Dark Souls II - All News
Saturday - November 16, 2013
Dark Souls II - Preview @ EDGE
EDGE has posted another preview of Dark Souls 2 saying, "Prepare to die, die, and die again in FromSoftware’s expanded sequel." Here is the link.
By the time you read this the Dark Souls II network test beta will be underway, placing participants in a wooded location called Huntsman’s Copse. New details from September’s Tokyo Game Show reveal that it will contain six pre-built characters: Warrior, Soldier, Sorcerer, Temple Knight, Dual Swordsman and Hunter. Your chosen starting character class in Dark Souls was a fairly meaningless distinction given the game’s wide-open levelling flexibility, and From has no plans to change course in the sequel. “We feel that binding players to a character class chosen at the beginning takes away from the freedom of gameplay and goes against our game creation concepts,” Tanimura says.
Another key change involves the lack of immunity to having your game world invaded by other players when in a hollow (undead) state. In Dark Souls, players could avoid intrusion by other players by simply not restoring their human form at bonfires. No longer: if the idea of another player bursting into your world and hunting you down like a piece of quarry makes you squeamish, you’d best be prepared to sever your Ethernet cable. With Dark Souls II moving to dedicated servers, it’s as if From simply wants to showcase the seamlessness of its improved online experience – whether you want it showcased to you or not.
In case you were still concerned about everything in this sequel being streamlined to eliminate friction, it’s clear the game still wants to make you mutter and curse and fume – just like the bad old days that Souls players love pining after. For those keeping score at home, Tanimura says the team is “approximately 70 per cent complete in the development process”. Not long to go now.
Friday - November 15, 2013
Dark Souls II - Preview @ JumpToGamer
JumpToGamer posted a new preview of Dark Souls II based on the games beta.
Overall, I think the test shows that this could be the strongest showing in the Souls series. It has everything that made the other games great, while coming to the table with enough improvements and tweaks to make it stand out. I had absolutely no invasions or PvP attempts, so I cannot comment on any differences from the past titles. If the difficulty lays between the two presented in the beta I think most players will be happy, but as long as the development team gives us a challenge and a reason to keep picking up the controller death after death, I will.
Monday - November 11, 2013
Dark Souls II - Preview @ Gameranx
Gameranx has a short preview of Dark Souls II focusing on the faces of the games characters. They even share a few screenshots to prove their opinion.
Dark Souls may have been a much loved game for its extraordinarily brutal gameplay and fantastic setting, but no one loved it for the faces of its characters, who looked every bit as bad as the ones in The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion—which is to say they looked like potatoes with facial features.
Those much (and in our opinion deservedly) maligned faces will not be making a return in Dark Souls 2, which has an overhauled character creation tool that's capable of creating good looking characters, for once.
Tuesday - November 05, 2013
Dark Souls II - International Press Video
annual grand Rendezvous at their Headquarters in Tokyo.
Every year, Namco Bandai Games holds an annual grand Rendezvous in its Headquarters in Tokyo. This year, Media from all over the world had the chance to take on Dark Souls II, one of our most awaited games. Watch the painful (yet entertaining) deaths, enhanced hardcore gaming, immersive gameplay experience along with comments from specialized journalists.
Monday - November 04, 2013
Dark Souls II - Wish List@ ArcadeSushi
ArcadeSushi has a new wishlist article with ten things they want in Dark Souls II. Now do you agree with them, or do want something different?
Like the original Dark Souls, prepare to cuddle up to your pillow and cry desperately at your own inadequacy. Dark Souls II is on its way to break your gaming spirit and trample all your hopes and dreams. We loved the original Dark Souls and Dark Souls II is shaping up to to be a polished and refined version. It may be masochistic, but we can’t help but wish for so much with this sequel. This is our Dark Souls II Wish List.
Friday - November 01, 2013
Dark Souls II - Interview @ Levelsave
Levelsave interviews Namco Bandais Community Manager J. Kartje about Dark Souls II.
Those worried that Dark Souls II was going to be an easy affair, fret not because From Software has brought back one of the most challenging aspects of Demon’s Souls. When you die you don’t come back with full health but with a 25% decrease in your health bar, this percentage will actually double each time you die so if your not careful and don’t recover your soul, you’ll be in a heap of trouble before you can blink.
After playing through the demo I was able to snag an interview with J. Kartje, Community Manager for Namco Bandai America and overall cool dude, where we got to talk about the upcoming release.
Saturday - October 26, 2013
Dark Souls II - Impression Video @ GameTrailers
GameTrailers has posted a new impression video based on the beta of Dark Souls II.
GT's regular soul-cyclops got a flutter in his gut, but did the beta bring fear or cheer?
Friday - October 25, 2013
Dark Souls II - Preview @ US Gamer
USgamer the american version of Eurogamer has a new preview for Dark Souls II.
Even though I only had the chance to see one possible use of Dark Souls II's multiplayer, just how easy it is to join or pull in other players -- based on my experience with the single-server Demon's Souls -- will hopefully make for some interesting scenarios. The first Dark Souls certainly attempted to broaden the possibilities of multiplayer with the covenant system, but the anemic peer-to-peer network setup made all but a few of the options completely unviable. Based on what I saw in the beta, From has thought a little harder about the opportunities a readily available pool of players can bring.
There's no denying, though, that Dark Souls II feels a bit different than the past two games. It features some head-slappingly obvious improvements, like allowing you to jump with a simple click of L3 instead of the completely unintuitive method from the last game, and sorting your vast inventory into different item categories, rather than a long and cumbersome list. But combat feels a little mushier, as enemies and yourself take a little more effort to kill, rather than a few quick slashes -- though this could just be how the pre-built beta characters were meant to play. And despite their history with the platform, From still hasn't gotten that whole "frame rate" thing figured out; Huntsman's Copse doesn't turn into a Blight Town-esque slide show, but it's jittery enough to be slightly annoying. Like Dark Souls before it, Dark Souls II will no doubt see some major improvements when the PC version arrives a bit later.
Assessing a game based on a random two-hour slice is like trying to determine if a book will win a Pulitzer after reading only a single chapter. That said, after playing 200 hours of Dark Souls, and 100 of Demon's Souls, my all-too-brief session with the Dark Souls II beta had me running around like the panicked idiot I was during the early stages of the past two installments. While I can't say if the area offered in the beta is representative of the challenge found in the rest of the game, From Software still seems to understand the essential elements of the Souls series' rewarding uphill climb.
Tuesday - October 22, 2013
Dark Souls II - Two More Previews
I have two more previews for Dark Souls II. So if your still interested in reading more about the game give them a look if you want.
Awesomegames - "Hello, Mirror"
Dark Souls was a good looking game, for sure, but its technical ambition often gave way to occasional framerate issues (the already nasty Blighttown became infamous for its horrendous frame drops). Dark Souls II is, from what I saw, one of the best looking current-gen titles I’ve seen. In fact, it looks just as good as many of the games hitting the next line of systems. Lighting and weather effects were unbelievably good, and the game’s physics also seem to have improved substantially. My only concern is how much the added graphical fidelity will affect the game’s performance. The section I played ran smooth enough, but only time will tell if we’ll be getting another Blighttown. Let’s hope not!
Cheatcc- "There’s No Preparing for This"
No victory in the beta came easy, even for a Dark Souls club member such as myself. The developers at From Software know their fans, and in the beta, they demonstrated the steps they’re taking to challenge even the most die-hard of them. The changes to the battle mechanics, the re-introduction of easy-to-find healing items, and the emphasis on forcing players into PVP show a lot of promise. The result of that promise may be far from clear, but just like when playing a Souls game, I have a feeling something big is right around the corner.
Sunday - October 20, 2013
Dark Souls II - Preview @ GamingNexus
GamingNexus has the next preview of Dark Souls II if your not tired of all the news in the last two weeks.
Dark Souls II is exactly what I was expecting, more Dark Souls. If the beta is any indication, gamers that loved the first game (as well as Demon's Souls) will no doubt eat this sequel up, while everybody else wonders why somebody would put up with the punishment. Regardless of whether or not Dark Souls II changes anybody's mind, I had a great time being killed repeatedly and can't wait to try it again. Maybe next time I'll be able to dig deeper into the Undead Purgatory.
Thursday - October 17, 2013
Dark Souls II - Preview @ IGN
IGN has a new preview of Dark Souls II based on the games beta with details about the changes from previous games.
One notable change to the physics engine which may split opinion is that the game no longer has ragdoll effects on corpses. Although some people may miss this, I am personally glad it has been removed. I don’t necessarily want to play a comical game of keepie-uppie with every flailing corpse I happen to toe-kick.
The UI in Dark Souls II is much slicker than its predecessor too, with clearer menus which hint at the increased accessibility the game's director Yui Tanimura has implied he will implement. Outside of combat, the on-screen display will now minimise to offer a less obscured view of the game's impressive vistas.
The combat mechanics have changed, lending Dark Souls II's fighting a different pace and feel from its predecessor. The temple knight now has offensive faith magic in addition to his more familiar buff and healing spells. His Dark Orb spell allowed him to attack enemies over distance with the use of a magic sceptre. The sorcerer class employed a mix of pyromancy and soul magic, since the pyromancer class has now been retired. The most impressive of the new spells was his Soul Greatsword, a huge blade of light that proved particularly useful when attacking the Copse's assassin mobs.
The finicky lock-on system has been improved, for instance. When retreating from an opponent, you can now turn heel rather than slowly backpedal, keeping an eye on your opponent. Trees and foliage in the way now become transparent. The warrior's zweihander, while difficult to get used to, is extremely satisfying to use, particularly on the Copse's disgustingly bloated, sickle-wielding butchers.
Wednesday - October 16, 2013
Dark Souls II - Preview Roundup
I managed to roundup three more previews for Dark Souls II for a new roundup.
Gamefront- "Yeah, This Game Is Still Really Hard"
While it’s still a stinging disappointment that we won’t see Dark Souls 2 until March of next year, From Software at least softened the blow by giving a lucky group of gamers access to a nearly three-hour-long beta test that ran last Saturday. I managed to log a little more than two hours in the beta, and after getting skewered, stabbed, sliced, pounded and trampled — often repeatedly — the only thought on my mind was: “I want more.”
I have some concerns about Dark Souls II, but overall I had an amazing time, and I really wanted to dive in again after the short beta period ended. While I'm not certain that it can live up to the expectations of the first two games based on my play session, those are some pretty big shoes to fill -- and I have little doubt that it'll be anything less than worthy of calling itself a Souls game.
RPGFan - "Closed Beta Hands-On Preview"
What I got to see shows a developer on the road to greatness, but there are always pitfalls along the way. The framerate continues to be an issue for From Software, as DSII runs butter-smooth one minute and then rocky the next (mostly with online buddies thrown into the mix). It's not nearly as bad as Blighttown, thank God, but it does give me pause when I consider buying the game on a console. The best news I can give is that the rhythm and atmosphere of the previous games seems intact, and I was nervous in the best possible way. Mr. Sickles left a lasting impression on me, especially when his twin brother showed up! We have a ways to go before release, but I'm certainly intrigued and excited as hell to return to this land and die all over again.
Tuesday - October 15, 2013
Dark Souls II - Interview @ PressPlay
PressPlay has a new video interview for Dark Souls II from the the NY Comic Con 2013.
Nick talks to J. Kartje about Dark Souls II's new enemies, online and systems. Stick around to hear J's number one tip for players planning on getting the game!
Monday - October 14, 2013
Dark Souls II - Beta Impression @ AnalogAddiction
Analog Addiction gives their impression of Dark Souls II based on a recent demo version of the game.
One thing which I found annoying was the fact that I couldn’t summon other players in my world, nor invade them. Every time someone would try to come into my session, an error would appear on the screen. Why would the developer enforce a two-hours limit, if it wouldn’t even allow players to actually battle together? Another quirk was the AI, which sometimes was simply standing still while I was depleting its life. It’s still a Beta, so it’s to be expected I guess.
As mentioned above, what does seem like a massive improvement are the visuals. Dark Souls II’s world and its inhabitants are much more detailed than its predecessor’s. The soundtrack was kept to a minimum though, only to make for a more chilling atmosphere.
All in all, after almost breaking into tears multiple times during my playthroughs in the first Dark Souls, I have to admit that I enjoyed this small Beta for its sequel. Sure, there wasn’t anything really new here – besides its presentation – but I’m sure that I’ve only scratched the surface of what Dark Souls II really has to offer. The next Beta will take place on October 27th, so expect another coverage of it the moment it ends. You can check out some gameplay from the first Beta below.
Here is the gameplay video.
Friday - October 11, 2013
Dark Souls II - Preview @ StickTwiddlers
StickTwiddlers has posted a hands-on preview of Dark Souls II from the Eurogamer Expo.
One of the more heartwarming sights I saw whilst visiting the Eurogamer Expo recently in London was scores of people all queuing up to have untold digital punishment upon them and eventually die in horrible ways. Occasionally one of the more fortunate souls would claw their way through the dirt and mire to achieve victory. These were either the exceptionally lucky, gifted, blessed, whatever you want to call them. These people faced the Mirror Knight in Dark Souls II, and survived.
Tuesday - October 08, 2013
Dark Souls II - Preview @ Capsule Computers
Capsule Computers has posted a hands-on preview of Dark Souls II based on a demo from the EB Games Expo.
Gameplay-wise, Dark Souls II takes a lot from its predecessors. The series has definitely maintained a “if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it” approach to its controls, and as such I was immediately familiar with the button layout and how to maneuver my wayward character. Everything has carried over from Demons/Dark Souls and long-time fans of the series will love this as they can get straight into the business of dying over and over again. It is also great that the controls have stayed the same through the series, as they are really intuitive and easy to grasp (leading credence to the old saying of ‘easy to learn, difficult to master’).
Sunday - October 06, 2013
Dark Souls II - Preview @ Rock, Paper, Shotgun
Rock, Paper, Shotgun has a new hands-on preview of Dark Souls II. So if your not yet burned out by the previews, leaks, and other interviews this week give it a look.
Dark Souls II is a strange game to preview. The way I put it to Jim was, if you’re vaguely interested in the Souls games it looks like more of the same – but if you’re obsessed with the Souls games, and that’s me for sure, then it feels like everything’s changed. The tiniest thing, like a slower Estus-chugging animation, feels like a major tonal shift; and in thinking that, you wonder if you’re a crazy man.
Does this feel as nice as Dark Souls? Because of that slower pace to combat and the other reasons above, frankly no. But that’s because it’s unfamiliar, a small demo area, and I’ve put hundreds of hours into Dark Souls; by rights I should be in the loony bin when it comes to this series. If I’m wrong, great. And if I’m right? Well then, by my lights Dark Souls II will only be the third-best game of all time.
A terrible fate, indeed.
Wednesday - October 02, 2013
Dark Souls II - Beta Impression & Reddit Info
If your still curious and need more information after the beta video links you can vist the wiki page of Demon Souls for beta impressions.
HERE WE GO! (There will be constant editing and additional info as I notice more and more info on my recording.)
Ok my hour with the beta is up for now, hopefully I can get into the 2 and 3 hour one as well. Lots to talk about and review so I will start with this. The game feels MUCH darker and back to its horror roots. The environment (At least the one I played) and the enemy sounds coupled with the atmosphere and we have a much more wicked dark souls, plain and simple. BTW I LOVED it! The lighting is great especially in darker environments and using a torch feels like the best thing in the world in all that darkness, even the areas that are not so dark feel better. Overall fantastic atmosphere right out of the start, btw ENB was correct, Demons souls esq reference with the merchant character.
You can also check out reddit for a nice list of game details.
Tuesday - October 01, 2013
Dark Souls II - Preview & Beta Videos
GamrReview previews Dark Souls II and says the game is even tougher than Dark Souls.
The final boss was called Mirror Knight. Defeating him involved dodging/blocking his melee attacks and dodging his ranged lightning attack, and dealing enormous amounts of damage. I’m not sure what was particularly mirror-like about him, but it may well have made him easier to defeat if I'd known, so it looks like some research may well be required before fighting bosses in the full game.
Rest assured, however, that this game follows the “challenging but fair” mantra every bit as much as its predecessors, so fans of the series have a lot to look forward to when it launches.
Monday - September 30, 2013
Dark Souls II - Preview @ Twinfinite
Twinfinite has posted a new preview of Dark Souls II based off it's showing at the Eurogamer Expo 2013.
As I sprinted at breakneck speeds across the convention floor to the Dark Souls II booth, tackling passersby and hurdling over children, I realised I was just as nervous as I was excited. I think that’s a shared feeling among a lot of Dark Souls fans regarding its sequel; the original being such a finely tuned balance of so many elements that a continuation of it might rock the boat. With the added scares of Hidetaka Miyazaki saying “sayonara” to the series and murmurs of the publishers wanting to ‘widen the audience’, many are concerned there are forces at work trying to Skyrim-ify the series, so it was with trembling hands that I picked up the controller and jumped back into that dark, horrible world I could never live without.
Sunday - September 29, 2013
Dark Souls II - Impression @ Siliconera
Siliconera offers a look at Dark Souls 2 after playing the Beta for one hour.
As my session with the Dark Souls II beta began, I was filled with a sense of dread. Not because of any dangerous enemy or grisly sight ahead of me, but because before this session I’d never played Dark Souls.
Only having heard tell of how brutal the game could be, I looked at the class selection screen carefully (which was just a partial selection available for the demo). I saw Dual-Swordsmen, Archers, Paladins, Mages, and every single one looked like they’d have a pretty steep learning curve. I eventually settled on a sword and shield-wielding warrior and started the game.
Read this link for the detailed descrption of his gameplay.
Saturday - September 28, 2013
Dark Souls II - Gameplay Video
DualShockers has news of a new gameplay video showing the boss battle against the Mirror Knight, and more from Eurogamer 2013.
If you want to see more of the upcoming Dark Souls II, that will hit the shelves next March, we got you covered.
Directly from the show floor of Eurogamer Expo a new video has surfaced, courtesy of YouTube user Mantrousse, that recorded a couple of minutes of gameplay off the screen of a demo station, showing the fight against a boss named Mirror Mnight and more.
Of course the video ends with the player’s untimely death. It’s Dark Souls after all.
Thursday - September 26, 2013
Dark Souls II - Preview @ Gameranx
In World of Warcraft and other RPGs, being dead means being unable to interact with the world, with a one way ticket back to your corpse and back to the land of the living. It goes without saying that in most games, giving up your humanity in order to wander throughout the world as an undead being is the equivalent of a game over state.
This is not the case with Dark Souls, where being bereft of your humanity is the only way to ensure you aren't invaded by other players. You see, players can't invade your world while you're undead so short of disconnecting your PS3 from the internet, being undead isn't a bad way to be. This is changing in Dark Souls 2, a game with far more emphasis on multiplayer interaction.
As a bonus Joystiq also has a small article about the game keeping Havok physics.
Tuesday - September 24, 2013
Dark Souls II - TGS 2013 Gameplay Video
A new off screen gameplay video of the demo of Dark Souls II from TGS 2013 has been leaked. The usual warnings apply here as the video is not an official HD release.
Sunday - September 22, 2013
Dark Souls II - Beta Impression @ GameZone
Dark Souls 2 Beta hands-on impressions from EpicNameBro at NamcoBandai's pre-TGS 2013 press event. You can go ahead and get hyped up now.
Saturday - September 21, 2013
Dark Souls II - News Roundup #2
I have a continuation of the news roundup from yesterday, and it will only be four more previews so it wont be as lengthy. Lets get started.
1. Gameranx - "Timed Co-Op, Greater Penalties for Death"
2. Destructoid - "Happily dying often in the Dark Souls II Beta"
3. EGM - "The Changing World of Dark Souls II"
4. Gamespot - "From Software details new Dark Souls II features"
Also IGN has a new impression video you may want to watch.
Friday - September 20, 2013
Dark Souls II - News Roundup
The following news-bit for Dark Souls II is going to be lengthy. I'm going to try and keep it short so lets get started.
Up first Namco Bandai announces a release date for the console editions of Dark Souls II saying the ARPG sequel will be released on March 11, 2014. The PC release will come later with no date set yet. You can find a new trailer here to go with this news.
Next WorldsFactory interviews Yui Tanimura.
Thanks to Namco Bandai, we have the opportunity to publish a Dark Souls 2 interview. Our questions were kindly answered by Yui Tanimura at From Software, who’s currently working on Dark Souls 2 as Director. Please enjoy!
And for last I have five new previews released today. I'm just going to list the sites to save time and space.
1. Polygon- "How Dark Souls 2 will make life even harder"
2. Game Informer - "Surviving In From Software's More Wicked World"
3. US Gamer - "Dying Sucks More Than Ever in Dark Souls II"
4. CVG - "Dark Souls 2 Remains Morbid at Heart"
5. Kotaku - "Dark Souls 2 Owes Me No Favors, And I Respect That"
Friday - September 13, 2013
Dark Souls II - Preview @ OXM
OXM posted a preview of Dark Souls II were Namco talks about the games new online covenant, and invasion system.
Since Dark Souls came on the scene, there's been a glut of games that try their hands at asynchronous, embedded sharing and match-making strategies, the idea being that you won't have to push back from the world and its supporting fictions in order to play with others. Does From Software feel obliged to trump its earlier work, in order to stay ahead of the imitators?
"It's not something where we feel we have to," Miyazoe explained to us at Gamescom. "We feel there's a core element of the network online play that is unique to Dark Souls, and that the fans enjoy. The dev team really strives to avoid direct involvement with other players - I think there's a loose connection you have with other people.
"It's the sharing of emotions, the sharing of the loneliness with other people, so that you get that faint sense of comfort when you feel that another player's facing the same difficulties in the game, but without being able to have direct contact," he went on.
"Death is a big part of Dark Souls, but it's also the loneliness when you're facing the difficulties, you're that close to giving up, but you want to take that extra step, and having this loose connection with other players is one of the things that helps you to stride on."
Miyazoe was mum as to the specifics, as you'd expect/hope, but he was able to confirm a few returning features - player invasions and summoning, blood stains that display a ghost player's final few seconds of life, and the celebrated Covenants, divine or demonic allegiances that partly determine how you'll operate online. It's not clear whether any of the original's Covenants will return.
Wednesday - September 11, 2013
Dark Souls II - Interview @ VG 24/7
VG 24/7 has a new article style interview of Dark Souls II that calls the game a lesson in painfully balanced gameplay.
If you read this site often you’ll know I’m nuts about Dark Souls. I blog about it often. Like, a lot. I even got an Ornstein and Smough tattoo after completing it, but even I’ve become curious as to just how From Software is going to advance its perfect storm of mechanics and design philosophies in a way that appeases die-hard fans. I don’t envy the studio right now.
Of course, there was the power-keg of criticism that erupted as soon as co-directors Tomohiro Shibuya and Yui Tanimura said Dark Souls 2 was more “understandable” than its predecessors. The fact is these guys aren’t stupid, and there’s no way this game will coddle players explicitly throughout the experience. To do that would be to scrap the superb blend of challenge, risk and gratification that forms the series’ heart.
I recently had a chat with Namco Bandai’s Takeshi Miyazoe about this very issue and I wanted to first touch upon the notion of ambiguity in the series. After all, each ‘Souls’ title has left world lore and the motivation of their cast largely to the player’s imagination, whereas other games seek to spell out the fine details in plain sight. All we know at this point of Dark Souls 2 is that the main player is cursed, so sets off into the world in search of a cure.
Saturday - September 07, 2013
Dark Souls II - Preview @ VG 24/7
VG 24/7 has posted a new preview of Dark Souls 2 with the topic based on enemy bosses.
Speaking with VG247′s Dave Cook in an interview to be published Tuesday next week, developer Takeshi Miyazoe said the team is still balancing the game, and while players can expect challenging bosses similar to Ornstein and Smough, these brutes may not appear at the very start of a venue.
“As much as the development team is still balancing the game, I think there will be key moments in the game – not just challenges by story or difficulty – but there will be key enemies and bosses in the game that will challenge the players enough,” said Miyazoe. “There will be areas where we’re revisiting some of the boss battles as well, where you’ll be able to encounter boss battles part-way through the stage.
“You won’t have to start from one venue, go through to the end, beat the boss and then start from a new venue. There will be be areas where you can meet the boss halfway. If you’re good enough or paying enough attention, you might be able to defeat them early.
“We’re trying to create a more interactive gameplay flow so that we sort of break a little bit in terms of the traditional ‘start point, boss and then new start point’.”
Friday - September 06, 2013
Dark Souls II - No PC Beta Testing
IncGamers has news of no Dark Souls 2 beta testing planned for the PC from Namco Bandai. This doesn't sound good to me, but we shall see.
With a pair of beta sessions planned for Dark Souls II on the PS3 (12 October and 27 October respectively,) we here at IncGamers wondered if there would be any sort of equivalent coming for the PC version of the game.
Unfortunately, the answer appears to be “nope.” A representative from Namco Bandai told us that there is “Nothing for the PC build at the moment I’m afraid. I’ll let you know if we get more news.”
That’s a bit of a shame, especially as the PC was said to be the “lead development platform” for Dark Souls II this time around. Still, as long as we get a version with proper resolution, graphics and control support this time, all should be well.
Tuesday - September 03, 2013
Dark Souls II - Gamescom 2013 Footage
Namco Bandai has released a new trailer for Dark Souls 2 from the Gamescom 2013 Community.
Monday - September 02, 2013
Dark Souls II - Interview @ Dealspwn
Dealspwn interviewed Tak Miyazoe the Global Producer for Namco Bandai to learn more Dark Souls II.
Friday - August 30, 2013
Dark Souls II - Preview @ JumpToGamer
JumpToGamer has poted a new preview for Dark Souls II.
The new Dark Souls 2 looks to of kept the same style that made the original such a cool game, but worked on a few things that have improved the game and seems to of made it a Hell of a lot more difficult – even more appealing.
Now I am not going to talk about the story (maybe minimal maybe not) or various missions, but I am going to talk about a few of the improvements. From Software have looked at the little things for example the way you climb and fight on stairs has improved, both are more fluid and less frustrating. Another improvement is the lighting, like in the original game you have dark areas that require lighting up and in Dark Souls 2 you have to make a choice; you can pick up a torch which replaces your shield, or you can run through the dark and hope for the best. The torch can be used as a weapon to good effect though, so there is a slight plus.
Sunday - August 25, 2013
Dark Souls II - Developer Q&A Video
RPG Reporter has a new video Q&A for Dark Souls II.
It’s been a while since players have had some Dark Souls II info, so if you’re looking for new Dark Souls II info then your soul has come to the right place. A Q&A video interview from Namco at Gamescom with new director Yui Tanimura reveals their aims for Dark Souls II as well as some very interesting gameplay.
In Dark Souls 2, fearless adventurers will don the armour of a new hero.
He is a man alone and never more than a sword's edge away from death.
To bring the enigmatic hero to life, we asked armour specialists Armedia to recreate his armour...
Thursday - August 15, 2013
Dark Souls II - Forges a Hero Trailer
Namco Bandai has released a new teaser trailer for Dark Souls II titled “Forging a Hero”.
Dark Souls' universe is taking a surprising new form...
Are you ready to meet...him?
Wednesday - August 14, 2013
Dark Souls II - Preview @ Player Attack
Player Attack has a new preview for Dark Souls II.
The demo we saw incorporated the now infamous Mirror Knight. When I saw the it, the QA analyst showing the game had beaten him only once in two days, and no journalists had beaten him at all. They were offering all kinds of prizes, but to no avail.
The Mirror Knight as we saw him was terrifying. He moved smoothly - thanks to new motion capture animations being used in Dark Souls 2 for the first time - and very quickly. And true to their descriptions of the new AI, as soon as the player tried to heal, the Mirror Knight changed his behaviour and charged straight for him.
The conceit of the Mirror Knight is a clever one: having a second knight break through the mirrored shield of the first. Even more terrifying is how this will work in the final game. The knight that breaks through the mirror won't be AI controlled, he will be another player, invading your world.
We pushed for more details: How many times would this occur in the game? How would it work? What other ideas did they have for multiplayer? The developers just smiled and refused to answer.
Like so much else in the Souls games, they want us to find out the hard way. Clearly, Dark Souls 2 is much improved - it’s got stunning graphics, smooth animations and lots of little fixes to exploits and bugs from the first two games. It also has improved AI and as many changes as possible to make the experience even harder. As for the PvP changes? Well, I imagine we’ll see for ourselves through a mirrored shield some time next year.
Wednesday - August 07, 2013
Dark Souls II - What has Changed
VideoGamerTV's editor Matt Lees dived into Dark Souls 2 and created a video of what has been changed in the game, focussing on its mechanics.
Friday - August 02, 2013
Dark Souls II - Video interview @ CVG
CVG has a new video interview with Dark Souls 2 Director Yui Tanimura.
CVG recently had the opportunity to interview From Software's Yui Tanimura, who is serving as Dark Souls 2 director, and discuss the differences between the original Dark Souls and the upcoming sequel.
In the video interview below, Tanimura chats about the work the studio has done to improve exploration and make deaths more varied. He also discusses his team's efforts to balance the feelings of satisfaction and challenge Dark Souls is loved for.
Thursday - August 01, 2013
Dark Souls II - Preview @ VGRevolution
VGRevolution has the latest preview for Dark Souls II.
We recently went to an event to check out Namco Bandai’s latest titles. At the event we obviously made sure we checked out one of the most mutually loved/hated titles in the world, Dark Souls II.
During this demo i decided to pick the warrior, as you begin you start off in a dungeon where I headed down a ladder only to be greeted by a few undead soldiers. After fighting these opponents I found myself at a doorway leading to a lower level. As I enter the stairway it’s pitch-black unable to see what’s in front of me. I decided to run back to light a torch.
Unfortunately I wasn’t able to get past this part of the demo…seriously.
Releasing next March, Dark Souls 2 will remain as tough as its predecessors with a few tweaks and changes. Disregard any mention of this game being too easy for mainstream consumers.
The AI is now more immersed into the way you fight, for example – you’re attacking a monster with a certain strategy and it reaches a certain point of health, the enemy will changes tactics and kill you without warning, as you try to adjust to his new attacks.
Friday - July 26, 2013
Dark Souls II - Interview @ ClickOnline
ClickOnline has an exclusive interview withFrom Sofware the Japanese developers of Dark Souls 2.
Dual Wielding weapons was also showcased, with several fluid animations and combos. Will players also be able to dual wield larger weapons like great-swords, spears and pole-axes?
It is planned to be for the same category weapons. For example, the dual wielding is not possible between a spear and an axe; however, it is possible between the same categories such as spears, axes, great-swords.
Will Dark Souls II offer a more fleshed out narrative? The story in previous games has been quite oblique – though many fans commend this approach...
The basic style of the story telling is the same. I feel that the user’s imagination is much more fascinating than the story itself.
The online features of the ‘Souls’ games have been rightly praised for their minimalism. Will sharing or trading items be an option in Dark Souls II?
There will be no sharing or trading items. This title’s idea is “Loose Connection”. As you mentioned in your question, a system to force excessive communication doesn’t suit this title.
And finally... Ok, so there is no new “Easy Mode” (thank god!) but what steps are being taken to open up the ‘Souls’ experience to a wider audience of interested players who may simply be too intimidated to play?
The reason why there is no “Easy Mode” is that this game’s principal is not “a high difficulty game” but “a game with high sense of accomplishment”. It is made in the way that even the situation which seems impossible to clear can be definitely cleared by thinking through the strategy, with creative approach, or by raising a character. In that meaning, the creativity to motivate the player’s efforts is most important rather than using the techniques with superficial cleverness. Then from there, there is the sense of accomplishment and this will lead to the new audience. If this series were to be supported in the future, we feel that keeping such kind of root is very important.
Tuesday - July 23, 2013
Dark Souls II - Gameplay Videos from SDCC
Monday - July 22, 2013
Dark Souls II - New Details Emerge from SDCC
Gameranx has a preview of new details about Dark Souls II from SDCC.
Dark Souls 2 is currently set to release early next year. While the first two entries into the series have garnered more of a cult following, this third entry is expected to make a big splash in the mainstream market. As Q1 2014 grows closer, more details come out of the veritable woodwork.
A Reddit user, MkfShard, was present at this year's SDCC. He was able to get his hands on a playable demo of Dark Souls 2, and aggregated some of his thoughts and observations concerning the game here. We've provided some of the highlights below, but for the full list, please click the link.
- Every action feels more weighty, which means you're committing more to each movement.
- During special animations, you're no longer invincible; hopefully this means no more invincibility frames in PvP combat.
- Magic has been expanded, as expected.
- Enemy artificial intelligence has been drastically improved.
- The targeting system is changed.
The full list has details concerning specific parts of the game, including the Mirror Knight, Turtle Knight, new spells and unique items. Considering that this gamer got his or her hands on the game, we're wondering when the SDCC demo will be released to the public. Considering that fans have been clamoring for a taste of the title since its announcement at last year's Video Game Awards, we're hoping that it won't be too long from now.
Tuesday - July 09, 2013
Dark Souls II - Preview @ Digitalspy
Digitalspy brings us another preview among many lately for Dark Souls II.
Director Yui Tanimura said that more open progression was a focus, and teased that players won't have to go to certain places in a specific order, as with the original.
"Freedom of exploration is something we want to prioritize for Dark Souls 2, even more so than Dark Souls 1," he told Digital Spy.
"In Dark Souls 1, you were able to travel to several areas, but hopefully for Dark Souls 2, there you have more freedom to explore throughout the game."
He continued: "We realize in Dark Souls 1 there were some certain orders, like ringing the bells or going to Anor Londo, which is not necessarily a bad thing.
"In Dark Souls 2, we're hoping we can provide more freedom so things don't have to necessarily be done in a certain order.
"We're hoping that if the player tries hard enough, or are willing enough, they could even start halfway through the game, depending on how willing or how brave they are."
When discussing how the player approaches the end stages of the game, Tanimura said that while the goal of "trying to cure a curse" is the same, how you reach the latter stages "is dependent on the player".
"You won't have to follow a certain line, it will be unique for all players, I think," he said.
"It might be an interesting aspect that players will be able to enjoy a little bit more than Dark Souls 1."
Wednesday - July 03, 2013
Dark Souls II - Preview @ PCGamesN
PCGamesN has a new preview for Dark Souls 2.
The new engine is rather lovely, as this time there’s no artificial resolution cap. It’s still not going to test even a modest PC, but at least on a nice monitor you’re not going to have to rely on a hack to get it looking any better than a smeary mess.
Minor tech improvements aside, the big stories with Dark Souls II include the decision to no longer offer prescribed character archetypes: From Software realised that players tended to spend their souls to essentially "multi-class.” Now players use a character generator, intended to allow players to instantly start tailoring their character to their play style.
Dark Souls II however offers some interesting twists for veterans looking to mix-up their play style. Characters can now carry up to three weapons and shields at one time, and may dual wield weapons — no longer will a weapon held in the offhand be useless. Oh, and if you were bloody sick of only being able to warp between certain bonfires, you can now warp between any that you’ve already found. So actually, it is getting a bit more accessible.
Namco Bandai are still holding their cards pretty close to their chest. While they’ve revealed that there will be multiplayer for up to four players, they haven’t gone into detail with how it will work. It’s not likely to be too different from before, but they are having fun with it. Take the Mirror Knight, the enemy at the very end of the demo and which the QA man hadn’t managed to beat once by the time of our appointment (and he didn’t during it, either.) A huge lumbering, almost mechanical monstrosity (looking rather Greco-Roman, unusually) could slam his huge, ornate mirror shield down from which enemies could appear. Excitingly, however, when played online these enemies could take the form of other players who have chosen to invade your world.
Well, I say exciting: the Mirror Knight is hard enough without that twist.
If there was one big disappointment with Dark Souls II it was Namco Bandai’s lukewarm response given to questioning on how well they’ll respond to the stability of the PC version in the face of the original title’s struggles with hackers, paying merely lip-service to doing what they can. As a series that relies heavily on a sense of fairness, more’s the pity some players are never going to want to play fair. But I hope that Namco Bandai makes sure they do.
Thursday - June 27, 2013
Dark Souls II - Interview @ GameInformer
There's a new interview with Dark Souls II's Director Yui Tanimura on GameInformer.
What’s the difference between a hard game, and an unnecessarily frustrating game that you just want to abandon?
It’s a tough question to answer. Obviously, we implement the difficulty and challenge for that sense of satisfaction when you overcome the hurdles. When designing a game – when you start to take away all of the reasons for not playing, so if people say this is too hard, so I’m going to take away the difficulty, or this is a nuisance to do, or a pain to do, so I am going to take away that aspect of the game so that you don’t have to face that nuisance – you no longer really have a game anymore. I think the important part to do, is to implement the difficulty and implement the challenges so you have that added amount of satisfaction when you overcome it. Hopefully, when you implement difficulty to a game, when you overcome it, you can feel the sense of difficulty was worth it. I think that type of reward is important.
Something like Dark Souls, though, we try to implement this difficulty for that added level of satisfaction and happiness when you are able to overcome. But there will be aspects of the game where there are some areas that will be more of a pain to get through than others. I think that balance is something important. It’s hard to answer directly, but we took a lot of care in terms of tuning each instance of the so-called challenges so that we reached an overall good balance throughout the game.
Do you think the word “accessible” automatically translates to “easy”?
No, we don’t actually. The reason why we used the word accessible was not to say that the game is going to be easier by any means. We’re maintaining the difficulty and we think the challenges are required. What we meant was, there are certain aspects of the game where it didn’t really have a direct connection to the sense of satisfaction of overcoming. There were things that were a little bit time consuming or a little bit tedious that we wanted to streamline – sort of carve away all the fat so we could really deliver the lean pure expression of what Dark Souls tries to communicate, which is the sense of satisfaction of overcoming. In terms of accessibility, what we meant was a more streamlined experience to deliver the more pure essence of Dark Souls.
You’re a new director for Dark Souls. What are you going to do to make it your game? What will define Dark Souls II as a Yui Tanimura game?
Throughout the game, there are going to be a lot of different small things that I will direct and will be implemented due to my personality or direction, but the biggest part I feel that will characterize this game as the game that I directed will probably be the game balancing. I take care of a lot of the balancing of the game – with the difficulty, the trickiness, of the frustration that you feel. I intend to spend a lot of my time trying to balance placements of the enemies, the parameters of the enemies so that players can face that difficulty, face those challenges, but also conquer enough to sense that satisfaction. Balance is probably the most important part of this game and I feel responsible in balancing the game, and tuning it to the finest details so that Dark Souls II will be the best experience so far in the series that we’ve created.
Wednesday - June 26, 2013
Dark Souls II - Gameplay Footage
Saturday - June 22, 2013
Dark Souls II - Preview Roundup #4
Another day and here we are with more previews for Dark Souls 2.
I'm way out of practice when it comes to Dark Souls, so I had no illusions that I was going to be able to conquer this short demo. But what I did get to play was of the same level of quality of Demon Souls, and its follow up, Dark Souls. And whatever rumors were going around about the game being easier and more 'accessible,' I would say 'hah!' Actually our demonstrator made sure to point out that the difficulty has not been adjusted, so that sense of accomplishment and achievement when you get through this game is certainly still there, and enemies are still tough thanks to the allegedly improved AI. Though I can say that multiple enemies would attack me at the same time without any remorse, compared to most games where all the enemies back off while one comes in weakly, it's refreshing to see a game that makes you pay attention to your surroundings so you don't rouse more enemies.
Character creation has received a little bit of an upgrade in Dark Souls 2. It's now possible to carry up to three weapons or shields with you on your quest and dual-wielding weapons has been introduced, which means you can be a total bad-ass and dual wield swords, or be the craziest tank ever and carry to tower shields, provided you've got the brute strength necessary to do it. The new engine for the game also makes your characters look better than ever, though you won't really have much time to stop and check out the locales, I made that mistake as I descended in to a tomb and promptly got knocked off a ledge by a skeleton knight, leaving a nice pool of blood that I'm sure someone will try to get to later.
There are many compromises to be had in Dark Souls II. For instance, when the lights go out it actually gets dark to the point you can't see anything without a torch. Unfortunately, equipping a torch means giving up either your second weapon or your shield. So it's either endure the darkness with the risk of being caught off guard, or embrace one handed combat for the sake of seeing the environment around you. This is exactly how choice is supposed to work in a role-playing game. Contrary to belief of the Dark Souls II community, Dark Souls II is not dumbed down at all. In my opinion it's on its way to being one of the most intelligent role-playing games this gen. I was never a Demon Souls or Dark Souls I player, but I will certainly be a Dark Souls 2 player. The souls series is one that crushes you until you either get better, or until you poke around and find some way around the often seemingly insurmountable obstacle that you’re facing. It could be considered the video game equivalent of trying to join the Navy Seals. It’s about leveling up, obtaining new gear, fighting difficult monsters, and exploring the unknown. Going into the E3 demo, I was excited but a little apprehensive. Would the designers give into the masses and make the game easier? In short, no. Not at all. I would later find that Dark Souls 2 is just as hard, if not harder than the original, and improved in many ways.
There are many compromises to be had in Dark Souls II. For instance, when the lights go out it actually gets dark to the point you can't see anything without a torch. Unfortunately, equipping a torch means giving up either your second weapon or your shield. So it's either endure the darkness with the risk of being caught off guard, or embrace one handed combat for the sake of seeing the environment around you. This is exactly how choice is supposed to work in a role-playing game.
Contrary to belief of the Dark Souls II community, Dark Souls II is not dumbed down at all. In my opinion it's on its way to being one of the most intelligent role-playing games this gen. I was never a Demon Souls or Dark Souls I player, but I will certainly be a Dark Souls 2 player.
The souls series is one that crushes you until you either get better, or until you poke around and find some way around the often seemingly insurmountable obstacle that you’re facing. It could be considered the video game equivalent of trying to join the Navy Seals. It’s about leveling up, obtaining new gear, fighting difficult monsters, and exploring the unknown. Going into the E3 demo, I was excited but a little apprehensive. Would the designers give into the masses and make the game easier? In short, no. Not at all. I would later find that Dark Souls 2 is just as hard, if not harder than the original, and improved in many ways.
Thursday - June 20, 2013
Dark Souls II - Preview Roundup #3
It's time for round three of more previews for Dark Souls II.
Despite all my swagger and confidence I didn’t last more than 10 seconds against the demo’s boss the Mirror Knight. Slamming his mirror shield into the ground in front of me my reflection came to life and bashed its way into the fighting arena. Turning on my heels I had my feet kicked out from under me and was quickly dispatched. With equal parts frustration and embarrassment I stepped aside to watch the next sucker try their luck.
The final note of improvement to touch on is persistent bonfire warping. Every single bonfire you come across will allow you to warp rather than only the odd one. This will greatly reduce the amount of time a player randomly wanders over the landscape. A small improvement but an appreciated one I’m sure.
Unfortunately we didn’t get a look at the multiplayer offering so fans will have to wait a little longer for information in that department. Approximately 40 hours in agonizing length Dark Souls II is slated to arrive to PC and next gen consoles sometime around March 2014 but no date has been set in stone. After only getting a slight glimpse into what From Software is offering I can safely say that I’m excited to see what else they have in store.
All that talk about making the game “more accessible” to newcomers shouldn’t be taken the wrong way. The game still promises to be difficult, and From Software is still looking to instill that satisfying sense of achievement within players who manage to conquer its brutality after repeated attempts.
The game’s increased accessibility has more to do with its revamped class system, which lets you hand-pick your stats first, thereby assembling a group of appropriate class options that help narrow down your choice. The team is also trying to cut down on needless backtracking by linking all activated bonfires, so that you can warp between any of them.
The first thing I noticed during the demo was just how improved Dark Souls II looks visually. Its received a humongous boost in the smooth department when compared to its jagged predecessors, and it’s all thanks to its new engine. Thankfully, From Software has learned from the the development of the PC version, and promises to make this a PC port done right, without requiring any fanmade 1080p mods.
Dark Souls 2 invokes the same feeling of nervous exploration as its predecessors and the new enemy AI and increased movesets could very well give the already robust epic extra legs. Most importantly, Dark Souls 2 feels like Dark Souls, but distinguishes itself just enough that it will give veterans a whole new set of weapons to master, demons to overcome, and secrets to discover. With the next generation of consoles stealing the limelight this Boxing Day season, Dark Souls 2 looks like a firm reminder that there's still more treasure to uncover without spending hundreds on a new system.
I played around 20 minutes after the walkthrough finished. It felt exactly like Dark Souls should. The game’s trademark animation-priority remains in effect, forcing you to be conscious of your actions. Adversaries, including the lightweight grunts, are difficult take down unless in one-on-one combat, and even then, victory is hard-fought.
The most notable change is the speed of movement has been decreased slightly. Actions take a little longer to recover from, stamina regeneration not kicking in until animations have finished completely instead of when recovery starts. There’s a certain weight to them as well. It’s all fluid (the new engine makes everything look and run smoothly), but felt heavy – in a good way. It forced me to essentially re-learn Dark Souls. How to pace myself and manage stamina, when to strike, guard, evade; it all felt like typical Dark Souls, but with just enough adjustments to make it fresh again. Which is exactly what it needed to do.
's new engine will allow the game's soft-spoken co-director, Yui Tanimura, to fulfill his long-held desire to include new, subtler expressions in the game, Tanimura told Polygon at E3 2013.
At the macro level, the sequel's graphical upgrade will allow players to "dive in and immerse themselves within the actual gameplay and feel as if they are actually part of the game itself," Tanimura told Polygon through a translator. In the micro, the new engine allows Dark Souls 2 to include flourishes that weren't possible in the originalengine.
Whether or not Dark Souls II lives up to its predecessors obviously has yet to be decided. I cannot say that From Software won’t piss the entire franchise down their leg or that the game won’t be horribly uneven and broken. That’s simply not something you can glean from an awkward demo booked when you’re trying to bust your ass at E3. But what I can say and what I think is ultimately the most important statement, is this:
This is Dark Souls. This is Dark Souls. Thank God, this is Dark Souls.
Friday - June 14, 2013
Dark Souls II - Various News Roundup #2
I've rounded up a few more previews for Dark Souls II from this year's E3 conference.
The Escapist - "Dying Over and Over Never Looked So Good"
From Software showed off four classes at the event: the Warrior, Sorcerer, Temple Knight, and Dual Swordsman. These classes aren't confirmed for the game yet, but I'd say it's a pretty safe bet we'll see them. The developer also mentioned that there will be more than four classes in the game, which isn't surprising considering Dark Souls had 12.
The most interesting of the classes shown off was definitely the Dual Swordsman. Dual wielding is another new feature of Dark Souls 2. In the original, you could hold a weapon or shield in your off hand but couldn't actually use it. In Dark Souls 2, you'll now have the chance to use weapons in both hands. The Dual Swordsman was able to - surprise - wield two swords at once and attack with them simultaneously. He was quick, agile, and dealt a medium amount of damage to enemies. If the enemy managed to get in even a few swipes on him though, he was done for.
There were also a couple of new items shown off during the demo as well. The first was a life gem, which allows the user to regenerate a little bit of health over time. Estus healing flasks are still in the game, but life gems provide an alternative to getting your precious health back. There's also a green blossom which increases your stamina, allowing you to attack more or run longer.
EDGE - "Hands-on impressions and new details on FromSoftware’s Sequel"
There is much here to like. There is an awful lot that reassures us this is still Dark Souls. And yet we have concerns.
You can warp between bonfires from the very beginning of the game – as long as you’ve already visited them, of course. Dark Souls kept this ability from you until a good way through the game, until you had learnt area after area like the back of your hand. Even then it limited those you could warp to a relative handful. We worry that letting us move freely from one bonfire to the next will mean we feel less connected to Dark Souls II’s world than we did to its predecessor’s.
That desire for accessibility means that Dark Souls’ character creation system, which was admittedly baffling on first playthrough, has been replaced by what Hong says will ask you to define “parameters and preferences about the way you want to play the game.” It will then present you with a number of choices for a starting build. The four available here – Warrior, Sorcerer, Temple Knight and Dual Swordsman – serve only to streamline this particular demo, and won’t necessarily be in the final game. The reasons for this are clear, and understandable – and you’ll still be able to switch class completely as you progress through the game – but it does rather pull the game away from its D&D roots.
Computer and Videogames - "Hands-on: Beautiful and Brutal"
Enemies range from typical variations on the lumpen undead seen throughout Dark Souls, though to a new turtle-backed beast that will crush you beneath its shell dare you attack it from behind. The enemy AI has been improved, in the sense that each enemy's moveset is larger than before. This means simply memorising what each foe is capable of will not hold you in good stead. Even the lowly enemies are unpredictable, though patience and observation is still rewarded. As in Dark Souls, three consecutive sword swipes is very reckless, so know your enemy.
The controls operate and feel exactly the same as Dark Souls 2, but there is a new health item in addition to Estus. Called Lifegems, these items regenerate health very slowly and by a fraction of what an Estus will. It's a trade-off, because consuming Lifegems doesn't slow the player down like supping from the Estus flask does, and be warned: enemy's are more likely to attack while your guard is down in Dark Souls 2. They're smarter.
Another neat change is with dual-wielding: if you're brave enough to forgo a shield, you can actually attack with both weapons simultaneously, rather than with just one at a time. Simply equip two weapons and hit the button to attack with two hands, and you'll deal a lot of damage to certain enemies, but it's a risky maneuver.
NowGamer - "Number One Thing For Us Was Don't Sell Out"
"When we were trying to come up with the planning, when we were trying to communicate what this game was, the number one thing for us was don't sell out" says Hong.
"Let's make sure we are true to what Dark Souls is meant to be and intended to be. As far as promotion goes, we don't necessarily want to be like 'hey, prepare to die, it's all about death, it's all about being hard' because that was the message the first time around.
"Like every good game, it should evolve and the messaging should match that evolution, right? So this game is definitely better. It's got a lot of things that we want to show the folks along the course of the next 10, 11 months as we get on."
Hong went on to speak about how important the die-hard Dark Souls fans have been in the creation of the sequel.
"Naturally the fans are what's really driving all of this. The organic growth that we experienced could not happen without the fans.
"So first and foremost, it's all about them and it's all about serving them and what is it that they really loved about this game. In terms of our messaging, that's what we are intending to try and convey. All the stuff you loved about Dark Souls and all the things we think you're going to love about Dark Souls 2, we want to articulate that. "
Wednesday - June 12, 2013
Dark Souls II - Various News Roundup
We have a demo trailer and three previews for Dark Souls 2. The video of the demo can be found here. Warning for spoilers.
Dark Souls earned its infamy by living up to its slogan, “Prepare to Die.” A merit badge to some and an unfathomable piece of masochism to others, the game made its mark by marrying the unrelenting difficulty of the 8-bit generation with an obtuse suite of systems and mechanics that were never overtly explained to the player. Some gamers relished this fresh experience, while others couldn’t comprehend why anyone would submit themselves to such torture. In such, it’s no surprise that this pairing still exists as the heart and soul of Dark Souls II, Namco Bandai’s eagerly-awaited follow-up.
After revealing the first look at the gameplay back in April, we were finally given the chance to get our hands on a small slice of the game, which included a short dungeon followed by an intensely impressive boss encounter. But instead of just having a single take on the demo, we decided to tackle the game from two very different perspectives. One IGN editor braved through the series and views it as one of the most remarkable achievements of this generation, while the other has never even given thought to kindling a bonfire. Here’s what they thought.
Dark Souls 2 has a new director and a new engine, but the soul of From Software's series of dark, challenging role-playing games appears to be intact in Dark Souls 2, even if slipping into its body feels a bit different.
Some of the game's changes, including its new graphics engine, took a bit of time to get used to in a recent hands-on demo. The control of characters felt noticeably different, speedier perhaps, and without the weight of characters in Dark Souls. We had no way to see what our characters stats were, nor the weight of the equipment they carried, so it's difficult to judge how character's will ultimately feel.
And Dark Souls 2 won't ship for consoles and PC until March 2014, so the game has time to gel and be polished. But the extra time From Software has to perfect the game is comforting.
Dark Souls II was shown on a high end PC with an Xbox 360 gamepad used to control the game. The framerate was smooth and the game’s graphics look better, but it’s hard to say how Dark Souls II will look on consoles. The animation work which feels more fluid than other Souls games should be consistent between platforms. Dark Souls II is in development for PC, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360.
Tuesday - June 11, 2013
Dark Souls II - Hands-On: Prepare To Die All Over Again
Neoseeker's shared their thoughts on Dark Souls II based on some hands-on time they spent on it at E3.
Dark Souls II may not be a next-gen release, but it remains one of the most anticipated games this year and Namco's biggest offering at E3. FromSoftware flipped the industry upside down back in 2009 when they introduced us to Demon's Souls and taught us the true meaning of death. Virtual death, anyway. From there, we saw Dark Souls, the wildly successful follow-up that expanded the series to beyond PlayStation.
Prior to E3, we were able to get our hands on the upcoming Dark Souls II and experience, once again, the soul-crushing feeling of defeat. Sort of. FromSoftware was kind enough to at least activate God Mode for us, so that we might never die. Except on the inside.
During our time with the game, I played as that armored fellow shown in the announcement trailer, and faced down against several bosses intent on killing me.
I couldn't give you an actual verdict on Dark Souls II just after spending 30 minutes with an early build. But from what I experienced, the game seems to bring with it much of what made the first so popular. The visuals are fantastic, consistent with the Dark Souls style, and the combat is no less punishing. A part of me certainly dreads having to re-experience all of that as a mere mortal, but hey, that's part of Dark Souls' charm, isn't it?
Dark Souls II will be out March 2014 for Xbox 360, PS3, and PC.
Monday - June 10, 2013
Dark Souls II - Gameplay Footage
A new trailer for Dark Souls 2 was released duriing the E3 Microsoft press conference showing off some brand-new gameplay.
Monday - June 03, 2013
Dark Souls II - Coming March 2014 According to E3 Sign
Well it's time for the rumoer mill again. Kotaku has spotted a pre-E3 billboard sign for Dark Souls II in Los Angeles, which lists the game as coming out in March 2014.
Time will tell I guess. E3 is in a few weeks so we will probably know then.
UPDATE: Namco Bandai Europe has confirmed to Eurogamer this morning that Dark Souls 2 will be released in March 2014 it's official now. No more specific day-and-date detail was available.
Saturday - May 25, 2013
Dark Souls II - Deciphering Dark Souls 2
VG247 has an article about Dark Souls 2. The topic of the article is the games accessibility.
In truth, there is nothing on show here that offers any cause for alarm. No wholesale changes, recharging health or ill-advised cover mechanics to sully the series’ pure roots and challenging gameplay.
Instead, there is just that one nagging worry that without Miyazaki’s constant presence, the rest of the team might be tempted to tip the balance further in the player’s favour or face publisher pressure to chase a bigger audience by relaxing the firm hand that the first two titles maintained throughout.
Perhaps it’s unfair to be concerned or maybe it’s the unavoidable by-product being so invested in the franchise. I keep coming back to the idea that Miyazaki’s show-not-tell approach is completely at odds with so many other high-profile titles. Without him, will damaging sacrifices be made in a bid for mass-market acceptance?
Of course, neither Dark Souls nor Demon’s Souls were made by just one man. Therefore, I can only hope that those who worked alongside Miyazaki paid close attention to his methods and share his passion for treating players like intelligent adults. Ultimately, I want some of the mystery to remain intact so that I might savour the experience of figuring it out for myself.
Thursday - May 16, 2013
Dark Souls II - Namco on Marketing The Game
OXM has an article about Dark Souls 2. According to PR Director Lee Kirton the publisher has no qualms about marketing the game this time. Namco would like to attract Skyrim players, but previous buyers are still the main focus.
"The good thing this time round is we're investing more in it from a marketing perspective," Kirton told OXM at a preview event in London today. "With Dark Souls and [PS3-exclusive spiritual predecessor] Demon Souls it was very focused, small-scale. We're treating this as a massive, massive triple-A title."
"We're going to go guns-blazing with it, and hope to God that it works," he continued. "We're going after people who love and adore Dark Souls, while hopefully widening the net a little. I'm not saying that every Skyrim player's going to be jumping on Dark Souls, but it would be nice if some of them did. It's a different game, sure."
Thursday - April 25, 2013
Dark Souls II - Unorthodox Multiplayer and Level Design
GameReactor spoke to Dark Souls 2 director Yui Tanimura at the recent Global Gamers Day event. Tanimura had quite a bit to say about the game by elaborating upon the design decisions he made for Dark Souls 2.
Director Yui Tanimura gives us a brief round down on the changes he's wrought to Dark Souls, and how sharing the game with other players will make for a better experience.
Saturday - April 20, 2013
Dark Souls II - Prepare to Die Harder
2D-X has an article with more information on Dark Souls 2.
We were told that Dark Souls II is using an improved graphical engine that promises greater graphical fidelity than previous titles. The demo we were presented played on a PC version of the game. According to Miyazoe and Tanimura, Dark Souls II is being developed simultaneously for all three platforms (PC, Xbox 360, and PS3).
On the subject of equipment, I asked Tanimura how equipment burden would work in Dark Souls II. The character piloted in Dark Souls II moved incredibly fluidly, despite being overburdened with full armor and six weapons. He answered by explaining that ”the relationship between weight and movement speed will be maintained. For the sake of the demo, and because we haven’t fully tuned the mechanics yet, it did seem faster than what it should be.”
Storytelling will continue in much the same way that it was presented in Dark Souls as well. In the original game, NPC dialogue and item descriptions were all you had to piece together the cryptic story of the game. Every item gave us a small nugget of information about the regions of the world and famous people who once lived there, or the gods and their relationships with one another, or the fall of the regions you explored. NPCs added their own spin on the story, giving us lore filtered through their own eyes and experiences. The beauty with this method of storytelling is how non-intrusive it is. Players who wish to immerse themselves in the world can study every piece of flavor text in the game, while those who don’t give a fig can ignore or outright murder NPCs and never read a single item description, yet still complete the game.
“In terms of our storytelling methods, we plan to continue in the same way we told story in Dark Souls,” Tanimura replied when asked about the storytelling. “We’re not going to directly communicate story to the players. What we want to encourage is for players to try and imagine and utilize their experiences with NPCs and events in the game to piece together the story.”
Wednesday - April 17, 2013
Dark Souls II - No Easy Mode Allowed
Forbes has an interview with with Dark Souls Director Yui Tanimura.
According to From Software’s Dark Souls II director, Yui Tanimura, challenge is one of the things that made the original game so satisfying.
But as word of a push toward more ‘accessibility’ in the new game spread across the internet, fans began to worry. News that creator Hidetaka Miyazaki was not directing the sequel only made matters worse.
Would the sequel be dumbed down? Would it be made easier? Would it go for the “Skyrim audience?”
“I would like to clarify here that we do not have any plan to make the game easier,” Tanimura tells me. “As Dark Souls focused on giving a sense of satisfaction to players, Dark Souls II is also pursuing to provide this sense. We cherish Dark Souls fans’ voices and would like to improve this game based on their voices to let them enjoy a highly challenging game.”
Along these lines, the developer has no plans to include options within the game to make it easier for more casual players.
“We do not plan on having an Easy Mode,” says Tanimura, “since we are creating this game with a thought that challenge and difficulty are core elements of the game.”
No Easy Mode should certainly come as a relief to many Souls fans.
Dark Souls II - Design A Shield
Namco Bandai wants you to create a piece of equipment for the upcoming Dark Souls II.
Popular shield design contest returns offering players another chance of Immortality in Dark Souls II
Channel your inner medieval craftsman and create the best shield design; showing off your skills as a warrior artist. Then, submit your works of art, and watch the votes tally up from every corner of the globe from fellow Dark Souls II fans.
The submission and voting period for shield designs will begin on April 15th and run through May 13th. Beginning May 14th no further submissions will be taken and the contest enters into a “voting only” phase until May 20th. On May 20th the shield designs that receive the most fan votes will be submitted for a final round of judging by the Dark Souls II development team at FromSoftware in Japan. The FromSoftware development team will select the final six winning shield designs to be included within the final Dark Souls II game. The winners will be announced at San Diego Comic Con taking place from July 18th through the 21st.
The six lucky winners will be able to engage in battle with their friends online while proudly bearing the shield of their own design. Other players will also be able to carry the shields designed by their compatriots into battle.
Friday - April 12, 2013
Dark Souls II - Trailer Shows Engine's Improvements
Yet again another Dark Souls 2 trailer but this time it's to show off the improved engine. This one is shorter and doesn't spoil the game.
Dark Souls 2 will utilize a new engine to bring a feeling of freshness to the series. As demonstrated in the trailer below, it has allowed From Software to make the game's areas much larger while improving texture quality at the same time. A series of new lighting effects radiate when you light your torch or find a shrivel of light within the game's wealth of dark corridors. Most importantly, the framerate problems of Dark Souls have been rectified. Along with more detailed animations the game is more smooth and stylized than the games which preceeded it.
Thursday - April 11, 2013
Dark Souls II - Director Promises Better Port
Shacknews reports a fan petition successfully convinced publisher Namco Bandai, and developer From Software to bring Dark Souls 2 to PC.
"A lot of it was not very well done, sort of half-assed," Dark Souls 2 director Yui Tanimura told Shacknews via translator (Tak Miyazoe), while promising a much better experience for the sequel.
"Yes, we will definitely put more priority on the PC. Last time, we started working on PC after the console version was complete," Tanimura explained. "This time, because we are considering the PC from the beginning, you can be sure there will be more care put into PC development."
Source: Shack News
Dark Souls II - First Gameplay Footage
IGN has a 12 minute interviw of Dark Souls 2. I know from personal experience the first was in my opinion a very good game. Given the sales on the pc it's likely that the second game will have a pc release. Enjoy.
Wednesday - January 30, 2013
Dark Souls II - Miyazaki Interview @ Edge
Edge Online talked to Dark Souls producer Hidetaka Miyazaki to learn that amongst others he is only involved in it's follow up Dark Souls II as a supervisor.
“I will not be involved in the actual development of Dark Souls II,” he says matter-of-factly. “I want to clarify that I will be a supervisor, not the actual director or producer.”
This is a crushing revelation for any hardcore fan of Demon’s Souls and Dark Souls, akin to a cinephile learning that Pulp Fiction 2 is in production, but that Quentin Tarantino isn’t attached to the picture. The strong personal tie between Miyazaki and the two dark fantasy RPGs he’s created to date has been well established. He explained to us in a previous interview, for instance, that the veil of ambiguity hovering over the Souls games grew out of his experiences as a child poring over western fantasy literature. Due to his patchy comprehension of English at the time, there were large chunks of each book he couldn’t decipher, leaving him to fill in the details with his imagination. He set out to create that same sense of awe and bewilderment in his games, letting players fill in the gaps with their imagination instead of having every plot point and objective clearly articulated through in-game text or cutscenes.
Sunday - December 23, 2012
Dark Souls II - What they can do to make it better @ Kotaku
Kotaku has penned a piece titled Here's What the Developers of Dark Souls II Can Do To Make it Better:
Finally—and this may not be a popular opinion right now—a more accessible Dark Souls II might not be a bad thing. The new director's recent statements on the subject enraged fans, and understandably—no one wants Dark Souls to turn into Skyrim. But seriously, let's talk about this for a second. Imagine if you didn't have to check the Dark Souls wiki every time you wanted to upgrade an item, or if plot details were doled out through dialogue and character interactions instead of static in-game descriptions of shields and rings. As long as they retain a similar sense of wonder and sometimes desperate isolation, it can still be great. Hell, it could be even better.
Friday - December 21, 2012
Dark Souls II - First Concept Arts
VG247 offers a gallery of a dozen concept arts from the recently-revealed Dark Souls II.
Wednesday - December 19, 2012
Dark Souls II - Comments from Miyazaki
Polygon has some comments on Dark Souls II from Hidetaka Miyazaki, the previous project director, in Japan's Famitsu magazine. Dark Souls II will be set in a different region of the same world and he believes they need to protect the "core":
"If we're going to announce this as a sequel to Dark Souls then I think there's certainly a core that we need to protect," Miyazaki said. "I'm talking about how we think about the difficulty level and how you achieve things in-game; about the concepts behind the mechanics and level design. Outside of that core, though, I think it's better to leave things to the discretion of the director. There's a lot around that core that we need to fix or adjust, besides, and individual touches always tend to come out in the world setting and artwork, so I'm not meddling in that very much."
Friday - December 14, 2012
Dark Souls II - Editorials @ IGN, Joystiq
Two editorials have been penned expressing concern over changes to the formula of Dark Souls II. Let's start with IGN's 4 Reasons I'm Worried About Dark Souls 2:
1. No Miyazaki
From Software's Hidetaka Miyazaki was the director of both Demon's Souls and Dark Souls and his influence is everywhere in those games. He's an exceptionally sharp and unusual character, utterly uncompromising in his vision and fastidious about realising it. He takes an extremely active role in everything from art design to player feedback, from the intricacies of the game's mechanics to the overarching themes of death and hopelessness that permeate every tiny element of it. And he's not directing Dark Souls 2. Instead we've got Tomohiro Shibuya and Yui Tanimura, both of whom are a mystery. Shibuya's MobyGames profile shows games from Resident Evil Outbreak to Monster Hunter, but I don't know how long he's been at From.
This really concerns me. When we interviewed Miyazaki in 2011, he gave the impression that he wouldn't do another Souls game unless he knew it was breaking new ground once again. Miyazaki is apparently staying on as an advisor, but if he's no longer in charge of Dark Souls, does that mean he can't think of where to take it next? Frankly, if Miyazaki can't take Dark Souls in brave new directions, I'm a bit sceptical that anyone can. A Dark Souls rehash would definitely not be the worst thing in the world, but it also wouldn't be in the spirit of the series.
...and Joystiq's The real danger in Dark Souls 2 is not 'accessibility':
The fear, I think, is that Dark Souls 2 is moving toward appeasing mainstream audiences and losing some of what made it so special in the first place. It's a valid concern, especially considering the venue the game was announced at. But being more straight-forward is not a bad thing. Both Demon's Souls and Dark Souls, if you'll recall, featured some pretty obtuse level design (screw Blighttown, seriously). There's a middle ground that can be reached here.
What actually worries me is the fact that Dark Souls just keeps getting bigger and bigger. In noting Shibuya's comment about accessibility, Edge indirectly gave voice to those fears by suggesting that "we can surely agree that we would all like to see Dark Souls attain as great a presence as The Elder Scrolls."
Well no. Not really.
Sunday - December 09, 2012
Dark Souls II - Revealed at VGAs
Xarg sends word that Bandai Namco and From announced Dark Souls II at the VGAs. A teaser site has been launched and the PC is listed as a platform - let's hope including the PC from the start means better support. Gametrailers has the footage from the VGAs (skip to 2:20 unless you really want to listen to Jessica Alba).