New Dark Souls Screen Shots from Namco Bandai

Fans of the 2009 cult hit Demon’s Souls are sure to wake up to a surprise this morning as Namco Bandai has released a batch of new screenshots for the game’s spiritual successor, Dark Souls.

The screens show off many of the environments and enemy types players will encounter throughout the course of the game – so be prepared, once again, for a rough ride.

The images give glutton-for-punishment gamers a look at From Software’s follow-up, expected to be just as brutal as the original Demon’s Souls. While the images don’t give any tangible plot or game mechanic details – they no doubt paint a picture of a world that’s just as demented as its predecessor.

That said, Dark Souls will bring back many of the gameplay mechanics that veteran Demon’s Souls players will recall quite fondly, as well the notorious difficulty the first game was loved for. As displayed in the screenshots, both blue and red phantoms will return to the game to either aid the player or make their game ever more challenging.

Check out the images below (and click to enlarge):

The screens also show a new NPC character, which appears to be a blacksmith – much like Blacksmith Ed and Boldwin from the original game. No word yet on whether or not he’ll be as grumpy though. A character known only as the “Golden Knight” also appears in one of the screenshots, though there are very few details known about him at this time. The screen shot seems to indicate that the player may have summoned him – perhaps he will play a role similar to the blue phantoms from Demon’s Souls.

New enemies types are also seen throughout the screenshots, and they appear just as creative and deadly as ever.

The original title featured a number of creative environments and levels, such as the Tower of Latria and the infamous Swamp Level in the Valley of Defilement, and Dark Souls appears to retain the amazing level design the first was known for.

Dark Souls will release on October 4th for the PS3 and Xbox 360. Will you be picking up Dark Souls, or have the tales of the unforgiving difficulty turned you away from the title?