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Download from the following links: since co-director Yui Tanimura was quoted using the word 'accessible' in relation to this new entry in the dark fantasy Souls series, the teams at developer FromSoftware and publisher Namco Bandai seem to have taken great pride in proving that Dark Souls II will be every bit as pad-shatteringly difficult as Demon's Souls and Dark Souls."It was a mistranslation," says producer Takeshi Miyazoe. "It's about streamlining, cutting off a lot of fat. That is what we were trying to say, but we used the word 'accessible' in a casual manner, I think."The idea is not to make the game any easier, he says, but to make it less frustrating, especially for series newcomers. That doesn't mean simplifying the combat systems, making boss battles easier, or offering less choice in how you level your character, though, as a recent invite-only network test involving 30,000 players in the new location of Huntsman's Copse proved. No, FromSoftware has more subtle methods in mind."Dark Souls isn't really a game that's going to hold anybody's hand," says Miyazoe. "But it's not impossible. Just take your time, try to pay attention to the surroundings, be patient and continue to challenge yourself. From a technical standpoint, what we're trying to do is ensure that you understand what mistake you have made. I think the new engine, the new motion [capture], the new visuals -- everything that has been enhanced will help the player better understand that."One way in which FromSoftware intends to achieve a fair balance for new players is through an enhanced Covenant system, which should also facilitate deeper roleplaying. In Dark Souls, joining a Covenant brought certain items and benefits, but this time around the groups will have new powers that inform playstyles. Similar to the Darkwraith Covenant in Dark Souls, the Brotherhood Of Blood allows its members to invade others' games more easily. But since players in a Hollow state are no longer protected from invasions, other Covenants will play a more defensive role. When invaded, followers of The Way Of Blue will automatically summon phantom assistance from the Blue Sentinel group, for instance. Heirs To The Sun, meanwhile, functions a bit like Warrior Of Sunlight, collecting together a band of co-op-minded players who will be summoned by priority for PvE encounters as well as invasions.

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