Prepare to die all over again: Namco Bandai has officially announced Dark Souls 2 for release on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC.

In development at FromSoftware, the sequel to last year's punishingly difficult action-RPG tells the story of a brand new hero battling through an "unfamiliar world... filled with death and despair".

Like the previous games in the series, Dark Souls 2 promises to offer an "uncompromising challenge and ultimate sense of empowerment," and "continue a legacy of presenting its passionate fans with the kind of unrelenting challenges that have become a hallmark of the series".

Improvements to the series' multiplayer elements are also in the pipe, with a revamped server-based experience that will put a "distinct Dark Souls 2 twist on the concept of playing and sharing with others".

However, Dark and Demon's Souls director Hidetaka Miyazaki only appears to be involved with the project in a supervisory role.

Instead, it's FromSoftware's Tomohiro Shibuya who steps into the director's chair, having previously worked on the Resident Evil and Monster Hunter series' with Capcom.

"This new chapter in the Dark Souls saga presents opportunities for us to drive innovation in gameplay design, develop an entirely new story, and expand the scope of the world in which the player interacts with the game," said Shibuya.

"We have taken these necessary steps with Dark Souls II in order to evolve the overall experience of the Dark Souls series. The entire development team is striving to make Dark Souls II an experience that is fresh while not forsaking its roots in presenting players with challenging gameplay.

"Our goal is to surprise and delight our fans with new experiences and plot twists while enticing new players to join our dark journey."

A release window for the game has not yet been announced.

Dark Souls 2's debut trailer was revealed during last night's VGAs. Take a look at it in the snippet below, before heading through to our gallery for a selection of official screencaps.


Source: Namco Bandai Press Release