From Software's mysterious "Project Dark" was revealed at last year's Tokyo Game Show, where it made no attempt to hide its parallels to the publisher's critically acclaimed PS3 action RPG Demon's Souls. The latest print edition of Famitsu magazine has officially confirmed the new title will be called "Dark Souls". Why not call it Demon's Souls II? Even during its codename phase, Dark Souls was designed to be a multiplatform title for the PS3 and Xbox 360. Sony however owns the Demon's Souls IP, so From Software just had to go with a new franchise this time around.
There's something old in what will be new for Dark Souls, however; early impressions from Famitsu's Dark Souls writeup confirm that the new title will definitely draw from gameplay elements previously seen in Demon's Souls, though the setting and story will be all-new. Create your character, suit him/her up, and try to survive against the odds while gradually learning from your mistakes.
The leaked article details also suggest that Demon's Souls' hub-based level design will be replaced by a more open world with better connected levels, though Dark Souls still features "home bases" which your characters will make use of. The levels themselves are said to be more varied and complex in terrain as well.
Network play will continue to be an important element in Dark Souls; get ready to cooperate with or invade other players online once more. As in Demon's Souls, players can call upon the help of other players who are kind enough to offer their assistance. Players can still leave helpful/cryptic messages, or become an example for other players who decide to view how you managed to kill yourself this time around. Unlike Demon's Souls however, Dark Souls will reportedly NOT benefit from having dedicated servers for online multiplayer, so certain persistent game elements (like Character/World Tendency) will be done away with. Either that, or the developer will find a very clever way to sneak those back into Dark Souls.
Your character will still be able to mess around with plenty of weapons and spells, so there's a lot of ways to overcome the challenges in Dark Souls. One thing you won't be able to customize however is a character class: those will be done away with in Dark Souls. Challenge is definitely the key word for the development team: Dark Souls promises to be much harder than Demon's Souls. The North American and European publisher looking forward to tasting your bitter tears this time around is Namco Bandai, which snapped up the international distribution rights from From Software real quick.