In a huge surprise at last night’s 10th annual Spike Video game Awards, it was revealed that Dark Souls 2 is on the horizon. The announcement came by way of CGI trailer giving a VERY brief glimpse at the world and scenario of the next Dark Souls.
Let’s take a look at some of the elements of the announcement trailer*:
- The sole line of dialogue is spoken by a disembodied narrator. He says, “You are of the undead. Forever without hope. Forever without light.” From that, it’s fairly obvious the basic idea of the previous game remains, meaning we’ll be taking control of another deceased Knight, presumably on some quest to save the realm and/or prevent going hollow.
- The Knight seems fairly distraught (he must not have played the original Dark Souls). It certainly conveys a sense of gloom and despair, which is exactly what I want from a Souls game. But it also makes me wonder if the player-character will have more emotional depth this time around…
- The Knight is seen interacting with a cloaked female character atop a cliff, over looking an ominous castle. She hands him a feather, and the entire interaction seems rather weighty and emotional. Perhaps the story of Dark Souls 2 will be a deeper and more personal tale of woe and misery?
- Forests, dungeons, snowy mountain tops, and bursting volcanoes all make an appearance. They all have a slightly different look and feel to them than the original Dark Souls, leading me to believe this may take place in another part of the Dark Souls world besides Lordran. There’s a more ancient and primal feel to some of the areas shown in the trailer, but it’s probably just due to the pre-rendered nature of the video. The in-game environments may be entirely different.
- There are strange, masked assassins/warriors. Their masks are peculiar — all white with a tear drop dripping from one eye. The rest of their garb looks like dark crimson, and they all attack (and kill) the Knight. I’m very interested in who these mysterious attackers are, and what story implications they will present.
- There’s also a one-eyed dragon which seems to keep cropping up, until the Knight finally faces off against the beast in the final moment of the trailer… wherein he is of course incinerated by the monster’s flames. Dark Souls had plenty of deadly enemies and bosses, but the sinister permanence of both the dragon and the masked assassins makes me wonder yet again if there will be a more present narrative in Dark Souls than what was found in Dark Souls.
- That enormous, ominous castle seems to be some sort of goal for the Knight, and seems to be strongly hinted at being a bad place to hang out around.
- Finally, the Knight (who, I should point out is not wearing any armor or using any weapons found in the previous game) dies a few times in the trailer; not surprising at all, really. But what is surprising is a lack of bonfires shown in the trailer. You’d assume that what may be the single most iconic element of Dark Souls would make an appearance here. It may be nothing, and they may have done it to avoid giving anything away during the announcement trailer, but it could also mean bonfires may not be present in Dark Souls II. Perhaps that feather has something to do with it…
Anyway, yeah; Dark Soul II! As previously mentioned, the game will be coming the PC/360/PS3 (hopefully meaning better PC optimization) but no clear release date is known. My guess? Fall 2013. There’s a pretty sweet article up on Forbes with some great quotes from FromSoftware’s development team and lead designers. Suffice it to say, they aren’t pulling any punches with the gameplay. I gotta say though, as much as I’m excited to get a new Souls adventure, can you imagine if that was gameplay being shown? I almost wish the game was a next-gen title to accompany the new consoles, because I would love for the next Dark Souls to look like that. But hey, beggars can’t be choosers, amirite?
I’m gonna go watch the trailer again.
*I cannot find the trailer in full HD; when I do, this post will be updated.