A new article-style interview with Namco Bandai's Takeshi Miyazoe is available at VG247, in which, among other things, he confirms that New Game+ will make its comeback, and while I'm sure most fans took it for granted, it's good to know for sure. Here's an excerpt:
Speaking of risk and strategy, I simply had to ask Miyazoe if Dark Souls 2 will include another savage boss battle like Ornstein and Smough, and to what extent players will have to grind in order to pass them. Of course, given the game's expanded open world structure, it's likely that such a bottleneck won't exist this time around, but as a fan of the ruthless duo I really wanted to learn more.
(As much as the dev team is still balancing the game, I think there will be key moments in the game not just challenges by story or difficulty but there will be key enemies and bosses in the game that will challenge the players enough. There will be areas where we're revisiting some of the boss battles as well, where you'll be able to encounter boss battles part-way through the stage.
(You won't have to start from one venue, go through to the end, beat the boss and then start from a new venue. There will be be areas where you can meet the boss halfway. if you're good enough or paying enough attention you might be able to defeat them early. We're trying to create a more interactive gameplay flow so that we sort of break a little bit in terms of the traditional '˜start point, boss and then new start point' mechanic. I think that's one of the challenges we're trying to overcome through game design.)
In closing I wanted to quiz Miyazoe on the possibility of Dark Souls 2 on next-gen formats. There are naturally a lot of questions around the game's March 2014 release and its proximity to both PS4 and Xbox One. I suggested that the game could eventually come to both formats as either a port or digital download of the current-gen build.
He replied, (At this point no. We haven't discussed . or we haven't made any decisions about next-gen. I think right now we want to concentrate on providing the game strictly on current-gen consoles as well as PC. We feel that with PS3 and Xbox 360 there's a lot of potential we weren't able to cover for the first Dark Souls, so we want to really capitalise on every aspect of current-gen consoles and get the game to players as soon as possible.)