Following the game’s reveal in a trailer during Spike TV’s Video Game Awards show, details about Dark Souls II have been revealed via a preview session between From Software and Edge magazine. Most notable of these details are the game’s narrative focus on “time,” as well as a marked visual enhancement over the game’s predecessors.
On narrative, new Game Director Tomohiro Shibuya commented that the “the concept of time and the existence of time” will be key to the game, but was otherwise shy about revealing much about the game’s story. He did say, generally, that the game will again focus on a cursed character seeking to remove that affliction. As in Demon’s Souls and Dark Souls, one can expect this goal to align well with the whole of the game world.
Although it is a direct sequel, Dark Souls II will not be set in Lordran, but the new world will be “key to the story” and “roughly the same size as its predecessor.”
The Edge team appeared impressed by the games visuals, which they noted to be an “athletic leap forward in terms of graphical fidelity.” The feature went on to say “There was an endearing shonkiness to the visual presentation of Demon’s Souls and Dark Souls. You never sensed photorealism was a virtue the team held in particularly high regard. Dark Souls II, by contrast, looks effortlessly ready for the next generation of consoles, on a par with the fidelity of, say, Watch_Dogs and Star Wars 1313.”
Additionally, the game’s development team, which is “substantially bigger, and has “nearly doubled the internal team focused on world creation alone,” continues to look for ways to make the game more appealing and accessible. In a statement that might frighten series fans married to previous game’s control configuration, Shibuya said that he wants to improve “action” in the game, referring to either general navigation or the combat system.
He also suggested that there will be adjustments to a handful of other aspects of the game.
“I personally feel the covenant system was something that was difficult to fully absorb and experience [in] Dark Souls,” said Shibuya. “I intend to make it more accessible to players. And that’s not just with the covenant system, but with a lot of other aspects that I felt were difficult to adapt to.”
On the possibility of vehicles in Dark Souls II, Shibuya continued, “We want to constantly think of something new that hasn’t been tried before, so that’s where that idea [of the chariot] came up. Being in a ship or boat is definitely something we are considering, but being able to control one is not in the works.”
At this time, there is no release date for Dark Souls II, which has been in development since September 2011, and is estimated to be 25% complete.