It Looks Like Dark Souls 2 Will Be As Hard As Its Predecessors

Dark Souls II, the sequel to the notoriously difficult action RPG, Dark Souls (which was a sequel to the phonetically tongue twisting Demon's Souls) has been announced for the PS3, the Xbox 360 and the PC. One of the more shocking announcements to fans of the previous games was that director Hidetaka Miyazaki would be stepping down and handing the director's chair to Tomohiro Shibuya.

While Miyazaki will remain on board as supervisor, this has led many fans to worry if the sequel will remain at its core, true to its predecessors.

Both Miyazaki and Shibuya sat down for an interview with Japan's Weekly Famitsu to talk about Dark Souls 2. Miyazaki explained that his removal as director was a company decision, and while he did feel some sadness at the decision, he had no problems with it. As supervisor on the project, he would serve 2 functions, "First, and this is pretty much done, I'll be deciding the overall direction for Dark Souls 2." explained Miyazaki. "I'll also be informing the new team of what core mechanics should remain as a sequel to Dark Souls, as well as any problem points [in Dark Souls] that should be addressed."

As the new director for an already established popular series, Shibuya remarked that he is definitely feeling a lot of pressure. However, he has been given a lot of free space with which to develop the new game. "Dark Souls is a game with a lot of thought in the vision of its overall world, so it can be difficult at times to understand what Miyazaki is thinking — but since he's available for me to ask questions, we can put our interpretations together to help move forward." remarked Shibuya. "Miyazaki has a great deal of knowledge about fantasy, so it's quite a learning experience."

Demon's Souls and Dark Souls are notoriously unforgiving games with a rich dark atmosphere and overbearing sense of loneliness and foreboding. Addressing the concerns of fans that Dark Souls 2 might lose some of the things that made the previous games so appealing, Miyazaki assured that Dark Souls 2 would remain true to the series. "It's been announced as a sequel to Dark Souls, so there is definitely a core element that must be preserved." Miyazaki said. "The difficulty and sense of achievement, the action base, level design concept and so forth. But I feel that also means that aside from such core elements, the rest can be left to the director's discretion."

Looks like I'm still going to be getting my arse handed to me...

Dark Souls 2 currently has no release date.

衝撃発表!『DARK SOULS II(ダークソウルII)』緊急インタビューを敢行 [ファミ通.com]


    Dark Souls' selling point is its difficulty. The idea they are going to ditch that is another example of gamers throwing a hissy fit. When they [from software] suggest you make the franchise a tiny bit easier to come into as a newcomer , gamers acted all butthurt.

    Demon souls/Darks souls rewarded gamers who would put in the time and effort, it is a respected franchise because of that. It is a risky move to make a game based on difficulty, but it paid off for From Software.

      Dark Souls was not difficult (and I am no great gamer), it was boring. I am not one for quick saves, but how about check point saves or at least not resetting a the entire monster population? Fair enough some tough foes return, but the little boring ones who just waste time are so infuriating. Game design is not about monotony, it is about a fun challenge.

        If the little boring ones are so easy, how did you manage to get sent back to a checkpoint so often? If you can make it through a level without taking any damage from enemies, you should be well ready to take on the boss.

        Last edited 21/12/12 10:42 am

          They are easy. The point is the time wasting. I don't enjoy doing the same stuff again when it's NOT fun OR a challenge. And running a million miles to get back some where is not fun or skillful. If I want a memory game I will play one.

            Dark Souls was never a skill based game. Nor was it memory based game. It is a hardcore dungeon crawler where the players ability to observe the environment and enemy Ai patterns ( almost all of which can observed safely from behind a shield) is paramount. The extreme punishment that's dished out to players is just meant to heighten tension and really make them observe every inch of the environment before advancing. Some people find to be a fun challenge and some find it boring; it's just up to taste.

      Demon/Dark souls are just a buggy monster hunter clones with far less features, the difficulty half comes from lackluster programming and buggy hit boxes etc. This is probably why Japan won't stomach it and it's not very popular over there.

      Dark Souls did not reward jack, unless by reward you mean let some people who wasted tons of time gloat about their nerdiness on the internet. I can live without a real decent story, but in a game where the entire point is showing off to your peers how good you are, a full multiplayer where you can see other people's progression is key in my mind - not this buggy "ghost" mode (which really sounded more like the developer was being lazy than some innovative mode to me, esp considering how buggy it was near release.)

      Last edited 21/12/12 8:37 am

        For me, that kind of full access to others' progress would destroy the isolation that is key to the mood of the game...

        We've obviously played two different games.

        If you want to talk about bragging about nerdiness, look no further than the gamers who play obscure Japanese titles and brag about how superior to other gamers they are.

        I would be willing to bet this guy never played Dark Souls. He might say he did, but I seriously doubt it.

          I seriously doubt you have any logical reason behind thinking that. You might say you do, but I seriously doubt it.

          Last edited 25/04/13 3:58 pm

      Dark Souls is about so much more than the difficulty, as anybody who has put enough time into the game will go on for hours about the art direction, the lore, the scope of the whole game. Ninja Gaiden 2 is also a "hard game", but you don't see people get invested into that franchise like you do with Dark Souls, because the game goes so much deeper than that. Even then, the difficulty itself is not a gimmick, Dark Souls is not hard just because they've ramped up the damage on all the enemies. The game is specifically designed to give you a real path of progression and improvement for yourself, not just by levelling up the character but by becoming a better player yourself through the game.

      Despite all of this, I can agree with the idea of adding a lower difficulty setting to the game for people who find the game too difficult, (although I honestly think it would then make the game pointless, but thats just me). The reason people get so butthurt about the idea is just their fear that they are going to change what makes Dark Souls such an experience in the first place.

    Great. Can we all calm down now? Or do we still not trust the developers?

      "First, and this is pretty much done, I’ll be deciding the overall direction for Dark Souls 2.” explained Miyazaki. “I’ll also be informing the new team of what core mechanics should remain as a sequel to Dark Souls, as well as any problem points [in Dark Souls] that should be addressed.”

      This line has given me more faith than anything I've heard about DS2 so far.

    These guys know what they're doing. The internet is getting frothed up over nothing... again.

      I'm an optimist so I have a lot of faith in the new title, but I can still totally understand peoples concerns when the only information you get initially is that the director has left the project and they want it to be more "accessible".

    As much as I love the Souls series, I'm man enough to admit that the difficulty is a gimmick...And even more so a way of covering up a pissy nonsensical plot. The difficulty factor is redundant after about 20 hours of levelling and gear, so who cares? If I was in charge of this franchise and wanted to make mo'money? I would fire the writing team and hire one that could at least string a story together over the expected game length. And I'd turn down the learning curve so that new folk can get into it and not give up after a couple of hours...Then kick their asses!

      There isn't a plot. All the significant events happened before you ever arrived. There's only history for you to uncover. The only thing you might consider "plot" is what you the player chooses to do as you play, but it's nothing that's dependent on a writing team.

        There's a reason why you do the shit that you do in the game. And that isn't compelling, the lore and dialogue is badly written. A real shame because the game looks awesome, it's only let down by the why you're there!

      "As much as I love the Souls series"? Really. Sounds like you don't care too much about it all.

    For me, the Souls series' selling point was the atmosphere. I loved the uniqueness of the levels and the constant feeling of dread throughout each game.
    I played through Dark Souls without the internet (was in between ISP's at the time) and had to rely on trial and error to learn boss tactics, safe paths or what weapons worked well. Without that safety net of information, that game is terrifying. eg. Stepping down into the catacombs without a holy weapon, trudging through skeletons, only to turn around and find them all up again and running at me... /shudder
    Beating that game without any info was one of my top gratifying game moments of all time.

    I for one do not want changes made to the storytelling mechanic in Dark Souls. If they decide to dumb down the game I hope they made is as an option for beginners (easy mode?). Those that want to play the punishing Dark Souls can play as it is. Maybe make easy mode have less access to uber gears so hardcore fanbase won't complain.

    I personally don't mind the difficulty, I would just prefer a cleaner and easier to read interface and inventory set up.

    The difficulty of the game shouldn't be figuring out how my bag works :S

    Im just hoping they have learnt how to port a game to PC by the time they release this the first one was poorly ported with no options for PC and all commands you get taught at start of game given in Xbox buttons so i had to learn everything myself more annoying then anything.

    it was the excelent game mechanics that made dark souls so hard i think they will keep that element and add more to it as long as thier immagination keeps going as well as it is. they did add the calamity ring i think they will change difficulty levels this way.

    i hope they build difficuly by means of npcs not just items sort of thing

    or even npcs fighting for you or against you by revealing hidden items in purchace etc.

    or even a choice upgrade armour weapon system

    making armour/weapon choice upgrades from different black smiths to fight certain bosses or spells.

    last post or choice boss kills to get unique item or path or npc

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