Fans worried about Dark Souls II straying too far from the original game have reason to relax. Producer Hidetaka Miyazaki said in the latest issue of Japanese gaming magazine Famitsu (via Polygon) that From Software will protect core experiences in the sequel.
"If we're going to announce this as a sequel to Dark Souls then I think there's certainly a core that we need to protect," Miyazaki said. "I'm talking about how we think about the difficulty level and how you achieve things in-game; about the concepts behind the mechanics and level design."
Dark Souls II director Tomohiro Shibuya previously said the game will be "more straightforward and more accessible," later adding that accessibility for newcomers will be a "key topic" during the game's development.
Elsewhere in the interview, Shibuya said the Dark Souls II reveal trailer did not contain any in-game footage and declined to talk about its characters or creatures. That said, the designer did say the Dark Souls and Dark Souls II settings will be connected in some, albeit distant, way.
"I can't completely answer this question, but the two settings are connected, yes," he said. "However, I wouldn't say there's a direct connection as far as story is concerned. The game is set in a different part of the same planet; to put it another way, if the first game was set in the North Pole, this one would be in the South Pole; that sort of contrast. 'Time' is one of the central keywords we're keeping in mind as we create this. I can't give concrete details about this yet, so hopefully you'll be able to use your imagination for now."
Dark Souls II was announced during the 2012 Video Game Awards and is due out for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC.