For any gamer who got into the Dark Souls: Prepare To Die edition, it was a bittersweet victory. After an online petition convinced From Software to bring the game to PC, fans of the superior platform rejoiced — only to later find out it would be tainted by Games For Windows Live, as well as suffering from a severely stunted resolution and framerate lock. That won't be the case for Dark Souls 2, out on PC in a week.
A few short hours after the first Dark Souls came out on PC (leading some to question if the build was leaked), a modder named Durante released a fix for the game, allowing resolutions above 720p and higher framerates. Subsequent versions would fix various other versions with the port, ultimately making it an essential fix and taking the "bitter" out of that bittersweet victory.
From Software didn't mince words about the port; it wanted to spend minimal effort bringing the game to PC, so more time could be spent on Dark Souls 2. But they did also learn from it. And now, with the help of PC Gamer, Durante is back with an early build of Dark Souls 2's PC version, and has dismantled it for our benefit the way only a boss nerd knows how.
The short answer? It's good. It's pretty much everything a PC gamer needs, and most of what a PC gamer wants.
Durante notes that several subtle things make it clear that development had the PC in mind, and it goes beyond the call of duty for a port, with higher resolutions than 1080p, genuinely higher quality textures, many more settings, and proper surround sound and controls — although you should still use a gamepad.
Crucially, the game and many of its higher settings should also run on modest machines without a stutter:
While it is not quite the (almost generational) leap which was initially shown in previews, Dark Souls 2 on PC is a better experience and a more beautiful game than even a fully modded Dark Souls 1, and it also performs well on a wide range of hardware.
Head over to PC Gamer for the full verdict.