There’s been a rumbling for months that a remaster for the original Dark Souls could be imminent and during Nintendo’s recent Mini Direct showcase it was finally confirmed. Dark Souls, the hugely successful action-RPG infamous for its unforgiving difficulty and innovative design, is being remastered and will launch on May 25th for Xbox One, PS4, Nintendo Switch, and PC.
It’s been confirmed that the remaster is being handled by FromSoftware, the game’s original developer, rather than being outsourced to a third party, as is fairly common practice with remasters. The Dark Souls series and its sister games Demon’s Souls and Bloodborne have maintained a strong presence in the gaming world ever since Demon’s Souls launched in 2009, but to many, Dark Souls is the quintessential entry in the group of games that designer Hidetaka Miyazaki introduced us to and refined over the last nine years.
A flat ‘port’ of the game with a slight performance improvement would probably be enough to satisfy many Souls fans, but on top of polishing the textures and other fine details, a slew of other enhancements being made for the current-gen version, according to Forbes:
- The password matchmaking system from Dark Souls III is being implemented in the Dark Souls remaster.
- This time around up to six players can be in the same online instance at once, either in PvE or PvP, up from 4 players.
- Better still, for the first time the game will use dedicated servers rather than peer-to-peer, which should make summoning and invading far smoother.
Forbes also has the confirmed resolution and framerate specs for each version of the game:
- Xbox One (1080p, 60 fps)
- PlayStation 4 (1080p, 60 fps)
- Xbox One X (Upscaled 4K, 60 fps)
- PlayStation 4 Pro (Upscaled 4K, 60 fps)
- PC (Native 4K, all textures 2K unconverted, 60 fps)
- Nintendo Switch (TV mode: 1080p, 30 fps; Handheld mode: 720p 30 fps)
The targeted 60 frames-per-second listed for most consoles raises eyebrows due to the series’s long-standing difficulty maintaining a steady 30 frames per second, but the coveted 60 fps was confirmed by FromSoftware Promotion and Communication team member Yasuhiro Kitao in response to popular Souls community member Marcus Sanders (also known by the handle Epic Name Bro):
PS4, Xbox One and PC are 60.
— FROMSOFTWARE／Kitao (@YasuhiroKitao) January 11, 2018
With the entire Dark Souls series now available along with Bloodborne on current generation hardware, all eyes will be on FromSoftware to comment on whether or not Demon’s Souls will make the jump too. While we’d love to see it get a remaster of its own, it’s a lot less likely: Dark Souls has the benefit of reaching a multi-platform audience, while Sony still owns exclusive rights to Demon’s Souls, narrowing the opportunity for sales by a considerable margin. It also suffers from the worst network and performance issues of the lot, and a menu system that is cryptic even for Souls standards.
In Japan, FromSoftware is releasing an enormous PS4 trilogy set that includes Dark Souls Remastered, Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin and Dark Souls III: The Fire Fades Edition along with soundtracks for each game, artwork from the series, two item encyclopedias and Dark Souls-themed bookends. The collection will cost approximately $450 USD. It’s unclear if the set will ever be released in the West.
Finally, at the recent Game Awards show, FromSoftware teased some kind of project that still hasn’t been officially identified – Rest assured, this is not what that tease was about. So keep in mind, there’s even more news from the team coming in the future. For a series with such an unforgiving reputation, fans right now sure are being spoiled.