A rather large E3 leak is making the rounds tonight, with one particularly interesting rumor turned real. As reported by Kotaku today, it looks like Bandai Namco’s surprises leaked earlier than scheduled:
A security flaw on publisher Bandai Namco’s website has led to a major new E3 leak that reveals three new games: the rumored From Software-George R.R. Martin collaboration, a new Tales game, and Ni no Kuni remastered.
The leak came through a publicly available link on Bandai Namco’s website, per the website Gematsu (which has full descriptions of each game).
Though I’m particularly excited for more Tales (so shiny!), today I want to focus on what will likely be Bandai Namco’s next AAA venture with From Software.
So the rumors about George R.R. Martin working as a consultant for a video game company were true after all. As exciting it is to see what From Software is working on, I have but one humble request:
Please don’t be another Soulsborne game.
From Software has built quite the reputation for itself following the success of games like Dark Souls, Bloodborne, and recently Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, which in turn has somewhat reinforced the idea of what we’ve come to expect from the developer. All three of these are dark fantasies in an unforgiving, cruel world with a punishing degree of difficulty in some form.
I can’t necessarily fault them either given their rise to international acclaim, but by adopting the “git gud” moniker (intentional or not), I feel they might have lost something in the process. You’d be forgiven if you forgot they made other games before (Armored Core, Metal Wolf Chaos, and Tenchu to name a few) as their identity has become almost synonymous with the Souls and Souls-like titles.
In a market that has tried to emulate some of From Software’s greatest hits by following in their footsteps, it is becoming increasingly difficult to stand out and make something truly unique without inviting comparisons, including some of its own games. Though the developer has proven continuously it can refine/tweak its own formula to make new experiences, I fear Elden Ring might be retreading old ground either indirectly (“hurt me more”) or thematically (dark fantasy, death, rebirth).
Just one look at the promotional art and I’m already getting a “dark fantasy” vibe without a single shot of what it actually looks like with the added knowledge that the creator best known for A Song of Ice and Fire is involved.
Don’t get me wrong; I love dark fantasy and enjoy a decent challenge when the mood strikes. Given their history, I look forward to seeing what this game looks like in action and would likely pick it up either way. It’s just that with Bloodborne so fresh off my memory (I’ve been playing this game since last year) and Sekiro just a few months into its release, I’m ready for something new.
At least something that won’t kick my ass too often and make me curse at the screen.
What do you guys think? Do you want/need more Souls-like games from From Software or are you hoping they buck the trend with Elden Ring?