Namco Bandai

13 haunting Dark Souls 2 GIFs

Ben Griffin at

Dark Souls 2 looks beautiful by any stretch, especially at 4K resolution as I've demonstrated in my Screenshot Showcase, but there's nothing quite like seeing it in motion. The oozing lava, the flocking birds, the ash clouds swirling through the air. I got the idea from cinemagraphs—still images that contain moving pieces. Confessedly it's a term I find a bit pretentious, so I'll continue calling them GIFs. Now, anyone can make a video clip. The aim here was to create a series of living photographs. Personally, I think it's the closet you can get to Dark Souls 2 without playing it, which you should, because it's great.

Dark Souls 2 can be beaten in just over 20 minutes

Shaun Prescott at

It took me 60 hours to complete Dark Souls 2, so when I heard about this 20 minute Dark Souls 2 speedrun I was very angry. How dare they, I thought. It just isn’t fair. Never mind though, because this run utilises a series of glitches allowing the player to skip a pretty huge portion of the game. Oh, and did you know rolling while using the binoculars makes you somehow faster? It does. With a combination of these, YouTube user Distortion2 gets to Aldia’s Keep in less than six minutes.

4K Screenshot Showcase: Dark Souls 2

Ben Griffin at

Every week, keen screen-grabber Ben Griffin brings you a sumptuous 4K resolution gallery to celebrate PC gaming's prettiest places.

Learning the ancient art of Cheat Engine and downloading pox911's mystical free-cam mod gave me a dramatic new perspective on Drangleic. I particularly love the way camera focus follows your character, so positioning him in certain places allowed me to manipulate depth of field. I didn't get as many action shots as I'd like - it's hard when most enemies can take you out in a few hits. Will someone do me a 'stop time' mod, pretty please?

Dark Souls 2: ultimate armour guide

Ben Griffin at

Dark Souls 2 is one big fashion parade. Whether you want to resist fire, boost intelligence, or up the intimidation factor online, what you wear matters. Others have already written exhaustive checklists of the game's armour sets, so instead PC Gamer’s resident fashionista Ben has devised some fabulous custom ensembles - some for form, others for function. Check them out below.

Dark Souls 2 PC tweak guide

PC Gamer at

In 2012, Peter "Durante" Thoman wrote the popular mod DSfix for Dark Souls: Prepare to Die on PC, fixing its locked 1024x720 resolution and other issues. In 2013, he released a similar fix for Deadly Premonition. We asked Durante to analyze the PC port of Dark Souls 2 in a series of articles. Here he explains how to wring the most performance from the game…

We previously investigated what Dark Souls 2 delivers out of the box, and it certainly has a nice selection of options. However, due to the unique strengths of the PC platform, we can try to go further in order to enhance our visual experience. In this article we will be relying entirely on generic, freely available tools. No hardcore hacks required.

Dark Souls 2 comparison video: Xbox 360 vs. PC at 1080p

Cory Banks at

Dark Souls: Prepare To Die Edition was a bad port of a brilliant game. Dark Souls 2, on the other hand, is a well-made PC port (even super-modder Durante thinks so). But just hearing that isn't enough: how much better does it look on PC than on consoles?

To find out, we made this video of side-by-side comparisons between the Xbox 360 version and the PC version running at 1080p, with all settings set to max, on the Large Pixel Collider. Let the footage be the judge—which do you think looks better?

Dark Souls 2 PC port: mod god Durante's verdict

PC Gamer at

In 2012, Peter "Durante" Thoman wrote the popular mod DSfix for Dark Souls: Prepare to Die on PC, fixing its locked 1024x720 resolution and other issues. In 2013, he released a similar fix for Deadly Premonition. We asked Durante to analyze the PC port of Dark Souls 2 in a series of articles.

After an initial outing on PC which was barely serviceable—rendering at 1024x720, locked at 30 FPS with unusable mouse controls—From Software and Namco Bandai have a lot to prove with this sequel. For Dark Souls 2, PC was reportedly considered a major target platform from the start. In this article, I'll first investigate the technical quality of the port compared to Dark Souls: Prepare to Die Edition and the console versions of Dark Souls 2. Then I'll have a closer look at the options included in the game and analyze their impact.

Dark Souls 2 beginners guide: how to stay alive (longer)

Ben Griffin at

Ben Griffin knows his Dark Souls 2. His veins don’t so much course with blood as Rouge Water, and his skeleton consists entirely of Homeward Bones. He sees the world through Cracked Red Eye Orbs. He feels it in his Soul Vessel and he processes it in his Petrified Lump. Who better in all of Drangleic, then, to guide you through its perilous first ten hours? If you want fewer reminders that ‘YOU DIED’, read on for 14 tips, tricks and secrets worth their weight in Gold Pine Resin.

27 deaths in Dark Souls 2

Cory Banks at

Death is inevitable in Dark Souls 2. It certainly keeps happening to us—we've been playing the PC version of From Software's newest game in preparation for our review on April 25 and we've died again and again. Instead of weeping in agony or throwing our PCs out in frustration, we made a video of some of our favorite deaths.

Here are Dark Souls 2's PC graphics and control options

Cory Banks at

We've been anxiously awaiting the PC port for Dark Souls 2 ever since the game was first announced, when developer From Software promised better graphics support and higher resolution textures. Those promises have been kept: we're playing the PC version, and it includes plenty of settings to make the game run perfectly—and look fantastic.

Enemy Front gameplay trailer focuses on sneaking, sniping

Emanuel Maiberg at

There was a time when we were overwhelmed with World War II first-person shooters. Now it feels like we’re overwhelmed with modern military shooters, and I’m about ready to head back to WWII’s familiar battlefields with new graphics and new ideas. Namco Bandai’s and CI Games’ Enemy Front seems like will offer just that kind of ride.

Dark Souls 2 launch trailer appears well ahead of the PC release

Phil Savage at

Oh Dark Souls, you perpetual tease. Namco Bandai have unleashed the Dark Souls 2 launch trailer, which makes sense, because the console release is this week. For those of us wanting to play the game on PC, its brutal delights will be hidden away until the end of next month. Hopefully we can make it through those extra weeks without devolving into maddened undead husks.

As for the trailer itself, it's also a bit of a tease. It's entirely CGI, which, on the one hand, is a bit of a strange move for a launch trailer; but on the other, means that you'll be relatively safe from spoilers.

Dark Souls 2 producer explains accessibility, says combat feels more intuitive

Phil Savage at

To call Dark Souls hard is to sort of miss the point. It was a challenge, to be sure, but mainly because its story and systems were obtuse and coy enigmas hidden throughout the game. Dark Souls 2's co-director Yui Tanimura has never shied away from using the word "accessibility", causing some to worry that the game's obscurities would be more clearly signposted for the sequel.

In an interview with OXM, Namco Bandai producer Takeshi Miyazoe has explained how the team have translated their philosophy of accessibility into a game that doesn't ruin the game's mystery or challenge.

Ace Combat: Assault Horizon calls an air strike on Games for Windows Live

Phil Savage at

My favourite thing about the big Games for Windows Live shutdown is that it was never officially confirmed. While originally announced via a message on the Age of Empires Online support page, that update was quickly removed. Since then, the Age of Empires Online support page has also been removed, as part of Microsoft's apparent attempt to hide all evidence that PC gaming even exists. As far as I can see, this is all that remains of Microsoft's non-Windows 8 support.

At least that feeling is mutual, with PC games trying to hide all existence of Games for Windows Live. A further official confirmation of the July 1st switch off date seems almost unnecessary, especially given that many GfWL games are switching over to Steamworks. The latest to do so is Ace Combat: Assault Horizon. Its developers recently announced that owners can manually activate a patch to remove the unwanted client.

Dark Souls 2 trailer is an ode to the hollow

Phil Savage at

"This isn't about death, this is about what you learn from death," says this trailer's narrator, which is a pretty apt summation of Dark Souls' appeal. Worryingly, the attempt at a rousing call to arms somehow manages to be less effective than Sean Bean's Train Simulator advert. Still, it's full of small details designed to whip lore hunters into an intrigued, soapy lather. And for the rest of us, there's a big ol' dragon getting chopped up.

Dark Souls 2 trailer shows the things that will be killing you

Phil Savage at

Obviously this new Dark Souls 2 trailer isn't an exhaustive round-up of the everything that wants to kill you, because, well, if it was, it would include everything. The sequel to the infamously gruelling third-person action-RPG will, at least, continue the tradition of creating imaginative and spectacularly designed enemies. Hopefully it's that sense of horrible wonder and intrigue that will keep you moving forward as some many-limbed monstrosity pounds you into oblivion.

Dark Souls producer admits PC port was rushed, promises sequel will "be a good PC experience"

Phil Savage at

Long before the release of Dark Souls: Prepare To Die Edition, we knew that the PC port would be troubled. The developers admitted that they wouldn't be upgrading the resolution, or fixing the frame rates, or preparing the necessary wards to keep Games for Windows Live from haunting the game. Now, in an interview with Edge, Dark Souls 2 producer Takeshi Miyazoe has explained the problems facing the first game, and reassured that they won't affect the sequel.

Enslaved: Odyssey to the West confirmed for PC after Australian classification

Phil Savage at

Odyssey to the West? More like Odyssey to the Best... system. Sorry, I need more coffee. What I'm trying to say is that Ninja Theory's under-appreciated post-apocalyptic action game Enslaved has been confirmed for the PC, following a rating from the Australian classification board of a previously unannounced "Premium Edition". This is good news for fans of colourful robot-infested overgrowths, hitting things with a stick, or watching the rubber-faced Andy Serkis do virtual puppetry.

Dark Souls mod makes enemy monsters obsessively aggressive

Patrick Carlson at

Boosting the difficulty in a game like Dark Souls is asking for trouble. Already famous for its tough game systems and clever monsters, the RPG now has a mod that bizarrely makes enemies even more aggressive and tough.

Dark Souls 2 beta footage shows new inventory, nicer animation, jolly co-operation

Tom Sykes at

The Dark Souls 2 Japanese beta is underway, which of course means that loads of delicious footage has snuck its way onto the internet. It's our biggest and best glimpse of the game yet, and if you want to remain purely unspoiled you definitely, definitely shouldn't watch it - even though you already have. The beta seems to comprise one area of the game, though each of the beta testers tackles it in their own way, picking from one of a variety of classes before delving in. I'm justifying watching it by telling myself that the game is months away, and it's likely to change from the state it's in now - once you've cooked up a similar lie, you can join me guilt-free after the break.