It was little more than 4 years ago when From Software wowed and entire generation with its absurdly challenging medieval fantasy RPG, Demon’s Souls on PS3. The game was so popular in cult gamer circles that by the time a sequel was in the works it was no longer a single console exclusive like it’s predecessor. Dark Souls came along and then everyone was in on the craziness that was From Software’s challenging title. Fast forward a little more than a year from its release and we now have Dark Souls 2 to look forward to.
Some fans were incredibly skeptical of From Software’s aims with this title. Some felt it was too soon. Some are chomping at the bit to get their hands on this title. Some even dread that it’s being made at all. One thing is for certain, From Software is bringing a lot of change with this title. The changes are mostly subtle. Things that one would only notice if they played Dark Souls. The game has been touted as being more challenging, but also not as alienating as previous entries. They’ve also given the player the ability to light torches and create light in “darkest hours”.
The enemy AI has been tweaked in various ways for this title. The mobs you fought in previous games were vicious, methodical, calculating, and fierce. On flip side they were also just as vulnerable and susceptible to the same laws of in-game physics and tactics that you were. For the most part both player and AI were on equal footing, so long as you could play the game as strategically as the game did. No hack and slash. Just skill. This time around enemies think even more tactically, and are even quicker to adapt than ever before. You take the enemies back, they enemy adjusts to recover. In the video above the player in the demo is attacked by a heavily armored foe with a shell on it’s back. When the player flanks the foe, the foe doesn’t just turn around but unleashes a devastating back drop to flatten the player. When fleeing the enemy AI even takes advantage of cornering you. It all reminds me of the enemy tactical AI in last year’s Dragon’s Dogma. For every action the enemy typically had a reaction. This is all great news for those seeking even more challenge from the this forthcoming title.
Personally I was never the biggest supporter of the series. I’ve said in previous articles and podcasts that I truly dislike the Souls games. I play video games for fun. I don’t mind challenges, but I have a hard time having fun with a game that goes out of its way to “kill” me. I do have a tremendous amount of respect for what the devs at From Software are doing and have done with the franchise, but ultimately I’m not looking forward to this game. Not because I think it will be bad, but because I sorely dislike being frustrated. We’ll see how this shapes up. Maybe this will be the one to win me over. Or maybe I’ll wait for Dragon’s Dogma 2. Dark Souls 2 will release March 2014 for Xbox 360, PS3, and PC.