Dark Souls 2

The announcement of Dark Souls II at the 2012 VGAs was greeted by fans with both great enthusiasm and also, I think it’s fair to say, a little bit of uncertainty, even worry. Original creator and lead designer Hidetaka Miyazaki was stepping down as director and passing on the reins to Tomohiro Shibuya, who said he wanted to take the series in a more mainstream direction.

There’s no doubt that the original Dark Souls was one of the most intense and (some would say sadistic) gaming experiences of 2011. Brutal and uncompromising it in its bleak environments, obtuse storytelling and challenging boss fights, Dark Souls was clearly not for everyone. Those who persevered would have experienced a richly engrossing game and a deep (though ultimately obscure) story.

Dark Souls was hard but fair in its difficulty, rewarding perseverance and careful progression; all in all an experience one was not likely to forget. Yet, no one would argue that it wasn’t without its problems. Let’s look, then, at ten improvements that should be made to Dark Souls II that would make it an even more memorable gaming experience.

10. Improved Frame-Rate

The original Dark Souls was capped at 30fps on console, although as anyone who’s travelled to Blighttown, New Londo Ruins and other busy areas will tell you, that could drop to as low 15fps as the game creaked under the weight of its own slightly outdated engine.

Casting certain spells and pyromancies (Fire Whip, for example) also slowed the frame rate down to a crawl, making the game unplayable and spoiling player immersion in the process. It’s a no-brainer, then, that for Dark Souls II, From Software should look to improve the game’s frame rate in order to avoid sudden dips and troughs performance wise that take players out of the fantasy.

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This article was first posted on January 28, 2013