Gritty Video Game Designer ‘From Software’ Has Mystery Project and Controversial Port on the Way
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Gritty Video Game Designer ‘From Software’ Has Mystery Project and Controversial Port on the Way





Sam Brumfield, Staff Writer

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The Majula Pit from ‘Dark Souls 2’ via Youtube

From Software is a favorite developer among hardcore gamers. They are most well known for their Soulsborne series. The series with the cult classic game Demon Souls in 2009 and ended with Dark Souls 3 in 2016 and its subsequent DLC in March 2017. From Software is also known for their Armored Core franchise, which could be described as similar to Gundams. Tenchu is another of their earlier series which is based in feudal Japan. This series may soon get a reboot.

Soulsborne series started with Demon Souls a standalone game of the Ps3. The series started the trend of using souls as currency. It was also the start of the tremendous difficulty of the series. Fans still argue today whether the difficulty is caused by dated and stilted gameplay or if the game mechanics themselves were difficult.

Next in the series came the first Dark Souls. Many die hard fans would claim that the difficulty was toned down, but undeniably the edge caused by an aged engine was much less. This however was not fixed on the PC port which is considered the worst port in the series history. The game on consoles however hooked a cult following.

Dark Souls 2 the easiest objectively of the series is next. The game attempted to reuse the vertical progression of the previous two games ,but it was unsuccessful. The levels progressed more horizontally and any form of vertical movement was handled rather poorly. The pit in Majula is an excellent example of how the vertical progression was turned into a broken platformer where previously it was exploration and combat in precarious areas.

Dark Souls 3 is considered a true return to form by many fans. The series revisits the vertical progression but not in the same way as its predecessors. Dark Souls 3 seemed to have more progression in a linear fashion in the way that you travel to a new area, then you must explore the heights and depths of the area.

Bloodborne was a new title made by From Software to the tune of Eldritch Horror‘s H.P. Lovecraft edition. This game was a change from how the rest of their games had operated mechanically. The game design has been described as “What if we did Dark Souls but took out all the shields and added short range firearms?” The removal of shields caused the game to be based more on retaliation and dodging than the block and then poke style of the other games. To encourage the switch in mechanics, the game’s creators added the ability to regain health if the player attacks an enemy shortly after being damaged but before taking additional damage.

These changes are what made it one of the most popular in the Soulsborne series. Next is the game’s story: where the player dreams within dreams within the abominable Eldritch knowledge. The story will throw you for loop after loop, having the player gain insight to attempt to unravel it. Yet, maybe the more you have insight on the less you will understand.

Next is the interesting new trailer that From Software has released. The trailer is only 30 seconds long but has spurred hours of discussion in the community. The trailer has a device in the center view in front of what looks like paper with ancient Chinese or Japanese written around it.

The device brings back memories of the “trick weapons” of Bloodborne. In the background you can hear music that is associated with feudal Japan; this is raising questions as to the setting of the game. Many think it will be Bloodborne 2 in some type of Asian setting. This would fit into Bloodborne’s lore as the Chikage weapon is a Katana hybrid weapon that is said to originate in a foreign land.

The other side of the community believes the game may be some kind of Tenchu like game. Tenchu was a ninja stealth game that From Software had previously worked on and the phrase “shadows die twice” is similar to a phrase used by one of the Tenchu series bosses.

Tenchu Z via YouTube

Another smaller camp is under the belief that this new title will be just that an entirely new title produced by From Software.
Until whenever “Shadows Die Twice” is revealed, there is a remaster of the original Dark Souls to look forward to. This has torn their fans, however. Many want to see what the game would be if the combat was changed to resemble Dark Souls 3’s combat, as they feel it is the most refined out of the Dark Souls series. It was confirmed that the player limit would be raised to six where previously only four could.

This may occur being forced by the aged game engine used in Dark Souls. The engine has a difficult time running the game at a higher frame rate than 30 frames per second. This issue causes a range of things to occur at higher than 30 frames like collision bugs when using ladders which in the vertically based progression is a problem. One fix would be to use the superior engine from Dark Souls 3.

Scaleless Dragon from ‘Dark Souls’ via

The other side is the camp wants the game to stay exactly the same as it was when it first released, claiming the experience should stay the same as it was their first time. While this sentiment is nice, the effect on the dated mechanics would likely cause some new players to turn away from the remaster.

The PC port has caused some fans to fear that it may receive the same treatment. The PC port was known for being so poorly done that many fans passed over the first installment. The biggest surprise is that the switch will be receiving the remaster although it will be running closer to the original 30 frames than the Xbox or Ps4 who will both be running closer to 60 frames. A few concerns have been raised about the unpausable nature of the Souls Games and how this will be affected by the pick up and play then go console.

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