Cult-hit sequel 'Dark Souls' confirmed for 2011
Saturday 05 February 2011
Dark Souls, unofficial sequel to PlayStation 3 word-of-mouth hit
Demon's Souls, has been confirmed as a 2011 release for Japan, North America and European regions, and not only on PS3 but also Xbox 360.
Its predecessor went against the grain of popular game design: it was an incredibly tense game in which the smallest of mistakes was met with punishment of an unexpected and unrelenting severity.
Medieval warriors stalked through gloomy castles, beaten back by monstrous foes, and were subjected to invasions from other players bent on brutal assassination.
One might expect that the modern gamer would shy away from a challenge weighted so strongly against them, a learning curve so resolutely steep.
In fact, Demon's Souls was almost immediately accepted as an essential title by critics and consumers. Players were importing the Japanese game in such quantities that localized versions for both North American and European regions were arranged.
Dark Souls, then, promises more of the same: luscious detail, overwhelming dread, and ruthless beasts return, but this time to a world more colorfully rendered than the murk of Demon's Souls, more expansive.
Beleaguered publisher Namco Bandai has secured rights for Dark Souls' western release and, despite Demon's Souls' loyal cult following, the distributor may find itself facing dragons of its own.
If the promised 2011 launch equates to a late autumn or winter release, realizing Dark Souls' potential means standing up to some of the year's biggest names and marketing budgets.
That time of year sees annual iterations to FIFA Soccer and Call of Duty, joined this year by Battlefield 3, Uncharted 3, and Mass Effect 3.
Then there are titles not utterly dissimilar to Dark Souls: Skyrim (sequel to medieval adventure Oblivion) and The Last Guardian, whose castle ruins reveal an altogether friendlier monster.
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