Rock hard Japanese RPG Dark Souls won over many hardcore gamers with its ruthless-but-fair difficulty curve and dark, foreboding game world that punished unwary travellers who blundered into areas they weren't ready to deal with. In Dark Souls II, you'll have a lot more freedom to explore at your own pace, but you'll still need to make sure you're up to the task if you venture off the path.
"Freedom of exploration is something we want to prioritise for Dark Souls II, even more so than Dark Souls I," game director Yui Tanimura has told Digital Spy. "In Dark Souls I, you were able to travel to several areas, but hopefully for Dark Souls II, there you have more freedom to explore throughout the game."
It seems this freedom will mean that experienced players will be able to skip the bits they find too easy and just dive straight into the more challenging areas. "In Dark Souls II, we're hoping we can provide more freedom so things don't have to necessarily be done in a certain order," Tanimura explained. "We're hoping that if the player tries hard enough, or are willing enough, they could even start halfway through the game, depending on how willing or how brave they are."
What do you think? Are you up to the task?
Dark Souls II is coming to Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC in 2014.