Generally favorable reviews - based on 42 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 36 out of 42
  2. Negative: 1 out of 42
  1. Aug 31, 2012
    Not once when you die does Dark Souls help you back up, not once does it let up in its astonishing quality or turn to padding, and not once do the ideas stop coming. Buy it.
  2. Sep 10, 2012
    It's in the uncompromising way it throws conventional wisdom to the wind, dropping you into its dangerous world without guidance, making you fend for yourself, and teaching you to shrug off defeat time and time again to finally earn victory. That this vast and unforgettable masterpiece is now only $40 makes the decision to play it even easier.
  3. Aug 28, 2012
    If you're a hardcore Dark Souls fan, or if you're confident in your ability to wring every last cent of value out of the game, the Prepare to Die Edition is the way to go.
  4. Oct 1, 2012
    While this port isn't the significant enhancement that we'd all hoped for (to put it kindly), Prepare to Die Edition is still clearly the definitive version of Dark Souls. It plays smoother, multiplayer is improved, mods have enhanced the resolution and promise further improvements, and there's content not currently available on the consoles.
  5. Aug 28, 2012
    There are some few entertainment experiences that rise above mere amusement, and the world of Lordran is one of them: an endless feast to be chewed over and digested, each morsel swallowed with lip-smacking relish before returning eagerly for the next.
  6. Sep 3, 2012
    It is sad to play a port so requested from the fans and so badly realized from the developer. It is sad because in terms of gameplay Dark Souls: Prepare to Die Edition remains a rude RPG everyone has to play.
  7. Oct 24, 2012
    The brutal pinnacle of that near-perfect RPG. [Dec 2012, p.90]
  8. Aug 28, 2012
    Dark Souls is definitely an absolutely great game, and it proves you can attract a big audience by offering an unusually high difficulty. New content, a high-res fixes and some other improvements are the reasons why this version is the best of the three available. It's not the best PC adaptation, but it is an experience worth playing.
  9. Sep 21, 2012
    This Dark Souls: Prepare to Die Edition is not only the worst console port I've ever played (and I play most of them), it's also one of the worst designed. I mean literally, this game is one step above my character having "lives" and when I run out of those, I'm told to jam quarters into my PC to continue playing. If this is what constitutes a "good console RPG", then I'll sleep soundly at night with the knowledge that I'm not missing a damn thing by not owning a PlayStation 3. I guess I'm alone in understanding this, but supposed difficulty is not a substitute for intelligent design. Dark Souls proves that.
  10. Sep 6, 2012
    If you have the patience, and don't mind some repetitive game play along with very little explanation, this game is for you. Fans of stat-tracking RPGs will eat this game up, and action fans will find a good challenge when trying to strategize situations.
  11. Aug 29, 2012
    This Prepare to Die Edition is far from what the game should have been on the PC, but it still is a masterpiece, a game designed for hardcore players.
  12. Aug 24, 2012
    A deep, dark, challenging and impossibly rewarding fantasy RPG, sadly given a straight and perfunctory port from console.
  13. Aug 28, 2012
    Dark Souls is nothing more than a porting operation. The lack of experience from the developers made this process complicated, with a final result that is far from what this game could and should have been on the PC. That being said, Dark Souls was and still is a masterpiece, a game designed for hardcore players packed with content and very different from what the modern market uses to offer. A must buy for anyone looking for a real challenge.
  14. Sep 24, 2012
    Dark Souls makes me sad and I don't mean because of its grueling difficulty.. Don't get me wrong, the game itself is an awesome experience but there are some serious, yet simple, roadblocks to overcome in order to enjoy it on the PC and quite frankly, that is unacceptable in today's day and age. PC gamers deserve better than this and this experience could easily have been much, much better.
  15. Sep 17, 2012
    If you're not prepared to implement the tweaks and fixes mentioned in this review, then you should stay away from the game or hunt it down on its native consoles instead. If the previously mentioned 360 Review doesn't describe the sort of game you enjoy, then stay away altogether – not even bug fixes and gameplay tweaks will make this a game you like. But if you're willing to implement a couple fan-made patches and you crave a game that's beautiful, dark, cryptic, challenging and just plain unique in so many ways, grab this game and give it a go.
  16. Sep 4, 2012
    The PC version of Dark Souls is one of the poorest console portings of the last five years. The charm of the game remains unchanged, but the low resolution and the bad optimization for keyboard controls are clearly visible.
  17. Oct 14, 2012
    Technically maybe not the best port, but who cares, as the game is pure diamond. [Sept 2012]
  18. Oct 1, 2012
    Despite the enormous amount of deaths you may die in Dark Souls, the game is compelling like no other. While the console version already offered a great package, the Prepare to die Edition adds new content and a few goodies. But beware; a controller is needed to play the game in a reasonable fashion.
  19. Aug 28, 2012
    Dark Souls is a masterpiece, but From Software should have done a better porting to fulfill PC-users' expectations. Nonetheless, it one the best games of the past season, so close your eyes and have fun.
  20. Sep 5, 2012
    It was about time that Dark Souls made its appearance on the PC. Even though this is the same great game, with some added DLC, it doesn't hit home like the console versions did. The graphics aren't polished at all and you really can't play this with a keyboard.
  21. Aug 29, 2012
    The new content is exactly as good as you'd hope, but the PC version of From Software's classic is also exactly the sort of technical mess you probably feared.
  22. Sep 10, 2012
    There are one or two things to be wary of here, but if you're willing to sign, you'll have a chance to earn a feeling of true accomplishment.
  23. Sep 19, 2012
    For all the ire thrown in its direction on forums, consider this rebuttal: Dark Souls has never looked better, ran smoother, or had more to offer than it does on PC. And for one of the best games of this generation, that's no mean feat.
  24. 80
    Dark Souls returns the hardcore elements back to action RPGs – heavy focus on uncompromising fight mechanics and absolute freedom in hero profiling. The price of this game is not for everyone. [Oct 2012]
  25. Sep 20, 2012
    Underneath the port inadequacies is a masterful piece of design; intricate and drenched in woe. Dark Souls is infuriating, but well worth the investment in time and shattered patience.
  26. Sep 4, 2012
    Dark Souls: Prepare to Die Edition is a fantastic experience, and one of the best games I've played this generation. Even with some graphical hiccups, it remains superior to the console counterparts, offering more content, better graphical options and a frame rate that is steady throughout. Dark Souls: Prepare to Die Edition is an experience like no other that will invoke a multitude of emotions while keeping you planted on the edge of your seat.
  27. Nov 19, 2012
    Not often do you see a game that is equally rewarding as it is frustrating; and it's not because the game is unfair.
  28. Aug 24, 2012
    Despite problems like the resolution limitation and the missing PC optimization this game is still excellent. Courageous heroes can delve into a mysterious and dangerous world where greed and impatience are bad companions.
  29. Sep 4, 2012
    The game is one of the most satisfying and rewarding pieces of digital entertainment to arrive this generation, and in all honesty, of all time. Prepare to die, sure, but also prepare to be amazed.
  30. Oct 24, 2012
    It seems even the developers themselves didn't want this game on computers – quality of the PC port of this wonderful game is pathetic. [11/2012, p.55]
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 1593 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Aug 24, 2012
    Bad Pc port and hard controls but still i really enjoy of this game
  2. Aug 24, 2012
    An excellent game, marred by a sloppy, horribly executed console port. Even if we were to dismiss the graphical issues, low FPS, lockedAn excellent game, marred by a sloppy, horribly executed console port. Even if we were to dismiss the graphical issues, low FPS, locked internal resolution and the technical problems on some hardware like crashes and freezes, we're still left with one plain and simple fact. Dark Souls is designed to be played with a gamepad. No effort was made to alter that fact in any way. As a result the keyboard and mouse settings are clunky, unwieldy and imprecise, the camera a cruel mistress at the best of times. Any fan of this title knows that precision is key to success and the mouse controlled camera affords none whatsoever, whereas the attempting to use solely the keyboard results in a rather awkward realization that an additional hand would be necessary to accomplish anything at all. It's unfortunate this port is such a disaster, as this is by far one of the best RPGs (if we are to define "RPG" in the "Diablo" sense of the term as opposed to say, the Baldur's Gate sense) to have come out in a good decade. Full Review »
  3. Aug 25, 2012
    I don't mind that there are no PC exclusive high res texture options. Dark Souls isn't about graphics.
    I don't mind GFWL. Annoying, but
    I don't mind that there are no PC exclusive high res texture options. Dark Souls isn't about graphics.
    I don't mind GFWL. Annoying, but whatever.
    I don't mind the 30 fps frame lock. The gameplay experience is smooth enough.
    I don't mind the limited resolution. On the first day someone already provided a fix for that.

    .. but what I do mind is the fact how insulting the implementation of the controls are. Wake up. This PC version isn't a love-letter from the developer to the PC community. No, the management looked at the 100'000+ petition and thought... wow, easy money. Lets do a port with the least effort possible!

    The result is, that they didn't even bother do remove the windows mouse cursor from the screen while in game! The ingame hints are based on the xbox controller layout and cannot be changed. The keyboard / mouse control method is next to useless. You need to play it in order to see how abysmal the controls actually are.

    "So what? Get a gamepad!" some may cry. The default PC peripherals are mouse and keyboard last time I checked and if you own a gamepad then the chances are pretty decent, that you also own a console. So whats the point of a PC version in the first place? The Dark Souls DLC is coming to consoles later this year anyway.

    But if you already own a gamepad or you're willing to invest into one, then ignore the user ratings, because with a gamepad the gameplay experience is as it should be. Read the official critic reviews, hype yourself up and enjoy one of the best mature RPG experiences that there is out there.
    Full Review »