Dark Souls 2 was officially announced last night at the Spike Videogame Awards, but our friends over at the Edge magazine hive-mind have already been to see it. Indeed, it's on the cover of their next issue, out on December 20th.
According to the data readouts from the Edge Seeker Drone dispatched to assess progress on the sequel, a good deal of creative control has passed into the hands of new directors Tomohiro Shibuya and Yui Tanimura, while Hidetaka Miyazaki ascends to a higher plane of management. How this will change the series direction is a big question - already the sequel would have to deal with conflicting pressures: the need to replicate the potency of Dark Souls' challenge and the need to make itself more accessible.
Accessible doesn't mean easy, necessarily - but arguably more could be done to prevent massive game systems, like Dark Souls' Covenants, from going entirely unnoticed by the majority of players. At the same time, part of Dark Souls' allure was its cryptic, resistant mythology, unpicked only after many hours of play.
Will that elusive quality be consigned to history? Shibuya: "I personally am the sort of person who likes to be more direct than subtle," he tells us. "[Dark Souls II] will be more straightforward and more understandable."
Meanwhile, Carlson Choi, Vice President of Marketing for Namco Bandai, said, "From Software is going to take a very dark path with Dark Souls II; players will need to look deep within themselves to see if they have the intestinal fortitude to embark on this journey."
Did he just threaten us with a colonoscopy?
Anyway here's Edge's cover to whet your appetite.