Behind the scenes with From Software, makers of “Dark Souls”

Here’s a new video with the people at From Software, the Japanese developers of the upcoming Dark Souls and Armored Core V.

Dark Souls is being billed as a spiritual successor to Demon’s Souls, a favorite of many PlayStation 3 owners and RPG fans who seemingly can’t stop referring to its difficulty. Namco Bandai is banking on that reputation as a selling point, even making preparetodie.com the URL for the game’s website.

Dark Souls’ release date is scheduled for Oct. 4 for PlayStation 3 and XBox 360.

Developers Feel PSN Downtime Crunch

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Computer and Videogames has a story in which they spoke to the producer of the upcoming action RPG, Dark Souls. Kei Horono admitted that “I would be lying if I said the problems
with PSN hadn’t caused us some problems, but we are in
contact with Sony and are aiming to meet a street date of October 11.”

The team at From Software who are developing Dark Souls had hinted at a larger online component than they the one used to great success in its predecessor, Demon’s Souls.

Andriasang posted the translated points of an interview from Japanese gaming site, 4Gamer, with the director of Dark Souls, Hidetaka Miyazaki, where he stated that he wanted to bring back the feeling of “the old Dragon Quest” games. In that way, he hopes that it will deliver the sense of where everyone feels the struggle of everyone else by sharing tips as they did in the old days. PS3 players saw a taste of this with Demon’s Souls where they could actually leave simple hints – or deceptions – behind that the servers shared with everyone else in the form of text messages.

With PSN down, however, none of that is coming through making the world of Demon’s Souls even more grim than it already is. The difficulties that Kei Horono admitted to above also emphasize the troubles that other developers may be having with PSN’s forced downtime -  especially for those working on PS3 titles with online features.

IGN had posted a story last month in the early days of the outage speaking to one such developer that was directly affected, Open Emotion Studios. The Irish developer was set to release their puzzler, Mad Blocker Alpha, on PSN for the States on April 19th but as everyone knows, circumstances prevented anything PSN related from happening the next day when Sony took it offline. Paddy Murphy, CEO for Open Emotion, said that they have been in contact with Sony who promised extra marketing to help promote their game to help “recoup our potential losses”.

But the days of exclusivity continue to wane with more games appearing on both the Xbox 360 and PS3. Dark Souls will be the first taste of From Software’s unique punishment that Xbox 360 players may have missed if they didn’t have access to a PS3 and a copy of Demon’s Souls. Even with PSN down, continuing development with Live is likely providing valuable lessons useful for whatever networking tricks will be worked into the gameplay for both versions. This may be why Kei Horono seems confident in hitting that October 11th release date.

And why players will have another reason to be afraid of Halloween.

Namco Bandai announces “Dark Souls”

Namco Bandai Games announced today that “Dark Souls,” a “spiritual successor” to popular RPG “Demon’s Souls,” will be released in October for North American and European players.

The original Demon’s Souls, released in 2009, came out as a PlayStation 3 exclusive and earned a reputation for being really, really hard. Tech-Out reviewer Reggie Carolipio wrote:

Demon’s Souls isn’t for the impatient. It’s not for people that don’t
want to feel as if they’re inches away from success only to have it
often taken away from them at the last second, pushing them even harder
if they haven’t broken their controller yet. But it’s not so hard so as
to be a masked attempt at humiliating its players. In some ways, it
shares a lot in common with an old-school 2D title on the NES, right
down to the respawning enemies.

Demon’s Souls’ hardcore attitude refuses to coddle you. Death is as
much a part of the festivities as is dispatching the shambling, soulless
things that stand in your way. Its deep character development and
crafting system, open world hub, provide enough glimmers of hope to
string players along and its gothic aesthetics brilliantly stain its
fantasy world with plenty of Prozac inducing gloom while leaving you
crying at the same time for rolling off of the edge of a cliff while
dodging an enemy.

Namco Bandai apparently wants players to expect Dark Souls to be as to tough as the 2009 title. The URL for the game’s website is www.preparetodie.com.

The forthcoming Dark Souls will be released for XBox 360 as well as PlayStation 3, Namco Bandai reported today.

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Dark Souls is scheming of new ways to hurt you

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Demon’s Souls on the PS3 was a surprise hit to Atlus, who imported and localized the game for the States, and to Japanese developer, From Software.

It was tough, unforgiving, harsh in its execution of the challenges it threw at players, but rewarding to those that took the time to learn its systems and eventually take the fight back to the enemy. It was an action RPG that didn’t handhold you as much as it killed you – though dying was a big part of the gameplay anyway.

Now we have Dark Souls on its way – which is basically Demon’s Souls with a few tweaks, though it’s really a “spiritual successor”. Sony owns the name to Demon’s Souls, and with Namco Bandai publishing this one instead, well, you know how things go. But even the creators are distancing this game from Demon’s Souls and it sounds as if they have plenty of reasons to. New story, tweaked mechanics, a “base” type approach to advancing through each area, and tougher difficulty.

Wait, tougher? That’s what Hidetaka Miyazaki, director for the game, has come out to confirm in an interview on Sony’s blog. I loved the first game and the tougher challenge has piqued my curiosity to see just how it plays out. Looking at this trailer, it certainly isn’t pulling any punches. Not that fans would want it to.

Dark Souls is expected to humble dungeon crawlers sometime this year.