If Brian Hong, Director of Marketing for Dark Souls 2, wanted everyone he met at E3 to come away with one fact about his game, it would be that it is as hard or harder than the game that notoriously broke the wills of gamers worldwide with its nigh-insurmountable challenge.
Set for a March 2014 release, Dark Souls 2 features a new engine, 1-4 player multiplayer and will allow gamers to carry three weapons, up from two in the previous game. Dark Souls 2 will also allow for warping from every Bonfire instead of only designated ones, which should come in handy as it was announced that mobbing up of your enemies is now built into the game. The new Lifegems offer a tiny respite, allowing healing without having to pause and go to a sub-menu.
The largest change, and the one that will get the most scrutiny from dedicated fans, is the new character creation system. Instead of just directly choosing a class, the game will explore the gamer's play-style and create a character that will suit his or her needs. This includes the new player ability to dual wield weapons.
As if to prove that the new game is as hard or harder than the previous one, the developer playing an early build alongside Brian Hong as he spoke died four times before getting into spitting distance of a not-too-far-away boss, The Mirror Knight, a colossus in very shiny armor, before it killed him three times. Its a rare sight to see someone who has played a section of game over and over as a demo have such a consistently hard time with it. Hong let it be know that when The Mirror Knight uses its ability to create a minion from his mirror shield, that minion might not always be controlled by an AI – sometimes it will be a human player jumping in to give you grief.
When the game was opened to hands-on play, it should go without saying that Dark Souls 2 will feel instantly familiar to experienced players, not only with it's excellent mood-enhancing visual effects, but the ego-shattering third person (get) hack(ed) and slash(ed) gameplay.