Developed by From Software, Dark Souls is the spiritual sequel to the Playstation exclusive Demon's Souls, an action rpg experience that surprised by not only gaining critical acclaim, but obtaining publishing in 3 regions and racking estimated sales of over 1 million units. The original game's appeal lay with its renowned difficulty and trial-and-error approach, one that Dark Souls promises to sustain, thus attracting Demon's Souls' fanbase.
Design and Gameplay
High degree of difficulty.
The objective is to give players a challenge that is rewarding when met.
Difficulty as something anyone can overcome through observation, strategy and choice
Aiming to provide freedom for the player character
Demon's Souls "learn from your mistakes" theme remains the base for the game.
Implementation of a seamless map, that was not realized in Demon's Souls
The analogy for the game is: "Something spicy, but that anyone can enjoy"
Players will die repeatedly, From Software bets its pride on it.
High strength, dexterity.
High HP, solid armor.
Not easily toppled.
High critical hits.
Has Master Key.
Wields heavy battle axe.
Can handle close range
but vulnerable to magic.
Sorcerer of Vinheim
Casts soul sorceries.
Great Swamp pyromancer.
Casts fire spells
and wields a hand axe.
Cleric on pilgrimage.
Wields a mace
and casts healing miracles.
Only armed with club
and old plank shield.
The game revolves around the appearance of the Undead, that will gradually ruin this world.
The game world of medieval fantasy is represented in three main themes: "King & Knight", "Death and the Abyss," "Flame of Chaos"
Exploration of the world will be vital and, thanks to a seamless map, accessible by simply walking.
No maps in hand, the player will have to rely on descriptions and observation.
The game will feature complex environments, with tricks, traps and significant height differences.
Bonfires scattered throughout the world will serve as starting points/checkpoints and as oases for recovery.
The player will be able to rest by the bonfire to replenish Est and spells, but doing so will also respawn normal enemies throughout the world.
Extinguished bonfires must be lit (touched) to serve as a checkpoint.
Bonfires can also be strengthened, by offering up some of the player's humanity, which will increase the number of Esflasks and spells equipped.
Humanity is a new concept, and is represented by a small flame in the top left corner of the HUD. Its mechanics is not discussed in detail yet.
Humanity can be increased by killing Evil Spirits (invading players), or by invading and killing a player in another world.
Humanity is decreased upon death, with one chance to retrieve it, if the player can reach the bloodstain where death occured.
Dying without possessing humanity will result in the message 'You Hollowed' being displayed, instead of the usual 'You Died'.
The game will feature different motions and traits for weapons, as well as a great variety of magic and items, encouraging the player to find their own and unique playstyle.
The motion will affect the speed and rest of each blow, based on parameters such as the player's strength and ability.
Tactics such as bypass armor should also be parameter-dependent.
One of the spells players will be able to cast will transform themselves into iron form which mitigates much more damage, with the drawback of decreased movement speed.
The Iron Knight is a powerful NPC, whom players will be able to summon at certain points.
The expected playtime is 1.5 or 2 times that of Demon's Souls, with a significant increase in magic and items.
Whilst Demon's Souls had 40 types of enemies, Dark Souls will include close to 100 of them. Enemies will be able to chase players up stairs and ladders, but can be kicked down.
Story will not impose itself upon the player, but it is present. The game world is fragmented, but opportunities for deeper story information are available to players who search.
Sources: Dark souls wiki
Giant bomb (dark souls page)