I got the Dark Souls remaster on Friday. And it’s a good game. It looks nice. The framerate isn’t a kneecapped nightmare. And, you know, it’s Dark Souls. Any excuse to replay one of the best games ever made is a-okay with me.
But, there is a problem with the remaster: in the seven years that Dark Souls has been out, and all the years where subsequent entries in the series have been released, From Software still cannot figure out how to not have incredibly shitty online components to these games.
Every Soulsborne game is the same this way: you’re going along, having a great time exploring the world, overcoming massive challenges and making progress in satisfying ways. Then the game sends you a warning
xXFUCKNUT-420Xx has invaded!
and the next thing you know, someone with a folder full of 4chan memes, clad entirely in Havel’s armor set teleports like Nightcrawler, instantly killing you with a critical hit from several feet away. And Lord Help You if you join one of the PvP covenants (shout out to the Darkmoon Blades) and fight other players intentionally. Gaining rank and increasing the power of the magic spell Gwyndolin gives you becomes an exercise in tedium and frustration, as an hour or so goes by and you only have two Souvenirs of Reprisal because getting into a duel where the latency is at least manageable is a rare find.
There comes a point where this kind of shit is inexcusable. This isn’t some small-time indie game: this is a guaranteed million seller, published by a major company, that can be bought at any major retailer in the country. You can buy Dark Souls Remastered at Wal-Mart; you don’t need to give your credit card number to a shady import retailer. And it was published by Namco, the same company that released Tekken 7, a game with netplay that’s probably as good as you’re going to find in a video game. And you’re telling me that they couldn’t pull out a couple of servers that aren’t barely held together with pre-chewed gum for Dark Souls?
You could’ve excused this back in 2009, when Demon’s Souls was a game that was on the verge of cancellation, and had to be shopped around to multiple publishers because nobody wanted to take a chance on it. The resources to make a major selling point of the game not a pain to deal with weren’t there. But not in 2018, with all the stuff I just mentioned in play.
And that’s what sucks, and brings down what is otherwise an awesome re-release: an entire aspect of the game is completely fucked. How can I make the guilty pay the price when the guilty have mastery over time and space?
Otherwise, the game is great. But seriously, FromSoft, fix your fucking internet.