Ever since the EDGE article in which the website revealed that the new Dark Souls II directors wanted to make the game more “accessible and understandable” surfaced, Dark Souls fans have been rallying against the very idea, arguing that an easier difficulty setting would turn the game on its head. But exactly what directors Tomohiro Shibuya and Yui Tanimura were planning with the title hasn’t been very clear, until now.
The interview with the From Software team in EDGE magazine was released yesterday, and the 12-page question-and-answer details a lot more information about Dark Souls II and the current state and future of the game. You can check out some low-quality scans of the interview in the slideshow above.
One of the most alarming pieces of the feature is that previous director, Hidateki Miyazaki, is no longer a director, nor a producer, but a supervisor; simply available for consult and to check up on the game every now and again. He has, however, been pushing the team to release things in a timely manner, as well as made the suggestion to continue the server-based gameplay for this installment.
Replacing Miyazaki with the two “Another Century’s Episode” series directors was apparently a company decision, both by From and Namco Bandai in an attempt to keep the game fresh. Miyazaki stated that though he is not involved with the development of the Dark Souls sequel, he is working on a different game, but wouldn’t disclose if it was a new IP or a continuation of another game.
Now for the meaty part of the interview: gameplay and “accessibility.” Dark Souls II will be a direct sequel to its predecessor, but will not be set in Lordran. From wouldn’t reveal the name of the world, as it is the key to the story, but mentioned that it would be open and about the same size as that of Dark Souls, and filled with more content. Shibuya then got into the initial gameplay for Dark Souls II, stating that they would be “limiting players’ options for the early portion of the game, making it simpler to understand new concepts. Then, after a certain amount of time has elapsed, they will suddenly experience the true Dark Souls experience.”
It sounds like they will add something of a tutorial for the less experienced players, so that they can get used to the gameplay. They restate that they want to make some components of the game clearer, such as the Covenant system and other gameplay elements, and will take the direction of the story in a less subtle direction. Shibuya does guarantee that there will be elements that are hidden and easily missed, so the game will retain some of its mystery.
The director also confirms a type of morality system in the game, but doesn’t get too specific about that aspect. The interview also details some of the character designs, environments, and a couple of new enemies. The team states that they are about 25% done with this game that is twice as large as its predecessor after development for over a year, meaning development will most likely continue beyond 2013.
EDGE was given a 10-minute playthrough of the current state of Dark Souls II, and the magazine claims that the graphics are significantly improved this time around, comparing it to that of games like Star Wars 1313 and Watch Dogs.
There’s still no telling how far the directors are willing to go to input change into the game, but most of the details outlined in the interview seem promising. The concept of creating an easier environment for less skilled players, however, is an entirely different beast altogether.
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