Demon’s Souls was the definition of a cult hit: A strange, off-putting, atmospherically dense, ambitious, PS3-exclusive action RPG – whose main feature was a difficulty curve that was like free-climbing a sheer rock face. It was critically well-received and sold numbers that were quite respectable, but also well below the blockbuster bar. It didn’t so much have fans as acolytes, who wandered the land (well, Internet) extolling the game’s virtues.
After switching from Atlus to Namco Bandai as their U.S. publisher, From Software vowed to make a sequel worthy of the regard given to the first outing. Information about that sequel, Dark Souls, has trickled out in teasers, screenshots, and interviews over the last year – but, now we can get a new taste of the horrors From Software has planned for its players in this Dark Souls Story Trailer.
Full disclosure: I still haven’t beaten Demon’s Souls. The game scared the hell out of me. It’s an exhausting experience to spend an entire game with one’s guard up, constantly sure that the next room contains something that will crush you into dust with a gesture. Fortunately, the trailer for Dark Souls doesn’t look like it’s going to change the formula.
The trailer below confirms that Dark Souls is fully committed to that man vs. unfathomable odds aesthetic. Check it out:
The actual amount of “story” revealed by the trailer is debatable. It’s currently known that Dark Souls is more of a “spiritual successor” to the first game – than an actual sequel. Though its gameplay will be largely the same as Demon’s Souls, Dark Souls’ plot will not actually connect to the previous game.
Nonetheless, the few shreds of plot we get from the trailer indicate a number of commonalities between the two: A huge, monster-filled fortress at the heart of a world gone mad, the apparent legacy of gods run amuck, and undead horrors everywhere.
That said, there are some intriguing moments in the trailer worth mentioning. The undead of Dark Souls’ world are apparently rounded up and sent to linger eternally in state-sponsored gulags. Moreover, the player may in fact be one of these “branded undead.”
Somehow, the player will be sent to “Sands Fortress,” a kind of demon-filled proving ground of the Old Gods, to become a chosen hero. This will, of course, lead to fighting ever-more-insane battles against beasts the size of office buildings. It will be fascinating (and no doubt terrifying) to find out how it all links together.
Are you an adherent of Demon’s Souls? Are you sure all the hype for Dark Souls is just that? Are you, in fact, prepared to die? Tell us all about it in the comments . . . so the world might be mended.
Darks Souls is set to invade PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 on October 4.