Dark Souls, the much-anticipated spiritual successor to From Software's acclaimed 2009 RPG Demon's Souls, will launch in Europe and the US in late 2011 on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, publisher Namco Bandai has confirmed.
The announcement came during the publisher's Ignite event in San Francisco, which saw producer and director Hidetaka Miyazaki showing off several maps during a gameplay demo.
These included one set in the grounds of some ruins and another in a gloomy castle. There was also a lava level on show, plus a map set in a stony fortress full of booby traps and obstacles to overcome.
In addition, Miyazaki demonstrated a boss level featuring a giant two-legged horned demon wielding a big old club. He showed how you can choose different weapons, switching between a longsword and great sword, and adopt alternative strategies such as leaping on the boss's back from above.
Throughout the demo, Miyazaki emphasised the importance of customisation in the game. He said players could expect to develop their own strategies and fighting techniques and, of course, die a lot.
Look out for more details in our full preview due later this week, but in the meantime you can feast your eyes on the suitably dank, atmospheric launch trailer below.