Deep Down vs Dark Souls II Screenshot Comparison: Do They Really Look That Similar?

Almost every time we post a news piece about Deep Down, especially if it focuses on visuals, we read comments on how Capcom “copied” the Dark Souls franchise, and how similar its RPG looks to Dark Souls II or Dark Souls.

That’s why we decided to run a little screenshot comparison between Deep Down and the upcoming Dark Souls II selecting pictures that featured similar elements and comparing them, not just in their visual fidelity (which would be pretty much unfair for Dark Souls II that is designed for old generation consoles), but mostly in their art and rendering style, to see what the two games really have in common.

In the pairings below you’ll see the screnshot from Dark Souls II above and the picture from Deep Down under it, with a brief explanation of our findings.

Comp_01_DarkSouls2 Comp_01_DeepDown

This is the most relevant pairing we could find, as the two pictures really are very similar in what they portray. Of course Deep Down has a much higher overall polygon count, more detailed textures and normal maps and better lighting, but the biggest difference is in the style between the two games.

Deep Down aims to portray a grittier realism, with cooler lights and materials that give a strong sense of texture, while Dark Soul’s visual direction is shifted towards a slightly more cartoonish look and feel.

Comp_03_DarkSouls2 Comp_03_DeepDown

While the angle is different, in both pictures above we can see statues illuminated by a strong light source. Even here the difference in style is pretty evident. While Dark Souls II looks more like an illustration in the still, Deep Down aims clearly to get as close to photorealism as the hardware allows.

Comp_04_DarkSouls2 Comp_04_DeepDown

In the pictures above we can notice that there’s a certain level of identity in the portrayal of armor. While Dark Souls II tends a little more towards fantasy than Demon’s Souls and the first Dark Souls, it’s still fairly accurate, while Deep Down tends to stick to semi-historical designs for the most part. A big difference seems to lay in the portrayal of monsters, where Deep Down seems to use more animal-like features and over-the-top traits in almost all the critters we saw so far.

Comp_05_DarkSouls2 Comp_05_DeepDown

This pairing showcases the hallway of a dungeon lined with pillars. It’s easy to notice the difference in lighting style, with Dark Souls using warmer lights to lean towards a slightly more cartoonish style.

Comp_02_DarkSouls2 Comp_02_DeepDown

While in these two environments illuminated by flames Deep Down actually uses the warmest colors, they still interact with the environment in a direction that tries to reproduce photorealism, as opposed to the illustration-like look of the Dark Souls II still.


As a bonus, here’s a comparison of the jacky in Deep Down and the mimic in Dark Souls. We had to use one from the first chapter of the franchise because no pictures of mimics from Dark Souls II have emerged yet.

They definitely look very similar. The mimic in Dark Souls II has a long tongue, actual hands and longer legs, but overall it’s hard to deny that they are very much alike, which isn’t too surprising considering that they’re both inspired to their historical predecessors from the Zelda and Final Fantasy series.

In conclusion we can definitely say that there are similarities between the two games, but they’re limited to common inspiration (the mimic and medieval history), the attempt to portray armor and weaponry in a fairly realistic manner, and the fact that they both feature dungeons and fantasy monsters.

On the other hand Deep Down strives for photorealism, while Dark Souls II aims a bit more towards the cartoonish, with warmer lights and more stylized features. Gameplay, so far, looks nothing alike, with Dark Souls II being described as just as unforgiving and ruthless as its predecessors, while Deep Down will even come with a casual mode for those that fear the nightmares induced by seeing a game over screen too often.

Ultimately there are elements that can induce a casual viewer to think that the two games are alike, but a deeper observation seems to indicate that not only they offer very different experiences, but even their art direction and visual style have little in common.

Join the Discussion

  • TheChatWraith

    As far as dark souls 2 being cartoonish, I think that’s more a product of the fact that they’re compromising for last gen. It’s only going to be 360+ps3+pc, whereas Deep Down is pulling out all the stops to utilize as much new visual tech they can.

    Aside from visually though, I think both games are probably going to play radically different from each other. It’s kind of sad that they share similar themes because the constant comparisons are just going to hurt both franchises which are otherwise unrelated.

    • T Dot M Dot

      I see alot of people saying there isnt much difference, But wait till you play Dark souls 2 on your PS3/360 it will never look that good

      • TheChatWraith

        Stylistically it looks great though, and Dark Souls 1 didn’t need photo realism to make me sink 150 hours into it in the PC edition alone.

    • Clate

      This is correct other than it hurting both games I think talking about them more than likely is helping both.

      • TheChatWraith

        What I mean to say is that there have already been, (and will be after release) people saying “DEEP DOWN IS GUNNA BE BETTER!” when they aren’t even on the same consoles, and only loosely in the same genre.

        I am really curious to play both. Deep down seems to have a little hint of Lost Planet in it, and MAN THOSE PARTICLE EFFECTS. I am however, the biggest fan of the souls series so we’ll see. The fact that this article exists to compare the two gives me a tiiiny bit of fear that the “which is superior” comparison is going to happen when it isn’t really applicable.

        Edit: and since the PC edition is coming later, I imagine that they will include the higher resolution with it, and all sorts of things that PC can afford. ex: Tomb raider 360 didn’t have tressfx or SSAO, pc did.

  • bowserslovechild

    It’s like people believe that armour, dragons, dark dungeons and magic didn’t ‘exist’ before Demons/Dark Souls. Never mind the Mimics being in FF, Zelda and even Yu-Gi-Oh.

    • Lutz

      Demon/Dark souls are not really the first in the entire series, look up a game called KingsField which is where it all started,

      • bowserslovechild

        They still aren’t the first games to do it, even Ghosts & Goblins/Ghouls & Ghosts had medieval armour and a punishing difficulty. The Final Fantasy series, while having a more ‘fantasy’ aesthetic, drew inspiration from armoured knights in its early years. Point being that, while King’s Field is a spiritual ancestor of the Souls series, they didn’t have a monopoly on the concepts of medieval influence.

        • AndrewLB

          You’re getting close. Mimics come from Advanced Dungeons & Dragons from the late 1970’s.

          • bowserslovechild

            This I also know, thanks, I was just trying to keep it relevant to vidya gaemz and the surrounding culture. Interesting though, that Mimics in the D&D universe spanned everything from chests to doors, and that influence indeed carried over to a few titles… I’d like to see a modern game that uses that thinking, where even a door can chow down on you…..

          • bowserslovechild
          • Alexy Guadalupe

            Ever play cave story? First door goes and 1 hits you.

          • bowserslovechild

            Oh yeah! Forgot about that.

  • da Boss

    They look pretty good, obviously Deep Down looks better. Better textures, better AA, more detail, way better lighting, reflections/shadows are superior. But they both look good, not that different. We also have to take into consideration that this isn’t some triple A next gen game. This is a free to play game. Its coming out quite recent after launch too, so we won’t see the best graphics anytime soon. Also remember this game is like the best the PS3 can do vs probably the worst the PS4 can do. Maybe not the worst, but its one of the first games being released. All taken in, they both look great.

  • Koroma

    Don’t have alot to say i mostly agree except dark souls 1 wasn’t cartoonish at all.
    I agree some DS2 armors have a little bit more color to them if that’s what you mean.

    As for deep down i’d be interested but it’s being made by capcom, so it’s Guaranteed to be something horribly wrong with it.

    • lordsofskulls

      That how I feel.
      Comparing Games that are ment for 2 different generations consoles is like comparing Bananas to Oranges.
      Also since Deep Down is going “Free 2 Play” + “Capcom” I expect the game play will be fun… until you forced into a coroner of were MASS LOAD OF DLC/micro transactions take the fun away from the game. People will still spend load of money. And Capcom will see nice profits and end up making all their games Free 2 Play concept. >.> And that when Capcom will end and knife themselves.

  • If you’re playing Dark Souls for the graphics, you’re doing it wrong.

    • bowserslovechild

      Agreed, it was never the prettiest game to begin with, certainly not about the visuals. On a semi-related note, if people approach Deep Down with Dark Souls in mind then they are definitely doing it wrong. I have a feeling, with Capcom’s new vision in mind, that this title will be the start of a very surprising year for them.

  • AndrewLB

    The Mimic did not originate from Zelda and Final Fantasy. Try AD&D from the late 1970s.

  • islan
    • bowserslovechild

      It’s not exactly what I would say to describe it either.

  • cusman

    Dear gamers,

    Play whichever of these two games you would actually enjoy playing and don’t worry about the other one. The other one is for a different set of gamers.

  • PrinceHeir

    i can’t wait for either games 🙂

    • bowserslovechild

      I wish more people were of this opinion. I have a feeling both games have so much more to show, and this is the first F2P title I’m actually interested in.


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  • ChiffonCake

    Deep Down’s graphics are really good, but I still like the look of Dark Souls II better. It uses a lot more… well, darkness, which creates some nice contrast with the lights. You don’t really see that in the Deep Down shots.

  • Sam

    This was a terrible comparison article.
    They are obviously two different games. But you said at the begining that comparing them visually would be unfair because darksouls is designed for ps3.
    Except all you did was talk about visual textures. Ofcourse deep down has more texture and photorealism its on a ps4 ffs!!
    As for dark souls looking cartoony… Have you been slapped with a stupid stick?
    Darksouls II perhaps.
    But deep down should not be compared to darksouls II. It would be nothing short of impressive if capcium had managed to copy a game that isnt even released.
    The comparison should be agains darksouls.
    And the gameplay from the original darksouls an deep down, minus the ability to aim down a cross hair in deep down, is almost identical. And its in a similar setting, as a knight, in customisable armour and weaponry with the option to use magic.
    There are few things apart from intellectual property and next gen capability, separating these two games.

  • Sam

    Also, although irrelevant. The guy below me is 100% correct.