Hidetaka Miyazaki, the godfather of Demon’s Souls and Dark Souls, is clicking his ballpoint pen repeatedly. He’s sitting across the table from us, wearing his trademark casual navy blue jacket over a buttoned-down shirt. His hair looks slightly more dishevelled than usual, hanging noticeably limply across his forehead. The atmosphere in the room has grown suddenly charged. The virtuosic young Japanese game designer has dropped a bombshell.
In our Dark Souls II feature, the cover star of Edge 249, which hits UK newsagents on Thursday, long-time series director Hidetaka Miyazaki insists that the latest entry will remain true to the spirit of its predecessors despite the stewardship of two new directors.
When FromSoftware creative director Hidetaka Miyazaki began development on acclaimed action-RPG Demon’s Souls, his love of western fantasy literature made him determined to cast British actors for the parts. This ambition would eventually lead him to UK-based localisation partner Frognation, whose sterling reputation and ability to handle voice recording in addition to translation made it an ideal collaborator.
The forthcoming PC version of Dark Souls may not use the controversial Games for Windows Live service for its online features after all, according to Namco Bandai publishing producer Daisuke Uchiyama.
Despite the relentless influx of new titles always coming to market, there are some games that we just can’t seem to permanently eject from the console. Dark Souls has a way of stubbornly finding its way back into rotation. After spending roughly 120 hours living – and dying, and dying, and dying – in the dark-fantasy world of Lordran, returning to a place filled with so many indelible experiences offers a nostalgic headrush on par with visiting the home in which you grew up.
Hidetaka Miyazaki’s desk isn’t unlike that of so many Japanese videogame makers. A small army of rubber and plastic figurines battle for space with a PC, keyboard, mouse and an Xbox 360 development kit across its laminate surface. Bottles of sake and whiskey – birthday presents that haven’t yet made it home – patrol the periphery, while pens, calculators and unopened games from rival developers stake their claim to whatever space remains.
Hidetaka Miyazaki, director of Demon’s Souls follow-up Dark Souls, says his team at From Software is not going to go any easier on players, saying that he wants the game to be “more difficult” than its predecessor.“I have no intention to make the game any easier,” he tells us. “In fact, I want it to be more difficult. The way I put it to my team is that we are trying to make the most difficult game it is possible to make, which at the same time can be conquered by those who persevere. It has to be firm, but fair.”