Dark Souls 2 certainly doesn't lack for taglines. A Facebook poll conducted earlier this year saw 4 equally sadistic subtitles put to the sword as new motto: 'Go Beyond Death' reigned supreme. A more suitable slogan for the franchise might have been 'fun through frustration', a mission statement every bit as unusual and compelling as the series itself.
Released back in 2011, the original Dark Souls featured enough controller throwing, desk smashing misery for 5 games, yet the sudden rush of success - always just a single turn away — kept players coming back for more. Now, the cult title has spawned a sequel - and owing to an increased marketing budget a potential live action series to boot.
Debuting online earlier today, the 'Dark Souls 2 Live Action Teaser' trailer (available above) finds an armored dungeon dweller stalked and slain by his shadowy rival. In closing, the brief video confirms 'a live action event' for sometime in 2014. Whether this amounts to a Michinima-style web series ala Ryse: The Fall or a one-off event to coincide with the game's release is yet unknown.
"For Dark Souls 2, we don't even expect any additional downloadable content because we want to deliver a full game, the full experience, to fans who purchase the package from day one."
The producer also dismissed suggestions that the title could fall-in with other Namco-Bandai properties by going free-to-play, stating:
"…I think it's too young to go free-to-play. And with Dark Souls I think it would be hard to monetise in that way. Pay per death? That would be terrible. From Software especially don't want to allow players to pay for an advantage."
During another interview with the publication, director Yui Tanimura also addressed confusion over his recent use of the term 'accessible,' a big no-no for fans of the notoriously brutal and unforgiving franchise. Tanimura insists that the game will be as challenging as ever, forcing players to strategize and play smart in order to "achieve a huge sense of satisfaction." Rather than streamline the game for a mass audience, as fans had feared, it now appears the director's comments were instead directed towards removing any unnecessary tedium from the title.
It's unusual for a game with the userbase of a Dark Souls to avoid creating DLC; for fear that it might antagonize or exploit fans. Miyazoe's comments about maintaining a level playing field and giving fans what they've paid for provides a welcome change in an industry otherwise obsessed with monetizing every aspect of a franchise. It seems, however that in the studio's rush to avoid the more negative aspects of DLC they may have also forgotten the positives, i.e. the ability to extend the life of a title, and entertain fans with greater regularity. It could also be that this late-cycle title is due a next-gen sequel, giving the dev team very little time to devote to producing such content.
Are frustration and failure necessary to success in Dark Souls? What's your favorite memory of the franchise so far? Let us know in the comments below, and be sure to check in with all of the latest Dark Souls news, right here on Game Rant.
Dark Souls 2 will be released on March 11, 2014 throughout North America, and March 14, 2014 across Europe. The game is currently being developed for PC, PS3 and Xbox 360 platforms. A limited edition collector's set has also been announced.
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