We’ve had a lot of Souls games of late. Since 2009, FromSoftware have overseen the release of three Souls titles, with their most recent effort, Bloodborne, releasing earlier this year for PlayStation 4. The third in its series, Dark Souls III will inevitably call on the success of its predecessors and, in an interview with Game Informer, studio president Hidetaka Miyazaki revealed exactly what has made the transition from Dark Souls II.
Dark Souls II’s fast travel system sees a return and, much like its predecessor, it will be available from the very beginning of the game, allowing quick access from bonfire to bonfire. In contrast, the original Dark Souls afforded the player fast travel access at the midway point.
Dark Souls III will also allow players to reallocate stat points in order to change builds throughout the game. Dark Souls II allowed the player to do so via the Soul Vessel, a limited item that afforded the player the opportunity to change tact without creating a new character altogether. Whether the Soul Vessel returns remains to be seen, but Miyazaki wants to afford players the convenience of trying out different builds one way or another.
New Game +
New Game + also makes a return, and will thankfully share more in common with Dark Souls II than its younger siblings. Dark Souls II’s New Game + featured new items, weapons, and a handful of surprises that made revisiting the game feel fresh and worthwhile — Dark Souls and Demon’s Souls on the other hand simply raised the difficulty.
Weapons in Souls games have always had a finite use, with repairs required to assure the weapons full strength. With regards to Dark Souls III’s weapon durability, Miyazaki stated “…I personally think that the weapons in Dark Souls II break a little too easily. This was implemented intending for the players to try out many types of weapons, but even so, I felt they broke too quickly. However, in Dark Souls I, they didn’t break enough, and so I’m hoping to find a good balance for Dark Souls III.”
Dark Souls III will match players in the same way as in Dark Souls and Demon’s Souls, through their Soul Level. It makes a change from the recent shift to Soul Memory, a system which was adopted, and largely criticized, in Dark Souls II. The biggest change however comes in the form of invasions, as players will no longer need an item, previously the Cracked Red Eye Orb, to invade another player’s world.
Magic was almost non-existent in Bloodborne, but it makes a welcome return in Dark Souls III. According to Miyazaki, FromSoftware “will make sure that they [magic] are not just the same type of spells with different attributes, but actually have specific characteristics that can enhance the players’ play styles and strategies.”
“Players will be able to have more criteria to accurately choose the different types of spells to best fit their tactics and strategies,” he adds. “This is similar to the thinking behind the characterization of each weapon and their specific battle arts.”
And there you have it. Some returning features, some adjustments and some altogether new elements will make their way to Dark Souls III when it releases for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC in early 2016.