Almost seven years ago we awoke in the Undead Asylum. Eager to explore the world of Lordran we stumbled into a beautifully bleak world, completely unprepared to face relentless and unforgiving enemies. Finally, it’s time to rekindle the bonfire and return to one of the greatest games of all time in Dark Souls: Remastered.
Whether you’ve completed Dark Souls once, or countless times, revisiting the sites of the Undead Burg and Firelink Shrine undoubtedly feels like returning home after a long period away. Thanks to the remaster, we'll be heading back into action at a silky smooth 60FPS, opposed to the less than flattering 30FPS of the original version. Now running at 1080p and additionally upscaled to 4K on the PlayStation 4 Pro, the Remastered version is a lot easier on the eyes than before.
With small tweaks to the wispy fog on the boss room and updated blue tinge to the souls as they exit an enemies' corpse, this version has included enough subtle changes to make fans' transition from the beauty of the Dark Souls III engine back to the remastered version of Dark Souls a bit more bearable. Dark Souls Remastered is still no match for the stunning graphics seen in Dark Souls III, which some may be disappointed about, but it is still a noticeable improvement.
Braving the world of Dark Souls can be pretty daunting alone and as expected, we'll be seeing online support for the game once again. All four platforms will have dedicated servers although sadly, cross-platform play will not be supported. That said, this time around, the online multiplayer will support up to six players, which is a welcome addition and is more than we've ever seen before. While on the topic of nifty extra inclusions, the Artorias of the Abyss DLC has also been bundled with the remaster, so we’ll be getting the full Dark Souls experience here.
So far this all sounds pretty good, although there are a few aspects that didn’t fare as well when we checked out the preview build. Motion blur has been added in an attempt to smooth out the movement in this version of the game, and at points this felt way overdone. Without an option to turn motion blur off in the settings on the preview build, this doesn’t indicate that players will be able to switch this off in the full version of the console version either.
This is a shame as the game actually looks worse off at points as a result of the blurriness. With regards to performance, despite the opening scenes of the game running very well, I also found that the build froze repeatedly throughout my play through. We imagine this freezing issue should be fixed by the time the game launches however, it's still definitely worth mentioning at this point.
Whether you're a Dark Souls veteran or a brand-new player that has yet to experience the game's unique areas, spectacular boss fights and mind-boggling lore, now is a great time to return to Lordran. Improved resolution, higher framerate and increased multiplayer support amount to the perfect excuse to relive all of the classic moments of one of the greatest titles of all time once again.
Dark Souls Remastered releases on Switch, PS4, Xbox One and PC on May 25, 2018.