It's been nearly seven years since Dark Souls has conquered the consoles and the hearts of many fans, who later began to compare every type of RPG-Action game with the “Souls Like” nomenclature. Since that day, a generation of consoles has followed one another and above all several chapters of the brand, but all of them were waiting for this moment, the return of the first great progenitor, to savor those flavors of the time, which we can define almost "magical".
The expectations for the title of From Software were many, with the hope that the various problems that plagued him in the past had finally been solved. Will they have succeeded?
A long journey to the furnace of the first flame
We would like to make a brief recap of what is the plot of Dark Souls, located in the great Lordran where, following the fading of the flame, the darkness is inexorably looming, a decay begun by the discovery of the dark soul by a little thief, in addition to the sacrifice of the great Gwyn, who sacrificed himself that bind the first flame to himself.
We are undead, beings cursed by the mark who cannot die, but only fall incessantly until we become empty beings, that is creatures without a shred of soul, therefore without even a glimmer of life and rationality, a fate far worse than death. In the early stages of the game we will find ourselves in the ruins of the prison dedicated to the gathering of all the undead, initially created to remove these individuals from civilization, with the hope of stopping this painful plague.
At the end of what we can, ironically, define tutorials, we will be transported to Lordran, actually starting our journey, among monstrous creatures, devastated areas and others of great significance, emotional and historical, between deaths and successes, up to the furnace of the first flame, in which we will be placed in front of a crossroads, which are we will be able to travel.
The pad sensations in the hand are many, especially for those like us who take the title for the umpteenth time after so many years, immediately going to check those factors that characterized it in the first versions, such as animations and above all the physicality of lifeless bodies. In addition to this, the eye immediately falls on what is the interface, analyzing how the Sprites were processed in this remastering, unfortunately leaving us disappointed, since they have not been rebuilt, but only slightly cleaned and "fixed", resulting in but light years below those present in Dark Souls 3, where instead they had a decidedly intriguing impact, the same goes for the game UI.
Different speech instead for the Textures, although the character models remain very clinging to the original version, as can be seen at the time of creation at startup, resulting decidedly cleaner and more detailed, giving a whole different atmosphere to the title. In addition, the new light effects are very pleasant to observe, fueling even more the “wow” effect upon landing in the big city, one of the most memorable moments of the entire saga.
Another aspect to consider when evaluating the quality of this remastering is the team's ability to solve some of the serious problems that plagued it, first of all the catastrophic Infamous City. For those who do not know, or who do not want to remember it to avoid bad memories, it is a very particular and dark area, where we will go into the bowels of the earth, towards Izalith, where we will have to constantly go down through wooden bridges, stairs and makeshift shacks , with a very high risk of falling. So far, theoretically everything is fine, except that all this is displayed on the screen with an amount of frames close to zero, making every single step we take inside it frustrating and complex as well.
To our delight, also because the intentions of experiencing those sensations again were grazing to zero like the previous frames, now we can "enjoy" it at 60 FPS, fluid and finally really playable, without the risk of making those who walk along it "graze" .
The problems of yesterday are also those of today
Here we are dealing with one of the aspects we least wanted when we were anxiously awaiting the title: bugs and errors in general. First of all, as mentioned above, we want to clarify how much the team has overall done a decent job in cleaning up a very rough title, which as we all well remember was full of problems, especially in its porting to PC. However, this does not completely save the developers from a job that at times seems to be lazy, done to extract some extra money from those fans who expected, desired and loved it so much, to have the entire Dark Souls saga among the new generation. own hands.
First of all we would like to emphasize again the quality of the sprites of the whole game, whether it is UI or objects in the inventory; Needless to say, we expected a lot, a total makeover to match up with what was Dark Souls 3, in order to give us that feeling of meticulous attention to detail that the previous chapters had transmitted to us, which does not happen here.
Then we need to talk about those who are the Bugs, a word that is usually scary, because it is sometimes tied to the impossibility of continuing our adventure, which here, at least for our personal experience, has not happened, but we can say that we have seen galore. From interpenetration of the walls, a timeless classic of the Souls, to getting stuck in inanimate objects, invisible hitboxes, enemies that disappear into thin air leaving us only their drop. We have something for all tastes, from the most problematic to the most "fun" to see, but which in any case leave a bad taste in our mouth for something we have already seen several times in the past and we hoped to leave it permanently in the drawer.
"Honorable" mention for the multiplayer sector, which had exalted us so much at the time of the Network Test organized by From Software in recent weeks, finding various symbols of evocation, being able to easily play with friends, and then find ourselves at the time of the final release. another world. We tried several times, for several hours, to play with other users online and especially among us members of the editorial team, restarting the game several times, putting passwords, playing with the network settings of the title, but the result was terribly negative, just as it was in the past. This has inevitably left us disappointed, hoping it will be an experience linked only to a small circle of individuals, but we seriously doubt it. They certainly could and should have done more about it.
Dark Souls Remastered is a special experience, a blast from the past where "it all began", these quotes indicate that we only mean the beginning of the trilogy and not the "Souls" in general, long awaited and desired, with an outcome swinging. On the one hand we have a new and intriguing graphic design, much more detailed and with very high quality light effects, together with a fluidity on the screen that we so desired; on the other hand, however, we have sprites that are not exceptional, in addition to the presence of a myriad of bugs that we carry with us from the past, giving us the appearance of almost laziness during the realization.
To this we add an online system that from the network test had amazed us, up to desolation once the full game was started, returning to being the usual old treasure hunt for finding the evocation symbols.
So we would like to promote that remastering, but with a very precise clarification: take it only if your desire to live again, or for the first time, the world of Lordran is very high, but without too many expectations about a large amount of improvements.