Dark Souls 2 will stay true to the core themes of the series, director Yui Tanimura has claimed, following concerns that the project would be made more palatable for casual audiences.
Speaking to IGN, the From Software designer assured that his team is concentrating on maintaining "the sense of satisfaction of overcoming difficulties" and the "loose connection with other players."
"A lot" of the functionality from the original Dark Souls will carry over to the sequel, he said, including Bonfires, Estus Flasks and the underlying combat system.
"I'm sure that for a lot of other game series and franchises, when you come up with a sequel you try to add on features," Tanimura said.
"But what we really wanted to concentrate on is not really adding on new features for the new players, but to actually really emphasise the core underlying concepts that I just mentioned."
The director explained that he's aiming to "really try and dig down deep in to that so that those concepts can be effectively expressed to new players, so that new players can also experience what we are trying to communicate with this game."
Last December fans were put on edge by comments made by co-director Tomohiro Shibuya, who claimed that Dark Souls 2 was aiming to be "more straightforward and more understandable".
Tanimura suggested these changes will only be skin-deep.
"[We're aiming to] not necessarily make it accessible, but make it more clear in terms of what we want to express using the underlying concepts of Dark Souls," he explained.
"In terms of the HUD, we really tried to listen to the voices and the feedback that the players gave us in terms of usability and understandability of the interface."