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What Dark Souls Remastered Should and Shouldn’t Change

Dark Souls

With last week’s news that Dark Souls is finally getting the remastered treatment, I immediately started to wonder exactly what was going to change.

When Dark Souls III released in 2016, it saw immense popularity not just because it was Dark Souls, but because it was many players’ first experience with the series. Surely Dark Souls Remastered will experience a boost in sales from these newcomers to the series? And then it got me thinking; these people have no idea what they’re in for — while the core tenants are the same, Dark Souls III was a significantly different game than the original Dark Souls.

Are Bandai Namco and FromSoftware going to take those new players into account and make changes to the core experience? Or are they going to double down and basically say, “This is the true Dark Souls experience, only prettier and with double the framerate”?

Some news has already come out about how the game will perform on each respective platform. We know the game will run at 60fps on Xbox One S and X, PS4 and the PS4 Pro, and PC while remaining at 30fps on the Switch. It will get a resolution boost to 1080p on the Xbox One S, the PS4 and a docked Switch – while being 720p undocked – and will get the 4K upscaling treatment on the X, Pro and PC. We also know that co-op will be boosted up to six players, and, thankfully, it will feature the password feature of Dark Souls 3 which will allow friends to find each other much easier in the world of Lordran. These are all great features that will add some new wrinkles for even the most veteran of players (look for a boost in streaming as well). What we don’t know yet is how much of the game’s systems will change.

So what should be changed in Dark Souls Remastered? Honestly, not much. This doesn’t mean the game is perfect, it isn’t, but what it already offers is a perfect experience for exactly what the game is. I can already imagine just how much playing the game is going to change by doubling the framerate. Will it have the same weapon degradation issue that Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin suffered from in which the the weapons degraded twice as fast due to the doubling fps? I imagine that won’t happen this time around.

That Camera Thing

What I would like to see changed in Dark Souls is the camera and conversely, the lock-on system.

Dark Souls is a game that should always be about the player learning from their mistakes. One of those mistakes shouldn’t be the camera that doesn’t know how to behave in tighter quarters, or a lock-on system that actively hates you. Any deaths that come to the player from either of these things are 100% not the fault of the player and robs the game of one its greatest strengths: its respect of the player’s intelligence and ability to learn and adapt.

Locking on to the furthest enemy in the room while two more are within feet of the player is dumb. Rolling off a ledge because the camera messes up in a tight space is dumb. A better controlling camera and incorporating the lock on system from Dark Souls III and Bloodborne would definitely make it a much better game.

Oh, About Teleporting

What shouldn’t change in Dark Souls Remastered is teleporting. If your first game was Dark Souls III, Bloodborne, or Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin for that matter, and you’ve never played Dark Souls, I have some news for you: you can’t teleport at all for about the first two thirds of the game.

That means you have to walk back to Firelink every single time you need to go there. And you will need to go there. Every bonfire you visit, you will need to walk back there. This is where Dark Souls’ fantastic level design comes into play. Nearly every place in the game is connected. Sometimes these connections are obvious; other times they are only reachable through expertly-designed and placed shortcuts.

This is how Dark Souls rewards exploration, and not to mention the heart palpitations you get from carrying around enough Souls to level up three times over. Finding a shortcut to a bonfire is probably just as satisfying as killing a boss. To add in the ability to teleport will most likely not only break the game but make it entirely too easy since it was designed with this in mind from the get-go.

By the Time I Get to Blighttown

This is the one area where I know I will get the most pushback. Fromsoft, don’t change a thing about Blighttown. You will hear so many horror stories about this already f***ed area that literally starts killing you the moment you set foot in there, exacerbated by a truly wretched framerate. And that’s the thing. We all suffered through it and came out better people in the end!

Everyone should experience ALL of the ills of Blighttown. Right down to the terrible framerate. I will die on this hill. This sub-20fps hill.

These are the biggest things I can think of that I would like to see changed and not changed in Dark Souls Remastered. Sure, I could write an entire article about not adding an easy mode, but we all know that Fromsoft would never do that — so I don’t even have to go on about how if you can’t meet the game on its level then just don’t play it, or how not every game needs to be for everyone or the widest audience possible, etc, etc…

I do hope, though, that people who found themselves jumping into the franchise for the first time with Dark Souls III or Bloodborne do give Dark Souls Remastered a proper shot. I also hope everyone behind this remaster show the respect this game deserves. We’ll find out soon enough.

Dark Souls Remastered will be available on 25th May. Click here to pre-order now from Amazon.

Sean is a semi-retired, semi-grown up hardcore kid who has been gaming since his hands could grip an arcade stick. A lover and critic of movies, music and video games, Sean is always quick with an opinion, a heaping dose of snark, and a healthy dose of pragmatism. The hill he will die on will always be "gameplay over story".