Dark Souls Remaster First Impressions: Are you Prepared to Die at 4K?


    Dark Souls is getting a remaster for the current generation consoles, namely the Xbox One X and the PS4 Pro. The hardcore RPG by From Software was plagued with performance issues at launch, but despite that it was pretty successful. The Dark Souls Remaster is slated for release in about two months, and Digital Foundry has access to an early built. You know what that means? It’s benchmark time!

    Dark Souls Remaster vs Original: Visual Fidelity and Resolution

    The original Dark Souls looked terrible, let’s admit it. Although the PC version looked fairly better, you needed a powerful machine to crank the resolution up and get the much desired 60 FPS performance. The console version ran at a puny 720p on the PS3 and the Xbox 360. The Dark Souls Remaster remaster doesn’t exactly hit glorious 4K (rejoice PCMR), but at 1800p or 3200 x 1800, it’s not too shabby. This is on the PS4 Pro, and without checkbox rendering or any of that “Tru” 4K crap. We’ll have to wait and see if the Xbox One X version hits 4K or settles for the same resolution.

    Dark Souls RemasterIf you have a look at the images shown by Digital Foundry, the visual fidelity IS much higher. The resolution does play a part, but two main upgrades are almost immediately noticeable. The lighting and reflections.

    The godrays look more natural and the light-scattering too is significantly improved. Some new effects like bloom and anisotropic filtering have also been added that may seem the textures look somewhat different, but they are actually the same.

    Dark Souls RemasterIf you look at the above comparison, the reflection and fog upgrades are striking. Ambient Occulsion and shadowing is also superior, in addition to crisper textures on the PS4 Pro in comparison to the Xbox 360.

    The differences in this second comparison are more subtle but they are there, and are definitely noticeable. The door looks more cleaner due to the Anisotropic filtering and the better resolution.

    Dark Souls Remaster vs Original: Performance

    The original Dark Souls was limited to a hard 30 FPS, with frequent drops to early and mid 20s. The Xbox 360 had numerous technical issues and frame pacing issues, the most annoying one being the FPS drops in Blight Town.

    The remaster runs at 60 FPS on the PS4 Pro, and dips are rare. However, the infamous Blight Town doesn’t figure in DF’s testing so it can’t be said for sure if that part of the remaster runs without any issues or not.

    Dark Souls RemasterThe boss fights are much smoother now, and you almost certainly won’t die now because of choppy frame rates. The debris and dust effects don’t look like stickers anymore and don’t tank the performance either. That itself is a major improvement over the 360 version.

    Dark Souls Remaster: Ready to Die… At 1800p?

    The Dark Souls Remaster looks terrific. The visual quality is markedly better, and the smooth 60 FPS is a major benefit. Although this is an early built and Blight Town isn’t included in the test, it is safe to say the game is a major improvement over the original. So the question remains, should you buy it? We’d say there’s still six weeks left so lets wait and see. If you are Dark Souls fan, then definitely but if you’re a first timer or play it casually then, maybe wait for the game to come out and see a more detailed review. Anywho folks, what do you think?

    Dark Souls RemasterFurther reading.

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