Namco Bandai has found itself the subject of an internet campaign regarding complaints about the visual state of Dark Souls II.
Following plenty of noise of NeoGaf, an online drive using the hashtags #DarkSoulsDowngrade and #YOULIED is targeting Namco Bandai's US and UK offices alleging that the graphics offered by the PS3 and Xbox 360 versions of Dark Souls II represent a significant downgrade compared to what has to date been shown in preview footage.
Even gameplay clips released as recently as January seem to be of a notably better quality than the final game, some of which is detailed here.
A video, that can be seen below, has also been compiled that more clearly illustrates the differences between the preview and final build.
It remains to be seen whether Namco Bandai could yet fall foul of the Advertising Standards Authority should it be found guilty of misrepresenting the product.
Back in 2006 the ASA took steps to prevent publishers advertising games with pre-rendered CGI unless the ads were clearly labelled as not being representative of in-game footage.
However, with the jurisdiction of YouTube videos and consumer site produced preview footage being up for debate – plus the possible defence that all footage shown was nothing more than in-development code – it could be that authorities are powerless to act, even if it is decided that there has been some dishonest conduct.
Some gamers have expressed optimism that that upcoming PC version, released next month, may offer a visual experience more akin to expectations. Indeed, Steam's pre-order page for the game carries those assets.
FROM has previously promised to do a better job of the PC version of Dark Souls II than it did with its predecessor, which was widely criticised for being restricted to 720p and 30fps – although fan fixes enabling 1080p/60fps were made available shortly after.
Similar complaints were made about Watch Dogs last week after a new video was released alongside the game's new May release date. The key difference, of course, is that Watch Dogs is still yet to be released.