Dark Souls 2 director “likes to be more direct instead of subtle”

Tuesday, 29th January 2013 22:46 GMT By Brenna Hillier

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.



  1. MadFlavour


    Just make it like dark souls but only, more like dark souls.

    #1 2 years ago
  2. YoungZer0

    Why not? As i said before, Dark Souls has an insanely awesome lore, but you have to read wiki entries and watch Youtube Videos to fully grasp some of the stuff.

    It’s terrible storytelling and nothing more.

    #2 2 years ago
  3. manamana

    Nothing new. Miyazaki is gone, Namco Bandai will broaden their audience, Dark Souls II is going to be a whole different game, with the old style and big bosses. It’s disapointing ‘straightforward’ but we already now it. Wait and see, might be a good game. Will not have the Mojo, though.

    #3 2 years ago
  4. Telepathic.Geometry

    :D “botuse” was probably meant to be obtuse, but I think botuse is better. I hereby stake a claim to it as a new VG24/7 meme. ^-^

    Anyway, I think that this new guy will be good for Dark Souls. I personally agree with everything he’s saying about Dark Souls, but I think he’ll have to be very ginger about how he changes the formula. A little nip and tuck here and there might be better than having shit TOO clearly laid out for you…

    #4 2 years ago
  5. macronia

    more straightforward and more understandable .. yes please !! I spent most of my time goggling and youtubing :D and wiki(ing) :D .. just to understand what is in hell going on !! why i am supposed to go here and what i am going to do next and above all STORYLINE .. didn’t understand it at all :) .. Although i love challenge and hardcore RPG , but Dark Souls I game showed me how dumb i am :)

    #5 2 years ago
  6. klewd

    @2 “It’s terrible storytelling and nothing more.”

    It’s not necessarily bad storytelling just because you utilize other medias. It makes it more like investigation and some people might like that. There’s nothing inherently wrong with it.

    …and it’s not necessary to use wiki+youtube. The subtle storytelling in Dark Souls and Demon’s Souls is far more effective than the majority of storytelling in games (might be because the standard is low). I’ve had some story elements in Demon’s Souls hit me much harder than in other games because they were so subtly, almost sneaked up on me. It’s done by not just giving you several pieces of the puzzles for you to assemble, but to also use the environment as a part of this. There could be a meaning behind why an item is placed in the specific location it is. There are so many story elements in D Souls that wouldn’t be noticed if the story was presented explicitly. I did not use youtube, wiki or anything else for the story in Demon’s Souls.

    When you make effort and actually realize the parts of the story yourself it’s usually more effective than if just told directly. “Show, don’t tell” is a fairly known principle in writing, and I don’t see why this can’t be applied to games in terms of investigating systems and environmental art. This is something only games can do.

    You do have to work for it and you do have to play anthropologist, archeologist etc. to make sense of it. There’s nothing wrong with going that direction with storytelling. Just because you don’t like it doesn’t mean it’s terrible.

    I think if the storytelling is Dark/Demon Souls was hamfisted, as with every fucking other game, it would just turn out cheesy and exaggerated.

    EDIT: This direction is probably going to please a lot of people (excluding me). However, I just wanted to write that the previous method of storytelling is very valid IMHO. To say that one is better than the other is sort of like saying “racing games are better than shooters”. Both methods of storytelling are valid and serve two different type of demographics.

    #6 2 years ago
  7. redder

    Whatever you’re doin, PLEASE DON’T FUCK THIS GAME!

    #7 2 years ago
  8. Telepathic.Geometry

    Two things I love about the DS games are:

    a) it’s possible to miss out huge chunks of the game.

    If you don’t bother to explore Darkroot Basin properly, you will never encounter the hydra, meet Dusk or learn her school of magic. You could easily miss the Moonlight Butterfly, and the divine weapon crafting tree. You’d actually have to work pretty hard to find The Great Hollow and Ash Lake and join the Dragon Covenant, not to mention Kaathe and the Darkstalkers. Or the Asylum. Or the Painted World.

    In fact, even within the regular areas, there is always some visible but seemingly unreachable loot, a hidden room, a sneaky shortcut. It’s that more than anything that I love about this game.

    b) Every character is important, and their dialogue has meaning. Every time a character says something to me, I’m listening like a mad bastard, ’cause I know there’s something important to it. If I kill them, I know there’ll be consequences.

    The blacksmith hints that a divine weapon might help out in the Catacombs, and gives a hint as to where you might find it. Patches mentions that there might be some quality loot lying around in the Valley of Defilement. The blacksmith in the Nexus mentions another kick-asser blacksmith in passing. I love that shit!

    #8 2 years ago
  9. Telepathic.Geometry

    Oh, I forgot to make a point:

    I hope that in this game, they increase the volume of dialogue of NPCs to help you catch a whiff of the completely impossible puzzles. Like, an NPC to tell you that there is a passage to Ash Lake somewhere in Blight-town, they don’t even need to tell me where. An NPC to tell me that Frampt is not to be trusted, and that salvation can be found in the Abyss, just so that I might think of passing on that obvious avenue of advancement for future gain.

    Ya know, some kind of hint. Because otherwise, you just end up reading it up on the wiki, which is fine as it has a community element, but I’d much rather an NPC gave me a whiff of the adventure to be had if you try to get back to the asylum. Just to give me a fighting chance…

    #9 2 years ago
  10. Hybridpsycho


    It’s not terrible in any way, it’s just that we’re all so used to getting everything on a plate we don’t even bother looking around to actually find out for ourselves.

    It’s a great narrative and I’m a bit sad that they’re taking a more direct approach. The direct approach can ofc be good as well, but I don’t think I’ll like it in the Dark Souls universe.

    #10 2 years ago
  11. manamana

    ^ this!

    #11 2 years ago

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