Dark Souls 2 director Tomohiro Shibuya has said in the past that he won’t compromise on difficulty, but he is going to make the RPG sequel easier to understand.
Speaking to Edge, Shibuya acknowledged that Demon’s Souls and Dark Souls both had game systems which were not explained in the game or accompanying materials, forcing players to utilise third-party information sources.
“I personally feel that the covenant system was something that was difficult to fully absorb and experience in Dark Souls, and I intend to make it more accessible to players,” he said.
“And that’s not just with the covenant system, but with a lot of other aspects that I felt were difficult to fully adapt to.”
Shibuya said he wants to foloow the “same concept” as Dark Souls, but won’t replicate its “hidden story elements that some players may not have caught before”.
“I’m hoping to make some of that a little bit more clear or directly expressed to the player as well – not just in the story, but messaging,” he said.
“A lot of elements were very subtle in Dark Souls, and that was something that was characteristic to Dark Souls. But I personally am the sort of person who likes to be more direct instead of subtle, so I think that part of me will [result in] a difference for players when they pick up Dark Souls II. It will be more straightforward and more understandable.”
Shibuya’s comments will probably please some players who found Demon’s Souls and Dark Souls somewhat botuse, although it’s disappointing to those of us who appreciated former director Hidetaka Miyzakaki’s recreation of the baffling worlds of poorly-translated fantasy RPGs.
That said, Shibuya doesn’t want to alienate core fans, and won’t be changing the controls, which can be a little unfriendly to new players. He expects returning players to experience ” a sense of awkwardness” at first, thanks to his new features, but is aiming for a “smooth process” where by the sequel has the “same general feel in terms of the experience”.
Elsewhere in the interview, Shibuya said Dark Souls 2 is 25% complete and that time will be a key concept. He reiterated that it will not be set in the same region as the first Dark Souls, and that players will “find out right away” why this is once they have the game in their hands. That’s looking increasingly like 2014, for PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.