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Dark Souls III PC Performance Analysis (Page 1)

Dark Souls III PC Performance Analysis

Dark Souls III is one of the best-looking games currently available on PC, but how does it run? Let's find out.

By: Jeff Williams from Apr 26, 2016 @ 20:05 CDT

Lothric, a sunny paradise

Dark Souls III (our full review) is an evolution of the Souls franchise of games, bringing significant, if slight, changes to the overall theme of dread and hopelessness with a much more smooth gameplay experience. If played on the harder setting, it can still be one of the most frustrating games to play when enemies are taken head-on. Most exciting, however, are the graphical changes as it further evolves the Bloodborne engine, as we'll call it, that's used by From Software.


We see From Software use the momentum taken from the Dark Souls II remaster, and they've applied it very effectively. It's a dark time for the Ashen One, but thankfully the newly minted specular mapping and physically-based lighting system makes things rather sparkling and bright when compared to previous games.

Thankfully, light is handled in a more physically real manner, in that materials diffuse light far more realistically based on the type of material they are. They've also seen fit to widen the use of their physics engine so that flags and other things in the backdrop are a bit more lifelike, adding a visceral feel to it all. In movement, and in pictures, it can all be very impressive looking.

The engine is a very capable one and From Software has had great success with it thus far. They've used a middleware that adds in motion-blur on a per-pixel basis, chromatic aberration, and depth of field that looks great and adds an overall cinematic feel to the game, which works well given the genre and dark trappings.

Unfortunately, it's limited to only 60FPS on PC despite the fact that hardware being available that can easily play the game at well above that, even with post processed AA turned all the way up, at 1080p and perhaps even above. That limit, then, is arbitrary and could potentially be removed in a future update, though it's never quite that simple in development.


Jeff's Gaming Benchmark Setup

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