Dark Souls has emerged from its evil, melancholy hiding place, we're starting to hear some initial details about its gameplay. GameSpot has posted an interview with Namco chief publishing producer Daisuke Uchiyama and (regular?) publishing producer Kei Hirono. First, Uchiyama made it clear that Dark Souls is not a direct sequel to Demon's Souls ... but it will share new iterations of almost all its concepts and systems.
The game is being created by the same team that created Demon's Souls, and will have the same basic concept, though it will include many new features as well. Combat has been improved, allowing for a higher degree of customization. Furthermore, the new open world of Dark Souls places a larger emphasis on exploration.
The unique online system will be returning, though Hirono states it has been "highly enhanced" to allow users to "share the experience and grow up together." Hopefully, this means friends will actually be able to join one another's worlds intentionally (the Demon's Souls multiplayer system essentially pairs players together randomly). Finally, rest assured that Dark Souls will be at least as difficult as its predecessor, if not even more so.
Watch the interview after the break.