The lucky punks at Kotaku got some hands-on with the cleverly-titled Demon's Souls sequel, Dark Souls, and were assured by Namco Management that even more hell was in store for banged-up controllers everywhere. In lieu of linear levels and a main hub you constantly come back to throughout the game, From Software has gone open world and added mini-hubs in the form of bonfires.
So the good news? You can save your game now and refill health flasks at the fires. Bad news? The difficulty is ratcheted up and once you hit a bonfire, everything respawns.
And because the developers think everyone should be in on the sadism, they tweaked the multiplayer, too. In Demon's Souls, players could appear in a random person's game as a black phantom and mess up their day. Players can still do this, but now they can disguise themselves as inanimate statues or pop out of coffins. Players rolling as pyromancers can even summon a gravelord, a vicious sucker that unleashes hordes of demons until you can take it down (with a caveat, the gravelord could turn its gaze on you).
I'm probably a masochist, but October 4th couldn't come any sooner.
Oh, this just in, we've been told the name of the third installment is Really, Really Dark Souls. Well, if the genius over there continues to be fully invested in the game and not the title, I'm absolutely fine with it.