How Dark Souls Runs On The Switch

If you had any doubts about how well Dark Souls would run on the Switch, there's some good news.

Firstly, the Switch handles Blighttown substantially better than the last-gen versions. If you remember any technical tests from the last gen, the PS3 and 360 could plunge to frame rates in the low 10s - even just turning around at the bonfire.

The Switch handles that substantially better, although not perfectly smooth. The frame rate drops are most noticeable when playing in handheld, but for the most part the performance is reasonable.

There is a dynamic resolution used, which helps the Switch maintain performance. As Digital Foundry measured, handheld performance can drop to around 20fps at the worst elements, as can be seen with the Red Wyvern above.

The bad news is that the audio quality is horrifically compressed. It's noticeably worse than the 360/PS3 versions, sounding muddy and lacking any clarity at all. You'll notice it most if you're playing through TV speakers or headphones, particularly when voices are playing.

Digital Foundry also noticed that frame pacing issues - a problem when the game first launched - are present in the Switch version. It's a byproduct of the underlying engine, and if you want the absolute best experience on console the Xbox One X is the only way to go.

But is Dark Souls a playable handheld experience? The answer is yes, although it's worth knowing where the caveats are. Still, if you played Dark Souls when it first came out and put up with the nightmare that was Blighttown, you should be able to enjoy the Switch version just fine.

Real shame about that audio, though.


Comments

    Frame pacing issues are how you know it's a fromsoft game.

    I was pretty hyped to have another go around, but the audio is disgusting, with some sounds just outright missing. If they fix it I'll buy, but it's a hard nope at this point.

    Bought it. Quality is fine. We've all played it before - it's just nice to have it in portable form.
    Unfortunately the tiny Switch controls are still a killer for my hands.

    Bought a Satisfye Pro Gaming Grip last night which will hopefully help when it arrives.

    This shit is going to run smoother than a type 7 on the Bristol stool chart when it's finally released on the Xbox Ursa Type 2.8 a decade from now. So hyped.

    So it runs like last gen, zero surprise.

      Literally the entire point of the article was to say that it runs better than last gen.

      I honestly wonder how some people survive on their own given the grey matter available to them.

    Having watched some Souls LPs, I can tell that controller throwing tantrums are a risk... Not great when your controller is your console, too.

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