The latest issue of Edge Magazine has the first preview of Namco Bandai and From Software’s recently announced Dark Souls II. The magazine staff saw a 10-minute playthrough of the game, which it describes as on par with Watch Dogs and Star Wars 1313 in terms of graphics.
Tomohiro Shibuya and Yui Tanimura, who have previously directed the Another Century’s Episode series, will replace Hidetaka Miyazaki as the sequel’s new directors—a decision made by both From Software and Namco Bandai to help move the series in a new direction.
“For the IP to evolve and provide a new experience within the Dark Souls world the new wind from directors Shibuya and Tanimura is key to providing players with a brand new Dark Souls experience,” reads the mag. “In order to maintain expectations and satisfaction and the rewards players experience this was the time to bring in new characteristics and tastes of the directors for the series to continue evolving.”
Miyazaki will still serve as a supervisor, but won’t be making any development decisions. He only reinforced the team’s commitment to releasing things on time, and suggested the revival of Demon’s Souls‘ server-based gameplay. He is currently keeping busy as director of a new project, which he can’t talk much about.
Dark Souls II will be a direct sequel to the first game, and have an open world about the same size, but with denser content. It is not set in Lodran, but the world’s name is key to the story, and will be revealed at a later point.
Shibuya said he wants to make elements such as the Covenant system clearer and more accessible, and the story and messages less subtle. He believes his experience on previous games will help enhance the game’s action. He also promises to include “hidden” elements in the world and story.
A fat, grotesque creature was shown. Shibuya said this is the result of a fusion between monsters by a mad scientist-like character in the game. A Nazgul-like black rider was also shown. He serves as an the executioner of evildoers. Shibuya confirmed the game will include some sort of Morality system.
Dark Souls II is currently 25 percent complete, and might not make a 2013 release. Development began in September last year, and boasts a team substantially larger than that of the first game. Internal staff for world creation has almost doubled.