Odds are if you’re a fan of the “Soulsborne” games you’ve already heard that Dark Souls Remastered has released on the Nintendo Switch – finally. After a length a delay eager fans were finally able to bring the source of their torment on the road with them, ruining countless family vacations I’m sure. So how does Dark Souls hold up on the Nintendo Switch? Read on to find out.
Now we didn’t review Dark Souls Remastered on the PC, PS4, or XBox here at GameSpace, however, I do have the remaster on PC and have logged a modest amount of hours dying in a loop. One of the things I was most curious to see were the differences between the versions given the Switch is operating with much more limited hardware specs compared to PS4/XBox and definitely PC. What I found is that Dark Souls Remastered on the Switch is closer to the original experience – with a few quality of life improvements sprinkled throughout the mix.
If you’re primarily a handheld player you will be experiencing Lordran in 720p at 30 frames per second. Docked players still won’t be cruising at 60 frames per second but will get a nice boost to 1080p, though that resolution will dynamically lower as needed to maintain the 30fps target. The original, if you didn’t play it, was also locked to 30fps though on PC there was a way to hack around it though it wasn’t without bugs. On the Switch you also won’t see the majority of the graphical improvements that have graced the other versions of the game – the textures look closer to the original game, spell effects are diminished and bonfires aren’t as… firey.
You may read that as a list of reasons not to buy the game but I urge you to reconsider – the fact remains that this is a full on Dark Souls experience that is 100% portable. Graphics don’t make a game enjoyable and the graphics you do get are, as we’ve heard with many Switch games before, good enough. At no point was I turned off my console because things didn’t look pretty – I was turning it off out of frustration from getting my butt handed to me for the umpteenth time – just like it should be with a Dark Souls game. The Remaster takes away some of the annoyances from the original game as well. For example, you can now designate a number of items to consume instead of having to repeatedly navigate the menu to consume Souls of the Lost Undead before making a big purchase or leveling at a bonfire. Covenants can be changed at bonfires instead of undergoing lengthy and dangerous treks back to the NPCs that control them.
At the end of the day, you just have to ask yourself being able to kick back in your recliner and play one of the most frustrating games ever created on a convenient pocket-sized console is something you want to do. To me, it’s the perfect afternoon. The Switch version may not have all the pretty bells and whistles that you find on its big brother consoles or the PC but it fulfills a sense of nostalgia for the original that the others didn’t. Maybe it was the 30fps lock or downplayed graphics but the Switch’s Dark Soul feels more authentic in nearly every way and marks another outstanding port to the Switch lineup.