From Software are well-known for their games like 3D Dot Games Heroes, Armored Core and Demon’s Souls. Among the two new games, one is Dark Souls, a follow up to Demon’s Souls. The other is Armored Core V. Right now it seems both games will get XBox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions, at least outside of Japan. Some details about both games:
Armored Core V
The multiplatform PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 mech sequel has at long last resurfaced, but not exactly as you knew it. Famitsu has details on what’s new this week straight from producer Toshifumi Nabeshima.
The big change for the new evolved Armored Core is in online play. Past Armored Core games have had online battle "modes." Armored Core V does away with the distinction of a "mode," and makes it so that players can "smoothly" take part in online play.
The basic framework of creating your own mech and taking on missions remains unchanged, but the game is now team based. Players form teams consisting of a fixed set of members. You take on missions exclusively with players pulled from this team.
Missions are played with up to five members from your team. Of the five, only four drop down to the battle field. The fifth player stays back as an operator, giving guidance to the team. The operator has a special screen which seems to show more detail about the battle.
You’re always able to communicate with your members, even those who aren’t with you on the battle field. If you’re in a play session and another team member logs in, you can voice chat, and perhaps decide what the next mission will be.
The overall goal for your team is to steal territory from other teams by invading their territory. Screenshots in Famitsu show a "conquest" map, with territory split between multiple factions, each with unique insignia.
You’ll also have to defend your territory from invasion, of course. This includes planning for times when you’re not logged in. You can set up canons and other defenses on your territory, and the game will automatically defend if enemies should attack when you’re not around. Planning your defenses is a strategic process, something that Nabeshima feels means you’ll want to fill your team not just with action pros, but with people who are good with strategy as well.
The game can also be played single player by simply forming a team of one, although Famitsu suggests that you only do this if you have confidence in your abilities. The magazine also says that offline play is available for those who can’t go online, but it does not provide details.
The focus on team based online play should ACV a departure from past Armored Core games. The big question is, when will we get to play it? Famitsu lists a 2011 time frame. Unlike last year’s Armored Core V, the new time frame will hopefully stick.
Here’s a trailer for the game.
Dark Souls is the followup title to Demon’s Souls. Namco Bandai and From Software announced the game as "Project Dark" at the Tokyo Game Show last year but did not provide much in the way of details at the time.
Supposed details from the magazine that are appearing in the usual sources for early leaks include:
- The difficulty has been increased greatly over Demon’s Souls.
- Dark Souls shares the same themes as Demon’s Souls: learning from mistakes and the joy of discovery.
- There’s no connection with Demon’s Souls in terms of story or world.
- As with Demon’s Souls, the basic gameplay is based off classic RPGs — things like character creation, obtaining weapons and items, leveling up, etc.
- The biggest change, according to Hidetaka, is in the area of exploration. The action battle component is an important element, but on top of this, exploration of a large, seamlessly connected field is an important element. You walk to areas that you can see far off in the distance.
- All the maps are connected, rather than having you move to each area from a shrine. This time, you head off on a journey from a large base of operations, and find smaller bases along the way as you progress further and deeper into your adventure.
- There are far more areas with complex land formations of varying height.
- The goal in character development is to get rid of elements that may hinder freedom of play style. This is why there’s no job concept during initial character creation.
- Weapons have a great variety of motions and special capabilities, and there are a great number of magic and item types. This will allow players to play in their own style.
- Regarding network play, Hidetaka said that he can’t share too many details, but the game will have cooperative and competitive multiplayer elements. You’ll be able to call upon people to help you out when you’re stuck.
- The game will also have indirect online elements like the original — seeing the images of other players, messages from the dead, and so-forth. The game will not have its own servers this time, though, so elements like Soul Tendency from the original will not be here.
- There are some other online elements that will be detailed in future updates.
Dark Souls will be released in Japan in 2011. The game’s overseas release on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 is being handled by Namco Bandai. Japan will get just the PlayStation 3 version, published by From itself.
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