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Demon's Souls Followup Officially "Dark Souls"

Famitsu has a big report on the successor to one of the most critically acclaimed titles of this generation.

The next game from Miyazaki Hidetaka and the Demon's Souls team is coming this year!

Reports from this week's Famitsu are coming in a bit in advance, and it looks like the magazine has a big exclusive this week: Dark Souls.

Dark Souls is the followup title to Demon's Souls. Namco Bandai and From Software announced the game as "Project Dark" at the Tokyo Game Show last year but did not provide much in the way of details at the time.

Amazon has posted an image of Famitsu's cover this week. The cover shows the Dark Souls name:

Supposed details from the magazine that are appearing in the usual sources for early leaks include:

  • The difficulty has been increased greatly over Demon's Souls.
  • Dark Souls shares the same themes as Demon's Souls: learning from mistakes and the joy of discovery.
  • There's no connection with Demon's Souls in terms of story or world.
  • As with Demon's Souls, the basic gameplay is based off classic RPGs -- things like character creation, obtaining weapons and items, leveling up, etc.
  • The biggest change, according to Hidetaka, is in the area of exploration. The action battle component is an important element, but on top of this, exploration of a large, seamlessly connected field is an important element. You walk to areas that you can see far off in the distance.
  • All the maps are connected, rather than having you move to each area from a shrine. This time, you head off on a journey from a large base of operations, and find smaller bases along the way as you progress further and deeper into your adventure.
  • There are far more areas with complex land formations of varying height.
  • The goal in character development is to get rid of elements that may hinder freedom of play style. This is why there's no job concept during initial character creation.
  • Weapons have a great variety of motions and special capabilities, and there are a great number of magic and item types. This will allow players to play in their own style.
  • Regarding network play, Hidetaka said that he can't share too many details, but the game will have cooperative and competitive multiplayer elements. You'll be able to call upon people to help you out when you're stuck.
  • The game will also have indirect online elements like the original -- seeing the images of other players, messages from the dead, and so-forth. The game will not have its own servers this time, though, so elements like Soul Tendency from the original will not be here.
  • There are some other online elements that will be detailed in future updates.

Dark Souls will be released in Japan in 2011. The game's overseas release on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 is being handled by Namco Bandai. Japan will get just the PlayStation 3 version, published by From itself.

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