Thursday, May 23, 2013

A Second List of Wishes

About a year before the release of Dark Souls (spiritual successor to Demon's Souls) I wrote a blog post with five requests for the game.  It makes me happy to say that I more or less got everything I wanted, at least once the post release patch was implemented.  Now that Dark Souls II is on the way, I thought it was about time for another wish list.  So without further adieu, here we go:

1.) Natural Light
One of the things I noticed when viewing in-game footage for Dark Souls II was the new and improved dynamic lighting. My hope is they'll make this an integral part of gameplay. Something a lot of people don't realize is just how black it gets without the modern convenience of electric bulbs. Fire is pretty much the only alternative to sunlight, and as such has its own set of complications. Grab a stick and wrap some resin soaked rags around one end. Hit it with some sparks and now you have a torch that will burn for ten or fifteen minutes tops. Candles can last longer, but they aren't as bright and can be snuffed out easily. The only other non-magical option is to use a lantern. Even this handy device has drawbacks though in that its fragile and potentially hazardous should the oil reserve break.

2.) Unnatural Dark
I think a day/night cycle, or at least some game event which changes the heavens above, would bring some exciting variety to Dark Souls II.  We got a small taste of  this kind of thing in Anor Londo.  Changes in enemies aside, it would be cool to see subtle alterations in environment by the light of the moon or stars, especially for above ground locations.  Perhaps another option would be to have a magical form of illumination that reveals secrets like the skull lantern in the Tomb of Giants.

3.) PC All the Way
The developers over at From Software have already hinted that they're going to make sure to give Dark Souls II a good PC port, but I'll put it here anyway.  please don't have it distributed by window live games or suffer from a release delayed until long after console versions have been out.  Please do have a robust set of graphics options and availability on Steam (or better yet Good Old Games).

4.) Backstab Immunity
A common problem with player vs player combat in Dark Souls is the constant fishing for backstabs.  Because of lag it can feel real cheap to have a foe suddenly appear behind your character and deliver a killing blow.  In preview footage of Dark Souls II there was an armored, two-handed mace wielding turtle-like enemy that could stop backstabs cold by means of a reverse body slam.  Lets hope that player characters have a similar option available at least when a shield is strapped to their back.

5.) Arabian Themed Areas
The Souls series, thus far, has been primarily European in flavor.  However, there have been small glimpses at other lands.  Take Izalith for example with spires reminiscent of real life temples found in the jungles of Tailand.  Then there is Shiva of the East along with a variety of Asiatic weaponry (katana, kilij, scimitar, etc.).  As of yet though no sand swept desert pyramids or oasis ruins have been introduced to the fiction.  Personally, I think it would be fun to go up against a mummy, ifrit or flesh-and-blood sphinx, but maybe that's just me wanting to get a taste of ancient Persia without princes or time travel.

Well, that's my list.  I have to admit I kind of wrote Dark Souls II off after hearing that the director of the two previous games (Hidetaka Miyazaki) was moving on to other projects.  Since then though the preview footage has rekindled my interest.  If  my five wishes turn out to be true then consider me back on board one-hundred percent.

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