E3 2015: Behind the curtain with Dark Souls 3’s Hidetaka Miyazaki

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Dark Souls 3 was announced at E3 for early 2016, and at E3 we were given the opportunity to sit in on a full gameplay demo with the help of From Software president and series creator Hidetaka Miyazaki. Miyazaki talked about the setting in Dark Souls 3, which takes place in an apocalyptic world.

Not wanting to delve too deep into the story of Dark Souls 3, Miyazaki talked about the resurrection of the “Lord of Cinder” and your “Dark Hero’s” quest to kill him. The world is destroyed and ruined with very little hope, and in this game he wanted to focus not on dark and grey colors but on “withered beauty,” which was showcased in one screen that depicted a castle heavily covered in clouds. He brought up that this type of game was only possible due to the abilities of the PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC.

Miyazaki talked about new features being added including sword action elements. With multiplayer there is a plan to have about six players at once, but there are still plenty of plans currently in development. As he stepped to the side to start the demo, it began showcasing the ruined castle (pictured above) which featured a vast open environment. Miyazaki smiled and said that everything we see can be explored, even the giant building in the back.

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At the start of the demo we saw a first-hand look of the world. It was a very dark and breathtaking world of ruin with the look of dusk and great lighting effects, ashes surrounding the area and blowing in the end, and plenty of corpses. On top of the castle was a dead dragon and as we were taking a look at it, an enemy attacked from behind.

We got to see some of the new combat mechanics for Dark Souls 3 which are called “sword action elements.” It gives players more options in battle, and after collecting a regular sword, we watched as the character held the sword in both one-handed and two-handed forms. It included a “ready stance” which gave the options of two different attacks, one included a lunge attack that gives the ability to rush through enemy defenses.

As we proceeded we happened upon a gravesite where Miyazaki revealed that lighting the torch on the grave reveals an epitaph that reveals an optional story. It’s there where we found ourselves on a small walkway surrounded with enemies, which we decided to take an alternate route with Miyazaki speaking about how experienced players know how difficult the fight could be. Instead the character ran into a giant dragon who quickly set the area ablaze. Deciding we wouldn’t survive the battle against a full grown dragon, we backtracked only to find enemies that were once in our way are now cooked, thanks to the dragon’s breath.

Just as we walked passed the charred remains of the enemy, we ran into a familiar enemy of the series, the Knights. Miyazaki talked about how in Dark Souls many of the previous enemies may have gotten weaker. In Dark Souls 3 the Knights have become stronger, no matter if they are by themselves or in a group. We soon found a Great Sword which required both hands to wield it.

As the demo came to a close we were introduced to our first boss called the Dancer of the Flaming Valley. We only saw a glimpse of the enemy as it stalked in the shadows ready to strike.

Our demo came to a close, and we had a short Q&A session where a few questions were asked including how difficult the game be compared to previous games including Bloodborne. Miyazaki replied that the game is full of challenges that overtime people can overcome and feel a sense of achievement for finally completing them. He wants people to enjoy the challenge that is awaiting them. Another Bloodborne-related question was asked about how far along was BloodBorne in development when he started working on Dark Souls 3, and if there were any issues on working on both. Miyazaki had a much easier time working on both games thanks to a great team, with much of the ideas already done.

As the game stands I am extremely impressed and can’t wait to take on the next challenge. The game looks amazing and just watching the demo was amazing, like watching a great piece of work come to life in front of your eyes…but I am sure I won’t be saying that yelling at the game next year after all the times I’ve died.

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Chris Del Castillo
Chris Del Castillo 2588 posts

Growing up Chris watched a lot of the original Saturday morning cartoons and developed a love for arts and animation. Growing up he tried his hand at animation and eventually script writing, but even more his love of video games, anime and technology grew.