Sequel Speculation: Dark Souls 2

Dark Souls was one of my most anticipated games of, well, my entire life really. I loved its predecessor Demon’s Souls so much that I had to file for divorce when the announcement of a “sequel” popped up. I could hardly believe it.

It’s very rare for just one game to come along and change your life, but two in a single generation? I was starting to think that I was the luckiest person on Earth. But Dark Souls was not what I had expected. I don’t know why they did it but From Software have made some questionable decisions, removing some features and adding others which frankly aren’t at all welcome… not to mention the game’s annoying little glitches.

Annoyances aside it is still a fantastic game and I can’t wait to see what direction From Software will take the series next. While a sequel has yet to be announced, considering the critical acclaim and sales success Dark Souls has achieved, there seems little doubt that a sequel will be on the cards.

So In order for me to make an accurate prediction of what’s next for the Souls Series we have to look at what Dark Souls has done wrong, starting with the servers.

Friend Invites:

From Software were determined to make an improvement upon their sleeper hit Demon’s Souls and adding more servers was an excellent step to make… now if only they had provided some way in which players can join their friends! It seems incredibly backwards, especially on Xbox 360, when the vast majority of online games allow us to engage in jolly cooperation with a simple button press. Unfortunately that isn’t possible in Dark Souls.

You see, From Software added such a huge amount of new servers they made it virtually impossible to find your friends. This is especially surprising because in Demon’s Souls each world region had one server, making joining your friends a far simpler experience. Yes it was still hard to join people you knew but at least then all you had to do was both be in the same place at the same time, drop your summon stones and, wham,  you’re fighting demons as a team.

Why did they take this ability away from us? Well the answer is immersion. One of the key aspects of the Souls series is the level of anonymity; they want you to play with strangers and never get to know each other. As such there’s no voice chat so you can’t communicate with fellow players in any way. Their aim is to get us to help each other out and really get into the game without the distraction of conversation. It’s a nice idea, one that I like a lot, but that’s where the aforementioned problems arise, as the immersion is broken by an overwhelming feeling of frustration. From Software, JUST LET ME PLAY WITH MY FRIENDS!

Balanced Invasions:

Now we move on to what the Souls game are most famous for, their immense difficulty. I consider myself to be a hardcore fan of these games but even so I still have yet to master them both… and part of me can’t believe that other people have managed to do so. They must have invested thousands of hours into the game to get those amazing weapons, that fantastic armour, or the ability to one-shot kill the last boss in the game. It’s just so unrelentingly hard, you can spend an entire day playing it and never make any progress at all.

I’m not trying to say the next game should be easier (they’ve tapped into a whole new dimension of challenge and it should remain that way in the future) but some things do need to change, the Black Phantoms specifically.

When playing Dark Souls nothing is more annoying than when you’re making loads of progress, killing everything evil, taking their souls, then right before you reach your next bonfire some annoying little cretin will brazenly invade your game as a Black Phantom and one-shot you with some magic you’ve never even seen before. It’s back to square one and you’ve got to start your mission all over again. It wouldn’t be half as annoying if the black phantoms were within your experience level range and actually killable, but when it’s level 100 players who are so advanced that there is no way you could actually defeat them, then it’s unbalanced. You can only summon friendly phantoms whose level is relatively the same as yours, so why not impose this limitation on the invaders too?

 More NPC’s & Side Quests:

We already have a pretty vast and detailed world, with a great sense of scale, full of surprises, with deadly traps around each corner… but there’s just not enough life in it.

It might sound stupid, being as it is the land of the dead after all, but we need more NPCs, more people to interact with when your not slaying monsters, more shops to buy weapons from and (dare I say it) side quests. Side quests aren’t my favourite type of quest, in most games I prefer to ignore them completely, but it’s something that could add a lot more depth to the next Souls game.

You only have one goal in the Souls games and that’s to basically kill everything, take their souls and then level up your character and/or weapons to make killing the next batch of gruesome weirdos a little bit easier. Think of it as a mini game, something to provide a little respite from the torture of the main game. Having extra NPC’s with their extra needs to fulfill would at least give the illusion that the land of the dead is a sociable and not so lonely place to be.

Advanced Combo System:

Another area of the Souls series which needs fleshing out is the combat. Yes, the combat works just fine as is – tap buttons to attack stuff, light attack, heavy attack, etc. – it’s fun but we’re restricted to two hit combos whenever using those large anime-style swords. Of course lighter weapons do allow a few more hits before you run out of stamina but advanced combos need to be unlockable from the start using the in-game currency of souls.

I’m not saying we need to venture out into Ninja Gaiden territory, where combos consist of 54 different button combinations, just give me one more move to smite my enemies with. Dark Souls added some nice finisher moves that deal critical damage if you get your timing right, and that was a great start, but we still need to see more variety in the combat. All of the enemies have this type of diversity in combat, so why can’t we? Sure it might make online play a little more challenging than it already is, but with some careful balancing I think it could work quite well.

Less Linearity:

Dark Souls did away with the warp system in Demons Souls and replaced it with a huge and daunting open world for us to explore and discover. The days of teleporting around are gone, and that was a great move in terms of creating a sense of immersion. The level design is incredible, yet there are still more opportunities which, if taken advantage of, could make the world a lot less linear.

There are a few hidden pathway here and there, with some alternates routes to surprise you, but there are not enough of these deviations to consider it a true open world. I think that’s my major issue, and it’s something that I’d like to see resolved. Of course a larger world with more pathways does present the problem of players getting lost  but maybe a combination of the Nexus system in Demon’s Souls and the Bonfires from Dark Souls would make exploring a larger world a lot easier.


These are just some of the changes I’d like to see made in the next Souls game. It’s clear that the good people at From Software are aware that Dark Souls isn’t perfect as they’ve recently released a patch that has brought about some significant changes to the way the game plays. Hopefully their next game will be perfect out of the box. Until then I’ll go back to being obliterated by level 100 Black Phantoms every 10 minutes while I desperately try to get in to a friend’s game.

- Adam Radcliffe

Fri, December 16 2011 » Opinion Pieces

33 Responses

  1. Federico Picado December 16 2011 @ 3:08 pm

    I completely disagree with most of what you said in this article, I am indeed a true Souls player and most of your proposed changes seem to me like terrible ideas, The anonymity of this kind of online play makes the experience more immersive.
    Let me point out that invasions are indeed level-capped, the other guys were probably too good for you, or had built a very destructive character.
    BlackPhantom invasions I consider the best part of the game, the fact that they invade you at really cruel moments is what I found to be the real challenge in this game, perhaps they simply developed their character for PvP better than you.

    I hope From Software never listens to your kind of view, as these kind of changes will only make the game CONFORM to broader audiences and lose what makes it so unique.

  2. Jason December 23 2011 @ 5:26 pm

    I’m agreeing with Frederico above. I do think a few things were unbalanced in PVP, especially the fact that Pyromancy upgrades don’t add to character levels (so a +5 Ascended glove that can one-shot most characters under lv 20 could be obtained by someone at lv 1.) But many of the other problems have been addressed by the team in the form of patches that were released fairly quickly after the game’s release.

    You say that there were few NPCs, but that’s not quite correct – there are tons of NPCs, just very few live ones. Every undead soul the player picks up on their way through the game is an NPC that died in an attempt to be the hero. These souls were not placed haphazardly. Each one tells the tale of an undead that perished to the challenges that the player must overcome.

    The lack of living NPCs contributes to the oppressiveness of the atmosphere. It is not only a difficult game; it is a difficult world, full of difficult people (Patches, anyone?)

    Honestly, I think your comments about the lack of sidequests and the apparent goal of the Souls games indicate that you’ve missed quite a bit of the somewhat unapparent, complex storyline. It’s an open-ended story that requires digging. Like the game’s atmosphere and the mechanics, the player is not hand-held through its finer points.

    Ultimately the changes you’re recommending would transform the Souls series from a unique, realistic world to a bland, tasteless one that requires such suspension of disbelief that it would border on a parody. That’s not what the series has been about in the past, and I hope that it will not take that turn in the future.

    Mediocrity, thy name is compromise.

  3. Chakkerz January 2 2012 @ 12:25 am

    I think you missed the point. Maybe you are looking for Skyrim, but Dark Souls is what it is, and that is amazing, awesome, unique and harsh. The changes you suggest would pervert it into many other games. One of the best summaries in a review I saw was that DS punishes the impatient, combos are not what this game is about, it is about tactics and realism.

    You know as far as a world like that of DS can be realistic, but it certainly is consistent within itself.

    As for linearity, I see what you mean about not being an open world like … Elder scrolls or GTA, but then it isn’t linear like New Super Mario Land either. To me there is an issue of scale, Oblivion for instance was huge, same with Fallout3 and that is awesome but DS is more like Mass Effect with it’s areas that have their own unique feel, and where the ‘choice’ of how you got there is an illusion… But the size of the undead burg or the depth or well any of them is quite small, the undead parish has maybe 35 enemies, 2 mid bosses and 1 mayor boss (fight, with 2 enemies). You’re not mowing them down like in Serious Sam, rather each fight is it’s own challenge, and yes, after a while you can run through there in less than ten minutes, without taking any damage, but that takes some time, some leveling of you and your weapon and armor, knowing your combos (cause you have quite a few attacks and they can be chained though stamina is always there to limit ou), and maybe some powerful rings…

    Ah Invasions, I’ve now been invaded a couple of times, and yes it was never convenient :) but what a rush! And the last two regretted it ;) . Personally I don’t stay human for much of the time because of invasions and I don’t feel I get a lot of benefit from it anyway, though of course you need it to kindle and summon and such, but it depends on your style of play.

    As for the NPCs, I get frustrated with RPGs where you have to talk and listen, I don’t think anything breaks the immersion more than having an NPC rabbit on about why their live sucks, heck why should I care? I’m going great! But in DS it isn’t like that’s there are no real side quests, but it doesn’t fit in with the environment does it? You rescue some people and such but you are really more concerned about making out of there alive(ish). And they do send you on errands, you want that armor stronger find some of this, no pretense of feeding their kids if you find some ore, oh and for that you get a +3 against ogres, you get that ore for a +3 against ogres. There are stacks of NPC though, and they evolve, as your influence on the world evolves it. Maybe there could be more, but there aren’t too few.

    DS isn’t for everyone and to me it definitely is the game of the year for 2011. It is gorgeous in look and feel, I can’t think of any deaths that felt cheap, some did at the time, but that’s pride because I did make mistakes and redoing the fight showed me the error of my ways. The game is complex, desolate, small compared to others, but the world is so rich. About 35 enemies in the undead burg, but how many thousand have I killed in my travel thought there? And what a rush as you get better and more powerful!

  4. Trollulol January 4 2012 @ 11:58 am

    Federico, Jason, and Chakkerz, why not try actually reading an article before responding to it? Radcliffe is obviously a true Souls-fan who understands exactly what Dark Souls did wrong and proposes exactly the sort of things that would make the next game even better, yet you three blatantly didn’t even read his text and instead responded to some fanciful fantasy of your own. None of you give as much as a hint of having read or let alone understood anything he wrote. Distasteful!

    Kudos to Radcliffe and I hope FROM listens to people like you instead of the three stooges here…


  5. Hahaho January 4 2012 @ 12:00 pm

    Federico, Jason, and Chakkerz, why not try actually reading an article before responding to it? Radcliffe is obviously a true Souls-fan who understands exactly what Dark Souls did wrong and proposes exactly the sort of things that would make the next game even better, yet you three blatantly didn’t even read his text and instead responded to some fanciful fantasy of your own. None of you give as much as a hint of having read or let alone understood anything he wrote. Distasteful!

    Kudos to Radcliffe and I hope FROM listens to people like you instead of the three stooges here…


  6. savage January 9 2012 @ 5:08 pm

    Trollulol there responses were well worded and organized i dont think it could be more apparent that they read the article and had strong opinions reguarding its content most of which i agree with instead if making a very poor attempt at bashing people simply state your opinion on the matter thats wat the comments section is for

  7. bob3434 January 10 2012 @ 10:56 am

    pretty sure trollulol IS actually the author of this article…

  8. Mightyles January 10 2012 @ 5:32 pm

    I think trollulol’s spelling is far better than the author’s(believe me I had to edit this!!!) :) We love Adam really, he’s entitled to his views and I’m sure someone out there agrees with him. I liked his idea about the more varied combat myself…

  9. Marky January 11 2012 @ 9:47 am

    I agree with making it easier to join friends, however they should keep the invasions the same as they add to the challange of the game, not to mention that if you don’t like them you can always play the game in offline mode. They should make the world bigger with a longer story and more bosses, just to give players who have completed the game and got both endings (like myself) more play time and more challanges to complete. I like the feel of isolation within the games so keep the NPC’s to a minimum, however theres nothing wrong with adding more and different enemies to the games. If they do make the world bigger, they need to keep the mystery and not-knowing that Dark Souls had. It would also be nice to see bigger, stronger bosses that is nearly impossible to tackle alone (not all will agree) but still possible, just to make people play together as I have completed the game twice (once on new game +) and have never joined a game or had anyone help me (but have had plenty of phantoms invade my game and enjoy the challange)

  10. G January 19 2012 @ 12:32 am

    Disagree with all these points.

    Playing with friends would kill the atmosphere.

    Love to hate those last minute Invaders. Yes they’re annoying but also some of my most memorable encounters.

    I don’t want to run errands for NPC’s – its a lame, clichéd and archaic method of propelling the player through plot-lines, and its to From’s credit that they managed to create an RPG without using them. If I want to go on a side quest, I will do it because I want to and because I am motivated by my own curiosity to explore the wonderful, rich and mysterious world From created.

    Combat is the best and most realistic out there in terms of medieval fighting games. You have to be STRONG to even wield one of those anime style swords, and even then the strongest person in the world wouldn’t be able to manage more than two or three hits without having to at least take a breather to regain his footing.

    One of the Dark Souls worlds strengths is that feeling that every single inch has been lovingly handcrafted. Yes I’d like it to be larger, but not at the expense of that level of bespoke design, craftmanship and carefully managed variety to be found in every corner.

    Everything you suggest would weaken and water down the unique experience of Dark Souls. If you want these things that badly please go and play Skyrim and/or any other RPG game, there’s plenty to choose from. Leave this one alone, please, because its one of a kind.

  11. Nick January 24 2012 @ 12:06 pm

    Yes im finding it hard to agree with a lot of the things you mentioned in this. i loved it on dark souls when you was going all the way from firelink shrine to the first blacksmith and was like OMG ANOTHER PERSON THANK F**K and then reading everyones soapstone messages leading up to him, the immersion is perfect for me and for whatever sequel to come i would just like more of what there already doing now, say if it was a dark souls 2 just do more of everything thats in the game and i would be happy for a day 1 buy.

  12. Brandon January 26 2012 @ 5:05 am

    I’m only gonna say one thing and that’s i would love DLC maybe like a small story on what happens after game or something or your toon goes searching for answers about the pygmy that would be cool god i would be really happy if they added a warp to a pvp undead area were its invader and monsters attacking each other and you big epic battle hehe.

    lastly the only thing i would change in game would be put a level cap on some Armour and weapons WHY>>>
    i know people hate to say this but

    1 people hand down items from higher toon’s and ruin our fun i was in starting area and got invaded and go 1 shot’ed by a guy wearing no Armour a sack head and plus 5 boss weapon and 2 modder’s they just max there stats to 9999 with unlimited health and lower there level and troll the noob area so i say level cap the items so they cant use there higher gear on lower levels. PS only way to kill modder is bleed weapon guys 4 bleeds woo if you live that long haha

  13. Gabe January 27 2012 @ 6:06 am

    I’ve got to say alot of you I definitely agree with to start I want to say that there are aide quests in dark souls if you haven’t found them yet then keep looking there is I think 3 or 4 of them. Any way I think dark souls is a great game I mean there are a few problems with the online but every thing else is every thing I look for in a game. Now to address the major problem in the game well what I think the major problem is I think that the online play needs to be fixed
    In many ways I feel that they should make it where if your connection to the Internet or smoothness of your connection doesn’t meet it should allow that person to invade or join some one because I my make accounts just for the souls purpose of killing on line and I’ll tell all the times I have died where to people that were by all means impossible because of their connection allow me to elaborate so I get invaded like normal but then I seed this guy that is literally lagging all over the place before I know it with out seeing him even get close to me he stabs me in the back I run away and he just does it again oh and another thing I can not stand when I get invaded by people that literally just do the run past you stab you in the back thing I mean really like I figured out how to do it after a moment of practicing it but really how cheap is that all I won’t is a nice tactical fight online but no so I hope that this is some how patched I got to say there are more issues but these 2 are the worst. And a tip for all those people that don’t know online killing is the fastest way to get souls at lvl 300 you get around 500,000 souls a kill and at 600 it doubles but it isn’t worth it until lvl 100 or so.

  14. korinto January 28 2012 @ 11:11 pm

    I’m a big souls fan i finished demon’s souls back in 2009 and i finished dark souls last night (i got it late and it took me 60 hours to beat it) i absolutely loved both of those games. They are hard and freaking annoy you with randomness and your own failure but when you get past something you get that sense of acomplishment as if you did something awesome in real life so that is what the series is about but still i had problems with dark souls online. I don’t know it’s my internet or theirs but 99% that i got invaded i died not because im bad or the guy was better its because i was getting lagstabbed every single time. ( lagstab is when someone is clearly far away from you or in front of you but still somehow appears behind you and does a critical backstab and even if you backstab him still you die and get damaged not him) That stupid bug denied me almost all of my online experience for this game and one more thing i really would love the developers if they make the third game with a real story. Because these first two games had really little into it as far as story goes and everything was dependent on how many npcs you find and also your imagination that was how you found out the most of the story cause more than half was unexplained. Its not even clear in dark souls why the good ending is good and bad is bad it can be inverted.. What i wanna say is that a game as immersive and atmospheric as this requires a real dark, sad , complex and character-filled story.

  15. Derpy February 2 2012 @ 2:01 am

    The only thing i really agree with here is a more open world feel. Yes there was alt. routes, but the began to feel monotonous around the middle of ng++.
    I feel a open-er world would solve that linear railroad feel i got playing this game alot, and knowing From Software, they could pull it off without letting the world getting watered down.

    The rest of the stuff you want is crap, except for possibly playing with friends if the could balance and pull it off correctly. Combo moves would throw the whole combat system off balance, side quests would remove alot of the unique-ness and guesswork that is required to figure out the games full story. invasion is just fine, perhaps the players you faced were more EXPERIENCED in the literal term and not the in-game term.

  16. cs February 3 2012 @ 3:06 am

    I’ve got some points to make here for what they’re worth.
    First of all I totally agree with you, these are some of the best games to come out in a long time. I haven’t been this much into a game since the glory days of ff3 and secret of mana!

    I also pretty much agree with Chakkerz and G and Jason up there. This isn`t a game for someone who likes to be told what`s next (nothing wrong with that at all, this just isn`t that kinda game). It takes patience.. and the more you put into it as far as exploring, reading the little blurbs on items, and paying attention to all the little details that are laid out for you… the more you will get out of it.
    IMO the world of Dark Souls and Demon’s souls feels 1000% more “alive” than other titles… DS gets you totally involved without having to bombard you with tons of convos and info to tell you that let you know that you are.

    Friend Invites:
    From a technical pov… I play with my brother all the time, across the country, and we can find eachother with no problems.. except when other players summon us first :P Make sure you`re both in the right level range though!
    Other than that.. being able to just conjure up your bros at any time and power through the sludge… would ruin the whole point of the multiplayer system they designed.

    Balanced Multiplayer:
    I agree, some of the players are ridiculously powered up… when you beat em though damn does it feel good! Like Chakkerz said.. the rush from being invaded is awesome.

    Sidequests and NPCs:
    There may not be any direct sidequests as in some guy being like “go get me 5 wolf hides and return here!”… but most of the characters you meet have their own storyline that ends in different ways depending on what you do. Problem is for a lot of people I think… nobody is there to tell you explicitly -what- it is you have to do. So you have to think a little…

    As for the number of NPCs… look at the land of Lordran. It’s lonely, dark… not exactly a bustling hub of friendly activity or even a place anyone in their right mind would go. But it feels like it once was. When you meet someone new, you are f**king GRATEFUL (depending on your status you might be… the grateful dead :P ) it’s comforting just for a moment before you have to head back out and face that cursed darkness.
    Jason up there put it perfectly.

    What kind of combo do you expect to execute when you`re wielding a 100lb hammer that`s taller than you? With high stamina and a light weapon, you can get some pretty good combos going.
    Honestly the last thing I want to see is any kind of unlockable skill chain. Millions of other cookie cutter dungeon crawlers out there do that just fine.
    DS relies much more on your own ability. I`ve literally had 15 minute long 1v1 fights that ended when one of us made a crucial mistake. INTENSE. Much more so than slamming someone (or something) fifty times with your sword while they do the same to you until someone runs out of potions and goes down. When that guy slams you with the enormous 8 foot long sword.. you die. Crushed. Game over.

    I really don`t get into that many games as much as these two.. but both Souls titles are, for me, the best games in a long, long while. I really can`t think of anything I`ve played that I really enjoyed this much since my snes days. (I liked mass effect 2 a lot as well!) As far as video games as art… this it people.

  17. Nick February 5 2012 @ 1:23 pm

    I’m only writing this because I’m so sick of everyone saying that you can’t invade someone that is a lower level in Dark Souls. YES YOU CAN!

    I did a test where I asked almost every single person that invaded me their level. Guess what? I was level 50 and was getting invaded by level 100. The biggest difference was when I was level 45 and got invaded by someone who was level 150. 150!!! I’ve never even gotten above level 100 in Dark Souls before.

    So please, people, stop spreading the myth that you can’t be invaded by people 10x your level. You can, I did numerous tests. I had the game since the release date and played since then and after the patches. You can be invaded by people a million times your level. Oh and vice versa. You can invade people 10x your level too. Which is stupid and took the fun out of the whole invading thing.

    Invading and being invaded in Demon Souls was awesome and they ruined it. Fix it for the sequel please!

  18. Bryan February 11 2012 @ 4:42 pm

    I Think that Co op should be brought in because you can’t even play online when you are in a party chat. I think it will be alot more fun to plunder and pillage with your Mates.

    Other than that the game is fantastic I am well addicted to the challenge best game so far :)

  19. SS February 15 2012 @ 9:36 pm

    I love the game! Best game I have ever played ever. I do agree with some of the stuff you propose but I also disagree with other. I do think there should be just about a little more interact with other players as well as NPC’s, however you are alone.. lack of players and NPC shows how lonely you actually are..
    I do not think the way the invasion are set should be changed.. it is what makes DS a game like no other, right when you are about to reach that bonfire after beating all those hardcore enemies… the fog appears and you are forced to welcome an invader! I do hate when that happens to me, but the feeling that I get while fighting that one player is a feeling like no other that I have ever experienced while fighting any boss or playing ANY other game.. It sucks when you lose that fight, but it feels even better when you win it!
    I think they should expand the world a little more, I just can’t have enough DS.. no matter how big they make the world I will still want more anyways.. I would love to see another game coming out again sooon.
    Ps. I do want to point out that there are “sidequests” in the game.. every covenant has a goal which you can aim to achieve, there are also a couple of bosses that are not requiered to beat, and some NPC’s such as Knight Solaire, Knight Lutrec, the Knight of Catarina, Big Hat Logan, (and whoever else I might be missing) who offer sidequests..

  20. hendo February 22 2012 @ 2:24 pm

    c mon, the game is perfect , a masterpiece, far better than his precessor, so shut up and try just to be a better player.

  21. FarEyed February 23 2012 @ 12:34 am

    I am a PC gamer and I hope for the sequel to thave a PC version, surely that is not too much to ask…

  22. El33tex February 25 2012 @ 3:09 am

    Wow! I couldn’t disagree more! Sidequests?? Unlockable combos?? More NPCs?? I really don’t think you(the author)understands this game. The sense of isolation and despair is unique in Dark souls and one of a kind. The combat is the best I’ve ever experienced and the most realistic out there. There are no quests in DS and it suits this game perfectly. How can you not see this as a “fan”?

    I really hope no one at From software takes any of your wishes into consideration as it would totally ruin the game.

  23. Rax February 25 2012 @ 12:12 pm

    I have to say I share the opinion of the poster. Dark Souls is good, but it is deliberately stark and unwelcoming. Now I’m all for niche games maximising particular mechanics / feels, but this will (and does) marginalise Dark Souls in terms of sale numbers because it’s such a hard game for average / new gamers to understand. It is not one I would ever recommend to a new or inexperienced gamer. I would welcome a “mode” where there was FAR more story, NPCs, some sense of a world worth saving, that is what really makes RPG / Action games stand out for me. Otherwise of course it can remain in it’s “punishingly hard games for hardcore players” niche, which would be a pity because I think it could have a much wider audience if it had an optional mode for the non-hardcore and I would like to be able to recommend it more widely!

  24. Jeremy February 27 2012 @ 2:40 pm

    Now all we need is kill cams, kill streaks, and movie mode… Then, and only then would the souls series be perfect! *rolls eyes* Lol, the more consumers get involved the worse this series will get, leave it in the hand of these wizards who make such magical games :D

  25. Jeremy February 27 2012 @ 3:07 pm

    You guys do know Dark Souls has quests… Siegmeyers quest gives lots of rewards ending in a titanite slab, Big Hat Logans quest ends in some nifty spells, Solaires quest ends with you being able to summon him to kill Gwyn, Lord of Cinder. I like how Drak Souls has quests, but absolutely no markers… That is perfection, and how quests should be.

  26. Jeremy February 27 2012 @ 3:11 pm

    Last post I swear xD …. Buuuuut, did you happen to be in Dark Anor Londo or Sif Forest? There is invading caps *except* in those 2 places, for good reasons too. Lol

  27. chakkerz March 5 2012 @ 7:38 am

    Yeah, look I had read the original post before responding to it, a few times actually. I don’t think I was hard on Adam, though I still think he has missed the point.

    I’ve just gone past level 100 earlier today and I think there are some points to update.

    Combos: actually different weapons have different abilities in chaining attacks together and they vary with light vs heavy, single and double handed. Also you can have weapons in both hands. It might not be your cup of tea, but this is quite a complex system, with more than meets the eye initially. I certainly haven’t got the hang of it, but fighting lots of PvP highlights what some people can do.

    Multiplayer: I think invasions and summoning as they are work great. Some people can get together with a targeted person and others have difficulty. Fair enough. I am tempted to agree that a multiplayer (co-op) option for an entire campaign or fade in / out might actually add something though it does create a conflict: who would be the “chosen undead”? Still, this is some of the cleverest multiplayer stuff I’ve seen and the randomness is a lot of fun. And yes, you can invade below and above your level, but it depends on the invasion. I have only done the Cat Covenant and it matches completely random, other invasions are different though from what i gather.

    Finally, side quests and NPCs: no, I think there are plenty there AND the ambiguity of the main story might be misleading into what is core and what is not. Much of the game is structured that way. You can choose not to fight the undead dragon (in the Painted World of Ariamis) or Pricilla for that matter. And you choose to help or not various characters. Maybe the world could be more alive, but isn’t that what this game is all about, the world is dying and the undead are taking over… I think considering the whole Dark Souls is doing this right. It is a massive game, i really don’t think complaining about the time it takes to play through once is fair, never mind that you are meant to NG++++ it.

    I liked Bayonetta, Ninja Gaiden 2 and really look forward to playing Diablo 3, Devil May Cry (all of them), Mass Effect 3 and Skyrim. But none of these games are Dark Souls and I am very glad. Dark Souls (for me) is the best game in years. It is challenging and interesting, self contained and complex. I can not think of a game that (again, for me) can hold a candle to it. I believe it is just that good, and unique.

    : I’m sorry you didn’t enjoy it as much as me, and i mean(t) no disrespect for your opinion, but mine is, that you’re not right :)

  28. Thomas R March 11 2012 @ 6:50 pm

    You should buy Amalur: Kingdoms of Reckoning, it’s more or less the exact game you want Dark Souls to be. Personally I can barely stand that game.

  29. Craig March 14 2012 @ 7:59 pm

    Cry, cry cry. Are we done yet?

    My interpretation of the article led me to believe that it’s publisher, despite claiming DeS as one of his all-time favorites, never finished the game himself. With such a hyper-critical mentality, I can’t even bear to imagine the numerous ways he could manage to contort his face during encounters with the likes of Orn & Smough.

    You have some ideas, yes. Some far less promising than others, but I recommend that you save them for a game that is actually in a desperate need of work, because Dark Souls is not.

  30. Mike March 15 2012 @ 5:32 am

    I agree with what you said. What this game needs now is more NPC’s, more story. It needs to retain this amazing combat system, bleak atmosphere and direction, yet be more like the other role playing games in the sense of story telling. I never could really play more than an hour of oblivion, but I imagine if it had a combat system like dark souls, I would love it. I already love dark souls, but after beating it the first time, after you get past that initial rush of all the combat thrills, you wonder why did I do all that? All those guys were just like a bunch of enemies lined up to slay. If it could put as much creativity into other aspects of its games, like perhaps crafting and story as it did into its weapon choices…well this is what I would expect in the next dark souls. It is a bit linear I agree with that. I also missed demon’s soul’s hub system a little bit at first and I couldn’t understand why, then I realized…its because its like a home. A place to return and feel safe. I like that. A place where you can return and talk to your friends, ask for help… This game was a bit too…lonely. Don’t get me wrong, i like the evil, dark, and mysterious as much as the next but I think a few people might agree with this too. Dark Soul’s must evolve, yet continue to provide its numerous combat challenges and bleak atmosphere. I know others may say that’s bullshit, how can you add more people and maintain that environment, but that’s why there’s different zones. There should be zones of desolace and emptiness as in WoW, and then you should have a choice to return to a different place. All sadness and no joy leaves you wondering what are you fighting for?

  31. asscheeksmirkin April 1 2012 @ 11:34 pm

    I hate this article.

    Meeting with friends, more sidequests, fancy combos… all these are just the kind of idiotic ideas that deteriorate the games spirit, and From Soft explained multiple times that they didn’t follow that sort of cannon of action games on purpose : to make the player feel weak and alone. That has to remain. Not to say that they shouldn’t introduce new moves and abilities, but they all need to present a specific strategical advantage (and be a double edged sword)

    The writer’s ideas wouldn’t make the game disgustingly disappointing to my eyes. If you don’t know how to kill and approach a given situation in several ways through Dark Souls or Demon’s Souls, then you are a moron.

    But some details are missing from the game. Fighting on stairs, for one, should be harder. If you block too much, you should trip and fall on your ass. You should also ave access to a specific kind of dodge, not your average roll that would actually break your neck in real life. Being able to explore in more ways than running or jumping should be possible too, at least for specific classes. In strategic combat, this would make for some interesting possibilities (climbing on a ledge to surprise your opponent, etc.; the lure could be given to wizards, for example, and the ability to take advantage of your environment could be more of a thief ability; in fact, if I had to criticize From Soft, it would be for the fact that, at the end of the day, a class means nothing. it should be important and define your experience in some way or another)

    Glitches and the stupid AI were also inconvenient (although a life saver in many cases).

    Finally, Dark souls just wasn’t as atmospheric as Demon’s Souls. they emphasized too much on variety; some links between the “worlds” seemed to be missing (Demon’s Souls had the Nexus, so all was forgiven). individually, though, there were some good pieces, like the painted world and Londo Ruins, but they could have been better connected. More of Latria and the shrine of storms next time (with arrangements, of course, but the sinister feel was just awesomely creepy in those worlds). And bigger, everything bigger. I don’t want a game less than three times as big as Dark Souls, with more secret areas like the painted world (which happily reminded me of Demon’s Souls).

  32. JUSTIN May 6 2012 @ 10:30 pm

    Lordran is a lonely, lonely place indeed. When i see people here talking about having populated places or having a sort of “home” to go to and catch your breath it just makes me appreciate the solitude even more. Someone expressed the feeling perfectly with “OMG ANOETHER PERSON THANK F**K”… With a “home base” you can catch your breath at you wouldnt get those “thank god! I can rest for a second.. its finally over” moments where you feel like someone took the loaded gun away from your temple and gives you a massage.

    When i first got the game i was lost and very confused. I liked the feeling so much i stayed awake glued to it for over 48 hours. I never felt that in a game before… no road signs, no maps, no one telling you anymore than “up above” and “down below”. INSTANTLY fell in love with it. It feels like an ultra-realistic world. exactly what… no, MORE real than i could ever imagine (if i was dropped in the middle of an earth overrun by walking dead and terrifying beasts) if that makes sense to any of you.. im sure it does. The confusion, no clear path marked out.. only thing to go on is the strange words of a strange smart*ss..

    Youre meant to be lost, confused and alone. More NPCs would HAVE to add more story (which theres a TON of story throughout the game if you LOOK for it) But along with that more story you people keep asking for you ruin a major role and feeling that the whole game was built around… despair.

    I dont know.. whatever some people get it, some people dont.. some people CANT.

    and if you dont appreciate the fact that a phantom can drop in on you just out of reach of the bonfire.. or you finally see just before that fog wall goes up or it goes out seconds before you sit at it or even worse hes cutting off your path to the boss door (that you can see!)… and you HAVE to FIGHT a MONSTER of a player to save WHAT YOU JUST FOUGHT FOR for what seemed an eternity and that relaxed expression that was coming over you face turns into the most concentrated most intense most determined face youll ever see anyone make playing a VIDEO GAME as if you were fighting for your OWN LIFE… i dont know.. if you cant appreciate that then youre just one of those people who wont get it..

    dang man i remember my first time fighting havel.. over.. and over… and over before i even knew about backstabs?? hell dude the first thing they do to you is put you in a room with a boss ten times your size.. “found the tiny door on the side of the room did he? okay thats too easy.. lets roll a boulder over his ass then make him go right back.” who here can say they didnt die on the balcony the first time you see multiple enemies.. “What the hell?? this guys arrow just stunned me?? I died from three hits???” well i never played demon souls so its all new to me..

    what im sayin is the game isnt super-commercialized for a reason. its made to give a hardcore experiene for certain types of gamers who have been wanting that challenge for soooo long out of a new game(and maybe didnt even know it). its def not for the masses. this is some old school gaming right. if it had a difficulty setting there would just be a picture of mega-man. people used to like games to be challenging …. dont know what happened

  33. Gary May 14 2012 @ 9:21 am

    Nice article but I believe many of the changes u propose would change the identity of the game. I.e. more NPC’s…it’s sopposed to be lonely, no friends,…..same as above, multi hit combos….the combat is currently very strategic, multiple combos could easily turn the game into an action button masher. While I disagree with the idea of revisiting the nexus as I prefer the open world and did not like the nexus. I do not think that this idea would damage the games integrity. I do agree with limiting the black phantoms! Getting bullied by a black phantom makes we want to hunt the player down and do a little bullying myself lol. In any case great article and can’t wait for a sequel.

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