Dark Souls 2 will feature a less linear world than its predecessor, game director Yui Tanimura has revealed.
The first game followed more of a "Metroidvania," structure, where there was some variance in how you progressed through the world, but certain locations could only be unlocked after completing specific tasks elsewhere. "Freedom of exploration is something we want to prioritise for Dark Souls 2, even more so than Dark Souls 1," Tanimura said in an interview with Digital Spy. "In Dark Souls 1, you were able to travel to several areas, but hopefully for Dark Souls 2, there you have more freedom to explore throughout the game."
"We realise in Dark Souls 1 there were some certain orders, like ringing the bells or going to Anor Londo, which is not necessarily a bad thing," he continued. "In Dark Souls 2, we're hoping we can provide more freedom so things don't have to necessarily be done in a certain order."
The sequel will be so open-ended that foolhardy or experienced players could go straight into the more challenging stages. "We're hoping that if the player tries hard enough, or are willing enough, they could even start halfway through the game, depending on how willing or how brave they are," Tanimura added.
Veterans of the series - or avid YouTube viewers - will recall that players could complete both Demon's Souls and Dark Souls staying at soul level 1. Heck, this crazy person beat the final boss of Dark Souls on New Game +7 at soul level 1, using melee attacks only and no shield, healing, or damage. Also, they were naked.
I'm sure plenty will be brave enough to withstand whatever sadistic challenges Tanimura and co. at From Software have in store. Amirite?