Looking at the review scores of Dark Souls II, no one expected it to be a hasty patch product after a long time of deviation in development.
Dark Souls II can be said to be a difference between the Dark Souls game series. Not directed by Hidetaka Miyazaki, Dark Souls II was not appreciated by fans at the time of release, especially when it was an extremely anticipated sequel after the brilliant success of Dark Souls. However, it’s undeniable that Dark Souls II is still a pretty excellent game despite many inadequacies, especially when bringing many new and unique elements to the Souls series along with the best multiplayer section in the series. game. Dark Souls II had a great ambition to succeed the quintessence that Part 1 left, but due to an extremely difficult development process that ambition almost became a disaster.
After performing Demon’s Souls and Dark Souls, Miyazaki was promoted in the studio. He gradually became interested in new projects rather than continuing to make Dark Souls II, resulting in the birth of Bloodborne. The leading role of the Dark Souls II project is given to FromSoftware’s two veterans, Tomohiro Shibuya and Yui Tanimura, while Miyazaki will only act as an adviser and supervisor. The new development team of Dark Souls II wants the game to overcome the shadow of part 1, both in terms of techniques and gameplay to become the next masterpiece. The first thing they were aiming to create was a new and advanced graphics engine, paving the way for the Souls game series to go to the next-gen console. The team wants the graphics and lighting in the game to be realistic and vivid to emphasize the storyline that revolves around fire and light that symbolizes the development and hope of Dark Souls II.
The original plan for the game context was the icy mountains. Gradually with increasing ambition, the world of the game is increasingly open to many and diverse areas, environments and wonders for players to explore. An ambition is not feasible when putting all the content in the game is a big difficulty. At the same time the game must also maintain a high challenge but fairness, which made the quintessence of part 1, which was not simple with a game with a large and complex world structure like Dark Souls II at that time. .
Great ambition cannot guarantee everything to go smoothly. Right in the middle of development, Dark Souls II is a mess. The new graphics engine is impressive, but due to the high hardware requirements it cannot run smoothly on contemporary consoles, along with a series of technical issues with bugs and glitches. Some characters and environments are designed in detail and beautifully, but generally due to not having a specific direction, most designs look very complicated and incomplete. In general, Dark Souls II is nothing like a complete game, it is full of errors and technical issues as well as the core of gameplay that is not attractive at all. Even its risk can never be finalized.
FromSoftware’s upper division now decided that the Dark Souls II development team needed to be restructured. Yui Tanimura became the sole director of the project to ensure a consistent vision. Tanimura no longer wanted to create something so great with Dark Souls II, instead turning the mess that cost so much money and resources into something kind. It is almost impossible since Dark Souls II has gone quite far and is very expensive, the studio’s resources are limited, making it impossible to start from the beginning. New game team must take advantage of what they have and fix them in an urgent time. That left Tanimura many sleepless nights.
The game world is rebuilt and rearranged in the most logical way to ensure minimal work from the beginning. Many of the old designs in the game have been completed, partly to be revised to fit the new design. It means that the team has to put aside the ideas and visions that were previously reserved for the characters or the environment to put them into a new position or role. Some designs even have to do all over again. A lot of difficult options are in place. Anyway, under the direction of Tanimura, the game team still works well and retains some of its creativity.
The last problem, that is the advanced graphics engine. No matter how you adjust it, it cannot work properly. And then a sad decision must be made, which is to reduce the graphics quality of Dark Souls II. The game will not be as beautiful as what the game team always expected, but the most important thing is that the game will be able to run smoothly and playable.
Dark Souls II was released and received positive reviews from players with experts. This is not the masterpiece that its creators once thought of, but it is still a good game and worth playing. It is the result of the rise from the failure of the people behind it.