Dark Souls Catch-All

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Yesterday we heard the news that Demon's Souls' spiritual successor Project Dark is actually titled Dark Souls and will be released in late 2011. Today, we have our first trailer and previews going up. So, that means it's catchall time.

From the few previews that are out there it sounds like they're basically making Demon's Souls 2 in terms of difficulty and I for one applaud that they aren't aiming for a more mainstream-palatable difficulty level. And the fact that the game is much more of an open world than the hub-style of DS, well, this might just be my perfect game in the making.

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I'm SO in.

Yargh, my last PS3 died before I got to play Demon Souls. I want to play both these games. This one looks gorgeous as well.

I'm so pumped! That trailer is fantastic. I have played through about 5 or 6 games in the past few months, and every time I have finished one, I have jumped back in to Demon's Souls for a while before moving on to a new game. I suspect this may continue until Dark Souls is released.

garion333 wrote:

From the few previews that are out there it sounds like they're basically making Demon's Souls 2 in terms of difficulty and I for one applaud that they aren't aiming for a more mainstream-palatable difficulty level. And the fact that the game is much more of an open world than the hub-style of DS, well, this might just be my perfect game in the making.

I agree. I really thought they were going to dumb the game down at least a bit to gain some more mainstream traction.

Guess that means I need to work on platinum-ing DS in the next few months huh?

Hey, awesome, multiplatform. I get to play this one.

With multiplayer, I might go with 360.

That trailer had me salivating and quaking with fear at the same time. Was that an armoured rhino I saw in there?

I already posted some of my hopes for this game on the Demons Souls thread, so I won't repeat them here. However, I did note Ahrezmendi's comments about co-op and voice chat. I for one hope they stick with the Demons Souls approach and don't allow conventional co-op and voice chat. Part of the beauty of Demons Souls was that you never quite knew how a co-op encounter would turn out. Would this Blue Phantom turn out to be awesome or ordinary? Would they have a complementary class or build, or simply duplicate what you already had? Would they understand your gestures?

Demons Souls brilliance lies in its uniqueness: a merciless single player game with co-op elements. Demons Souls 2 is what I want; Dark Souls: Army of Two is what I do not want.

EDIT: That said, I am preparing myself for a little disappointment in this regard. At the end of the day From Software is a business, and I can't see them passing up the chance of greater sales by broadening the game's appeal.

1Up has a preview - http://www.1up.com/previews/dark-sou...

Mini-bosses can now lock on and follow the player!!!!! I foresee many, many tears during the 2011 holiday season.

EDIT: According to GamesRader, the director, Hidetaka Miyazaki, says that "the difficulty has increased greatly over Demons Souls".

I'd like to add the phrase "howls of anguish" to my preceding remarks about the tears.


Squee !

I'm glad this is Dark Souls and not Dark's Souls.

360? That's great! I'm in!

I didn't much care for the hub-style world layout of the first game, so this sounds like an improvement.

LobsterMobster wrote:

I'm glad this is Dark Souls and not Dark's Souls.

I think it would have been kind of hilarious if it was Dark's Souls

Dyni wrote:
LobsterMobster wrote:

I'm glad this is Dark Souls and not Dark's Souls.

I think it would have been kind of hilarious if it was Dark's Souls :)

I had a twinge of disappointment that it wasn't Dark's Souls.

I planned on finishing DS this year, now I can look forward to playing DS after that. Great trailer, too.

Hey guys, bad news, you will die.

Interesting bits: emphasis on exploration, no world tendency, checkpoints of a sort, no more crystal geckos, but something similar.

Edit: another interesting interview here: http://blog.us.playstation.com/2011/...

I find this bit pretty interesting:

SS: How do you keep a difficult game from becoming punishing, and drive the player to quit in frustration?

HM: Good question. We can’t tell you all of our secrets, but there are a few ways we prevent users from drifting away. Number one, the difficulty is not dependent on the skill level of the user. We have not created a game where players who react faster or press buttons faster are better than others. Second, when a player dies, we try to leave a sense of “maybe if I try a different strategy I can succeed.” Things that you lose in death can be outweighed by what you gain by trying again. We try to give players lots of freedom to design their own gameplay style, and we’ve implemented enough content to enable users to continue challenging themselves and continue making progress.

One more aspect is the difficulty based on repetitiveness. We don’t want users to have to constantly carve away health from enemies. We’ve created all characters — including enemies and the player — to have high attack power but low defense. We don’t want users to hack and hack and hack away to defeat an enemy. It’s more strategic. We want users to think, “if I avoid this enemy, maybe I can overcome him.” We don’t want players to be frustrated by doing the same things over and over.

Also...

SS: Will Dark Souls have a less intimidating control scheme than Demon’s Souls?

Did many people think Demon's Souls had an intimidating control scheme? I found it to be extremely intuitive with just a small amount of practice. The short lock-on distance was the only issue that comes to mind.

Yeah, I never found the controls to be an issue. They definitely can be iterated on, but as a whole it felt good.

Demon's Souls had great controls. I'm surprised anyone would fault them.

This is a must-get, probably for the PS3, too. I think DS is going to be a PlayStation kind of game for me always.

Dyni wrote:
SS: Will Dark Souls have a less intimidating control scheme than Demon’s Souls?

Did many people think Demon's Souls had an intimidating control scheme? I found it to be extremely intuitive with just a small amount of practice. The short lock-on distance was the only issue that comes to mind.

The controls were fantastic..... once you got used to them. At first they were a colossal pain in the ass because they were different than what a lot of third person games employ.

My friend was immediately put off by the targeting system the first time he tried DS, though I saw nothing wrong with it personally. Otherwise, the control is probably the most consistent of all similar games I've played.

detroit20 wrote:

That trailer had me salivating and quaking with fear at the same time. Was that an armoured rhino I saw in there?

Haha, exactly. I kept thinking "oh sh*t, that looks tough" with each boss encounter previewed. Gonna be awesome.

@BishopRS

I even started wondering what tactics/weapons I might use to beat them... even though I have no idea what'll actually be available!

@Dyni

That interview raises a lot of issues and questions for me. I'm a little conflicted about the repetition issue. In DS1 - as I will now christen it - there was an awful lot of 'chipping away' at bosses. The dragons were a prime example of this; I think it took me more than 15 minutes to kill each of them. Granted, once in position it was a risk free battle, but it was tiresome.

However, I always understood that part of the point of DS1 was that once you had a winning strategy for any enemy or boss, then their Hit Points were irrelevant. You would always beat them eventually if you didn't make a big mistake.

I'm also conflicted about what appears to the creation of a checkpoint system. The high costs of failure was one of the subtle features that made DS unique. And having to respawn at the beginning was one of the biggest costs of all... particularly when you knew that you'd been lucky to get as far as you had (1-3, I'm looking at you).

If this isn't implmented sensitively there's a danger that levels and bosses will be overcome simply through brute force rather than observation, trial and error. After all, why bother with caution if you know that you can simply respawn at the preceding fog gate?

Finally, the question about the control scheme angered and saddened me at the same time. Over the past few years, I've noticed a trend towards 'sameness' in control schemes, driven - I suspect - by developer/publisher fears that gamers simply won't accept a different ways of controlling similar types of game... resulting in lower sales. The decision to give MAG exactly the same controls is a case in point. While I find it frustrating initially, I really enjoy learning a new 'language' for playing new games.

In any case, DS1 had two excellent tutorials: the obvious one, and then 1-1, which was a tutorial in all but name.

I hear many good things with Demon souls and now this one?
I love difficult games sometimes and having a good challenge on hand is a bonus.
May have to try this one out.

detroit20 wrote:

I'm also conflicted about what appears to the creation of a checkpoint system. The high costs of failure was one of the subtle features that made DS unique. And having to respawn at the beginning was one of the biggest costs of all... particularly when you knew that you'd been lucky to get as far as you had (1-3, I'm looking at you).

Knowing From Software, they're not putting in a checkpoint system without at least ratcheting up the difficulty substantially.

hmmm i take they will do away with shortcuts.

The first game was just too hard for me..I couldn't ever get past the first boss and having to keep clearing the same sections over and over became tiresome. Shame because I thought it was the best controlling and playing PS3 game I owned and would have loved an "ez-mode" for the sake of playing it through.

So this game being even more difficult means I won't even buy it this time around.

@TheGameGuru

It's a shame you didn't persist because DS1 is well worth the effort. Did you consult the Wiki and/or check out any tips uploaded to YouTube? You would have found either/both very helpful.

Also, there is an easy mode of sorts:

Spoiler:

Choose the Royal as your character class, and use their magic spell;
Find and equip the Thief's Ring;
Farm 1-1 mercilessly, then when you've got enough XP... go farm it mercilessly some more;
Just run pass difficult enemies where the way ahead is clear; they won't follow you once you get out of range.
Hit the 1-1 boss with loads of fire (there are fire bombs as drops and purchaseable items in the level)
Cheese the bosses who allow cheesing (Tower Knight, The Adjudicator, Flamelurker, the False King)

If you don't still have your original copy, I'd imagine used ones are pretty cheap now. It really, really is well worth another blast.

Baron Of Hell wrote:

hmmm i take they will do away with shortcuts.

That's not what was said in the GT interview video.

New interview with a bit of interesting new info up at Gamespot. The video is old, text is new.

It looks like there are no plans to make coordinated cooperative play less of a chore. I'm ok with that, but I imagine it will upset a lot of people.

HM: We're at a difficult stage to be able to really explain new features to you. So we can't tell you very much, but I guess in terms of new features, we can tell you the recovery system has changed drastically. It has changed from Demon's Souls, where you have to collect grass to recover yourself, to something a little bit different.

And the interesting aspect about this new feature is--for really hardcore players--the game will probably be a little bit more difficult. And for casual players, the game will be a little bit...not easier, but this feature will be a little more helpful and accessible.

Towards the end of my first game and in subsequent playthroughs, I was overflowing with all forms of grass. I wonder what's changing.

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