Dark Souls Remastered Review
Seven years after its initial release, Dark Souls Remastered has come out for a new generation. Does it hold up after so many years, or are you better off trying something else? Check out our review and find out what we thought.
Dark Souls Remastered Review
At the start of Dark Souls Remastered, you create an undead character and begin your journey through the Undead Asylum. Here you are taught the basics of the game: how to fight, how to heal, and other basics. The Undead Asylum throws the games first real challenge at you before you can leave as well: a giant demon that must be slain to progress. If you can get past him, you might have a chance in the world. If not, you won’t see the world anyway. After leaving the Undead Asylum, you are whisked away by a giant crow and dropped off in Lordran. The other Undead in the area tells you to ring the bells of Awakening. With a new task and a whole world to explore, you set off to find the bells.
For those of you who haven’t played the other Souls games in the series, you are in for a challenge. For those of you who have played others, like Dark Souls 3 or Bloodborne, you will still have to adjust. The original Dark Souls is a slower game than the newer releases. Movement, fighting, and even healing are a bit more delayed compared to later entries. Dark Souls is more of a defensive game, while Dark Souls 3 is more of an offensive one. Both are good, but people are going to have a preference when all is said and done. The Taurus Demon, for example, might not be as simple as you remember. A boss you used to be easily best can now be a challenge, and something you struggled with before might be more manageable.
Fights in Dark Souls come in multiple flavors. Various melee weapons, bow, and crossbows and different magic can all be used to fight. There is no right or wrong answer; it just depends on how you prefer to play. A stamina bar determines how long you can swing and run before running out of energy. Alternatively, you can only use spells a certain amount of times before they need to be recharged. They can be replenished at a bonfire, but doing that also respawns all enemies. If you want, you can hybrid them and do both, but you won’t be as strong as someone who focuses on just one. For instance, I like the big weapons because they knock down most enemies. When it comes to bosses, though, they don’t get knocked down, and they can generally swing faster, so I am at a bit of a disadvantage. There is enough variety that most players will find something they like.
One of the best things about Dark Souls is how the world is all connected. You might be heading down a path and then realize you just opened a shortcut back to another area you haven’t seen in awhile. There are also secret routes and hidden doors that reveal areas that were thought to be long lost. Hidden passages are where the online system comes into to play. Players can leave messages for other players to see. These will help you find hidden treasure and secret doors. The notes will also try to get you to jump off ledges to your death, because it’s the internet. Just be wary if there is a pool of blood near a sign on the floor, which generally means someone died because of the message. Always use your best judgment when someone says there is an excellent item off a cliff.
You can also play co-op in Dark Souls by summoning other players to your world or by being summoned to other worlds. The summoned party stays until the boss is defeated or the host is defeated. This is a great way to get help beating a boss or get some extra levels for yourself. If you feel like fighting other players, you can also invade other players. If you do this, you run the risk of facing a player and their summoned allies. Player versus player combat has always been the worst part of Dark Souls in our opinion. There is always some lag, and inevitably someone back-stabs someone even though it looks like they dodged fine. The net code has never been great, and this version is no exception.
With it being a remaster, there have to be some changes, right? Well, the framerate has been stable on the PlayStation 4 Pro. Even the infamous Blighttown, with all of its frame drops and lag from the original, seems to have been cleaned up nicely. New visuals were also implemented, and they work beautifully. Some people are going to prefer the more bleak look from before, but the new look isn’t enough to break the game for a fan. If you are looking for new areas or anything like that, you will be disappointed. The DLC is here though, so if you never got around to playing it, you can do it here.
Dark Souls Remastered has aged well, despite the progress of its successors. Newcomers might fight it abrasive, but it is still worth a pickup for old fans and new alike. Here’s to a release of Demon’s Souls Remastered.