The Forzaning... it's spreading. That age-old practice of showing gamers one thing but delivering something else. What was once thought to be contained to the Xbox One and its 792p games is now finding its way over onto the platform of the Glorious PC Gaming Master Race. Beware the grasp of The Forzaning, as its icy grip of poor texture quality and uncompromising graphics downgrades will ruin even the most highly of anticipated games. Well, it's struck again, this time with FromSoftware's Dark Souls II.
GameSpot is reporting that the press release bullshots that Bandai Namco released during the early days of promoting Dark Souls II has caused quite a stir. So much so that the company had the screenshots removed from Steam's store page, as it could be conveyed as false advertising.
GameSpot noted that...
“...at the moment, the Steam page features only seven screenshots released earlier this month, all of which show off graphics closer to the visual quality in the released console version of Dark Souls II.”
As you can see in the image above, or over on the official Dark Souls II Steam store page, the graphics look like grade-a geriatric feces. It's an embarrassing display of seventh gen degradation. The GPCMR responded with disgust, as they scoffed at the fuzzy, low-texture resolution photos and lowered their heads in shame at the poor representation of their Glorious platform on the almighty Steam service. Such peasantry.
However, this issue first came into play when console gamers noticed that the PS3 and Xbox 360 versions of Dark Souls II looked like trash – for some reason console gamers don't feel that 512MB of RAM (or half of that in the case of the PS3) will affect newer games trying to run on near decade old hardware that's older than the most crusty and old politician hanging out of his chair on Capital hill. This caused gamers to rage and revolt against FromSoftware, as noted on MCV UK.
However, both Namco and FromSoftware had to come forward to explain to gamers that they're dealing with ancient technology and that in order for the game to be optimized not to run at 15fps, there has to be sacrifices made so the game doesn't play like Blighttown at all times.
Erik Kain from Forbes managed to speak directly with a representative from the development team, who stated that...
“This is what it comes down to: a playable framerate. The early builds that the screenshots came from were playable but only just so. The game was not in a state where it could be sold at that point. I strongly suspect that they were focusing heavily on delivering a top-notch experience on PC and underestimated the challenges the new systems would pose on PS3 / Xbox360. That’s my analysis, anyway. But, factually, the early builds played like Blighttown the entire game.”
And that, folks, is how the process of optimization goes. Consoles have very strict resource budgets, so every time a console game gets hit with “graphics downgrades” it's because of the above scenario.
We're seeing The Forzaning happen a lot more frequently because PCs have just exponentially grown in their hardware capabilities at a blindingly fast rate and the eighth-gen twins have come in behind the curve in a bad way, especially the Xbox One.
This is why right out of the gate we were seeing 720p and 60fps titles or worse yet, 720p at 30fps titles for the Xbox One. Tradeoffs have to be made for optimization purposes.
Sadly, those tradeoffs have affected the Glorious PC Gaming Master Race and has resulted in Dark Souls II being represented on the graphical beast of a platform with age-old console graphics... for now.
The game is likely to get modded over like GTA IV and it will come up to the standards that PC gamers expect from their games. Mods for the win.
You can check out impressions for Dark Souls II right here or pick up the game for the geriatric twins from your local retailer. The game is set to launch on PC starting April 25th.