Hope is fading for a PC version of Dark Souls 2 that utilises the more impressive textures and lighting shown in earlier builds, video and trade show demos of the game. Namco Bandai has removed all images relating to older versions of the game from the Dark Souls 2 Steam page, leaving only those that resemble the console release.
The console version attracted some controversy when it was released, after promotional materials depicting a graphically superior version of the game were used to sell the title right up until release day. Reportedly, the retail copy of Dark Souls 2 even has some outdated screenshots on the back of the box. This suggests a rather last minute set of changes, most likely to get the game running at acceptable frame-rates on the aging hardware.
FromSoftware has previously indicated that the PC has been the lead development platform for the game this time around, which led some to wonder whether the graphically superior build would survive as the PC version of the game.
However, today’s removal of all images relating to that build from the Steam page would appear to confirm that Dark Souls 2 on PC will have parity with the console releases. We will, of course, still be getting higher resolutions; and the larger installation size for the PC version suggests higher quality textures too. 60fps has also been confirmed in a pre-release press statement.
It’s a shame that the build of the game demonstrated throughout 2013 won’t, it seems, be coming to light. Namco Bandai’s misleading promotion of the console versions has been deplorable, but at least they’ve taken the minimal steps to avoid further false advertising on the Steam page. An E3 trailer featuring some of the older graphical details is still up on the store page.
With or without fancier lighting, Dark Souls 2 is an outstanding game (yes, I’ve been playing a 360 version … I’m sorry, PC brethren.) Those craving even higher fidelity in the PC version may have to wait for the modding community to work some additional magic, as Peter “Durante” Thoman did with DSFix and the bare-bones port of Dark Souls.
Dark Souls 2 will be released for PC on 25 April. It hopefully won’t be too long after that before the first ridiculous/amazing 4k resolution downsampled images appear.
Update: The PC graphics options have been revealed.