Demon's Souls lives on in Dark Souls, the new multiplayer action RPG that promises to steal all our souls and leave us weeping in a dark corner over what's left of us. Japanese magazine Famitsu already blew the lid off of what players can expect this time around over Demon's Souls, including a more open world with more varied terrain, the return of network play, and greater challenges to overcome.
The official PlayStation blog managed to catch up with game director Hidetaka Miyazaki, the mastermind responsible for making Demon's Souls the memorable experience that it was on PS3, to pry more details for the upcoming game. One of the bigger topics of the interview was the level of challenge expected in Dark Souls, and what it means to From Software to create a title that is at once challenging, engaging, and most importantly rewarding to players. Miyazaki elaborates:
We are trying to create a game that is spicy. And we want to make it as spicy as possible. But it’s edible and tastes good and leaves you wanting more.
Number one, the difficulty is not dependent on the skill level of the user. We have not created a game where players who react faster or press buttons faster are better than others. Second, when a player dies, we try to leave a sense of “maybe if I try a different strategy I can succeed.” Things that you lose in death can be outweighed by what you gain by trying again.
The key is ensure players feel they have options through which they devise their own means to overcome any given obstacle. From Software will be waging a battle of their own against repititious gameplay by giving players more to learn and master beyond simply learning the controls and movesets for weapons, magic and items.
The combat will be much more engaging, and brutal: both the player and the enemies aren't just punching bags trading blows with each other. Variety really is the spice of life, twisted as it has become in Dark Souls. Even the characters you create can be more varied in appearance now.
New to Dark Souls is the "Beacon Fire", a sort of recovery/respawn point for players that also serves as a "lobby" in multiplayer where players can interact with each other "emotionally". According to Miyazaki, it'll be one of the few safe places in Dark Souls that is "heartwarming". With regards to network play, coop and competitive multiplayer will continue to be a layer that enhances the single player experience.
In case you were really curious, Miyazaki also confides that his favorite game right now is Magic: The Gathering Online. See, Magic fans are everywhere! He's also looking forward to Uncharted 3 and (wait for it) The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. Here's hoping Bethesda puts a Demon's/Dark Souls nod in their game then!