Dark Souls 3 is already available in Japan, and some diehard (and impatient) Dark Souls fans in the West are already playing it, thanks to imports and workarounds that make it possible to download the Japanese PlayStation 4 or English-language Xbox One version of the game.
But in a statement released today, publisher Bandai Namco warns that the Japanese version isn't "complete" and won't be until the game launches worldwide next month.
Bandai Namco Entertainment America said in an email that it is "very thankful to see so much interest" in Dark Souls 3 and recognizes that some Western fans are already downloading the Japanese release. But the game is in need of a day-one patch, the publisher said, which will improve performance.
"We would like to take this opportunity to inform Dark Souls III fans that any gameplay they may experience prior to the official April 12th release date for the game will not be complete," the company said. "The international version of the game currently does not have its multiplayer capabilities activated, nor does it include the contents of a planned day-one patch that will deliver further optimization of the game. Players will be able to download the day-one patch on April 12th, the official international release date for Dark Souls III."
Early technical analysis of the Xbox One version of Dark Souls 3 by Digital Foundry found that the game doesn't maintain a solid 30 frames per second refresh rate, and experiences frame pacing issues.
For an extended look at Dark Souls 3, check out Polygon's 100-minute gameplay video from the action RPG.
Dark Souls 3 will be released on PlayStation 4, Windows PC and Xbox One on April 12 in North America and Europe.