There's a preview on the game in this week's Famitsu. The official title is now Dark Souls. Some info from the preview:
- This is the official title of what was previously Project Dark
- This time they want to increase the amount of field exploration in the game.
- All fields are seamless, so whatever you can see, you can reach and explore. If you see a fortress or castle walls in the distance, you can eventually get there.
- There will be no map display in the game, just a position display marker.
- They aim to make the game just as challenging than Demon's Souls, but also just as rewarding when you succeed. The sense of achievement is important.
- The gameplay will be similar to Demon's Souls in concept, where it's about trial and error and learning from your mistakes to play better.
- The game does not share the same world and story as Demon's Souls.
- The game will not use the same format as Demon's Souls in terms of having 5 worlds connected via a hub.
- Instead all maps in the game will be linked seamlessly in a connected world. The pace of the game will feel more about exploration and discovering locations, which you can then go inside into a dungeon or whatever and explore the interior further.
- There will be more complex level designs in the game using more vertical design in areas and such.
- The world setting is based on medieval dark fantasy, and will contain themes like "high fantasy of kings and knights", "death and the depths of the earth", and "the flames of chaos".
Edit: More details added.
- The character creation process will not be class based.
- The play style of the player character will have much more freedom this time.
- There will be many more spells and items, and the animation and uniqueness of weapons will also be increased.
- The online elements are very similar to Demon's Souls. There is cooperative and PvP.
- You can still leave messages, and see players who died at various places.
- There will be no Soul Tendency this time because they don't want to have to use dedicated servers to handle that shit again.
- Instead this time there will be more features allowing players to engage in "mutual role playing" which they say are still under wraps. They'll reveal more when it's time.