Dark Souls 2 creators talk difficulty, location and multiplayer

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Release Date: 19/12/2012

Dark Souls creator Hidetaka Miyazaki has explained a little more about how the upcoming sequel to 2011's toughest game will be more accessible to new players without sacrificing the gritty heart of the series.

"I'm talking about how we think about the difficulty level and how you achieve things in-game, about the concepts behind the mechanics and level design," Miyazaki told Japanese games mag Famitsu when asked what elements he considered part of the core Dark Souls experience. "Outside of that core, though, it's better to leave things to the discretion of the director," he continued. "There's a lot around that core that we need to fix or adjust besides, and individual touches always tend to come out in the world setting and artwork, so I'm not meddling in that very much."

Miyazaki will oversee production on the sequel, but he's handed the creative reins over to Tomohiro Shibuya, a veteran of Capcom's similarly hardcore Monster Hunter franchise. For his part, Shibuya is staying coy about how the setting of the sequel connects to the previous game.

"I can't completely answer this question, but the two settings are connected, yes," he said. "However, I wouldn't say there's a direct connection as far as story is concerned. The game is set in a different part of the same planet -- to put it another way, if the first game was set in the North Pole, this one would be in the South Pole; that sort of contrast. 'Time' is one of the central keywords we're keeping in mind as we create this. I can't give concrete details about this yet, so hopefully you'll be able to use your imagination for now."

Also revealed in the interview is the news that Dark Souls 2 will have dedicated multiplayer servers, rather than the peer-to-peer connections used in the last game. "Setting up a dedicated server lets you retain your data, making it easier to share it with other players," says Shibuya. "We'd like to evolve the asynchronous message-oriented online support from the previous game; we're imagining a framework where players are able to directly interact with each other."

Dark Souls 2 is awaiting a final release date, but is expected next year. For the truly hardcore, why not pass the time by trying the Dark Souls: Prepare To Die special edition, out now.

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