Home Gaming Has Dark Souls II been downgraded?

Has Dark Souls II been downgraded?

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Sure, some people are excited for Titanfall, or maybe for inFamous Second Son, but I know the real hardcore masochists gamers among you are psyched for Dark Souls II. We are ready to plunge into the depths of despair and the fury of rage quitting. But will it be as beautifully dark as we were promised?

Over on NeoGAF, a thread with the following gifs show the changes we’ve seen to Dark Souls II:

April 2013 Dark Souls 2 Sept 2013 Dark Souls 2 Feb 2013 dark souls 2

Now, for those who aren’t as graphically inclined, the main change comes with regard to lighting. If any of you played the Beta, you know that the game was much darker than the original. In fact, you had to make use of the torch mechanic to see the pitfalls and dangers in specific areas or you simply couldn’t see the environment. There were then places where you could light static torches so you could see, giving you the option to go back to your safer sword and shield. As such, this graphical change to lightning isn’t just a matter of changing the look of the game (which would still cause internet uproar, of course) – it actually changes gameplay!

Now, the thread on NeoGAF is debating whether it was dishonest of Namco Bandai (soon to be called Bandai Namco) to change the graphics before launch without telling gamers – they are even going so far as to claim false advertising. I wouldn’t say that there was false advertising, but I am curious why they would so drastically cut back on textures and lighting systems at launch. Were there issues with systems? Is this (yet again) highlighting the differences between console and PC capabilities?

Last Updated: March 14, 2014

111 Comments

  1. RinceIsIngwer

    March 14, 2014 at 10:08

    Oh gods, here come the ‘PC Master’ race humble opinions…

    Reply

    • Alien Emperor Trevor

      March 14, 2014 at 10:12

      …said the peasant starting it. ;P

      Reply

      • RinceIsIngwer

        March 14, 2014 at 10:19

        Tehehehe. No idea what you mean πŸ˜‰

        Reply

    • General JJ the Fett

      March 14, 2014 at 10:27

      It’s PC: Master Race.
      Not ‘PC Master’ race.
      Why would we bother racing if we know we’d win?
      Get it right!

      Reply

      • RinceIsIngwer

        March 14, 2014 at 10:29

        Yawns. Sorry, what?

        Reply

        • General JJ the Fett

          March 14, 2014 at 10:30

          Sorry, forgot about your inferior power supply.

          Reply

          • RinceIsIngwer

            March 14, 2014 at 10:31

            Coming from the master race who need EPS units to stop frying your mother boards that’s actually cute πŸ™‚

          • General JJ the Fett

            March 14, 2014 at 10:32

            Well, well….your momma!

          • Alien Emperor Trevor

            March 14, 2014 at 10:58

            What’s an EPS unit, precious? :/

          • General JJ the Fett

            March 14, 2014 at 10:59

            Extremely Personal Storage (it’s where he keeps his porn)

          • CypherGate

            March 14, 2014 at 11:12

            LOL

  2. Sk3tz0

    March 14, 2014 at 10:14

    I bet our Japanese Friends just Dumbed it down for us poor Westerners.. game too difficult western devils cant play our easy game.. use more Lights in dark areas..

    Reply

    • Alien Emperor Trevor

      March 14, 2014 at 10:16

      IT’S BECAUSE WE DON’T HAVE SQUINTY LITTLE SLIT EYES! That’s racist!

      Reply

      • Sk3tz0

        March 14, 2014 at 10:17

        Imagine the rage when u fall off a cliff or something because game was too dark u have seen a bonfire in like hours.. hahahaha.. DS should come with a free control when u purchase the game..

        Reply

        • Alien Emperor Trevor

          March 14, 2014 at 10:19

          I don’t need to imagine the rage. I’ve played 1 lol.

          Reply

      • RinceIsIngwer

        March 14, 2014 at 10:20

        ><

        Reply

  3. Alien Emperor Trevor

    March 14, 2014 at 10:15

    The static torches actually sounds like a pretty cool mechanic.

    I don’t think it’s dishonest, maybe it just hasn’t worked as well gameplay-wise as they hoped it would, or caused performance hits. People would lose their marbles about the latter way more if it was happening.

    Reply

  4. RinceIsIngwer

    March 14, 2014 at 10:20

    I think it is a cool idea, certainly add to the tension. Perhaps it was just too damn hard or people thought there was something wrong with their contrast?

    Reply

    • Sk3tz0

      March 14, 2014 at 10:22

      BETA monkeys probably went mental.. so they thought fine lets dumb it down.

      Reply

      • RinceIsIngwer

        March 14, 2014 at 10:24

        I thought we were all the beta monkeys now πŸ™‚

        Reply

    • Alien Emperor Trevor

      March 14, 2014 at 10:25

      I think it’d be more frustrating than challenging to play long sections of the game in the dark with only a torch to light your way.

      Reply

  5. Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

    March 14, 2014 at 10:26

    Dark Souls and even Demon Souls were never really high on graphics. Demon Souls in particular looked pretty bad (back in the day), but it more than made up for it as a torturing device. Same with Dark Souls I, and I had the pleasure of experiencing that on both the PS3 and the X360.

    Reply

  6. Umar Praise The Golden Sun

    March 14, 2014 at 10:27

    While I am a die hard fanboy of Dark Souls, I am truly upset by this and I don’t know if it’s From or Namco….And please, don’t turn this into a PC is bestest blah blah blah thread again…..

    Reply

    • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

      March 14, 2014 at 10:32

      I haven’t been active much the last few weeks, but it has become very annoying to see all the “PC is bestest” crap. I’ve recently upgraded my PC, and yes games look phenomenal on it, but if a thread is about the PS3, the DS, the Vita or the Xbone or the PS4, what possible reason would someone have to go on about “how awesome their PC is”? That level of cock measuring is just sad, imho.

      And it’s happening in every single thread now. I mean comeon guys, remember what this community stands for!

      Reply

      • General JJ the Fett

        March 14, 2014 at 10:35

        Being better than everyone else?
        A lot of it is in jest though. I love ranting on about it myself, but I definitely won’t go rage about it. Some of us mean it in the same way that we mess around with Tanya. And she’s okay with it.

        Just don’t take things too seriously. To each his own in the end.

        Reply

        • Kromas

          March 14, 2014 at 10:37

          Yeah I agree. Most of the time I just add the PC Master Race post to annoy other people. I find it stimulates me sexually. πŸ˜›

          Reply

          • ToshZA

            March 14, 2014 at 10:38

            Wait, what? O_O

          • Kromas

            March 14, 2014 at 10:40

            Works something like this.

          • ToshZA

            March 14, 2014 at 10:43

            Dude, that’s really disturbing.

          • Kromas

            March 14, 2014 at 10:44

            When is south park not disturbing. πŸ˜›

          • ToshZA

            March 14, 2014 at 10:45

            There’s a reason I don’t watch it.

          • Kromas

            March 14, 2014 at 10:45

            I love it.

          • General JJ the Fett

            March 14, 2014 at 10:49

            You don’t watch it. It watches you.
            These aren’t fictional stories you know. These are real life events, dramatized. Most of it from German households though.

          • ToshZA

            March 14, 2014 at 10:52

            Still, isn’t the funniest. Some of it is, but there’s a lot of hit and miss for me. I’ve seen 4 or 5 episodes in my life, and I’m yet to enjoy one.

          • General JJ the Fett

            March 14, 2014 at 10:39

            It just gets to me when people go on about how having a pc is too expensive. Because it’s not. It would be if you’re stupid enough to buy all your hardware from Incredible Corruption.

          • ToshZA

            March 14, 2014 at 10:40

            And you know I agree with you fully on this. Its that “consoles are cheaper” thing which, while true a year or 2 ago, no longer applies with this generation of consoles.

          • RinceIsIngwer

            March 14, 2014 at 10:40

            0-O Shit just got weird…

          • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

            March 14, 2014 at 10:40

            Hahahahahaha!

          • General JJ the Fett

            March 14, 2014 at 10:42

            something something lotion

          • Umar Praise The Golden Sun

            March 14, 2014 at 10:44

            Same here. And it’s so easy too. Just mention something about consoles or pcs and boom…..war starts

        • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

          March 14, 2014 at 10:39

          But every single thread? I mean comeon guys, that’s going too far. That’s definitely overplaying the “PC master race” meme to the point where it’s no longer funny.

          Reply

          • Sk3tz0

            March 14, 2014 at 10:46

            The PC vs Console arguement like the Vegmite and Marmite arguement no1 ever wins.. and it;ll never end..

          • ToshZA

            March 14, 2014 at 10:48

            And there are those of us who in reality don’t care, but like to fuel the fire.

          • Sk3tz0

            March 14, 2014 at 10:48

            Exactly which is why i cover my Console in Marmite because i like having the best πŸ˜›

          • ToshZA

            March 14, 2014 at 10:50

            That sounds like an expensive porn video sitting in Unavenged’s collection. #Justsaying.

          • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

            March 14, 2014 at 10:51

            We have heated Bovril vs Marmite arguments… Vegimite is for people from a certain former penal colony πŸ˜› muahahah (runs away)

          • Kromas

            March 14, 2014 at 10:53

            Do they come from a land own under?

          • General JJ the Fett

            March 14, 2014 at 10:53

            Haha. nice

          • Alien Emperor Trevor

            March 14, 2014 at 10:55

            So Vegemite is the WiiU in this analogy? πŸ˜‰

          • General JJ the Fett

            March 14, 2014 at 10:55

            Your wisdom knows no bounds great Emperor.

          • Alien Emperor Trevor

            March 14, 2014 at 10:48

            And I’m gatvol of the tired self-fulfilling prophecies that start it all. So now what?

      • RinceIsIngwer

        March 14, 2014 at 10:39

        Agreed. It’s humorous in small bits, not when it is EVERY post. “EA lose staff, MY PC IS BESTEST PHUQ YOU” etc…

        Reply

        • General JJ the Fett

          March 14, 2014 at 10:40

          Yea. But EA really does suck πŸ™

          Reply

        • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

          March 14, 2014 at 10:42

          “What? Darryn’s Batman suit is made out of bacon strips and tears…. BUT MY PC IS BESTEST COS PC MASTER RACE WHOOP WHOOP”

          Reply

          • General JJ the Fett

            March 14, 2014 at 10:43

            Ag don’t be silly now Banana. We all know that you ARE a computer. We’re just hoping you’re not a Mac.

          • RinceIsIngwer

            March 14, 2014 at 10:46

            HAHAHAH!

          • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

            March 14, 2014 at 10:47

            Once you go Mac…

          • General JJ the Fett

            March 14, 2014 at 10:47

            You truly realise the meaning of KAK?

          • Kromas

            March 14, 2014 at 10:48

            … you never get your money back.

          • RinceIsIngwer

            March 14, 2014 at 10:48

            *You know you’ve gone whack?

          • RinceIsIngwer

            March 14, 2014 at 10:46

            lol

      • Alien Emperor Trevor

        March 14, 2014 at 10:41

        Sex, drugs & rock ‘n roll! Well, 1 out of 3 isn’t bad. I’m not counting my anti-psychotics though – I’d have to take them! bwhahahaha. er… bunnies.

        Reply

      • Umar Praise The Golden Sun

        March 14, 2014 at 10:42

        Yeah, it’s mostly harmless trolling but there times when people start taking it seriously…..

        Reply

        • ToshZA

          March 14, 2014 at 10:44

          OMG YOU DONT TAKE IT SERIOUSLY>!>?!?!?!

          Reply

          • Umar Praise The Golden Sun

            March 14, 2014 at 10:45

            Well I took our discussions very seriously πŸ™‚ There are times I’ve done it to annoy people as they like to dish out but can’t handle it when they’re being served

          • ToshZA

            March 14, 2014 at 10:47

            lol and then you go and take that one seriously. Yeah, our proper discussions are awesome, but its the trolling ones nobody should take seriously. Like my previous post.

            http://forums.finalgear.com/attachments/entertainment/last-movie-you-saw/9202d1361162724-375994_sarcasm_sign.jpg

          • General JJ the Fett

            March 14, 2014 at 10:47

            Screw that man. I think all these people are losing it. We all know that the pc/console war is a very real and immediate threat to the survival of the human race.

        • Brenz

          March 14, 2014 at 10:56

          The war is SUPER CEREAL!!! PC has TEH CLOUDZ!!!

          Reply

          • Umar Praise The Golden Sun

            March 14, 2014 at 10:57

            Totes cereal, you don’t even know. Teh cloudz are watching!

          • Brenz

            March 14, 2014 at 10:57

            Engage tin foil hat!
            +1 cloudz defence

      • Brian Murphy

        March 16, 2014 at 15:53

        I’d be inclined to agree with you, except you seem to be purposefully leaving out the fact that there are unlimited examples of console gamer’s trolling PC gamer’s in all these threads as well, quite often unsolicited.

        Hell, look at the very first comment in the article. Not a PC Gamer, but someone took it upon themselves to use the generally accepted Nazi terminology for PC Gamer’s. Probably wouldn’t see nearly as many comments from that crowd, if people could just shut the fuck up and talk about games.

        Reply

        • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

          March 18, 2014 at 08:56

          Then the onus is upon you to be the better man. There’s no reason for tit-for-tat, unless the victim is an xbone owner. Who the hell owns a boner?

          Reply

          • Brian Murphy

            March 18, 2014 at 09:22

            I disagree, the onus is on everyone.

          • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

            March 18, 2014 at 09:28

            Ah young grasshopper, one does not control the actions of others, but one small pebble can make a ripple across a pond.

          • Brian Murphy

            March 18, 2014 at 10:19

            I don’t pretend to control anyone’s actions, merely point out the hypocrisy.

    • RinceIsIngwer

      March 14, 2014 at 10:32

      Gods, I am so sick of the melodramatic PC master race BS. As for Dark Souls 2, I am sure it still rocks!

      Reply

    • Sk3tz0

      March 14, 2014 at 10:35

      Agree.. PC only as good as your Wallet.. or for some as good as their parents wallet..

      Reply

      • General JJ the Fett

        March 14, 2014 at 10:37

        I really didn’t even consider the thing about the pc being better thing here. Haven’t played Dark Souls yet, so can’t really say anything.
        But. Let’s just the misconceptions out of the way here. We’ve discussed this before so many times. Currently it’s no more expensive to have a pc than to have a new console.

        Reply

        • Umar Praise The Golden Sun

          March 14, 2014 at 10:50

          Don’t fall for it……….

          Reply

        • Brenz

          March 14, 2014 at 10:51

          That depends on what standard you have for your pc…

          Reply

          • General JJ the Fett

            March 14, 2014 at 10:52

            Mine’s above the new consoles. Cost me 8k.

          • Sk3tz0

            March 14, 2014 at 10:56

          • General JJ the Fett

            March 14, 2014 at 10:57

            Rather feel like getting some of those neon lights for the box.

    • Alien Emperor Trevor

      March 14, 2014 at 10:37

      THEN STOP BRINGING IT UP. OMFG.

      Reply

      • Umar Praise The Golden Sun

        March 14, 2014 at 10:40

        AAAAAARRRRGH GOD! GET OUT OF MY FACE!!EEERRRGH

        Reply

      • RinceIsIngwer

        March 14, 2014 at 10:41

        I hate it when people bring it up… *Whistles…

        Reply

        • General JJ the Fett

          March 14, 2014 at 10:41

          Damn it Rince. Stop fuelling it!

          Reply

          • Alien Emperor Trevor

            March 14, 2014 at 10:43

            How can he do that? Cut off his own face? *run*

          • General JJ the Fett

            March 14, 2014 at 10:44

            Like cut of his nose to relieve his face?
            That’s the saying, isn’t it?

          • Dalmeth

            March 14, 2014 at 11:03

            Cut off your nose to spite your face.

          • General JJ the Fett

            March 14, 2014 at 11:07

            Not the case for everyone πŸ˜‰

          • Dalmeth

            March 14, 2014 at 11:08

            lol, true that

          • RinceIsIngwer

            March 14, 2014 at 10:44

            I don’t need fuel for my console as it runs at a lower temperature than most high-end PCs * http://gifrific.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/House-Sad-Head-Nod.gif

          • General JJ the Fett

            March 14, 2014 at 10:46

            Until it rapes you with a RROD.
            Luckily we get a BSOD. The blue is a bit easier on the eyes. πŸ˜‰

          • Alien Emperor Trevor

            March 14, 2014 at 10:53

            Did I tell you the only BSOD I’ve had in 3 years was caused by a crappy console port? πŸ˜€

          • General JJ the Fett

            March 14, 2014 at 10:54

            LOL. I got my first one in two years Tuesday.
            Then formatted my pc. It’s like she was violated and needed to be cleaned up.

  7. Unavengedavo(aka. Bilbo)

    March 14, 2014 at 10:28

    I hope this is some scam or something, the reveal demo looks amazing and I would rather play it like that!

    Reply

    • Umar Praise The Golden Sun

      March 14, 2014 at 10:29

      No scam. the graphics have actually been downgraded. not to the detriment of the game though

      Reply

  8. Martin du preez

    March 14, 2014 at 10:28

    If you play this for teh zomg graaafffiix then you’re doing it wrong.

    Reply

    • Umar Praise The Golden Sun

      March 14, 2014 at 10:29

      No one plays DS for the graphics. Still, they are lying about the graphics. Can’t deny that

      Reply

      • Martin du preez

        March 14, 2014 at 10:31

        True but it (Hopefully) won’t spoil the experience.

        Reply

        • Umar Praise The Golden Sun

          March 14, 2014 at 10:41

          Naa, I’m 110 percent sure it won’t πŸ™‚

          Reply

    • Unavengedavo(aka. Bilbo)

      March 14, 2014 at 10:31

      Agreed, but I would rather play it as dark as in the initial demo

      Reply

  9. Sk3tz0

    March 14, 2014 at 10:32

    I say who cares.. if u wanna play it dark.. turn down ur gamma and contrast.. πŸ˜›

    Reply

    • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

      March 14, 2014 at 10:33

      What this man said!

      Reply

    • Brenz

      March 14, 2014 at 10:36

      Exactly. The examples above probably have the brightness turned up, I think the torch mechanic will still come into play, and as said, if its too bright for you, change the settings on your own.

      Reply

  10. ToshZA

    March 14, 2014 at 11:00

    I see a lot of design changes too, that original mortar door frame was much better than the wooden one it is now. The door, good addition, but keep that mortar frame, so much nicer. Surely 40 or 50 extra poly’s don’t affect performance? Further to that, the specular maps and lighting do look drastically reduced in quality. And they moved that torch holder so the door could open.

    Lighting however is one of the biggest performance knockers there are, along with particles and physics.

    Edit: The texture quality also looks much worse, not in sharpness, but in overall feel and design. That doesn’t knock performance, why simplify the textures?

    Reply

  11. Mike

    March 14, 2014 at 11:30

    That reveal demo is how I want to play DS. Walk through doorway, go down dark tunnel, realise it’s way too dark and I’m probably going to die soon. Stop, say screw it, turn around and run out . Then die.

    Reply

  12. Rags

    March 14, 2014 at 11:52

    That is quite a difference. Its not only the lighting, but the shaders, and maps have certainly been reduced quite a bit. It looks very flat now. Its a shame the new consoles just can’t produce the vision of the designers.

    Reply

  13. Grimner

    March 16, 2014 at 15:38

    I am finding a bit disheartening that game “journalists” seem to publish stuff based on forums without even double checking. To set the record, as far as anyone can see, yes, some textures on some locations have been simplified (I use that word because though they are less busy, they are not necessarily lower. Uglier to some, perhaps, but probably easy on an engine that never had a stellar performance to begin with). The lighting, however, has now. Even the early IGN build had the torches as the only dynamic light source (IE you could see a character with a torch walk through a sconce and have it produce no shadows whatsoever). The torches were the only ones showing off pretty cool dynamic effects… which can still be found in the retail version (it takes as much “research” as a copy of the game, a torch, and a crappy cellphone camera)

    In short, redesigned (and in some, not all cases, blander) textures, and an increase in the gamma. Anyone upset by the fact they have more visibility can just adjust the darkness slider in the game options. The lighting effects, though, are still there, and pretty much untouched. Hardly the apocalypse.

    Reply

  14. Rags

    March 16, 2014 at 16:04

    In related news Diablo 3 added reflections with the latest patch. Bringing the engine closer to DirectX 8.0. And giving Sharp calculators a 2fps frame drop.
    https://scontent-b-lhr.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash3/t31.0-8/1899503_10152308317107154_727604653_o.jpg

    Reply

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