At the last Tokyo Game Show, From Software revealed their next game, tentatively titled Project Dark. As the spiritual successor to their last big hit Demon’s Souls (which was the spiritual successor to King’s Field), it should come as no surprise that the game is now officially titled as Dark Souls. The game will have familiar aspects from Demon’s Souls’ characteristic co-op and versus online play, as you can feel the “gentle presence” of others playing the game and leave behind messages. Instead of a set of classes to choose at the beginning, players will be able to develop their own characters, utilizing an even wider selection of equipment and magic. Also gone is the concept of a central hub connecting the various levels, as this time they will all be seamlessly connected; when you step out of a cave and see a castle in the distance, you’ll eventually be able to get inside the walls and see what’s hidden within. The one thing definitely carrying over from Demon’s Souls is the grueling difficulty and immensely satisfying sense of achievement through learning from your mistakes.
I burned lots of hours on an imported version of Demon’s Souls before it came out in the states, and I’m embarrassed to say I still haven’t finished the game. Looks like I’ll have some grinding to do. Dark Souls comes out later this year on PlayStation 3 in Japan, with Namco Bandai publishing the game in the west for both PS3 and Xbox 360.