There’s a lot of love for Dark Souls out there in the gaming community. Harder than my nipples on a cold day, the game created a new niche genre for itself, where overcoming various enemies was a challenge that felt satisfying, and tear-inducing terrible when failed for the 15th time in a row. Part of that challenge came for the steep learning curve of the game, something that Dark Souls 2 director Tomohiro Shibuya says will be made easier in the sequel.
Speaking to Edge, Shibuya acknowledged that the game systems from Dark Souls and its predecessor, Demon’s Souls, were not properly explained in either the game or the manuals that came with it. That lack of system information then forced players to either struggle through sections that they shouldn’t have, or rush to the internet for some clarification on just what the hell was going on.
“I personally feel that the covenant system was something that was difficult to fully absorb and experience in Dark Souls, and I intend to make it more accessible to players,” Shibuya said. “And that’s not just with the covenant system, but with a lot of other aspects that I felt were difficult to fully adapt to.”
Shibuya also mentioned that he was looking to follow the “same concept” as Dark Souls, but not in a way that would copy the “hidden story elements that some players may not have caught before”. “I’m hoping to make some of that a little bit more clear or directly expressed to the player as well – not just in the story, but messaging,” Shibuya explained.
A lot of elements were very subtle in Dark Souls, and that was something that was characteristic to Dark Souls. But I personally am the sort of person who likes to be more direct instead of subtle, so I think that part of me will [result in] a difference for players when they pick up Dark Souls II. It will be more straightforward and more understandable.
I don’t know about you guys, but I like the idea of at least knowing why I’m about to fail, instead of working myself into a controller-tossing rage over unseen obstacles that weren’t explained to me. While that aspect of Dark Souls 2 will indeed be easier and more direct, the rest of the game still looks to be on track with the vision of the original. Shibuya is keeping the original controls for the now 25% complete game, and hopes that new features will create a “smooth process” for both new and old players.
There’s no release date set yet, but estimates put Dark Souls 2 in the retail window of 2014 for release.