dark Souls 2 experience, accessible even for those without an insanely priced gaming rig.

dark souls 2 pc 003Obviously the Games for Windows DRM is absent this time out, what with the service being (thankfully) discontinued. But the biggest draw here is the improved textures, framerate, and resolution in comparison to the Xbox 360 and PS3 versions of the game. My current set-up is an i5 4670k with a 750ti GeForce card, nothing currently overclocked. I have the title installed on an SSD, which makes the load times between death or bonfire teleports virtually non-existent. I?m able to run the game at a steady 60fps at 1080p (playing on TV) with every graphical feature built into the game menu turned on, and every setting at its highest. The only dips I saw came from the pre-rendered cutscenes, which would drive the framerate to a rough average of 40fps. Not too shabby, and certainly miles ahead of what the original Dark Souls PC port produced without mods.

For my thoughts on the actual game, I?d urge you to read through my original review from when the console version launched. I don?t really have much to add on my original thoughts there. This is a fantastic sequel to a great franchise, and it continues to straddle the line expertly between overly difficult and fair. I plan on streaming some gameplay throughout this week and next over at the official Gaming-Age Twitch.tv channel too, so feel free to check that out and keep an eye on our Twitter feed for notifcations when it goes live.

dark souls 2 pc 005If you?ve patiently waited for the PC release, consider yourself rewarded for said patience. This is hands-down the best version of Dark Souls 2 you?ll be able to get, and shows a massive improvement over the lackluster effort that went into the first PC release of Dark Souls. I?d say you can pick this up without hesitation, you certainly won?t be disappointed.

Grade: A+