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.