The Dark/Demons Souls games were created for consoles, but their hardcore level of difficulty makes them particularly interesting to PC gamers. While previous titles in the series were designed for consoles, and then ported to Windows, Dark Souls II was conceived with PC in mind.
And From Software clearly listened to what fans have been asking for. Available through Steam since April 25, the Windows version of Dark Souls II has graphics suitable for high-end video cards (depending on your card, up to four times more textures, is what a Bandai Namco representative told me), and has a locked-in frame rate of 60 frames per second, even while delivering the exact experience as the console version of the game.
It remains a very challenging game in which you need to save early, and save often. You should not expect to defeat enemies on a first attempt. Some will require multiple attempts as you learn how to defeat them. The Souls games require that you pay attention: What hand is the enemy holding its sword in? Will it hit you as you try to dodge? Does the enemy have a shield? How do they wield it?
Skilled keyboard and mouse gamers will appreciate having complete control over the configuration, but gamepads are supported.
One downside is that multiplayer experiences, including the comments left by other players, are not cross platform, so Windows players will only interact with other Windows players.
Other than that, it’s the same punishingly hard stuff you’ve come to hate and love. Patience is a virtue when playing Dark Souls II, no matter which system you’re playing it on.
Developer: Bandai Namco
Platform: Windows (also available on Xbox 360 and PS3)