Demon's Souls was a game that took great pleasure in breaking both the minds and spirits of its players, so it's only natural that From Software's newly revealed sequel, Dark Souls, would carry on in its proud, punishing footsteps.
Today, Andriasang posted translated tidbits from a Dark Souls preview in an upcoming issue of the Japanese game-mag, Famitsu, revealing that, “the difficulty has been increased greatly over Demon's Souls'” and that the spiritual successor formerly known as 'Project Dark' would be hitting Japan as soon as this year.
The preview also revealed that Dark Souls will retain the overall look and feel of the original, but take place in a completely new time and place. Other changes include the removal of job systems and a renewed focus on exploration and player customization. According to the game's director, Hidetaka Miyazaki, Dark Souls will shed the shrine hub layout from Demon's Souls for a much more open experience wherein gamers will travel over large distances of land and be able to see the next town or important landmark in the distance.
Dishing on the game's online component, Hidetaka also revealed that the game will carry over the supportive and competitive multiplayer features from the first, but that it will not receive server support, thereby eliminating features like Soul Tendency.
Overall, Andriasang's interpretations of Famitsu's preview point to a great many improvements on the Demon's Souls formula and, more importantly, that the sequel will not be backing down on the balls-out difficulty level that made the original both hated and loved in equal measures.
Dark Souls will be released in Japan this year, with later releases out west for both the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 to be handled by Namco Bandai.
Feb 1, 2011