Dark Souls 2: what's new, what's not

At first glance, it might not seem like Dark Souls 2 is very different from its predecessor. It's still dark, dreary, and full of death. Still, sequels are meant to be bigger and badder, a point that that developer From Software tried to emphasize.

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At first glance, it might not seem like Dark Souls 2 is very different from its predecessor. It's still dark, dreary, and full of death. Still, sequels are meant to be bigger and badder, a point that that developer From Software tried to emphasize, all whilst staying true to the original game.

Yui Tanimura, the game's new director, talked up the sequel's new graphics engine, for example. A lot of attention went into the lighting, it seems, with dynamic light sources becoming even more vital to gameplay. There are areas of total blackness, which can only be illuminating when carrying a lit torch.

The levels also feature a three-dimensionality that hasn't been seen in previous games. For example, in one part of the demo, the player looked down from a walkway, seeing a group of fire-breathing dragons collecting in the passage way below. In an outdoor area, the player had to walk across a rickety bridge, whilst fending off flying beasts, circling above.

But there's a lot that hasn't been changed. Although Tanimura was quoted as saying he'd like to make the game more "understandable," it doesn't mean he'll do it in a hand-holding way. "I doubt we'll create more tutorials," he said. "I personally like Nintendo titles which give you a good sense of learning as you play the game."

If there's one "concession" to make the game easier, it's his increased "flexibility" in the amount of items he gives players. Whereas you could only hold two items in each hand in the previous game, you'll be able to hold three items in the sequel. But it's "still being discussed and thought about," Tanimura advised. He also said that the relationship between HP and Stamina will be "revisited" to "enhance the experience," but wouldn't elaborate on how. Finally, the relationship between weight and movement and speed will be "maintained," with Tanimura pointing out that it was "faster than it should be for the sake of the demo."

Tanimura also backtracked on his comments that the story would be "more clear," saying that he plans on "continuing how it was told in Dark Souls."

I couldn't help but wonder if Dark Souls 2 would take advantage of one of the more fascinating features of From's first Souls game. When asked about the return of world tendencies a la Demon's Souls, Tanimura told us that DS2 returns to the server-based multiplayer of Demon's Souls, but that "we're not going to mimic Demon's Souls." The covenants system will also return, but once again, it may "not necessarily be the same" as in Dark Souls.

One thing that's definitely not going to change: the platforms Dark Souls 2 will release on. Although PC will get a proper version at launch this time around, From Software has no interest in working on a Wii U version of the game. Tanimura said that "it's more of a business decision," but the lack of yet another high-profile game for Nintendo's console should prove to be a bit disappointing.

From The Chatty
  • reply
    April 11, 2013 10:00 AM

    Andrew Yoon posted a new article, Dark Souls 2: what's new, what's not.

    At first glance, it might not seem like Dark Souls 2 is very different from its predecessor. It's still dark, dreary, and full of death. Still, sequels are meant to be bigger and badder, a point that that developer From Software tried to emphasize.

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      April 11, 2013 10:05 AM

      The levels also feature a three-dimensionality that hasn't been seen in previous games.

      Someone forgot about Sen's Fortress? Blighttown? Oolacile Township and Chasm of the Abyss?

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        April 11, 2013 10:31 AM

        Yea that statement seems blatantly false. One of the things that's so cool about Dark Souls IS how three-dimensional it is and how well the world flows together.

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          April 11, 2013 10:32 AM

          i love looking way up or down and seeing places i've been or will visit. it's one giant three-dimensional world with tons of distinct areas.

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        April 11, 2013 10:41 AM

        aka "oh look a place where i might survive the fall damage and then definitely get my shit blasted inwards immediately after exploding my kneecaps off"
        see also:
        toxic demon blender pit in lost izalith
        the maze of tombs before pinwheel
        ~~~~THE GREAT HOLLOW~~~~

        i get the feeling he meant something other than what he said and chose poor words to convey the idea.

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          April 11, 2013 10:43 AM

          speaking of that, is there any way to avoid fall damage when dropping down into nito's chamber? i lose like 40% every time and i can't seem to find any other way down.

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            April 11, 2013 10:46 AM

            the feather fall sorcery or whatever it's called. reduces all fall damage to 0 unless it would have otherwise been a fatal fall. then you just die anyways.

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            April 11, 2013 10:54 AM

            There's a miracle you can cast that reduces fall damage.

            Its pretty good, I think ive used it to get to the chest at the bottom of that one chamber in Blighttown.

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            April 11, 2013 11:40 AM

            You can eliminate it with Fall Control (Sorcery, bought from Dusk, 14 INT required)

            You can mitigate /any/ fall damage if you roll the instant you hit. You take less damage from falls when you roll.

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              April 11, 2013 12:57 PM

              I didn't know you could roll on impact! And I've played the game for a hundred hours. Still learning.

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                April 11, 2013 12:59 PM

                I just recently learned that you can roll of a ledge and do a plunging attack after the roll. This gives you a lot more range for hitting stuff with plunging attacks.

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                April 11, 2013 2:22 PM

                I discovered it on accident. It doesn't really reduce damage from what I've seen, but it does let you recover more quickly.

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      April 11, 2013 10:29 AM

      Finally, the relationship between weight and movement and speed will be "maintained," with Tanimura pointing out that it was "faster than it should be for the sake of the demo."

      Sweet. I know DCraddock was wondering about that.

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        April 11, 2013 10:33 AM

        To add a further level of realism, users of heavy weapons such as a broadsword or mace may eventually suffer from ailments such as tendonitis and rotator cuff injuries.

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      April 11, 2013 11:18 AM

      Is there any talk of next gen with this game? Or is this going to one of those swan song titles?

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        April 11, 2013 12:19 PM

        They've only confirmed it for current gen. But I'd be surprised if they didn't re-release it for PS4/720 later on. Especially since their community has already proven that many will be willing to buy multiple copies of this game.

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        April 11, 2013 12:23 PM

        Sounds like just the current gen platforms with the exception of Wii U. I bet they do next gen release as well but announce that later.

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          April 11, 2013 1:15 PM

          It's a shame that it won't be on the Wii U. They could add a whole new difficulty element with motion control :P.

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            April 11, 2013 2:10 PM

            Sounds like it just doesn't make business sense

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      April 11, 2013 1:20 PM

      I'm so glad these games have taken off the way they have. Gaming was getting pretty stale for me. Here's hoping that publishers will agree to fund more games that aren't afraid to (fairly) kick your ass.

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        April 12, 2013 8:08 AM

        I see your point and I agree, but I cant say that just because most gamers are masochist, doesn't mean that they are not true hobbyist?
        I've read your argument in most sites and after reading all the answers and such I think it boils down to preference.

        I'm glad this niche game has found its audience. I just wish more games did also.

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      April 11, 2013 10:15 PM

      "I personally like Nintendo titles which give you a good sense of learning as you play the game."

      Somebody hasn't played Skyward Sword...

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