Did Namco Bandai lie about the graphics quality of its dark fantasy RPG sequel Dark Souls II?
The internet is currently rife with gamers keen to voice their ire with the title’s apparently downgraded graphics on last-gen consoles such as the playstation 3 and Xbox 360, for which it was released last Friday 14 March (the PC version is set to be released on 25 April).
The problem is that the released game bears little resemblance to the previously published official preview videos showing gameplay. An internet based campaign has been started with the hashtags #DarkSoulsDowngrade and #YOULIED.
You can see the huge differences in graphics qualities of the trailed version of the game and new PS3 footage of the released version of the game below, published by IGN:
The notably superior graphics are easy to see in the side-by side and A-B comparisons in the video. Texture quality, detail, complexity, lighting, effects and draw distance all look poorer in the released version of the game.
Most commentators think that Namco Bandai has been using PC gameplay footage as representative of the game on all platforms in most of the previously released footage and trailers. However previous footage from what was said to be the PS3 version is also apparently been downgraded.
Here are a few choice tweets from concerned gamers:
How do you follow up the anticipated sequel to arguably the greatest game of all time? CONTROVERSY & FALSE ADVERTISING #Darksoulsdowngrade
– Fire Walk With Me (@JasperDan4) March 17, 2014
Catching up on #DarkSoulsDowngrade. Seems like bad communication, and consumers discovering what “does not represent final quality” means
– Lewie Procter (@LewieP) March 15, 2014
#DarkSoulsDowngrade @senden_ogu You won’t get away with what you’ve done to this sequel. It’s called fraud and it always has consequences.Ã°Å¸Ë¡
– Marc BasagaÃ±a (@latestkiss) March 15, 2014
@NamcoBandaiUK @namcogames #DarkSoulsDowngrade #YOULIED what happened to the game? Official state ment please.
– Sebastian Wiberg (@sibbe_wiberg) March 14, 2014
This #DarkSoulsDowngrade is a lot like Retake Mass Effect in every way: Completely unnecessary, juvenile, and pointless.
– Dan Stinehart (@JiibayDan) March 17, 2014
It’s not that unexpected for a game on the last generation consoles to look poor compared to the PC version but software director Yui Tanimura previously talked up the importance of graphics and the improvements coming to Dark Souls II: “One of the first things we immediately tried to improve in terms of Dark Souls 2 was the graphic quality of the game,” he told IGN.
“One thing we really focused on obviously for Dark Souls and more so in Dark Souls 2 is how much you can get deep into the game emotionally and physically, and one of the things we felt was critical to that was the graphical improvements for more reality, more realistic expressions of everything we want to show in the game.”
The PC version of the game is thought not to suffer from the same issues.