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Dark Souls 1.5x as big as Demon's Souls

Explore and set own side-quests.

Sequels tend to be bigger (even when they're called spiritual successors) - so how much bigger is Dark Souls than Demon's Souls? Half as big again, game director Hidetaka Miyazaki has revealed.

"For simplicity of explanation, as compared to Demon's Souls, the map will be approximately 1.5 times the size. It may feel even bigger to the players," Miyazaki told 1UP.

Perhaps that means no more hour-long speed runs - you'll need at least an hour-and-a-half now.

Miyazaki added: "Not so much hidden maps, but there will be areas that are hidden away that are not critical to game completion. In regards to side-quests, they won't be stated as specific quests, but we will implement small events to encourage players to create their own mini objectives."

Dark Souls will focus more on exploration than Demon's Souls. The former had to be broken into levels or stages that made up a world - a similar approach to the Mario games. But for Dark Souls, From Software has one big, seamless world.

"Demon's Souls was leaning more towards the swordplay," Miyazaki told Eurogamer earlier this year, "but now we're putting a little bit more weight on the exploration. It's about allowing the player to experience discovery."

"One of the big conceptual differences is seamlessness. We've attached all the environments together."

And there are no loading times.

"No. In Demon's Souls, the design was based around individual levels so exploration was only within particular environments. Now we're allowing users to explore the entire world, without interruption. That's an important step up for Dark Souls," he said.

Dark Souls will be more difficult than Demon's Souls but also more approachable, if that's possible. Character classes are being removed, the ability to request aid from other players online added and the Soul Tendency of worlds removed.

What's more, Dark Souls will be a multi-platform game and not a PS3 exclusive. From Software also has big plans for multiple multiplayer modes, although what those are we don't yet know.

Eurogamer previewed Dark Souls early in February.

Dark Souls.