We've been anxiously awaiting the PC port for Dark Souls 2 ever since the game was first announced, when developer From Software promised better graphics support and higher resolution textures. Those promises have been kept: we're playing the PC version, and it includes plenty of settings to make the game run perfectly—and look fantastic.
Oh Dark Souls, you perpetual tease. Namco Bandai have unleashed the Dark Souls 2 launch trailer, which makes sense, because the console release is this week. For those of us wanting to play the game on PC, its brutal delights will be hidden away until the end of next month. Hopefully we can make it through those extra weeks without devolving into maddened undead husks.
As for the trailer itself, it's also a bit of a tease. It's entirely CGI, which, on the one hand, is a bit of a strange move for a launch trailer; but on the other, means that you'll be relatively safe from spoilers.
Yesterday, we finally confirmed that the PC version of Dark Souls 2 will arrive on PC on April 25. Today, Namco Bandai revealed what you’ll need to run it. As expected for a game that runs on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, the recommended requirements shouldn't be too demanding for any gaming rig built in the past four years.
Prepare your soul for destruction: the sequel to the all-consuming Dark Souls will arrive on PC on April 25. On the one hand, praise the sun! On the other, grrr, that's six weeks after the US console launch date of March 11. Those of us hoping to plumb Dark Souls 2's depths on PC will have to hide away from videos, guides and discussion that might spoil the new world and the nefarious bosses within. I propose we form a cult, head down into Darkroot Garden and slay stone knights until Spring arrives.
To call Dark Souls hard is to sort of miss the point. It was a challenge, to be sure, but mainly because its story and systems were obtuse and coy enigmas hidden throughout the game. Dark Souls 2's co-director Yui Tanimura has never shied away from using the word "accessibility", causing some to worry that the game's obscurities would be more clearly signposted for the sequel.
In an interview with OXM, Namco Bandai producer Takeshi Miyazoe has explained how the team have translated their philosophy of accessibility into a game that doesn't ruin the game's mystery or challenge.
"This isn't about death, this is about what you learn from death," says this trailer's narrator, which is a pretty apt summation of Dark Souls' appeal. Worryingly, the attempt at a rousing call to arms somehow manages to be less effective than Sean Bean's Train Simulator advert. Still, it's full of small details designed to whip lore hunters into an intrigued, soapy lather. And for the rest of us, there's a big ol' dragon getting chopped up.
From Software's Yui Tanimura already apologized for uttering the terrible word "accessible" in describing the studio's upcoming Dark Souls 2. Just in case there was doubt, however, that the game would do anything but torture you without mercy, a new detail that has come to light recently should scare you straight: In Dark Souls 2, other players can invade your game even when you're "Hollow" (in an undead state).
Obviously this new Dark Souls 2 trailer isn't an exhaustive round-up of the everything that wants to kill you, because, well, if it was, it would include everything. The sequel to the infamously gruelling third-person action-RPG will, at least, continue the tradition of creating imaginative and spectacularly designed enemies. Hopefully it's that sense of horrible wonder and intrigue that will keep you moving forward as some many-limbed monstrosity pounds you into oblivion.
Long before the release of Dark Souls: Prepare To Die Edition, we knew that the PC port would be troubled. The developers admitted that they wouldn't be upgrading the resolution, or fixing the frame rates, or preparing the necessary wards to keep Games for Windows Live from haunting the game. Now, in an interview with Edge, Dark Souls 2 producer Takeshi Miyazoe has explained the problems facing the first game, and reassured that they won't affect the sequel.
Boosting the difficulty in a game like Dark Souls is asking for trouble. Already famous for its tough game systems and clever monsters, the RPG now has a mod that bizarrely makes enemies even more aggressive and tough.
The Dark Souls 2 Japanese beta is underway, which of course means that loads of delicious footage has snuck its way onto the internet. It's our biggest and best glimpse of the game yet, and if you want to remain purely unspoiled you definitely, definitely shouldn't watch it - even though you already have. The beta seems to comprise one area of the game, though each of the beta testers tackles it in their own way, picking from one of a variety of classes before delving in. I'm justifying watching it by telling myself that the game is months away, and it's likely to change from the state it's in now - once you've cooked up a similar lie, you can join me guilt-free after the break.
We've known since E3 that Dark Souls 2 will debut an upgraded graphics engine, but it looks like the sequel will share at least one core feature with its predecessor as we learn that the upcoming RPG will keep its Havok physics engine, according to a report at Joystiq. Responsible for collision detection and physical simulation, the system ran the memorable rag-doll corpse behavior in the first Dark Souls game.
Good news and bad: the good is that there's a new Dark Souls 2 trailer and it features lots of killing and dying and resting at bonfires. The bad is that Dark Souls 2 won't release until after the console editions, which have been confirmed for launches on March 11 and 14 in North America and Europe respectively. According to a Eurogamer report, game director Yui Tanimura hopes to release the PC edition in the same launch window.
Several new comments have surfaced today from Dark Souls 2 producer Takeshi Miyazoe on the game's idiosyncratic approach to a multiplayer RPG. Miyazoe emphasizes how DS2 isn't going to try and compete with or copy other sorts of multiplayer approaches, but rather focus on keeping player interactions fleeting and powerful, according to an interview with Shack News.
If you can't quite imagine what a sequel to Dark Souls might look like, From Software and Namco Bandai have you covered with this giant batch of DaS2 screenshots, which feature dragons, bonfires, fights with the undead, and a bleaker atmosphere than your average Danish crime drama. It's all stuff we've seen before, mainly in the E3 demo, but the images do show those scenes in a new angle - that angle being 'quite close to the ground'.
Inevitably, much of the discussion around Dark Souls 2 is going to focus on its difficulty. It's not because Dark Souls was "hard". It was, sure, but it was hard in an interesting way - punishing mistakes and lapses of attention, rather than grinding you down in a battle of attrition. So naturally, people want to know if Dark Souls 2 can pull of that same delicate balance. According to the series' new director Yui Tanimura, that's exactly what he's focused on doing.
Dark Souls 2's E3 trailer showed a game that was unmistakably Dark Souls, albeit overlayed with a hilariously inappropriate nu-metal soundtrack. What was less obvious was the enhancements made to the game's new engine. Beyond a few nicer particle effects, will it really have a dramatic difference? According to the game's co-director, Yui Tanimura: yes, it will. Of course, he would say that.
It's clear from Dark Souls 2's latest trailer that the fantasy RPG—on the surface at least—has much in common with the game that preceded it. But what can players expect when they dive into From Software's upcoming sequel? Dark Souls 2's game director Yui Tanimura addresses this question and more in a new E3 interview with Rev3games.
What better way to showcase the visual jump from your predecessor than to show a fight with a giant glittering chrome statue? Dark Souls 2 got a few minutes of stage time at the Microsoft E3 2013 press conference today, and it's looking very handsome indeed. I loved the cold loneliness of Dark Souls' strange caverns and dungeons, but mostly kept playing to see what weird new thing I'd get to fight next. the metal turtle knight at 0:14 is a nice addition, and it looks as though the reflective statue monster traps the player inside the reflection of its mirrored shield at one point. Neat.
Ah, E3. Do we love you or hate you? On one hand, that single week of June is filled with so much flashy marketing it makes our eyes ache, but on the other, we get to learn awesome new things about video games. Even now, a full week before E3, we're learning stuff. For instance: a massive banner slapped on the LA Convention Center has today confirmed the release date for masochism-simulator Dark Souls 2.