The game designer discusses swapping horror for a strange VR adventure game about fairies, inspired by manga and Celtic folklore
The downside to making something critically revered and loved by millions is that it isn’t easy to get out from under its shadow. For Hidetaka Miyazaki and the game development studio he now leads, FromSoftware, Dark Souls was a golden ticket. In 2004, Miyazaki was a designer on the Armored Core series of mech games. By 2015, he was the company’s president and the games he has directed – Demon’s Souls, Dark Souls and Bloodborne – have been lauded as some of the greatest of the modern era.
Now, finally freed from the Dark Souls series, which came to an end (for the time being, at least) in 2016, FromSoftware has previewed two brand new games this year. One of them, the samurai-themed action game Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, shares a lot of the DNA of Dark Souls: intense, violent combat, a ravaged setting full of fallen creatures, and cleverly designed locations that interlock and wrap around themselves. The other, Déraciné, is a VR adventure game about fairies. Both are under Miyazaki’s creative direction, and represent a way forward for the developer. But the inspiration for Déraciné came from looking back.