You have died... again. Dark Souls 2 announced

So PC is confirmed for DS2?

Glad the PC version sold well. :)

You want them to make the boss battles ‘less of a feature’? The best part of the game? The reason you cut through all of the fodder in the world? That’d be like going into monster hunter with the mindset “I hope I don’t have to fight the big scawy monster”. And since the director of the next dark souls game also worked on the monster hunter series, you can garantee that the bosses will remain just as large a ‘feature’ as they are now, if not bigger, and they will be just as tough.

Dark Souls and Monster Hunter 3: Tri have been my most enjoyable gaming experiences of the past couple of years and I’m thrilled that the guy who worked on the latter will be directing the sequel to the former. All they need to do is hire the guy who worked on dsfix and voila! their technical problems will be solved. Right? Right?

He didn’t work on Tri, and personally I’m not at all thrilled by the change in director. I’m hoping Hidetaka Miyazaki’s new role as “supervisor” is not just a title and that he does still have a key role in the development.

I liked fighting the fodder more than most of the bosses, and the exploring the world more than either.

Though technically you are correct: the boss fights in the DLC were the best part of the game.

Wait wait wait… You HAVE died?

Did you even play Dark Souls, Alan? :p

Yeah, I’ve put 70+ hours into it. Doesn’t that sound better, though? (Okay, so I was sloppy. I was so excited that they announced it that I made the post without checking the grammar.)

Yes, that’s it in a nutshell.

Bosses/one hit kills/constrained spaces + checkpoints miles away on the other side of swathes of over-familiar content… it’s weird to me that a game which has so much great and radical design can also perpetrate this basic booboo.

Was Demon Souls the same?

The only boss that I recall that had a constrained area was Capra Demon. Taurus demon had a whole bridge, and a roof top you could fight on. Every other boss that I can recall had large arenas to fight them in. And fodder had its fair share of one hit kills, or stupidly cheap shots. Fodder tended to be block, stab, block, stab all the way to the bank where you actually had to have some skill to avoid the hits from bosses. I’ve never been bothered at all by check point distances. They sure feel a lot closer than a lot of other games I play.

Either way, the game will be keeping the boss battles since the director was involved with monster hunter, and Miyazaki is still the supervisor. I imagine it’s going to keep a lot of the things that make the souls games what they are.

I haven’t played Dark Souls yet, but this is exactly the reason why I eventually stopped playing Demon’s Souls. The one that stopped me was 3-1’s boss. It wouldn’t be very much of a challenge if I could just see properly, if the game was 1st person or something. But it’s so hard to keep track of the boss with the third person camera while also trying to make sure I stay out of the line of fire in a constrained space, behind pillars. I enjoyed the game up to that point, but eventually stopped when I realized I was just trying to move forward because of some e-peen sense of pride, not because I was having any fun. When I looked back at the previous bosses that I’d defeated, I realized that I hadn’t really enjoyed any of them. The one thing going for them is the overwhelming sense of “how the hell am I supposed to beat THAT?”, which is kinda cool. But then the answer to that question is usually “I’ll peck it to death from afar in a cheesy way”, which is not exactly a satisfying answer.

As far as I can see the only involvement the new director had with Monster Hunter was as the lead of an external visual effects studio named DAG that did some unspecified art and/or CG work for Monster Hunter 1 and the enhanced PSP port of the sequel. They are a company that seems to do contract based art/modelling/cgi work for games and movies.

But yes, bosses are undoubtedly going to be a big part of the game.

Yeah F that guy. No more pokey arenas please.

I agree, those fights suck, but considering there was only one in all of dark souls I’ve got some faith they might steer away from it. Really though the is trivial once you nail dodging and you’ve gotten rid of the dogs (which is easily accomplished by leading them up the stairs and onto the ledge beside the staircase).

BAD news, VERY bad news:

Dark Souls 2 is not being made by the same game designer that made Demon’s Souls and Dark Souls.

Already known news, but Miyazaki is still in a supervisory position.

Maybe the new developer will add a HUD and radar.

Oh my gawd!

Watched the trailer, voice over and music feels very different than Dark Souls/Demon’s Souls. More like Dragon Age or something.

Indeed. I don’t think there’s cause for concern. He’s simply handing over primary responsibilities. The next copy of EDGE (out Dec 20th) will have a full feature on it.

Speaking of which…

An eternal battle rages at the heart of Dark Souls II. On one side stands the stern force of challenge, the very soul of the Souls series. It has inspired thousands of fans to hack their way through two of the most demanding and rewarding games of an era, fans who expect at least the same test on the next go around. On the other side is the bright promise of accessibility. And why not? Why shouldn’t FromSoftware and Namco Bandai open Souls up to a wider audience when it could otherwise be in danger of becoming stuck in a cult cul-de-sac?

There are many, after all, who have been put off by the series’ habit of obscuring its best assets from all but the most committed. Entire systems, such as Dark Souls’ covenants and Demon’s Souls’ World Tendency, remain mysteries to even reasonably experienced players – wouldn’t it be a service to the games to help everyone understand them better? On the other hand, isn’t the very nature of the Souls series about obfuscation and what it makes you work for? Aren’t its greatest pleasures about the slow crawl of discovery in a world that refuses easy interpretation? What would the series lose if it was made more explicit?

As we find out in issue 249, the answers to these questions are in the hands of game directors new to the Souls series, Tomohiro Shibuya and Yui Tanimura, who have taken the reins from Hidetaka Miyazaki. Their descriptions of how they intend to mould Dark Souls II into a more approachable form seem reasonable. But Shibuya admits that their approach will be influenced by their individual characters. “I personally am the sort of person who likes to be more direct than subtle,” he tells us. “[Dark Souls II] will be more straightforward and more understandable.” We sympathise if that sort of statement concerns you, but at the same time, we can surely agree that we would all like to see Dark Souls attain as great a presence as The Elder Scrolls. How it gets there is a worthy matter for debate, but it’s certainly a noble task.