If you’ve purchased the latest Dark Souls PC port and don’t have access to a gamepad (PS3/Xbox360 controller), then I feel very bad for you. Just to give you an idea how challenging it is to play this game without a gamepad (and believe me, I tried), the End key is the set default to open up your inventory. That’s right, the key to the left of your Num Lock key. That said, you can re-bind those keys with a bit of tweaking.
What you can’t fix, however, is the Xbox-style control icons. It’s immediately apparent upon launching the game that that the Dark Souls PC port was not given much attention when it came to actually, well, making it a PC game. Instead, they basically transported only the bare essentials over. It still displays B and A icons (gamepad controls) for all actions, and of course even the initial launch screen says ‘press start to continue’ in typical console fashion.
Outside of these annoyances for those without a gamepad, there’s also the movement system. With an ever-present mouse cursor that acts as your guide while you run around the dark world of Dark Souls, the camera will shake at the slightest move of the mouse. You will also be wondering why the heck the mouse cursor is still there when it serves literally no purpose. The answer, most likely, is that it’s another symptom of the poor quality Dark Souls PC port.
With a gamepad, some issues are resolved (outside of disappearing bosses and random frame rate implosions) and it is much more enjoyable. The only problem here is that a lot of the time the game won’t even recognize your gamepad, even if it is properly installed and using the proper software. And for many, this is the case.
So for now, it may be best to simply rest on purchasing this game until a patch is released either by From Software or modders to fix many of these issues. One thing is for sure, if you don’t have access to a gamepad then you really shouldn’t play this game. A reality that is really sad for a PC game.