Dark Souls II Introduces a New Hero, a New World, New Multiplayer and a New Game DirectorS

Dark Souls II, the surprise sequel announced at Friday's Spike TV Video Game Awards, is going to be tough, its creators promised in a press release. That's to be expected.

But here's a surprise: the series' creator, From Software's Hidetaka Miyazaki, will serve only as a supervisor on the sequel, while the game will actually be directed by From's Tomohiro Shibuya. His comments about the game don't shed a whole lot of light on the sequel, other than to indicate that the new title will be faithful to the older ones but also introduce new things (as expected, of course): "This new chapter in the Dark Souls saga presents opportunities for us to drive innovation in gameplay design, develop an entirely new story, and expand the scope of the world in which the player interacts with the game. We have taken these necessary steps with Dark Souls II in order to evolve the overall experience of the Dark Souls series... the entire development team is striving to make Dark Souls II an experience that is fresh while not forsaking its roots in presenting players with challenging gameplay. Our goal is to surprise and delight our fans with new experiences and plot twists while enticing new players to join our dark journey."

According to the game's publisher, the new game "will feature a new hero, a new storyline, and an unfamiliar world for players to survive in while delivering its signature brand of unrelenting punishment that players hunger for."

It seems that multiplayer is going to be tweaked as well. Demon's Souls and Dark Souls had an unusual multiplayer system that allowed users to do everything from leaving quest hints for each other to invading each other's games. So what to make of this bit from the press release about Dark Souls II ? "Players seeking to share their experience will discover a revamped server-based multiplayer mode that will put a distinct Dark Souls II twist on the concept of playing with others."

The game's publisher, Namco, is promising a game full of "unrelenting challenge."

Dark Souls II is slated for PS3, Xbox 360 and PC. No timeframe given, though anything sooner than late 2013 would be a shock. No mention of Wii U or next-gen platforms. Hmmm.

Watch the trailer for the new game here.