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on June 10, 2015
I get it, everyone says the port sucks and that you absolutely NEED a controller to play this game. The port is pretty bad, but I have not had ANY issues. A controller isn't necessary once you get used to the relatively simplistic PC controls. The game itself runs very smooth.. I definitely wouldn't worry.

As for the game itself, it's got that challenging and frustrating feel to it, but it also feels fair and balanced. If you die, you can't say the game is "too hard" or "rigged." You die because the lack of strategy/skill or even something so simple as evading a second too soon. The game is never to blame. With that said, it's literally the only game that I've come across that has been able to challenge me.

For all the PC players, here's the default keyboard map:

Tab = dodge attack and retaliate (hardly works)
Space bar = run/jump/roll
Shift = block
Alt = two-hand your weapon
W, A, S, D = move forward, right, backward, left; respectively
E = Use item selected in utility slot (i.e. Flask)
F = Change item selected in utility slot
H = Generic attack
U = Strong attack
J, I, L, K = Look to the left, up, right, or downards; respectively
End = Open menu
Page up/Down = Navigate through menu
Enter = Select

As aforementioned, it's really easy if you get the hang of it. It does become intuitive.. You don't need a controller.
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on January 12, 2015
As a game, Dark Souls is excellent for it's genre, but there are a few things to keep in mind when purchasing this product that everyone should be aware of.

- It is an exceptionally difficult game. If you are not used to 3D action games, where positioning is very important and thinking outside the box is key, then this game will prove challenging. To the tune of dozens of deaths challenging. It is NOT poorly designed, however it is definitely geared toward those with familiarity of the product.

- Nearly impossible without a controller. An Xbox 360 or Xbox One controller would be ideal, especially because Microsoft just released official PC drivers for Xbox One controllers. That is what I use, and it has gone off without a hitch. Minus my deaths, of course.

- This is a digital purchase, which means you will not receive a physical copy. You will receive a code that can be redeemed on the game distribution platform Steam, a very helpful service, but nonetheless one you will need in order to play this game.

- The merits/traits of the game are these: Challenging boss battles, meaningful gameplay, explorable areas with tangible rewards, puzzles and a story that don't spell themselves out for you, but leave you to figure them out for yourselves, a great and intriguing world to explore, and finally a rock solid combat system.

It's hard, but it's worth it.
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on May 13, 2013
If you had not read up on this previously (or searched prior product reviews), the PC version of Dark Souls is a console port which feels a bit rushed. The folks behind this had mentioned prior to its PC debut that they were not too familiar with bringing games to the PC, or porting an console title to the platform and it shows. The game runs at a maximum of 30 frames per second out of the box (more on that in a moment). While this is normally OK, it suffers from all the same issues with graphical lag as its console counterparts. Control-wise, the mouse and keyboard is not recommended, although I suppose to each their own.

If you are willing to do a minor amount of tinkering, there is a community-created tool called DSFix which can change a few things about how the game runs. It allows for unlocking your frame rate as far as 60fps (going much higher may cause issues) and a few additional graphical options if you are up for it. It also allows for using custom textures (the images which are applied to the various models and interfaces within the game) so that you can customize your experience even further. It even allows you to make the interfaces larger or smaller, hide portions of it and hide your mouse cursor while in the game.

The game natively supports the Xbox 360 controller, although with third party drivers, you can use a Playstation 3 controller on your PC as well. Using this in tandem with DSFix may cause some errors, so you may need to tweak the drivers slightly for them to work properly. If you are using a Playstation 3 controller and DSFix, you can look for a texture modification which will change the Xbox 360 button icons to Playstation 3 icons.

Lastly, the game requires both Steam and Games for Windows Live to run. The game will always play in 'Online Mode' while you are connected to Games for Windows Live, unless you create a Local account OR by tricking the game client (which involves disconnecting / turning off your computer's internet connection after logging into GFWL and Dark Souls, then re-connecting your internet). If you do the latter, you will be able to play in 'Offline Mode' while still being able to use your Games for Windows Live and internet features as per usual. If you are using the 'Big Picture' mode in Steam as well as a supported controller (PS3 / Xbox 360 in this example), the Home button will trigger both the Steam Community overlay as well as the Games for Windows Live overlay at the same time. This last bit is more of a conflict between Steam and GFWL, but since Dark Souls requires both, it's essentially a potential issue with the game.

Regardless of its troubles on the PC, it is still a very solid, challenging game well worth the trouble. The use of community-created mods can make the game far more playable for the PC and indeed brings the game closer to what one would expect of a PC port.
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on November 27, 2012
Having already played and enjoyed this game on the XBOX 360 last year, I was anxious to play through it again with better PC visuals and the additional content offered in this version. For the price of under $15, I figured I couldn't go wrong. I'll get the negative things out of the way first:

1. By default, the resolution is locked at 720p. Obviously, most PC gamers expect more from their visuals. Luckily, there is an easy fix for this that will bump up the graphics significantly. It's already been mentioned in several other reviews, so I won't go into detail, other than to say it's an extremely easy fix. Just Google "Dark Souls PC graphics mod" and that'll get you on the right path. Even with this fix in place, the game is never going to be the graphical showcase for your PC, so you should temper your expectations. With the fix in place though, it's a good looking game, and certainly several notches above the console version.

2. Games for Windows Live. Yes, this game requires Games for Windows Live. Yes, GFWL sucks. I'm willing to put up with the inconvenience. Some people aren't, and that's understandable. Buyer beware.

3. Steam. This purchase only gets you an activation code to be used on Steam, so again, buyer beware. If you don't like Steam, this probably isn't the purchase for you. I actually don't mind it, but that's just me.

4. Keyboard/Mouse Controls. I use a XBOX 360 wireless controller to play this game, and it handles beautifully. I haven't tried it with a mouse/keyboard setup, but I've heard from numerous people that it borders on being unplayable. Remember, this game was built for a console, by console developers with no PC experience, so please cut them some slack. If having to use a controller is a deal breaker for you, you might want to pass on this game.

Now for the good, which amounts to everything else. This game will challenge you like no other. It will frustrate you, and you will die. A lot. And then you'll die some more. The thing is, the game is always fair. Death is inevitable, and it's always your own fault. Get better at the game, die less. It's as old school and simple as this. If you can deal with this, every victory will truly feel rewarding, unlike most modern games that hold your hand along the way. This one is on you and only you, and I love it for that. The only thing that keeps me from giving the game a full 5 stars is the requirement for GFWL. If half stars were allowed, I'd give it 4.5
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on December 28, 2013
Upon firsts your first play through, you may wonder what the plot was. You may feel underwhelmed. But the joy you feel when you beat a boss (after dying twenty times) is overwhelming. The satisfaction you feel from helping another player is wonderful. And then...then you begin to look things up - because there IS lore to the game, it's just so subtle. So your curious mind reads about the woman protecting her sister; a sister who is now dying, weak, and all alone - and she mistakes you for her caretaker. You read about the man who braved Sen's Fortress and made it all the way to Anor Londo - a human, at that, not even Undead - but ended up falling to his death. You read about the man who deceived the Darkwraith's in order to gather humanity for a woman who's sister you (or perhaps he) killed.

And suddenly, you're hooked. The game is not difficult - you determine the difficulty. Come into it with no knowledge, you'll get your butt kicked. Do your research, and it'll be a lot easier. Go off only player tips (in-game, on the ground), and it'll be a challenge but not impossible. Learn the patterns of your enemies and rid yourself of your anger management - ain't nobody got time for that in Dark Souls. It's all about being patient and realizing that death is around every corner. The game punishes you for getting sloppy. You want to just waltz down that bridge? No. Dragon. Think again. Figure out a strategy.

Play the game. Become a masochist today.
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on April 8, 2013
The name of this edition is definitely fitting to the game. This is the hardest game I have played in the last decade. I never played Demon Souls but I heard that it is not needed to understand this game. I heard alot about this game and how hard everyone said it was and i thought to myself It can't possibly that hard; I was dead wrong. If you are old enough think back to the days of the NES (Nintendo Entertainment System), remeber that really hard game Ghosts and Goblins? Remeber how difficult it was to beat all those monsters like the flying red demon and needing to kill The Devil and Satan? Remeber how mad you were after you beat the game and discoverd you needed to do it twice because the first time was An illusion created by Satan? Remeber all that? Well Dark Souls is basically the modern day version of that. It is a fun game but it is extremely diffifcult and infuriating. If you want a challenge and you want to defie a games attempts to defeat you then this is perfect for you. If you want a quick fun game that you can play in your spare time then this is not for you. This game will test your skill, your patience and your temper. Dark Souls: Prepare To Die Edition contains New Bosses, Areas, Enimies, NPCs, and Weapons and Armor not included in the original game. I give it four out of five starts because i think the difficulty can be a little unreaonable at certain times. If you like a challenge then I reccommend this game to you, and if you accept the challenge have the Dark Souls Wiki standing by and then I only have three words for you.

PREPARE TO DIE!!!
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on July 24, 2015
Dark Souls is an essential game that anyone who plays games should have. Don't let the "bad PC port" reviews scare you from buying this game. With a bit of fixes, this game can really come to life on PC. First, as others have said, DSFix is a must and it can be found on the NexusMods site. A few tweaks within DSFix will fix numerous issues wrong with the regular PC port of the game. Second, by all means a controller is a must have and you should not use keyboard/mouse under any circumstances. Once those requirements are met, this game will be much better than the console version. There are still many PC players who you can play with online or you can team up with a friend. Whatever route you take, as long as you pick up the essential requirements, this game can be a blast and I highly recommend it.
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on March 1, 2013
This product on its won merit is still great despite its lack of support for multiple things and its NECESSITY on a controller, with a huge world, and victory that feels nearly palpable, this game and its included DLC make it worth the buy. Sadly, its because of these console restraints, and admittedly From Software, that this game is most damaged, the frame rate drops and is glued at a solid 30fps, the textures look muddy and murky, some of the game just looks innately hideous, and the gameplay short of a controller is some of the worst this side of keyboard. Luckily with just one mod to kill it all, and at such small a size and such ease of install, this game quickly sheds most of its irks and shows you what it really wants to be on PC, at unlocked frames the game plays smoother than ever before, with shined up textures and anti-aliasing at max, this game chugs along just fine on even paltry hardware, and looks ages better than its console equivalent.
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on July 26, 2013
I wanted to absolutely love Dark Souls and throughout much of the game's 15 hour journey I did. However, there are a few important issues that hold this game back from being spectacular and keeps it merely great.

The game's control are simply clunky. I played with an Xbox 360 gamepad and I recommend only going into the PC version of Dark Souls similarly armed. The game was designed so that combat felt deliberate and "weighty," and in that respect it greatly succeeded. Weapon slashes, contact, and blood splashes are all appropriately meaningful and accompanied by good sound work to sell the experience. However, the result of this deliberate pacing to movement and combat leaves the player feeling like they aren't always in control of their actions and reactions. Even with a nimble character, I felt like I wasn't able to dodge or parry with a degree of consistency that the game seemed to expect of me.

I also never felt really connected to either the story or the world in general. Again, this was a deliberate choice by the developers to craft a world that focused more on lore and atmosphere rather than a narrative-heavy experience like a Japanese RPG. Still, I feel like this design choice led to me feeling disconnected from the world and, as a result, I never really felt the weight of my actions in a deeper context. I have been told that there is a deeper story and more lore to discover, but I often found myself fighting strange creatures in dark places where I hadn't the slightest idea of why or what I should accomplish there.

This disconnectedness from the game world also carried over to main quest objectives. Many times, I simply had no idea where I was supposed to do next. The game does a poor job of guiding the player without directly telling them what or where to go. I must admit that I was forced to consult walkthroughs online to see what area I was supposed to progress to next. Again, this seems to be a deliberate design choice that lends to the feeling of helplessness that pervades the game's setting and lore, but it didn't sit terribly well with me.

All of those negative things out of the way, I still had a wonderful time exploring the world of Dark Souls. The combat, even with its faults, is unlike anything you've tried before and is truly rewarding once you've figured out how to beat a certain boss or difficult area. The feeling of progression is likewise wonderful; it is truly a joy to revisit areas that gave you tremendous difficulty hours past and simply wreck through like you're the hulk.

Overall, I can recommend Dark Souls to anyone looking for a difficult, complex, and rewarding combat system. Those who thrive on exploring without a specific direction or instruction will be drawn to the lack of hand-holding in Dark Souls, even if the game itself must progress in a linear fashion. In the end, Dark Souls is a rewarding and at times frustrating experience that I wouldn't miss.
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on November 30, 2017
Milestone of the Action RPG. Best game ever on the genre after Diablo II (though I like DkS better). It took all the good things about Demons' Souls and made it better. Flawless design, combat, epic bosses, and endless, timeless gaming experience (even now that we have Dark Souls 3, I thinks DkS1 is the most complete and entertaining game of the series, specially for the liberty while exploring on a NG+).
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