As Kotaku UK told you in January, Dark Souls Remastered releases on PS4, Xbox One, PC and Switch later this month, and one of the biggest questions still lingering about the remaster has been whether or not any changes or additions would be made to the content of Fromsoft's masterpiece.
Thanks to sources working closely with the project, Kotaku UK can confirm that — with the exception of new art assets, and some changes to support the upgrade from four to six player multiplayer — Dark Souls Remastered does not contain any significant additional content.
The multiplayer changes include making the 'dried finger' item available earlier in the game, from the Undead Burg Merchant. In the original this item was found in the Painted World of Ariamis: where it was, you'll now find a twin humanity. Dark Souls 3 features like password matching and level syncing between players are included. Finally, the only healing item available in PvP is the Estus flask, the numbers of which are halved for phantoms, and when a host defeats an invading phantom their Estus flask is restored.
A handful of quality-of-life changes have been implemented in singleplayer. Multiple consumables can now be used at once (i.e. you don't have to pop 20 souls individually). There's apparently a new fireplace next to Vamos the Blacksmith (he's at the bottom of the catacombs), at which covenants can be changed. But that's your lot.
This was apparently not always the case. Early in development other QOL changes and additions for Dark Souls Remastered were being considered, and in some cases prototyped, before staff were told to revert almost all changes and leave the game's content as it was. Some changes got as far as the development stage, being implemented in builds of the game, before being removed. To be absolutely clear we are not talking here about major content additions, like new areas or bosses, but tweaks to how things like covenants worked.
Welp, sorry to anyone who was hoping for the pendant to finally have an in-game purpose! Or for certain covenants to have a little more of a role in the world. Let's be honest: this is surely what we all expected. Dark Souls Remastered is the original game with a nice new coat of paint. Oh, and it's one of the best games ever made, so there's that. On balance it's probably the wisest move, given that Fromsoft isn't developing the remaster and the original is now held up as such a holy object of reverence. Even then, you can't help but wonder what might have been.