New ‘Dark Souls 3’ Animated Short Directed By Eli Roth

Bandai Namco’s Dark Souls 3 doesn’t hit shelves for another two weeks, but today fans are getting a rare treat: an animated short film directed by Eli Roth (Hostel), which provides a creepy glimpse into the world of Dark Souls 3.

The Dark Souls 3 short film, or trailer rather, features everything an Eli Roth animated short should – gut-wrenching body horror, gruesome witches, and of course a desperate knight brought low by dark magic. The short was released today on Bandai Namco’s YouTube page, and features no dialogue, just a glimpse into the dark and moody world of Dark Souls 3.

Animated by Six Point Harness, the Dark Souls 3 short film comes out just ahead of the game’s wider release, having been released on the Xbox One ahead of schedule – and missing a crucial patch that fixes some serious gameplay issues.

Also featured on Bandai Namco’s YouTube page for Dark Souls 3 is a behind-the-scenes look at the creation of the short film, which prominently features Eli Roth and his creative vision. Roth, a filmmaker by trade, is no stranger to gruesome horror, and is reportedly a big fan of the Dark Souls series, which has in the past made fans among players who enjoy a gritty, difficult, and oddly rewarding journey through the Dark Souls universe.

The Dark Souls franchise has been a big success for Bandai Namco, which has since capitalized on director Hidetaka Miyazaki’s dark vision of a grueling and difficult action-RPG. Miyazaki spoke with Wired about the Dark Souls series, and in particular Dark Souls 3, just yesterday. During the interview Miyazaki stated that the series isn’t about difficulty – it’s not about making a game that is hard or frustrating. It’s about accomplishing something, beating the odds.

“Ever since Demon’s Souls, I’ve really been pursuing making games that give palyers a sense of accomplishment by overcoming tremendous odds. We’ve added new items and weaposn over the course of the series, and having a certain level of difficulty adds value to those because they incentivize players to experiment more with character builds and weapon load-outs,” said Hidetaka Miyazaki, director of Dark Souls 3.

The Dark Souls series is characterized by unforgiving gameplay, which has garnered a cult following since the first entry in the series, Demon’s Souls, and by all accounts Dark Souls 3 closes out the series with a strong finish that is every bit what players would expect it to be. VG24/7 refers to the game as a smart addition to the series, featuring some welcome changes, and some interesting gameplay choices.

A departure from previous Dark Souls games, Dark Souls 3 doesn’t include a “hollowed” state for the player character – after a death or two, the player character typically takes on a withered or “hollow” state. Director Hidetaka Miyazaki said that they changed the “hollowing” system as a response to player complaints about characters becoming “ugly” after death – and Dark Souls players die a lot.

“They’re playing a character they’ve spent so much time creating down to facial detail, and they don’t want to lose that. So I decided to add a new state instead, the Lord of Cinder, when you have ‘Embers’ empowering you. Hollowing is still in the game, but its’ now more as one of the pillars of the storyline,” said Dark Souls 3 director Hidetaka Miyazaki.

Dark Souls 3 remains true to its roots though, and it’s not only difficult, but dark and atmospheric as well. Miyazaki has stated that he likes environmental storytelling rather than direct narrative, something he has difficulty implementing in his games, and as a result, Dark Souls 3 continues the tradition of revealing the story through lore, weapon, and item descriptions, and cryptic conversations with withered hags.

[Image via Bandai Namco]

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