Liz Maas
More Dark Souls Details
Director Miyazaki spills a lot of beans.
02.09.11 - 1:55 AM

Last week, From Software finally renamed Project Dark, the spiritual successor to 2009's Demon's Souls, to Dark Souls. A day or two later, we got an even better look at the title, including a brand new trailer. We only had a bit of details, but in an interview with 4Gamer this week, director Hidetaka Miyazaki shared a lot more on this suddenly-anticipated new title.

While we now know that the game is not directly tied to Demon's Souls' story or universe, Miyazaki hinted that there were various reasons as to why this is not a direct sequel. Regardless, he was more than happy to make Dark Souls because it allowed him room to be creative without the limitations.

Dark Souls' world will be a seamless one, which Miyazaki says to think of as one large, full dungeon, whereas Demon's Souls was split up into stages. The map will be fully connected, although at the moment it is still being worked on. He promised a lot of variety in the map though, such as a fantasy setting, hell, not to mention dark fantasy just like its predecessor. In creating the map, they made sure to keep the player in mind in terms of view points, but they also wanted to make the map easy for players to grasp.

While Demon's Souls took about 30-40 hours to complete, Dark Souls will be even longer as Miyazaki estimates it should take about 60 hours. (You can look at this two ways: more bang for your buck, or more frustration as it's supposed to be a more difficult game. Take your pick!) The game also boasts more than 100 different enemies whereas Demon's Souls just had about 30. Weapons, magic and armor will also be increased, which are currently being worked on. As you might have seen with the vases, a new ability is turning yourself into objects. Weapons' speed and recovery times will depend on your character's stats. Players might wish to keep older weapons as they progress if they suit their playing style, so upgrades won't always be necessary. Finally, the weapon fortification system, which wasn't very popular in Demon's Souls will be making a return, and hopefully will make more sense this time around.

Miyazaki described the online play as a 'shared play' experience, and likened it to the old Dragon Quest games, where each character fought individually but you still felt you were all going through the same experience and struggles. You will slowly have an effect on other players and vice versa. Regarding the co-op and competitive modes, he simply described it as 'mutual roleplaying.' Other than details that emerged last week, there weren't too many concrete details on the online mode itself. The staff currently has no plans for downloadable content, but haven't ruled it out in the future, either.

From Software is self-publishing the title in Japan while Namco Bandai will look after its overseas release. Many of us (and you, I'm sure) have been wondering why Atlus USA didn't make a return. First, Dark Souls is going into several overseas markets, and Namco Bandai 'takes part' in the game's worldwide strategy. There won't be any Namco Bandai or From Software cameos however, save a sword called Moon Light, originally seen in King's Field and later on in Armored Core and Demon's Souls.

Aspects of Demon's Souls felt both Japanese and Western depending on who you ask. While Dark Souls wasn't designed specifically with overseas fans in mind, Miyazaki did keep a few things under consideration for them: The interface and controls, and making sure the localization work wouldn't be too difficult for Namco... as well as avoiding any cultural taboo references.

One last interesting tidbit: Quite a few names were tossed around, including Dark Ring, Dark Lord and Dark Race. The first was tossed out because Dark Ring is actually slang for anus in Britain. The last caused worry that it may come off as a racist phrase. There are, however, a Dark Ring (if a dark ring is seem emerging from your character, this means you're cursed) and a Dark Race (a cursed race) in the game.

Dark Souls will see a release sometime this year in Japan, and, well later this year overseas. Miyazaki has warned not to expect a demo, as he feels he't not very good at creating demos and the game's appeal wouldn't come across very well in such a short play time. For a look at the game, you can check out our new-as-of-last-week gallery, below.