Review: “Dark Souls Remastered”

“Dark Souls” is a now iconic franchise that became Bandai Namco’s highest selling series of all time, despite its notoriously brutal difficulty. And while many hail the first entry in the series to be the best, it often comes from overlooking several of the games serious flaws. Flaws that along with the rest of the game, were polished with a current-gen makeover and given a performance boost. 

“Dark Souls” has made some serious advances in its later entries that make it difficult to go back to the first game. “Dark Souls 2: Scholar of the First Sin” was easily the most accessible and content-packed entry, while “Dark Souls 3” sported gloriously refined movement, animations and general control on top of jaw-dropping aesthetics and presentation. 

Despite “Dark Souls’” graphical upgrade, entirely new effects in some instances and overall gameplay tweaks, the game hasn’t had some of its biggest problems addressed yet since it originally came out back in 2011. While the Player-Versus-Player matchmaking has been improved, enemy invaders can still spam overpowered spells and win easily with no real consequences. Jumping is still a mess, the Lost Izalith area is still blatantly unfinished, and the Bed of Chaos boss battle is still a broken bug-filled trainwreck, all of this on top of several other issues which now will likely never see a real fix. 

The Nintendo Switch version of the game, however, has no business calling itself ‘Remastered’ as while it does perform better than the original release, the Playstation 4 and Xbox One versions run circles around it while also sporting the new graphical effects which are very noticeably absent from the Switch version. 

The removed effects result in a game that looks identical to its original 2011 release, albeit with a somewhat better framerate. I don’t believe at all that it’s an issue with the Switch not being as powerful as its competitors since The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild has far greater graphical fidelity and scale, all while running at a smooth 60 frames-per-second. 

The only saving grace that makes the Switch version slightly better than its other versions is that it is portable and it runs well enough to warrant the purchase, but only just so. There is no reason why this version had to be graphically crippled like it was. Still a great game, but it could have been so much better. 

I give Dark Souls Remastered on the Nintendo Switch a 7 out of 10.