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While the game certainly looked good, the very first thing I took note of was the revised user interface. While the health gauge, stamina gauge, item display and soul counter are very similar to what we've seen in Dark Souls (and Demon's Souls, for that matter), the (Humanity) counter on the left side of the health gauge was curiously absent. It is replaced instead with a sun and double moon symbol. Dark Souls II director Yui Tanimura avoided answering or explaining this change, or the meaning behind the symbol, stating that, (unfortunately, we want to save that information for a little bit later on. We'll keep you posted.) Perhaps the symbol represents a day and night cycle? Or a light and dark dynamic?
There was also another significant change that I noticed, in respect to the item display on the bottom left corner of the user interface. In previous games the item display represents the player's left and right hands, consumable items and spells (which players cycle through with the left, right, down and up buttons, respectively, on the controller's D-pad). Dark Souls allowed players to equip two weapons in each hand, as well as five consumable items. Dark Souls II is trying to push that to at least three weapons on each hand. The demo pilot cycles between a great sword, shield, bow, hatchet and a pair of longswords during the session, for example. Tanimura told us that the team wants to give players more flexibility in terms of the items and gear they can carry at any given time, though this feature is still being worked and hasn't been finalized yet.
On the subject of equipment, I asked Tanimura how equipment burden would work in Dark Souls II. The character piloted in Dark Souls II moved incredibly fluidly, despite being overburdened with full armor and six weapons. He answered by explaining that )the relationship between weight and movement speed will be maintained. For the sake of the demo, and because we haven't fully tuned the mechanics yet, it did seem faster than what it should be.)