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The Dark Souls: Remastered network test is set to go live later this month, giving Xbox One and PlayStation 4 gamers a chance to experience the beloved, tough-as-nails action game for a limited time while simultaneously helping the developers make sure their online features work properly. The test is set to run the weekend of May 11.
As the folks at Polygon have discovered, the Dark Souls: Remastered network test will run from 6 p.m. to 11:59 p.m. on Friday, May 11, and Saturday, May 12. That's PDT, in case you want to set an alarm. It's a very limited test in terms of timeframe, so folks gaming on the PS4 and Xbox One can actually download the client nice and early. Actually, you can grab it right this very minute in order to make sure you don't waste any time on downloading next weekend.
The Souls series offers one of the most unique takes on multiplayer gaming we've seen since, well, multiplayer gaming was an option. While stalking through the game's exotic locations and getting murdered by monsters aplenty, players are able to leave messages written on the floor to give other players helpful hints (or, more commonly, terrible advice). While playing, you can also occasionally see the souls of other players run past in your own game world, making the solo experience feel less like a lonely crawl through a punishing world. You can also see animations of other players' deaths, giving you an idea of what dangers might lay ahead. Finally, there's the ability to call upon help or even invade other folks' worlds in order to ruin their day.
So while this isn't your typical multiplayer experience, there's a surprising amount of communal activity going on, and the developers need help making sure everything works well before the game's official launch date on May 25 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC. As a reminder, the Nintendo Switch version of Dark Souls has been pushed back to sometime this summer, so you'll just have to keep sitting tight if you're waiting on that version of the game.
If you're curious what the stress test will feature, apparently, players will be locked into the Undead Parish location, keeping all of the activity focused in a single area. While playing around, you'll be able to join your friends for some jolly cooperation or invade other worlds in order to be a royal pain in the butt. We assume that the hints, random soul appearances and death echoes will also be included, but that has not been confirmed by Bandai Namco at this time.
Still, we're a little bummed the Switch version isn't ready for prime time. It makes sense, though, considering the hardware and the bizarre state of Nintendo's online services through this first year with the Switch. Either way, it'll be great to see the game on the majority of modern platforms starting with next week's tests.