By Ceruleath Noreleth / January 5th, 2013
Shown above is the sneak peak of Dark Souls II at the VGA, which made our panties wet and our mouths drop. . .
There were many excited fans as Dark Souls II was revealed at the VGA featuring an amazing trailer and a hauntingly beautiful music score. There is an intense feeling the trailer puts forth, and the music does wonders to intensify that as well. It is no wonder that most of us hard core fans felt a pang of dissapointment when we heard that Hidetaka Miyazaki, the man responsible for the creation of the series, would be replaced by Tomohiro Shibuya. Hidetaka Miyazaki will now be supervising the project, but will not have any direct impact upon it, aside from suggestions and criticisms that will be up to Shibuya to take into consideration, implement, or completely ignore.
Miyazaki tried to put fans’ fears to rest, by assuring us that Shibuya will stay true to the Souls’ roots, and the core of the experience. He assured us that Shibuya has experience, and that the game is in good hands.
Our fears may not be misplaced, nor dispelled, by Miyazaki’s comforting words. Shibuya has stated that he wants the game to become more “accessible” and the story more clear and even directly expressed. THAT is worrying. Dark Souls, and Demon’s Souls, was wonderful because of its replayability value. Every time I tried a new build on a new character, I stumbled upon something I did not find in my previous playthroughs. The lack of hand holding and direct storytelling made the game interesting, and it gave it a strange atmosphere that drew the players in. I think I speak for most of us when I say I do not want to be spoon fed the story and pointed towards the direction I must take. Exploration and mistakes are part of the experience, and being led through the game by a narrative is not the way to go.
Shibuya has also stated that he wishes to make the options of the player in the early parts of the game limited, so that they may be transitioned into the game lightly at first. This is worrying as well, since the difficulty and being dropped in a situation where you have no idea what to do next is another core experience for Souls fans. Hopefully, this transition only lasts for the duration of the tutorial, and not further into the game.
The game has been reported to be 25% complete, and has seen an increase in staff members working on it. There is speculation that it may be completed by late 2013, or early 2014, but there have been no concrete statements validating this.
Dark Souls II will also be about the same size as Dark Souls, and Shibuya has also mentioned that he would like the game to take about as long as Dark Souls to complete. This would mean you are looking at a good 60-80 hour run, if you are a completionist and enjoy exploring every nook and cranny.
Dark Souls II’s multiplayer will also be server based, much like Demon’s Souls, so we can all rest assured that the “failed to summon” messages will be kept to a minimum, and thank Miyazaki for this, since he is the one who pushed for a server based multiplayer. The P2P system used in Dark Souls was absolutely terrible, and we can say goodbye to restarting the game countless times in order to see our friend’s summoning signs.
The game will also feature a new graphics engine, which will place emphasis on details and monster expressions, rather than lighting and shading as the previous games have done, to make it more realistic. Dark Souls II will also have the same style of map as Dark Souls has, which is comforting for some, and disappointing for those who wanted a hub like layout as seen in Demon’s Souls.
Last, but not least, is the stance From Software has always taken on DLC. There are no plans for DLC, and I wonder how long before Namco bullies them into making another DLC down the road. In an interview on Dark Souls, From Software stated that they release complete games, and that DLC will not be implemented. They then released Artorias of the Abyss DLC, which made me wonder what made them do this. I could only speculate that Namco gave them a little shove in this direction, but of course my speculations are also unfounded. We will see if From Software sticks to their guns and remains true to their word this time around.
That is all the news concerning Dark Souls II so far. Stay tuned for more as it continues to trickle in, and I greedily gobble it up as the fangirl that I am, only to regurgitate it to all of you! Bon Appetit!