Following the announcement of Dark Souls 2, new director Tomohiro Shibuya created some trepidation by saying he aims to make the game more approachable. In a series that has thrived on brutal difficulty and serious mettle, fans seemed afraid this would ruin its unique charm. But further comments from the interview shed more light on his intentions.
"Right in the beginning when players first pick up the game is something that I will definitely focus on," Shibuya told Edge. "To not immediately throw them into Dark Souls but provide a good introduction in terms of what the game's about and how the game should be played. Hopefully that adjustment at the very beginning of the game will help draw in players and get them addicted right away without immediately making players feel rejected [by] the game system itself."
He stopped short of sharing precise details on how to draw in players, but he did say the covenant system was "difficult to fully absorb and experience" in the prior title. "I will follow the same concept as Dark Souls, but there were a lot of hidden story elements that some players may not have caught before and I'm hoping to make some of that a little bit more clear or directly expressed to the player as well," he said.
It seems that Shibuya is talking more along the lines of clearer explanations of game systems than simplifying the challenge of the game itself. Now that Dark Souls has become a bona fide cult hit, it makes sense for From Software to attempt to expand the audience. It just had to tread lightly so it doesn't lose the fans it already has.