Dark Souls 2 preview
MEGA RESPONSIBILITYI'm in New York, waiting for Namco Bandai to talk about Dark Souls 2. Along with about sixty other members of the press, we've all been flown out here for the Global Game Day to hear about Dark Souls 2, and they're not talking about it.
We're shown the new Hello Kitty costumes for Naruto 3. We're shown a game called Garfield's Wild Ride where the titular cat must run as fast as he can and evade witches and giant sticking plasters for no readily apparent reason. We're shown the trailer for Power Rangers MegaForce, a trailer which includes the words "MEGA RESPONSIBILITY" shouted at top volume. We're shown the uniquely alien Armoured Core: Verdict Day, a game which fixes the problem of under-subscription by supplying players with programmable robot friends.
"Well, that's pretty much it for today," says the guy on stage, "I think that's it... wait... is there another game? Something we've missed out?"
A guy from the American table screams "YEAH!" as loud as he can. I think he might have fist-pumped, as well.
"Well, do you guys wanna see it? Eh?"
The American table, as a whole, hoots and hollers. Jesus, guys. It's half nine in the morning.
"Okay, well, here we go – please welcome Yui Tanimura, Director of Dark Souls 2, to the stage! Yeah!"
CALCULATING PSYCHOPATHYui Tanimura is ushered onto stage and he seems nervous in comparison to the high-energy presentation; he shuffles his feet, folds his hands over each another, and looks awkwardly around the room. This is all backed up by the first thing he says – through a translator – which is that he's sorry because he's "a little bit nervous." The second thing he says is that he is sorry for saying sorry. I like this guy. I always figured the Director for Dark Souls would be a calculating psychopath, but here we are.
We're shown a short video, and to be fair, it looks like Dark Souls with a particularly fancy texture pack stuck on top of it. It's pretty, for sure, and the fact that all hero movements are now motion-captured lends a feeling of authenticity to the whole thing, but it's still Dark Souls.
He talks about "killing with substance," and it's a nice idea. The whole point of the Dark Souls brand is to die over and over, and it's the job of the developers to build situations that teach the player through deaths rather than punish them. "We wanted players to enjoy the different types of death that are available," he says, smiling politely. But there's not a whole lot to say at this point.