Dark Souls 3
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User Review

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8.1

In two weeks' time millions of gamers will once more 'prepare to die'. That can only mean one thing of course - the return of Dark Souls. FromSoftware has done all the finishing touches and Dark Souls III is basically ready. We've got our cowering mitts on an early copy and in between a spot of slaying we've squeezed in some benchmarking. 

First up in our series of Dark Souls 3 benchmarks is the little card that can; the GeForce GTX 750 Ti. Powered exclusively by the PCI express lane, it was a little wonder when it came out two years ago and it's still battling away today. FromSoftware reckon a GeForce GTX 465 is the absolute minimum you can get away with in DS3, and the 750 Ti outperforms this by a little stretch. But what if you want to crank them settings right up? We'll see in our Dark Souls 3 GTX 750 benchmark analysis where it's backed up by an AMD FX-4100 CPU and 8GB DDR3 memory.  

As ever our Dark Souls 3 benchmark was performed at 720p, 900p, and 1080p, testing performance at each of the four presets. We don't go any higher than this resolution for the 750 Ti basically because it can't handle it. 

Dark Souls III benchmarks and frames per second analysis performed on Palit GTX 750 Ti 2GB | AMD FX-4100 | 8GB (Click to Enlarge)

 Dark Souls 3 GTX 750 Ti Average Frame Rates

ResolutionLowMediumHighUltra
720p51474542
900p46404032
1080p43373328

Compared to most games there's actually relatively little difference in performance between Low and Ultra in Dark Souls 3. Resolution is also fairly low impact, giving us a total swing of 28-51 between Ultra/1080p and Low/720p.

As you can see the 750 Ti is a decent performer with DaSIII, raking in close to 30 FPS even when maxed out at 1080p. Despite a usually steady frame rate there are occasionally dips tough, so I'd be inclined to aim for an average of 40+ in order to avoid gameplay altering stutters. From my time with the 750 Ti I found optimum performance in and around 900p / High, but 1080p / Medium also offered a satisfactory experience. 

There's no doubt Dark Souls 3 is the best looking Souls game yet, but that's not really saying much. Visually it looks very much on par with Bloodborne, and it's the geometry that's the true stand-out. Even in the very early stages there's some towering, complex structures and incredible looping level design that really heightens immersion. Take a moment to look at any of it in detail and it falls apart a little though, with bland, simple texture work. Savour the painting rather than the brush strokes, essentially.  

 Dark Souls 3 Low / Ultra Comparison Screens ( Click to expand)

 

 

You can see the texture work remains much the same between the varying graphics settings, but it's the lighting and shadows where we can see the biggest difference. FXAA slightly muddies the image however it's still far less off-putting than the aliasing present otherwise. You'll notice a blurriness to the Ultra images but this is down to a depth of field effect applied. I believe it looks pretty atmospheric but if you wish then you can disable this completely for greater image clarity. 

We also have a Dark Souls III graphic comparison video in the works which you can check out soon, showcasing DS3 in all its grim glory at Ultra, and then comparing it to how it looks and performance when all graphics options are cranked down as Low as they'll go.

Keep an eye out for that and more Dark Souls 3 benchmarks in the coming days.