Dark Souls II To Have Slightly Larger World; Won’t Be Open World

By Sato . January 2, 2013 . 5:30pm

In an interview with 4Gamer, former Dark Souls director, Hidetaka Miyazaki, and new director, Tomohiro Shibuya, discuss their new roles and plans for Dark Souls II.


No longer in the director’s chair, Miyazaki is now acting as the “supervisor” for Dark Souls II. What exactly will he do as a supervisor?


First of all, Miyazaki would like to reassure fans that might have concerns about the change of directors to not worry.


“As far as being a developing games, Mr. Shibuya has far more experience than I do,” Miyazaki says. “He understands exactly what it takes to do a great job and we’re on the same page regarding where we’d like to take the Dark Souls franchise. I fully trust him and his judgment.”


Due to personal reasons and more, Miyazaki and From Software came to a mutual agreement regarding his change to supervisor for the next installment. Although he’s saddened that he will no longer be the director, he’s satisfied by the fact that he’ll still have a role in the development of the series he’s grown to love. He believes there’s still a lot of potential in Dark Souls, which will only be realized better over time.


Miyazaki says his role as a supervisor will allow him to have a say in what he likes and dislikes during the ongoing development for Dark Souls II, which he considers selfish but at the same time, crucial.


A couple of those decisions that are already in the works include: a game server for Dark Souls II and to refrain from having DLC weapons and items.


As a supervisor, Miyazaki will monitor development and will make sure it stays true to its core as a Dark Souls game. However, he’s going to hold himself back when it comes to the world, story and artwork, as he believes that most of that should be up to Shibuya, as the new director.


Tomohiro Shibuya is known for his work in the mecha all-star game, Another Century’s Episode. Aside from A.C.E., Shibuya has worked in developing a new high-end graphics engine, which he plans on implementing in Dark Souls II. He recently stated that he’d like to evolve the overall experience of Dark Souls II, but in order to do that, he believes that it needs to start with the overall graphics.


Shibuya shares: “Rather than focusing on shading and lighting technologies, I believe that having a more realistic atmosphere while showing  better details of the monsters and their expressions would definitely have a bigger impact.”


In regards to how Dark Souls II will connect to its predecessor, it will take place in the same world, although it won’t be a direct sequel. The story will take place in a different area with different people. Shibuya decided to stick to the original Dark Souls map style, instead of opting for an open-open world. As far as recurring characters go, not much can be said for the time being.


Shibuya believes that the most important thing is to stay true to the original game, which already has many fans. Rather than making something completely different as the new director, he’d like to see what he can do to make it better.


“My concept is to get Dark Souls and what made it great, and give it a major upgrade,” he states. Shibuya also clarifies that there are currently no plans to increase the game’s size. If anything, it will just be slightly larger than the first. He’d also like to keep the overall gameplay time required to beat the game as close as possible to Dark Souls.

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  • hybrid897

    Glad to hear to hear Shibuya’s main goal seems to be an upgraded Dark souls experience.

    Kinda disappointed Miyazaki won’t be handling the story. I’m quite fond of Dark souls minimal narrative with most of its story being explained in item descriptions and the state of the world around you.

    • Testsubject909

      I always did get a kick out of showing to whatever random person in the forums would accuse Demon’s Souls of being completely lacking in story just by tossing out long strings of background information and series of events and information on the nature of the bosses he was fighting and their role in the grand scheme of things.

      The things you can learn from interacting with the very few NPCs that exists, looking up item description and bothering to actually go out of your way to understand the events rather then just choosing to go with the flow and have your actions dictate your complete lack of care for gaining the information that you expect to be spoon fed to you.

      It’s that extra bit of mystery and required effort that makes it all so much more satisfying isn’t it?

      • Lots of lore but very little story telling.

        • KyoyaHibari

          Depends on how you see it. There’s the backstory (lore) to the game found in certain details as historical facts for world building, and then there’s finding the other self contained plots of the NPCs in the present state, which essentially is also world building, but in a narrative sense, along with core story building, where each of these subplots are somehow connected to the player & their interpretation of the world.

          • Cameron Waltz

            I think what he meant is the game is very based around lore, but there is no story. Dark souls had a pretty poor story, but and amazing back ground. Story was you are undead, you escape, ring 2 bells, get shards, kill gwyn, and make final decision. That was it. The lore was very though out though which was exciting and very well implemented into the game. Instead of all knowing npcs, the items had their own history. Hopefully there is more story as well as lore in dark souls 2 though.

          • Cameron, I don’t think you realize how epic this game is. The player is the story

  • SirRichard

    So basically, what they’re aiming for is to refine Dark Souls’ gameplay and improve on its issues, and Miyazaki does have some sort of say in the process.

    That’s very reassuring, I suppose, but here’s hoping they can prove it.

  • $24431191

    For a second there I was worried that “won’t be open world” meant reverting back to the map style of Demons Souls. I really liked Dark Souls “seamless world” style and I’m glad they’re using that again. The new director sounds like he knows what he’s doing so let’s hope for the best. I’ll always take an upgrade but I wouldn’t want any changes that are too drastic. I’m glad they’re against DLC weapons and items too.

    • Testsubject909

      I really enjoyed Demon’s Souls style. Yes, there is a clear contrast between the two, but there’s a certain feeling that’s lost in the open world format. Rather, not so much lost as it’s traded in for an entirely different experience.

      Both are good, they just cater to different tastes. On a side note, it’s a good thing when you can enjoy both. But somehow whenever I think about Demon’s Souls and Dark Souls… Demon’s Souls always edges out in terms of which game I like most.

  • Seeing “Won’t be Open World” stunned me a bit, but then I was like “Wait, it was all just one gigantic area/map.” Glad that’s really the case. xD I hope their next big step will be a great one. Though I have one request…no more Basilisks…plz?

    • Michael “Kayin” O’Reilly

      Yeah this was like, super shabby reporting. Like, the fact that it’s not going to be more like, say, Skyrim is not news. “HEADLINE: GAME WON’T BE LIKE SOMETHING WE HAVE NO REASON TO THINK IT’LL BE LIKE TO BEGIN WITH”. That’d be like “Headline: Next Elderscrolls game is not an FPS”.

      Only this one is cleverly disguised to look scary. I’m sure it fetches clicks, but it makes me less likely to come back to Siliconera.

      • Tarlol

        Keep in mind it’s a response to all the fan sentiment right now. Lots of people were (stupidly) worried that the new director WAS going to make it more “Skyrim”-like.

  • Demeanor

    More of the same content type, with an overall improvement on characters, creatures, graphics, locations, mechanics, experience? GOD YES, Dark Souls was a fantastic title and I’m super excited to have the same size and area formula. Right now I’m curious about what new options they’ll add for the players (new offensive or defensive moves, new weapon types?) and how will they manage the MP, I sure hope they expand the experience and make it easier to use certain specific guilds (a few ideas: how about somehow showing the mayhem you create as a gravelord servant? How about giving me a cpu-controlled npc opponent when the search doesn’t turn up any human (if I choose to enable the option)? How about taking measures against campers with 2 helpers and lagstabbers?).
    Can’t waaaaaiiiittt this series was one of the best to bless this generation!

  • Richard N

    I’m still really disappointed it’s just gonna be called Dark Souls 2. Me and my friends were really hoping for Despair Souls or Depressed Souls.

    Very fitting I think.

    • popyea

      Yeah, but the “Dark Soul” is literally the center of the whole universe in the game. It’s why the entire human race exists, and has the greatest influence on the main narrative. If it was a different universe, it might be alright to change it. But otherwise it wouldn’t make sense to emphasize something so greatly for it to then just fade into the background.

      I think people are thinking of the title using the adjective “dark” when in fact it’s a proper noun, “Dark” — referring to humanity. You can’t just exchange that with a new adjective without knowing if they’ve changed the story to center around something else.

      • Richard N

        Well my main point being is just adding a 2 at the end is just lame and cheap. I’m not arguing how much importance the Dark Soul is to the game’s universe, just that I imagined them going with another different word like they did from Demon to Dark, but that was mostly because of publisher issues.

        I would’ve settled with a subtitle.

        • popyea

          I don’t mind so much since they’ve used roman numerals. If it was actually a 2 I would likely complain that it’s cheap. But using “II” seems like as elegant a solution as any to me.

    • midgard229

      Dystopia Souls is better :P

  • Luna Kazemaru

    So uhhh where where the people again saying they where dumbing the game down?

  • pinta_177

    im glad that they are trying to stay loyal to what made dark souls so great, instead of getting the “casual” treatment, cant wait to see gameplay

  • tubers

    I really don’t mind :) I know I’ll always get a kick from these games xD I would surely appreciate better visuals/atmosphere..

    ..but that’s coming from someone who didn’t mind Book of Memories (Silent Hill) or the The 3rd Birthday (Parasite Eve).

  • ffboi7

    No open world? Thats fine :D Dark Souls is great the way it is and improving upon that for Dark Souls 2 will make it near perfect :D

  • Seven of The Scions

    just few things i want for the next game, i want a harder challenge but easier to play with friends coz it took me an hour just to play with my friends, i don’t always want to play with random people, it has unique feel but it’s not always fun, i still prefer to play with my friends,I got my friends bought this game so they could just play with me, but sometimes it tooks forever to meet inside the game, that is……..tiring.
    I want challenge and fun, not the feeling of ‘Tired and stop playing this game’

    I want to be able to resurrect boss without come to another world or finished the game, at least give us a way (even it’s a hard way to be able defeat powerful boss again and again) to obtain certain items that only dropped by the boss.
    Larger world is a must, not ‘slightly’ i want it ‘Larger’
    more to explore and more secrets.

    I Have BIG EXPECTATION about this game.
    please don’t disappoint me:)

  • Nemesis_Dawn

    As long as they don’t do anything lame like let us pick create a party of our friends to play, I’m going to be cautiously optimistic.

    • Luna Kazemaru

      how is that lame?

      • Asura

        It ruins practically everything the game is going for thematically and in terms of atmosphere.

        It’s the same as being able to form a co-op party in Journey. Sometimes more restriction allows for a better experience.

        • Luna Kazemaru

          You guys really come up with the weirdest things sometimes honestly.

          • popyea

            It might not be to everyone’s taste, but don’t call it weird. You think it was just an accident that they didn’t allow it in the first game?

          • idrawrobots

            The multiplayer in Dark Souls is so cumbersome that I never bothered using it. I honestly feel that it could be changed for the better without ruining the overall experience from the first one.

          • Eilanzer

            you are one of the guys who play offline most of the time afraid of darkwraiths and when you are invaded just alt+f4?!

          • Luna Kazemaru

            it wasn’t even ment to offend anyone so relax i find it weird its not like i’m saying its shit

          • popyea

            I’m not offended. I don’t even think my comment comes off that way. I was just saying that it’s like that by design, not because it’s an anomaly.

          • Testsubject909

            Not really. I understand what they mean.

            Journey is a game without names or identity. All that exists is you, the world, your pilgrimage and whoever else you might find along the road. Wonderful emotions emerges from this silent cooperative play or separations and makes every playthrough unique in itself.

            As for the multiplayer experience in Dark Souls… Can’t tell. Never really did it.

          • Asura

            How do so many people avoid jolly co-op and the amazing fun of PvP? I’ve made 6 characters so far and about 600 out of my 700 total hours of playing has been PvPing.

      • Nemesis_Dawn

        Asura sums it up perfectly. The game is never supposed to hold your hand in a way that is beneficially to you. It is a matter of luck, whether or not you are able to even summon someone to help you and that’s part of the game’s overall atmosphere. There’s a sense of dread and loneliness to the game. You might get help, you might get invaded the moment you decide to become human again. You never know. That’s why it’s always taking a chance to bring that back for yourself.

        To just let you go to a lobby and get your friends to help out ruins one of the fundamental aspects of what made the first two games so good. They might as well allow in-game chat if that’s the case, so you can your buddies can talk about stuff while slaughtering everything in your path. It just takes away the atmosphere completely.

  • Asura

    My cautiousness has been somewhat decreased; I’m starting to lower my guard.

    I’ll still wait for same gameplay footage before thinking anything positive or negative.
    I love DkS and hope DkSII will be even more lovable.

  • Testsubject909

    I’m still hoping for a sequel to Demon’s Souls.

    On a side note. Refraining from DLC weapons and items huh?

    You sir… I salute thee.

  • Follower_of_Pram

    Many crucial points covered. Hopefully this will quell many of the sour grapes going doomsayer on this.

    New engine eh? May good fortune come upon this…umbasa.

    • Testsubject909

      On another note entirely…

      I see you pray to the Old One. Know ye not the truth? Thine idol thou praise in worship, thine trinket which permits thine working of what ye call Miracles be naught but the being that which slumbers and has cursed our kingdom into this damned fog! Ye blasted fools, open thine eyes to the truth!

      On an entirely other note. This form of speech isn’t actually present in Demon’s Souls so I have no idea why I wrote it that way.

      • Follower_of_Pram

        Lies, what foolish slander is this!? (What better twisted being to pray for a dark depraved game than the old one? lol) :x

        Truth be told, I found the clerics of Demon rather pleasant and grew fond of the word.

        • Testsubject909

          Eh. I found them to be rather twisted beings. Once the crisis is averted, they have made their intent clear that they are going to go on a righteous hunt to kill off all Magicians and Witches.

          I like Yuria. I don’t want to see her and sage Freke die at the hand of some religious nut who continuously repeats to me how evil they are, how vile their magic is, how much better his miracles are, how pure their belief is and all that other crap.

          Freke, while obsessed to a fault, is on a path of understanding and he long found out the truth about the religious order’s true idol of worship, but considering he, his work and his words would all be considered and are already considered blasphemous, there’s nothing he can do.

          Yuria, her powers are evil and she’s on a path of redemption. She admires sage Freke and sees that what he has created is a result of study, it is that of Human Potential based off the Demon’s Souls and not powers straight from that evil core. To her, and to Humanity, Freke is a greater beacon of hope but due to a pre-existing religious order, it is they who get to lead the masses instead and you just know that once the fog lifts they are going to eliminate their competition ruthlessly in the name of holy order and proclaiming that they were in part the reason why the fog came.

          They prosecute their own as well, notice that the last stage of the swamp area in 5-3 that one who they kept on preaching about their holiness were willingly tainting themselves for the purpose of appeasing the resident of this world forgotten and tossed away by everyone. Hell, she doesn’t even fight back and you can tell she’s broken by the knowledge of the truth she has found while delving so deep down into that seeping disgusting under-

          I’m just messing with ya. You can like whoever you want for whatever reason. But I’m telling you my stance here. I find the religious order of the world of Demon’s Souls to be blind, prejudiced and while they may act friendly, their intent are highly bloodthirsty on the higher and more zealous order despite some of their more pacifist members.

          But there are faults in the side of the Mages too.

          Then again… You’re a follower of Pram. Maybe you WANT there to be a great purge so you can stand supreme…

          • What the order doesn’t understand though, is that Yuria and Freke have a shield of “unprecedented power”.

            When the order comes for them, the Slayer of Demons will be waiting.

          • Follower_of_Pram

            I enjoyed the order as a whole because of this blind zealousness. Though the magic users were just as interesting, if not more so.

            I’ve been found out!

  • ragingmerifes

    I was hoping this would be a prequel, with a world before the curse or something. The lore is big, so we could have an entire region with even a town (and not one like Blighttown), like Demon’s Souls’ Nexus. While this would make the game look less “menacing and intense”, at first, it would be a nice place to have access to new side stories and NPCs.
    Also, the open world of the first Dark Souls (not so open, but more like with every area connected) is a great example, as long as they make it more varied, because Dark Souls just had the same areas from Demon’s Souls with a new coat of paint and some new areas that didn’t felt good enough.
    I have nothing to say about the battle system; it’s good enough. I just hope there’s a greater variety of weapons (I want new weapons, not just the common medieval types).
    For the new areas, I’d love to see, apart from the town mentioned earlier, a real cave (not something like The Catacombs or The Depths, but something more claustrophobic and dark), an expansion of the Drake’s Valley, a ghost ship, or anything that shakes because it is floating over water (which we could use to have a fight against a giant water monster), vast plains with wild animals, but in Dark Souls’ way (dark and full of natural traps), an underwater temple, a puzzle-dungeon like the Pharos of Final Fantasy XII and an abandoned/cursed town, since the game could take part during the start of the undead curse.
    Also, a better character creation system (not visually. I just want to change the status of my character before beginning the game).

  • Txtsword

    Having read the full interview somewhat prior to this article, I can say that siliconera is taking things out of context and making the entire article feel way more optimistic than it actually is. For one, Miyazaki never said anything about a mutual agreement to not be on the project. In fact, he was surprisingly honest about it not being his decision – and while he is obligated by his job to reassure you that Shibuya won’t fuck the game up and you should still buy it – it was very apparent that he isn’t really confident in Shibuya’s direction and that preserving his series is now becoming a challenge for Miyazaki. He clearly dislikes decisions and direction Shibuya is making but can only step so far out of line to actually affect anything. Also in the interview Shibuya says a few things that makes me worry that he fundamentally doesn’t understand the Souls series or it’s properties beyond some buzzwords he’s heard thrown around.

    • Raharu95

      Were can I find this interview?

      • Txtsword

        I’m not in the habit of reading neogaf, but someone linked this to me.

        • David Villarreal Romero

          After reading that interview, it seems to me that the new director is not bad at all and he really knows what the game needs to be better and more appealing, without dissapointing the current fanbase, so I dont get what you are trying to say.

  • Learii

    Miyzaki was director of Dark Soul and Shibuya is the director of Dark Souls 2 then who was the director of Demon Souls?

    • KyoyaHibari

      Miyazaki was Demon’s director too.

      • Learii

        oh thx i just hope the game still hard lol

  • KyoyaHibari

    Still hoping for a Demon 2 but anyways, when they said there won’t be an open world, I assumed they meant it was more in the Demon fashion anyways. One of my main concerns with Dark Souls was the environments. They didn’t feel as enriching or complex as Demon’s, and I felt that the dispersed areas helped to reinforce the shifts in atmosphere so you can get more easily immersed. In Dark Souls you go from the Firelink HUB which has some sort of Victorian-esque architecture that has been molded and ruined and has spots of grassy areas seeping through which is a somewhat nice setting, but it doesn’t truly feel like a home–besides the fact that it’s Dark Souls–nor does it give off a bountiful amount of emotions and tone. Then you head off to the other areas where both the transition and the environments themselves are awkward; you go from the Undead Parish which increases the Victorian elements of the HUB while removing more of the natural characteristics, and then over to either Darkroot which is just a dark forest or the Depths which is just a sewer, they don’t evoke sensational (by that I mean overwhelmingly spontaneous) feelings when you enter them, it’s just kind of a drab continual journey. Judging by the trailer–which granted, is CG–the settings look wholesome and elaborate with a very picturesque feel, even if each place is there for mere seconds. I’m hoping DS 2 will improve on its predecessor in this regard as well as making the combat more fluid and balanced among other things.

  • Settsuo

    I’m still on the wall. Words are one thing and reassurance of words don’t mean a thing until I see some actual footage.

    Story-wise I don’t mind a more accessible, understanding story. BUT… The relation to the first has to have some meaning to this one though. I mean gods were fighting and that’s pretty monumental. Lordran didn’t just vanish and the undead didn’t all disappear. Lordran was home to the problems of the world at large, can’t downplay it or leave it in the dust either.

    Time was also distorted in Lordran so the fact that this isn’t a direct sequel is extremely important. Time has to be established. Deciding whether it’s a prequel or true sequel has to happen one way or another. Was it during the war times of the gods and dragons, was it after the linking of the flame/dark lord ending, was it during Gwyn’s first linking or the flame, after his second linking?

    In the souls series the world and lore have always been in the spotlight. I hope Shibuya doesn’t forget that, because even from the trailer it seems too personal.

  • I’ll wait to see it to comment. Super hopeful for this to be good.

  • umm they are going to set up a server???????? so you can play coop properly through the entire game??!!!! im going..to..jizz..if..thats..TRUE

  • As long as a Sparkly the Crow variant remains, and a Patches the Hyena remains in the series, I shall be happy :)

  • Jim Smith

    Easier bosses would be a good start.

    • Cole Taylor

      Wow….Someone does not understand this game….Anyone who wants an “easier” game should not be here to start with…go play mario

  • Eilanzer

    hummm…i don´t like Miyazaki outside the wheel in DS2 =/

    i hope the game is as good as the previous….hope! souls franchise deserve this!

  • “Refrain from having DLC weapons and items” Praise the Sun!

  • charles

    “My concept is to get Dark Souls and what made it great, and give it a major upgrade,”

    You cant improve on perfection, Good Luck

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