Fans of Hidetaka Miyazaki’s crushingly-difficult games have been pretty satisfied over the past few years. Dark Souls II premiered in 2014, spiritual successor Bloodborne appeared this year, and the fourth title in the Souls series, Dark Souls III, is planned for release in early 2016. However, aside from some gameplay and cinematics shown during E3 2015, not much has been revealed about the game.
In a new interview with Game Informer, Hidetaka Miyazaki opened up about Dark Souls III. Speaking openly about the game’s development, he reveals what gamers can expect from gameplay, magic, and the similarities and changes from prior entries to the Souls series.
Gamers who enjoy travelling freely from the start, even if it gets their character killed, will be glad to know that Dark Souls III will carry on the tradition of open fast travel from the get-go in its expansive world. Additionally, Miyazaki intends to bridge the gap between Dark Souls and Dark Souls II, by bringing back certain mechanics that made the game easier, and rejecting those that were inconvenient.
For example, the weapons in Dark Souls III will have more durability than the easily-broken ones in Dark Souls II, but they may not be quite as strong as those in the original Dark Souls. Players will also be able to reallocate their skills and souls as they wish without having to create a new character, though Miyazaki’s team hasn’t quite narrowed down how the mechanic will work. Dark Souls III will also feature new enemy placements and new weapons to be found in the New Game+, just like in Dark Souls II. Dark Souls III will also see the return of the traditional summoning system multiplayer mode from prior Dark Souls games, though it will no longer make players rely upon cracked red orbs in order to invade.
Finally, magic will remain true to the Souls series, rather than following in Bloodborne‘s footsteps. Familiar spells from the Souls series will be returning, but Miyazaki’s team is improving them. Rather than simply having similar spells with different shapes or attributes, the team is applying specific characteristics that can be useful to a gamer’s play style. However, one major change to the magic system is that it will work on a MP or mana meter, rather than refreshing charges by sitting at bonfires.
Miyazaki and his team seem to be bridging the gap between the entries to the Souls series, without betraying the characteristics that gamers have come to expect from them. While some gamers are most likely eager to just try out the game the way it was meant to be played, some are probably dreaming up new self-imposed challenges for Dark Souls III, like defeating bosses with voice recognition.
Players of the Souls series can look forward to a faithful return to the formula that made the games great, rather than blurring the lines between Dark Souls III and Bloodborne. While Bloodborne was received very well, keeping the two games distinctly unique from each other is probably the best way to keep all gamers satisfied.
Dark Souls III is estimated to release in early 2016 for PC, PS4, and Xbox One.