Despite receiving mostly high scores and praise from review sites and gaming publications, Namco Bandai's Dark Souls II is the subject of a controversy over its in-game graphics. PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 gamers have taken to the Internet to voice their collective displeasure regarding what they feel are significantly downgraded graphics compared to the preview footage Namco Bandai made available prior to the sequel's release.
This isn't the first time gamers have cried foul over a Dark Souls title. Due to popular demand, Namco Bandai ported the original Dark Souls over to the PC platform, but limited the graphics to HD 720p at 30 frames per second. Fans quickly modded the title to run at Full HD 1080p at 60 frames per second, while developer From Software promised to do a better job porting Dark Souls II to PC than it did the original.
Time will tell if that's the case, but in the meantime, console gamers would like an explanation from publisher Namco Bandai and developer From Software in regards to Dark Souls II's seemingly downgraded graphics. Is it really as bad as gamers are complaining? There's a YouTube video that does a good job of comparing the graphics quality of what was shown prior to the game's releases versus what they look like now. Have a look:
As you can see for yourself in the video, there's a big disparity in graphics quality. Everything from the lighting to texture quality and draw distance are all noticeably poorer in the in-game footage compared to what Namco Bandai had previously showed off.
"PS2 wants its textures back. What is this?," a Twitter user complained. "It's rare to see a fan-base as devoted as Dark Souls'. They deserve answers," another user tweeted, both using the trending #DarkSoulsDowngrade hashtag.
Not everyone agrees with the criticism, however. An article in Forbes, for example, somewhat defends the downgraded graphics on the basis that the higher quality effects are distracting and could potentially hurt performance.