Weeks after releasing a VHS-inspired trailer for Dark Souls 3 on April Fools Day, Bandai Namco creates an homage to VHS covers of yesteryear for fans to download as alternate box art.
With its dark, brooding tale of undead knights battling hordes of nightmarish creatures for the fate of a gothic kingdom, the Dark Souls series is essentially the video game equivalent of the kind of B-grade straight-to-VHS horror movies that would pepper the shelves of Blockbusters across the nation. While Dark Souls may lack the synth-laden soundtrack and totally unnecessary topless women synonymous with this genre, that didn’t stop publisher Bandai Namco from turning Dark Souls 3 into the scan line-filled horror movie it was always meant to be as a memorable April Fool’s prank. But for gamers that just can’t get enough Dark Souls 3 VHS goodness, Bandai Namco has released an alternate cover for the recently released action RPG that wouldn’t look out of place sandwiched between worn out copies of Sleepaway Camp and Slumber Party Massacre.
Bandai Namco has rolled out quite the welcoming party for the highly-anticipated, brutally difficult Japanese slash-em-up, releasing Cyndi Lauper accompanied trailers and crafting a line of Dark Souls themed clothing. But it was the publisher’s fan-praised, VHS-inspired trailer that really got gamers talking. With a blood splattered logo and a tagline of “when you pick a fight with the Devil, you better be stronger than Hell,” the April Fools prank paid perfect homage to the horror movies of yesteryear. Now, fans can visit the official Bandai Namco website to download the VHS-style Dark Souls 3 art to use as an alternate cover.
The cover art, sized to accommodate the box dimensions for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One, comes complete with worn edges, a throwback “Hi-Fi Stereo” marking, and an old-school VHS logo. The design team even went a step further and included faux horror movie reviews – a four star review from Hell Movies calls the game “a convincing portrayal of one man’s struggle… to struggle” – while a blurb at the bottom of the sleeve says the feature has a running time of 120 minutes, which might be a touch optimistic considering the franchise’s infamous difficulty.
Those nostalgic for the days of VHS (or perhaps fans of VHS throwbacks like the recently released Kung Fury) can download the alternate box art for the well-reviewed game for free. With dedicated fans picking apart the game to pull off tasks such as defeating the game’s first boss using only punches, it seems like Dark Souls 3 is here to stay, unlike VHS.