New From Software game – Bloodborne 2 , Dark Souls 4 or Shadow Tower?

from-game

A bone, a ratchet, a bloody rope, parchment – these are the clues in this short teaser-trailer for the next project from Dark Souls studio From Software. What do they mean? Oh, probably a metaphor for death and the afterlife – it usually is. In terms of what game could it be, well, knee-jerk reactions leaned towards Bloodborne 2 (for my money it’s From’s finest, but, o tragedy, the first game remains a PS4 exclusive), but that might be simply because of the aforementioned bloody rope. BB is generally a more gory sort of horror than DS, y’see.

Some, however, are looking deeper into From’s past, theorising that the ‘Shadows Die Twice’ text after the footage could imply a return to Shadow Tower, From’s 1998 PS One game which laid some of the groundwork for Souls.

Here’s the teaser, all 28 seconds of it:

I mean, it could be anything. Could be a new Dark Souls, could be a new Bloodborne, could be a third Shadow Tower, could be something brand new but clearly quite in keeping with From’s biggest hits. (Incidentally, did you know that they’ve released 65 games to date – lest you thought they arrived out of nowhere with Demon’s Souls).

The case for Shadow Tower is obviously primarily built on the use of the word ‘shadow’, but the ‘die twice’ bit could also refer to Shadow Tower’s plot – a city dragged to the underworld, a hero descending after it. It’s also worth noting that the two Shadow Tower games (the second was Shadow Tower – Abyss, released on PS2 in 2003, and which Demon’s Souls was very much the successor to) were published as well as developed by From, so they surely own all rights to it.

Oh – something you should know about the Shadow Tower games – they had a first-person perspective. Take a look – notice how similar the fonts and menus are to Souls, too:

I should also note that Shadow Tower itself built upon ideas introduced in From’s even earlier dark RPG series King’s Field, which began on PS One in 1994 and was last seen in 2006. Souls’ family tree is long, long long.

What’s your bet for the new game, anyway? I’d love a new Bloodborne myself, but if a new/returned-to series means a PC version is possible, then that very much becomes my preference, whatever it is.

40 Comments

  1. Monggerel says:

    A first person dungeon-em-up from From sounds aces, actually. Hopefully they put giant fucking spiders everywhere, like in Bloodborne. Hell yeah, I love those things. It’s gonna be like Legends of Grimrock again. Mmm.

    So anyway, I tentatively hope it won’t be called “Spiders in Your Face: Oh Look There’s One Now It’s a Giant God Damn Tarantula Lololol”

    Well that got a way from me. So: bet: First Person Stabby stabs, with hopefully better combat than The Elder Scrolls.

    • 7vincent7black7 says:

      I think I remember From Software saying that Dark Souls 3 was the end of that series, and that they wanted to deviate from their previous design frame for games now, and try something new. So, I highly doubt its Dark Souls 4. Bloodborne might be possible, but I think its also not very likely if their deviating and all that. Thus, I would put my eggs in Shadow Tower’s basket for this one, personally.

  2. FurryLippedSquid says:

    I thought they had said they were done with Souls for now?

    • Syt says:

      I seem to recall that Miyazaki said he’s done with dark fantasy for now (which is probably good; I love the Souls games, but if I have to go through another library/poison swamp/cathedral/catacombs I think I may cry). Doesn’t necessarily mean that other teams might not work on similarly flavored projects.

      • HothMonster says:

        Speaking as the President of From he said they were completely done with Dark Souls for now and didn’t have any future plans for it. He did also say that he didn’t necessarily care if any of the projects they are currently working on resemble Dark Souls or not. So we could definitely be getting another flavor of Dark Fantasy again. Or we could get something very different but that teaser seems to point in a similar direction.

        link to pcgamer.com

        • Syt says:

          I stand corrected then. :) They have been refining their fantasy hack and slash since Kings Field days via Shadow Tower into the Soulsborne series, so I would expect an incremental change, not a revolution, though I hope they go for a bigger risk this time with not so familiar settings or enemies this time.

  3. wcq says:

    Hum, that writing on the parchment looks like stylized / hastily written kanji script to me (written top to bottom, I think I can recognize a few characters there maybe). An Eastern setting this time?

  4. Alien says:

    Hopefully the new game won’t be Bloodborne 2. Bloodborne didn’t feel as “deep” as Demons Souls or Dark Souls. Streamlining their games doesn’t make them better.

    A new Shadow Tower would be great; Shadow Tower Abyss had such a great atmosphere:

    link to destructoid.com

    And one Christmas wish to FROM SOFTWARE: No “fast travel” and “warping” around this time – it destroys immersion…

    • Daymare says:

      How does your immersion in a game about reality-warping gods cope with opening an interface, then clicking a bunch buttons to make your stats go up after reading a bunch of numbers to decide which one is the stat you want to raise this time?

      • svge says:

        Your confusing immersion with suspension of disbelief. He’s right, the first 2 thirds of Dark Souls 1 are great because you feel that you’re moving further and further away from the Firelink Shrine and to get back you will have to retread your steps back through all the enemies you’ve defeated on the way down (this is why the shortcuts are so satisfying when discovered).

        The point is, you are immersed because the representation of you is where it is in the game world and just like in real life, if you want to get somewhere you have to travel yourself.

        • digital_sneeze says:

          Don’t really have an issue with a fast travel system, but I can see the merits of holding off on it until the halfway mark or thereabouts. An interconnected world is enough on its own; it’s up to the player if they decide to use the fast travel system though.

        • Alien says:

          Yes, thanks for the explanation!

          • Daymare says:

            To be fair, I do understand why you’d feel more immersed with a ‘continuous character presence’ in the world.

            I suppose there’s ups and downs to both approaches.

            Really makes me wanna play DS1 now that I think about it.

        • LazyWizard says:

          They could handle fast travel the way Kings Field did. In that game there were these stone markers scattered throughout the game world. You could place a keystone on one of these markers, then use a matching stone disc in your inventory to teleport to that key.

          It worked because there were only a few key-disc pairs (3, 4 tops) and you had to find both key and disc separately, some found very late in the game, and all missable. Teleportation was something you earned, even more so than in the first Dark Souls.

        • Daymare says:

          Stats and interfaces can only destroy someone’s suspension of disbelief, but not their immersion?

          Alrighty then!

          Anyway, I’ve only finished BB and am — almost — done with DS3. Didn’t mind the port in those games (tho having to go back to the Dream to get anywhere in BB was annoying), but I can see why someone who’d gotten into the Soulsborne series with DeS or DS1 would mind it.

          • fish99 says:

            Just for the record, Demon’s Souls didn’t have a contiguous world, it had porting (via the Nexus, BB-style) right from the start.

    • digital_sneeze says:

      But Bloodborne had refinement and consistency in everything it did. The trick weapons offered variety too. It was just the Chalice Dungeons that let it down. It’s not going to be BB2 anyway, but I would love it if it was some kind of gritty biopunk Souls-like.

      • Daymare says:

        I played a few chalice dungeons alone (I don’t have PS+) and quickly got annoyed. It’s easy to ignore them, tho afaik there’s versions of items that only drop in there. That’s … really disappointing I guess.

        • digital_sneeze says:

          I would have liked to have gotten access to the bosses in there without having to traipse through patently un-Soulslike random dungeons but as you say it was easy to put to aside and enjoy the handcrafted main stuff.

          • Daymare says:

            Yeah, these levels felt … mechanical and uninspired. Sort of like if you wrote a map-designer program with the intent to randomly design Soulsborne maps.

            Wolfenstein: TNC did something similar. You can collect Enigma cards to access special “Uberkommandant” missions late-game. I was curious, but the first mission I selected was a level I’d just played through, only in reverse. I figured the rest would be the same and didn’t spend another thought on it.

            I get why it’s there: To give a linear story-driven game some form of “endgame” (besides BB’s NG+) with as little resources as possible. For me this stuff is meaningless. I’d rather play a different game after having finished a story. Or play a hack’n’slay if I want randomly generated levels.

    • fish99 says:

      I didn’t feel Bloodborne was any less deep than the Souls series. Maybe you could expand on why you think that?

      • Daymare says:

        Just for the record, BB is one of my favorite games of all time.

        That being said, you’re pretty much limited to playing a melee hunter with some magic tricks up your sleeve. Pure casters and sword-n-board are (almost) nonexistent. There’s fewer stats (not that I mind) and armor has very little influence on your character’s performance, compared to the Souls series.
        I can certainly see why someone would feel BB was shallower.

        • Alien says:

          Why BB didn’t feel as “deep” as Demons or Dark Souls?

          Some positive things first:

          – BB had absolutely great art design
          – the world was a lot more “consistent” and thematically coherent
          – the enemy AI behavior was so much better (for example the patrolling enemies in the sewers)
          – the combat mechanics felt extremely polished.

          But:

          – RPG mechanics were simplified; for example: item or equipment weight are irrelevant (I loved how you had to prepare for adventure in DeS by managing your item weigt AND your equipment weight)
          – Upgrading was extremely simplified
          – there was no need to use different weapon types (in DeS for example you HAD to use piercing weapons for scale miners in Stonefang)
          – everything (leveling, buying, repairing, upgrading, etc.) was located in the “Dream”, there was no need to travel around; the “world” was just for fighting…

          Overall: The game felt streamlined and more like an “action” game than a “deep” RPG, and I didn’t enjoy it as much as DeS or DS (My playorder: 1. DeS, 2. BB, 3. DS).

  5. LearningToSmile says:

    Word on the street is it might be Tenchu.

  6. Hieronymusgoa says:

    “gretchen, stop trying to make a Shadow Tower remake happen. it is not going to happen.”

  7. Vacuity729 says:

    The first half of that headline’s pretty much incomprehensible.
    Awesome work! Glad to see RPS isn’t slacking off.

  8. gwop_the_derailer says:

    So, not a new Armored Core…

    • Uncle Fass says:

      I was secretly hoping to see a return from AC as well (PC even better!), but From Software does have more than just the one team so never say never.

  9. modzero says:

    I’m very excited for Zen Bound 3.

  10. Ichi_1 says:

    1. Scroll looks like it is written in Japanese script.
    2. Eastern style music.
    3. What sounds like Taiko drumming
    4. Shadows die twice could be a reference to Shadow Assassins

    So… TENCHU TENCHU TENCHU!!!!!!!!!!!!! OMFG I’m so excited!!!

  11. ksubs says:

    Please please please please don’t let this be a First-Person game. I hate first person melee/RPG games. The completely limited peripheral vision is by far the clunkiest style of control and just makes any game totally unfun.

    Oh wait, there is something right next to me? Let me just look by turning my entire body 90 degrees. Oh wait they just ran behind me? Let me run forward 10 steps and then turn around. Oh and my hands and weapon taking a quarter of the screen is pretty obnoxious also.

  12. Chem says:

    New Viva Pinata

  13. LaundroMat says:

    Which of these 65 games (from before Demon’s Souls) is still worth playing today (on any system)?

    • Addie says:

      The King’s Field games on PS1 have aged just about as badly as it’s possible for any games to age, and they weren’t all that well regarded in the first place I’m afraid. They’re slow, they’re trial-and-error, and they’re full of incredibly cheap deaths. That Shadow Tower video looks to be full of basically identical gameplay to them.

      TV Tropes has a list of all they’ve done; I’ve only played the Dark / Demon’s Souls games of the rest.

      link to tvtropes.org

    • swigg says:

      When I was little I used to play this silly game by them called Thousand Land for the Xbox, I had a lot of fun with it. It’s funny to think how the same company is now making the Souls games. It’s only been released in Japan though.

  14. CelticFox says:

    I call it’s gonna be Half Life 3

  15. gamertaboo says:

    I am willing to bet that this new game will be the Souls’ formula, in their OWN IP, instead of being under Bandai Namco’s BS rule. They did their 3 Souls’games for Bandai, and they’re done. I would bet anything. It won’t be first person most likely, these games play better in 3rd person. Back then these types of games were always first person. I would literally bet almost anything.