The PC version of Dark Souls II should still look and play the way the game looked and played in preview builds.
Dark Souls II fans who picked up the game for Xbox 360 or PS3 were pleased to find a top-notch game, but a little dismayed to see that it didn’t quite look as good as Namco Bandai had been showing them in previews. For example, preview versions featured a lighting system that seemed to plunge the world of Drangleic into deep darkness, traversable only with the help of a trusty torch. A Forbes source has explained that the reasoning for the graphical downgrade was in pursuit of a stable framerate, as the game was practically “unplayable” on last-gen consoles before the downgrade.
“This is what it comes down to: a playable framerate. The early builds that the screenshots came from were playable but only just so. The game was not in a state where it could be sold at that point. I strongly suspect that they were focusing heavily on delivering a top-notch experience on PC and underestimated the challenges the new systems would pose on PS3 / Xbox360. That’s my analysis, anyway. But, factually, the early builds played like Blighttown the entire game.”
“I sincerely don’t think they intended to deceive,” said the source, “but in the end they sacrificed a huge amount of graphical fidelity at the very end of development because they couldn’t resolve the framerate in any other way. They had to promote the game with screens and trailers, but at that time even they had no idea they were going to have to drop the settings so much, I suspect.”
“The game would have been much worse without the change, as in, many would call it unplayable and broken,” he added.
The source’s comments heavily suggest that the PC version of the game will still look as great as it did in the preview builds. So, if you’re a true Dark Souls fan, you may want to wait until the PC version releases in April.