Those of you who played through FROM Software’s excruciatingly difficult PS3 exclusive RPG Demon’s Souls would know that it was a game where patience and practice were rewarded; and that it was exceptional in its execution.
You may also have heard that the developer’s next game, Project Dark, was headed to both the PS3 and Xbox 360 and that it would be a spiritual successor to Demon’s Souls. Project Dark has now been given an official name; the rather unimaginative Dark Souls. It’s been featured in the latest Famitsu, which has also dished out the game’s features. If you played Demon’s Souls, hit the jump and get all giddy with anticipation.
- The difficulty has been increased greatly over Demon’s Souls.
- Dark Souls shares the same themes as Demon’s Souls: learning from mistakes and the joy of discovery.
- There’s no connection with Demon’s Souls in terms of story or world.
- As with Demon’s Souls, the basic gameplay is based off classic RPGs — things like character creation, obtaining weapons and items, leveling up, etc.
- The biggest change, according to Hidetaka, is in the area of exploration. The action battle component is an important element, but on top of this, exploration of a large, seamlessly connected field is an important element. You walk to areas that you can see far off in the distance.
- All the maps are connected, rather than having you move to each area from a shrine. This time, you head off on a journey from a large base of operations, and find smaller bases along the way as you progress further and deeper into your adventure.
- There are far more areas with complex land formations of varying height.
- The goal in character development is to get rid of elements that may hinder freedom of play style. This is why there’s no job concept during initial character creation.
- Weapons have a great variety of motions and special capabilities, and there are a great number of magic and item types. This will allow players to play in their own style.
- Regarding network play, Hidetaka said that he can’t share too many details, but the game will have cooperative and competitive multiplayer elements. You’ll be able to call upon people to help you out when you’re stuck.
- The game will also have indirect online elements like the original — seeing the images of other players, messages from the dead, and so-forth. The game will not have its own servers this time, though, so elements like Soul Tendency from the original will not be here.
- There are some other online elements that will be detailed in future updates.
The game will be released in 2011 in Japan, with a western release to follow; although no date has been given yet. I can feel it kicking my arse already.
Last Updated: February 1, 2011