"Major barriers" in Dark Souls mods have finally been broken, allowing innovating modders the capability to load truly custom maps into the game for the first time.
Although the Dark Souls franchise hasn't had a mainline new title since the release of 2016's Dark Souls III, there is still a very robust community playing the games. An even smaller (but no less dedicated) community of modders have been tinkering with the PC version in an attempt to do various cool new things, one of which is adding in custom levels.
Well, they've finally done it. Check out this video of Dark Souls played on the Half Life: Deathmatch map "Crossfire":
As you can see, the UI and everything else is exactly as we'd expect. The map, however, is slightly different than what one might expect from the Dark Souls style.
It bears mentioning that this isn't just a visual change — the map appears to be fully functional. The player character in the above video properly collides with world geometry, and he even manages to use a ladder at one point.
Challenges For Dark Souls Mods Still Remain
"Major barriers in custom level design have been broken in Dark Souls 1," reported @ZullieTheWitch on Twitter. "@meowmaritus's tools can import models, but without collision. Horkrux developed a way to create collision maps, and so now, Dropoff has imported the first ever new map into the game[.]"
While the importing of a Half-Life: Deathmatch map into Dark Souls is certainly a milestone, some challenges must still be conquered before custom maps are truly functional in the game.
"Prior to this, the closest there'd been was importing maps from Demon's Souls, but only being able to import DeS maps could hardly be called 'custom'," @ZullieTheWitch said in a reply. "The biggest remaining piece of the puzzle is generating navmeshes, map data NPCs use to calculate how to move around the level."
Even so, we're now one step closer to a whole new world being opened up for Dark Souls mods. From Software may be sleeping on this fan-favorite franchise, but modders are keen to create something new while we wait.
What do you think of these new improvements to Dark Souls mods? What one map would you love to see modded into the game? Let us know in the comments below!