Filtering into the media spectrum a little ahead of schedule was information of a release date for Dark Souls II. The sequel to Namco Bandai and From Software’s delightfully dark role-playing game will be available in March of 2014, an announcement which came via a suitably huge banner advertisement outside the Los Angeles convention centre in the build up to E3. Here’s the promo in all of its traffic-stopping glory.
Other than a teased release window, Namco Bandai merely confirmed the advertisement to be factually correct while remaining mum on any specific date. Regardless, the fact that the artwork contains logos for Xbox 360, PS3 and PC points to Dark Souls 2 remaining a current-gen release for the foreseeable future – a fate that may in turn change during the course of E3.
What has been confirmed, however, is that Hidetaka Miyazaki – who has served as creative director on Demon Souls and Dark Souls – will step down to the role of supervisor for the forthcoming follow-up. Announced to the surprise of many gamers back in December, Dark Souls 2 is poised to push players to their limits with a familiar mix of excruciatingly difficult enemies and lack of in-game assistance. As a series, the Souls games have accumulated widespread industry recognition for their unabashed complexity and daring challenges. In fact, Dark Souls has gone on to sell over 2.5 million copies since 2011 – a rare feat for a game of its style.
Though Dark Souls 2 was initially hamstrung by claims of diluting the experience in order to make the game more accessible, From Software has since assured fans that they intend to craft a world that rewards players more often, rather than simply amping up the difficulty. Like Stockholm syndrome doused with an element of entertainment. Well, then again, it depends how you define your entertainment.
Dark Souls II will surely be an attendee at this year’s E3 event and be sure to check back next week when we’ll have more details about the pairing studios latest sinister odyssey.