A preview build of the PC version of Dark Souls 2 has been handed out to various websites by Namco Bandai, and we can now know just how well it compares to the console versions.
Kotaku notes that while Dark Souls 2 definitely looks better than the first Dark Souls, it still is a long shot from the initial screenshots shown by the publisher. Titled as “Dark Souls II early access,” there’s still a chance that the final build is better than the early one.
However, at this time Dark Souls 2, in most places, looks like an “up-red’s last-gen console port.” The game runs at 1920 x 1080 and is able to reach 60 frames per second, provided your system is good enough.
Compared to the first Dark Souls on PC, the second installment is indeed a refreshing experience. We can all recall how the first had issues reaching a good frame cap and that it was horribly optimized. Dark Souls II runs fine and doesn’t necessarily require a beefy rig.
That said, it still doesn’t compare to what we were shown initially. Environment textures seem flat and the lighting is similar to its console versions. Shadows aren’t too accurate either.
There’s a chance that the final version will be better but I don’t count on that happening. It’s becoming quite a habit for developers to show off remarkable scenes from their titles initially, only to follow up with gimped titles. The consumer base will just have to settle for that.