When the Dark Souls logo flashed on the screen during January’s Nintendo Direct, it felt like a real game changer. With third parties still seemingly tiptoeing their way around Switch support, what better get for the system than the reveal of Bandai Namco’s infamously difficult action classic? Yet, just a few short months after Dark Souls Switch’s hype-inciting reveal, little was seen of the Nintendo version again.
While the other platforms got their shiny 4K Dark Souls: Remastered back in May, many fans sat there, quietly waiting for news on the Lordran dream — a portable Souls. Imagine being able to ‘git gud’ on the train. To sneak off to Lordran at the toilet in work. You can see why fans were holding out for the Switch version. Yet, with Dark Souls: Remastered on Switch smacked with a non-committal “summer” release window, fans began to fear the worst. Was Dark Souls simply too much for the poor old Switch to handle?
Well Souls fans, it’s time to breathe a sigh of relief — because Dark Souls Switch is definitely coming out. Despite months of radio silence from both publisher Bandai Namco and the big N themselves, we have finally got our hands on an undocked version of the game during a Nintendo VS event.
The best part? We’re happy to say that Dark Souls on Switch is very much the real deal.
Switch Up Look Sharp
First things first, this is obviously not the same remaster as its non-Nintendo counterparts. Instead of running at a smooth 60 frames per second like the PS4, PC, and Xbox remasters, Dark Souls Switch runs at a locked 30 frames per second.
Make no mistake though, this is still a highly impressive port – and more importantly, it’s a vast improvement over the original game.
While the PS3 and 360 versions targeted a locked 30 frames performance while rendering the game at a resolution of 720p, certain sections really struggled on the poor last gen machines, dragging performance down to unplayable levels. Thankfully though, Dark Souls on Switch makes this frustration a thing of the past.
Aside from some (not all) of the textures being upgraded, upping the resolution was always just going to be an upscale anyway. While playing docked bumps the resolution up to 1080p, playing Dark Souls on the go feels grin-inducingly brilliant — and you’re certainly not missing out on anything at 720p. It’d be nice to have 60 frames per second, but it’s far more important that the game runs smoothly, which it does.
Not a Blight In Sight
On Nintendo’s portable, the game runs at 720p and a locked 30 frames per second — even in Dark Souls most demanding areas. While we have yet to witness the game running at 1080p on the big screen, seeing how well Dark Souls runs on the Switch undocked really makes this port feel like a remarkable technical achievement.
Featuring the same improved textures and character models as its higher-res counterparts, exploring Dark Souls wonderfully oppressing world on the Switch’s small screen feels even more creepily captivating than it did on the 360.
With the game now being shown off at events, it’s a good sign that Dark Souls Switch is almost complete. We can’t wait for fans old and new alike to experience the brilliantly frustrating masterpiece on the move very soon.
Both the game and the Solaire of Astora amiibo® will be available on 19th October, 2018.