Dark Souls II is the cover star of Edge 249, which hits UK newsagents on Thursday. In our ten-page feature, Hidetaka Miyazaki, director of Demon’s Souls and Dark Souls, insists that the latest entry will remain true to the spirit of its predecessors despite being under the stewardship of two new directors.
With Miyazaki taking a step back, and Tomohiro Shibuya and Yui Tanimura – who both worked on Namco Bandai’s Japan-only mech series Another Century – now in the driving seat, many players have expressed fears that the characteristically singular vision of the Souls series may be lost as its publisher looks to widen the game’s audience. Not so, according to Miyazaki.
“I’m not one to restrict the potential that Dark Souls has by insisting that only I can work on the titles,” he tells us. “I want new expressions. It’s true that I’m sad about not being involved in the development of Dark Souls II, because I’ve worked on Demon’s Souls and Dark Souls’ development for the past five years. I really love those two titles; however, maybe this is the time to have new inspiration, so I’m fine about that.
“I’m looking forward to playing Dark Souls II not as part of the development team, but with a little bit of distance. Everybody knows what the core of Dark Souls is – the dev team does, the fans do, the media does – and that will never change. I [wouldn’t] really care for Dark Souls VIII to come out. That’s not the point. It’s more, ‘What do the fans want?’ We want to stay true to what they expect.”
And that core remains in Miyazaki’s charge, Namco Bandai stressing to us that he put in place the “foundation and framework” of Dark Souls II, while Tanimura and Shibuya’s task will be to “put up the walls and decorations, and build up the rest of the house that he has created”. And introducing a fresh pair of eyes – two pairs, in this case – to work on broadening Dark Souls’ appeal doesn’t necessarily mean dumbing down what makes the series special in the first place.
“In terms of the characteristic of Dark Souls, it’s very clear what we did wrong and what we did right, thanks to the reviews from the media, the feedback from the fans,” Miyazaki adds. “Fortunately everything’s not all over the place – all the feedback is headed in the general right direction.”
Issue 249 of Edge, which goes on sale December 20, also features our end of year awards, our verdict on Wii U, and much more besides; see our magazine page for what’s inside. You can buy or subscribe to Edge in print, for iOS devices (including our award-winning interactive iPad edition) from Apple Newsstand, and for Android through Zinio or Google Play.