Prepare to Die: Dark Souls to last for “many years”

Thursday, 29th September 2011 14:39 GMT By Johnny Cullen

Ahead of its launch next week in the west, publisher Namco Bandai has come out with some big words for those expecting Dark Souls to be an easier ride than its predecessor. Protip: it isn’t.

Dark Souls

The spiritual successor to hard-as-balls RPG Demon’s Souls.

Debuted at Tokyo Game Show 2010 as Project Dark.

The game was published by From Software in Japan as a PS3 exclusive, but will release in the west from Namco on both PS3 and 360.

It launches in the US on Tuesday and next Friday in the UK and Europe.

Namco Bandai UK marketing director Lee Kirton has told VG247 that the RPG, made by From Software, won’t let up in its difficulty, but promises it will be rewarding in the long run for those who stick with it.

“In the end the game is tough. But it’s also quite cheeky and rewarding,” he told us this morning. “You need to learn how it works and think about each situation. I know many mainstream action games that are the same.

“Take Deus Ex: Human Revolution, which I’ve been playing a lot. It’s got old school mechanics whilst delivering lots of what makes a great FPS, stealth, and yet throws some genuinely challenging moments at you which can frustrate yet deliver such joy.

“Dark Souls has some classic gaming moments and also it’s never the same experience. I think that this is a game that everyone should try. It is incredibly rewarding and we’ve kept a lid on a lot of story and gameplay. One of the most rewarding video game experiences ever made, I’d say.”

The game released last week in Japan and went straight to the top of the charts, doing better in its first week than Demon’s Souls did in its first ten months on sale in the country.

It’s also been getting some good early western scores, taking a 9/10 from gamesTM and a 5/5 from 360 Magazine. Kirton is hopeful of big success and a high Meta average.

“We have always been very positive about Dark Souls, its development, its studio, and the fact that it one of this year’s best and toughest videogame experiences,” he said.

“I think that this is a game that everyone should try. It is incredibly rewarding and we’ve kept a lid on a lot of story and gameplay. One of the most rewarding video game experiences ever made, I’d say.”

“Our pre-orders have been really positive and we have been pushing the title heavily to all the communities and reaching out to fans of games such as Skyrim and general action games. It’s a proper video game that doesn’t hold your hand. We are really hoping that word of mouth helps in Dark Souls’ success as well.”

He continued: “GamesTM arrived today with an incredible cover, wallet and a superb feature on From Software and a superb 9/10 cover. They said it’s ‘nothing short of extraordinary,’ and 360 magazine has given the game a 5/5. This is the first Xbox 360 review score I’ve picked up on. I think the MetaCritic will be very high on this beauty.”

From Software had said back in February it wasn’t planning any DLC for Dark Souls, but when asked about why it felt DLC wasn’t a fit for the game, Kirton stayed mum.

“I can’t comment on the DLC side of things because sometimes things change,” he said.

“The focus has been making a rewarding, huge experience which is unlike any other game. It’s a massive game which has huge replayablity and unique online features that will keep people playing it for many years. It’s worth its purchase price in content, I can tell you that.”

From Software had previously said that western publisher Namco Bandai – From’s doing the duties in Japan – had kept a hands-off approach with Dark Souls. That was just from a developer’s standpoint, though: what about the publisher?

“Namco has left the experts to do what they do best,” said Kirton. “We have supported the franchise as a business and worked closely with them on creative, art, and promotions.They are incredibly talented at making games, and especially a game like Dark Souls.

“They have delivered something unique and we have supported them by bringing Demon’s Souls to Europe and also making Dark Souls a bigger experience.”

The recent All Saints’ Day trailer.

With Dark Souls coming next week, there will be players making the transition from Demon’s Souls, but could there be problems making the switch? Either way, Kirton was keen to point this out: “It’s not the same game!”

Got it?

“It’s the spiritual successor to Demon’s Souls. It’s much bigger, has lots of new features, online modes, many different character classes, customisation, new richer visuals, open world, more bosses, more weapons, armours, items and spells,” he continued.

“It has a lot of other stuff that we’ve kept quiet about as well. Fans of Demon’s Souls are excited about Dark Souls as it’s another new challenge. I would go as far to say that some are really excited. I just hope they’re ready.

“We also wanted to create a ‘day one edition’ of the game which allows all fans who pre-order or buy at launch a special big box with a soundtrack, making of DVD, artbook, and a digital game guide. All this is packed together similarly to the ‘Black Phantom Edition’ for the same retail price as the normal game. We have built this for the early adopters.”

But while PS3 owners of Demon’s Souls know what they’re getting into, this’ll be the first time 360 owners will get the sense of brutality that awaited players in Europe last year. As the game’s main tagline suggests, and it seems very noteworthy for the Microsoft massive, “Prepare to die.”

“Xbox 360 owners are in for a treat as they are now going to part of a new phenomenon,” said Kirton.

Dark Souls releases on Tuesday in the US and next Friday in Europe for PS3 and 360.



  1. stretch215

    Nice article. I’m going to get this, for better or worse.

    #1 3 years ago
  2. Patrick Garratt

    My promo copy’s on the way. Be interesting to see how far I can get in it, to be honest. Demon’s Souls was bloody hard.

    #2 3 years ago
  3. MFBB

    But it was only hard in the beginning when you are new to the game.

    As soon as you knew how it worked, it was fine and you didnt die often.

    Keep you eyes open, walk slowly and have you shield up all the time :)

    I hope they will make some AddOns for Dark Souls over the years and no DLC crap, since the FromSoftware guys said they dont like DLC.

    #3 3 years ago
  4. Johnny Cullen

    I should probably play the promo I got at Eurogamer last week. /trollface

    #4 3 years ago
  5. StolenGlory


    You probably should yes. Meanwhile I should probably be mopping up the rabid froth from my mouth that has since spilled on my keyboard :)

    #5 3 years ago
  6. Patrick Garratt

    @3 – A few people said that to me, yep. Once the first level was over, it got easier, apparently. Not that I saw that far.

    #6 3 years ago
  7. Monk

    I`m scared !!

    #7 3 years ago
  8. Telepathic.Geometry

    Yay!!! This next few weeks is gamer heaven/hell for me. Child of Eden and ICO/SotC just arrived, Rage, Dark Souls and Batman soon to follow, and hot on their heels is Skyrim, Legend of Zelda and Uncharted 3. /geshpunken

    To all of you forumites worried about the difficulty, approach it like a game of chess and you’ll be fine. That’s what got me my beloved Demon’s Souls plat. :)

    #8 3 years ago
  9. Deacon

    I can’t wait for this to drop through my letterbox !!!!!

    #9 3 years ago
  10. locus2k1

    It’s out next week? Show’s you how much attention I paid on when it’s released, I have no idea how that past my radar. I best go finish platinum-ing Demons’ Souls then!

    #10 3 years ago
  11. Mystic Sage

    Scew Namco Bandai they should be sued they went back on there word. When most people pre-ordered the game for the Collectors Edition we were told we would be getting a physical copy of a guide and artbook and everything and now they get all these pre-orders and pull a switch because they werent expecting that many pre-orders and get rid of the physical strategy guide, soundtrack cd and give downloadable versions. Not everyone has a computer handy while gaming so this can kind of make a strategy guide pointless. Not to mention strategy guides are like an artbook they are filled with beautiful things that are nice to see in person in a hard copy. Namco Bandai can go choke on a dick for doing this meanwhile the Japanese version still gets all this stuff.

    #11 3 years ago
  12. Telepathic.Geometry

    Locus2k1: Let me know if ya need a hand.

    #12 3 years ago
  13. lkirton

    The strategy guide is provided on a code for download from a PC yes, exclusive to those that buy the game. The game comes in a new bigger box as previously communicated, it does include the soundtrack! It does include the making of DVD as well, That’s 2 discs and 1 blu ray (for PS3)! It does include the artbook and the game for the same retail price as a normal game. The only thing that changed was the delivery of the strategy guide because of production issues. Honestly, It’s a shame that you feel bad against Namco Bandai as we’re only trying to deliver a load of extra content for no extra cost. We are sorry that the strategy guide delivery has change, but we wanted to find the best way to provide it in the end. I hope you enjoy Dark Souls. Lee Kirton.

    #13 3 years ago
  14. The_Red

    Shut up and take my money already! I just hope they haven’t changed many things. New additions are always welcome but removal of the mana bar and a few other things better be for a reason and not just for the sake of making the game more “accessible” (AKA dumbing down the deeper elements like Bethesda is doing to their games).

    #14 3 years ago
  15. MFBB

    #13 I think the package is very good thanks to the artbook and the making of DVD.

    The strategy guide is ok digital, the artbook is much nicer as a real book.

    It is all free and a lot more then what you get from other games.
    They want like 70Euro or so for such a edition.
    So thank you :)

    #14 The no herbs and no mana will make the game much harder.
    Only 5-10 healing flasks is hard…and only x amount of times you can use a spell/miracle is quite mean aswell :)

    I wanted to play a magical character as i did in Demon Souls, but i will not do that now.

    It will be way to hard if you have no good close combat skills/shield with such a low number of healing items and spells.

    #15 3 years ago
  16. Len

    Next Tues, where did that come from…?

    If it’s too much for you send one of those promo copies overe here please Pat/Johnny! ;)

    #16 3 years ago
  17. jldoom

    @16 That’s exactly what I’m saying! I’m going to check Best Buy to see if I can pre-order mines after I get out of work today.

    Even if I don’t get to play it this month, I’ll get it now to at least guarantee my extra goodies for the same price as the regular edition.

    #17 3 years ago
  18. Shonak

    Any chance there will be a demo soon?

    #18 3 years ago
  19. Johnny Cullen

    Good lord. I just tried the first bit from the game and is absolutely balls fucking hard. :S

    #19 3 years ago
  20. HauntaVirus

    This game can burn in hell for eternity.

    #20 3 years ago

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