I'm quite thrilled after having picked up recently the PC version of Dark Souls, "Dark Souls. Prepare To Die" and I thought to share with you my first impressions.
After I installed the game and logged in to my GFWL account to activate the game, I noticed that in the PC version you don't really have the option to play the game offline, unless you use a local account and not a GFWL account. If you want to play the game via your main account that has all your achievements, your profile etc, you can only play it online. Meaning: play the game with a PvP style, getting invaded frequently and also summon allies to help you with battles. I'm a "lone wolf" and never play this way, I always play Dark Souls alone and without help, or invasions. I prefer it that way. So I can only play it with a local account that I created just for this reason. Not particularly happy about it, but not much of a problem either. I will just not score any achievements for this game. I think I can live with that.
Secondly, I tried to play the game with the keyboard and mouse, to see if it's any possible. After some practice I managed to reach the first easy boss of the game, where sadly I couldn't do much. I got used rather quickly to move with the WASD keys, control the camera with the mouse, strike with the LMB, but I simply couldn't simultaneously use the dodge button, which is crucial in this game. Also switching between weapons and spells is crucial for my style of play, which is assigned to other keys, and also consume potions, cycle betwen items etc, which are also important if you want to survive in later much harder boss battles. I guess theoretically it's doable for players that are used to play with the keyboard, but in my case this method is useless. When I switched to the controller I immediately beat the monster. I think this game, as most action games with complex commands, is meant to be played with a controller. If for some reason you don't plan to play it with a controller, be prepared for a hard task, or don't bother at all.
About graphics and resolution. Maybe it's just me, but honestly I didn't see any problem, the game looks fine. I even read somewhere in the web, that "if it wasn't for a mod that fixed the resolution problem the game would look like a PS2 title." I think it's just as good as the PS3/Xbox360 version. Perhaps I will try myself sometime later the mod, but I don't think it's so much needed.
About the frame rate. I guess I need to reach first Blightown to be able to tell, so I don't know. I read in a review that the situation is a little better, but the problem is not entirely fixed.
The game can run decently in a twin core average laptop with 800 X 600 resolution and also 1280 X 720 but with a slight, yet noticeable slowdown in cut-scenes. In a quadraple core desktop computer it can run without problem up to 1980 x1020 resolution. If I remember correctly it says on the back cover of the game that it has been optimized to run in quadraple core processors.
One good thing about this edition is that you have the option to make a full installation to the HDD and not have to use the dvd after that, which I always appreciate as a collector, since I hate the idea of wearing out the cd/dvd of games that I play for very long sessions.
Prepare To Die is a special edition that comes in a big box. It contains an art booklet which doesnt interest me, a poster that doesn't interest me, some postcards with characters from the game that don't interest me (lol), a "Behind the Game" dvd which does interest me, but I found rather poor, and another disk with the soundtrack of the game. That last one is the only extra that I like, since the game has beautiful music. Of course there are extra chapters in the game, extra bosses, new weapons and spells and other stuff that will come as a dlc for consoles in late October.
So in conclusion, if you love the game, I recommend you to pick up this pc version, which is pretty much funtional in general, unless you can wait until October for the consoles version. Personally I think I will do both. :-)