When Demon Souls came out in Japan last year, fans cried out for it to be localized and brought to the the rest of the World. The publisher listened and the game went on to be a huge success in North America and Europe. With fans desperate for a sequel to the fan favorite it was always likely there would be one, and now we have Dark Souls.
While Dark Souls isn’t a direct sequel to Demon Souls, it is the spiritual successor according to Kei Hirono, publishing producer on the game. He claimed that even though most of the major complaints regarding Demon Souls were about the difficulty of the game, they didn’t make it any easier and in fact, Dark Souks is even harder.
The team behind Dark Souls was the same team that did Demon Souls so the complaints went straight to the heart for them. They had a vested interest in making Dark Souls better than ever. They know as much as anyone else that having to replay areas multiple times is frustrating, that’s why they introduced the campfire. The character can place a campfire at any time in the game and this becomes a safe haven for them. There they can rest, replenish their health and magic, and it acts as a respawn point when they die. This is meant to alleviate some of the annoyances that come with punishing games.
One thing that I immediately noticed was that Dark Souls has more choices than Demon Souls, there are multiple ways take down an enemy, leaving combat decisions up to the player. For example, during our demo a giant armor-plated boar attacked the player and instead of just using their sword against the boar, they tricked the boar into running into a fire-filled bowl that engulfed the boar in fire.
The network features of Dark Souls take what was good from Demon Souls, and add a whole new system on top of it called Pledge. The system is meant as a way for players with the same ideals to be paired up in an alliance and work together from then on. Just as you work with those with the same beliefs, you will be competing against those with opposite beliefs.
Pair the new battle choices with over double the magic, weapons, and equipment from the first game, and Dark Souls is one great looking game.
Look out for Dark Souls when it releases on both Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 on October 4th in North America and October 7 in Europe.
You can pre-order a copy here (PS3), or here (Xbox 360).