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New 'Dark Souls II' Gameplay Footage Reveals Something Strange

Jan 31 2014, 9:00pm CST | by , in News | Gaming

New 'Dark Souls II' Gameplay Footage Reveals Something Strange
 
 
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New 'Dark Souls II' Gameplay Footage Reveals Something Strange

“Even if this land shall expire, thou may be able to prevent further corrosion.
…But even so, one day the flames will fade, and only Dark will remain.
And even a legend such as thineself can do nothing to stop that.”

~ Hawkeye Gough

Dark Souls II is landing in less than two months. Nine minutes of new gameplay footage have hit the internet, showing off some pretty tough looking fights against the game’s myriad enemies.

We see fights against huge, scythe-wielding monstrosities, a giant stone knight, wolves, soldiers, and more. It all looks perfectly in keeping with what we’ve seen in other Souls games, which is no surprise to anyone who played the beta.

But one thing leaped out at me. In a fight against enemy soldiers, one of them rears back after taking a blow from a sword. Rather than a hollow or a skeleton, the soldier appears to be flesh and blood. This isn’t a great screenshot, but you can certainly make out a human face:

That’s around the five-minute mark in the video.

Now it’s still possible that this is some form of undead with features simply less degraded by time. Or it’s possible that we’ll fight human enemies in the game, which raises some interesting questions about the state of the world in Dark Souls II, and the state of the Curse.

The game’s “hub” area is apparently more populated and “civilized” than in previous games.

Here’s GameSpot’s take:

[T]he area I come out into is completely free of darkness. This new hub world is bathed in the warm glow of the sun. Against the beautiful shoreline vista are actual houses. The fact that these abodes look like liveable spaces is new to me. This doesn’t feel like a Dark Souls area at all. I want cold, unfeeling stone, mouldy catacombs, and an overwhelming sense of dread. This place looks nice.

[...]

The hub’s warm sun, cosy houses, and waves lapping gently at the shore–none of these are indicative of the game’s tone. This is simply Dark Souls II’s way of providing you a single moment of respite.

Both Demon’s Souls and Dark Souls had their own “hubs.” In Demon’s Souls this was more literal—the Nexus where heroes gathered, with its archstones leading to the game’s various worlds. In Dark Souls, the hub was less defined—the Firelink Shrine was a safe space, but hardly a fortification, perched on the edge of high cliffs, just beneath the Undead Burg.

But actual houses? A “nice place” to find respite? This is new. In Lordran, the only true sunlight you encounter was the illusion of sunlight in Anor Londo. Solaire is looking for his sun.

And yet here, in the above image, is an ocean awash in sunlight. Is it real? Is the sun burning in this world, in this time?

There’s something less decrepit about the world of Dark Souls II than its predecessor, something more inhabited and alive.

At least, that’s the impression I’m getting from these small clues. What it means is harder to decipher.

Follow me on Twitter or FacebookRead my Forbes blog here.

Source: Forbes

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