Dark Souls: Prepare to Die Edition Review


I’ve said it many, many times – Dark Souls is the best game that has ever been made. Ever. I can’t think of a single game that betters it in any way, and feel confident that if anyone tried to challenge me on this veritable fact, I would school them so hard it would send them back through time to kindergarten, their pants leaking with urine.

Veterans of the game like myself will notice that many of the flaws in the game, the ones that didn’t actually add any character to the title, are still very much in play. I find it hard to blame From Software for this oversight, because the only reason the PC version exists at all is because of fan petitioning. Having said that, it would have been nice to play the game without attacks going through walls and semi-delayed actions.

This guy is going to be a handful.

I know many of you have been waiting with bated breath to read my review of the game, but there are damn good reasons why it hasn’t gone up until now. First off, the new content is unfamiliar and f-cking hard. Secondly, I began the game with using sorcery as my main weapon, something I’ve never done before, and tried to rush to get where I needed to. Six hours later, I proclaimed ‘DAMN THIS THERE IS NO GOD’ and restarted, aiming to use pyromancy instead. Then the game refused to work for two days. And then it worked, and I crammed all the time I needed to actually get to the DLC into about four gruelling, soul-crushing days.

First off, do not use the mouse and keyboard to play Dark Souls on the PC. You know what it’s like masturbating with your secondary hand? It doesn’t even hold that charm. It’s like masturbating with a hand that’s grown overnight through your abdomen and you have to basically break your spine in order to get those new and slightly deformed digits to reach your manhood (or womanhood, let’s just say personhood) to get things started. Legally, it counts as violating yourself. So get a controller.

Once you’ve got a controller, DS: PTD is exactly the same as the console version, because it’s a port. Enemy attacks still magically go through walls; command inputs become increasingly regimented during combat intense scenarios; and the graphics, while made beautiful by DS’ truly impressive art style, are no better than the consoles. It made my $1600 PC, or what I like to call my ‘Super Porn Box’, seem completely useless. But this was all made up for by the extra content, because the best side dish to bacon is more bacon.

Welcome to Oolacile

The thing about Dark Souls is that the game has a huge, expansive history if you bother to look into it. Items carry descriptions which hint at the story of things past, characters speech illuminates who they are and why they bother to keep living in the endless torment of Dark Souls eternal limbo…DS is a 700 league deep puddle. It’s this huge, almost unknowable back-story that creates a meta painting – the picture very much exists, but not all of it has reached the canvas yet. The additional content in PTD simply feels like the finishing brushstrokes to the masterpiece that is Dark Souls.

Oolacile is a city from the past, now a distant memory. It’s heavily implied throughout the additional content that the cities of Oolacile and Anor Londo joined forces to take down the threat of the dragons, and that Oolacile may have come worse off. To actually get to Oolacile, you must kill the hydra in the Darkroot Basin, then kill the golem around the corner, then kill the golem at the base of the Duke’s Archives, and then return to where the first golem was and be sucked into a portal by way of a giant, tentacle puckered hand. Super easy.

What is truly amazing about the new content is that it does actually feel as though you’re stepping into the past of a place that only exists in a game. Oolacile’s enemies look and act almost like prototype versions of the enemies that you face later. By no means are they less deadly, rather, your imagination simply fills in the blanks of how things could have come to be in the current world away from Oolacile. A quote that one of the devs said about Dark Souls is that you are able to go where you can see, and this promise has been fulfilled. Oolacile feels as open to exploration as the rest of the game, and there are some fantastic new items, spells , armour and weapons to find. Had I known what any of these were, I would have built my character around them and made a new build, but alas, I didn’t, and I’m going to have to start the game again. Like a chump.

Preparing to die, again.

The new bosses, The Guardian, Artorias, Khalameet and Manus, are all 100% Dark Souls bosses – impossible to beat the first time, and too easy to beat the twentieth. Even Artorias, who is armoured like a god-damn Panzer tank, can only be hit once every 30 or so seconds, and leaves you minimal chances to heal, is a fairly easy target for those who understand the nature of Dark Souls: Try, learn, try again.

I’m going to get a little personal here – there is a good chance that I am way too close to this game to review it for newcomers. I’ve poured anywhere between 90-120 hours into this game. Aside from magic builds and sorceries, I know this game back to front, and trying to describe it, in all of its wonderful glory as a game and as a truly complex, sublime piece of art, is incredibly hard. I could talk about the new armour set I found is great because it gives very similar protection to Havel’s armour but without the weight, or how useful the new pyromancy skill is when dealing with shield bearing enemies, or how Prepare to Die turned Artorias from a simple legend into a character that you couldn’t help but admire and despair over. But that is another article for another time.

  • PC

The Verdict

Dark Souls: Prepare to Die on the PC is amazing. It’s more Dark Souls, and how could I ever ask for more?
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