Dark Souls III is a real actual thing.

DSIII

Who are we kidding? Many of us have unlocked The Dark Soul achievement for reaching the 100% completion threshold in Dark Souls, but we’re not – and will never be – The Dark Soul. That title belongs to Hidetaka Miyazaki alone, the game’s creative director.

It was Miyazaki’s grim vision, after all, that established the blueprint for a new breed of action RPG with the release of 2009’s Demon’s Souls. And now, in the wake of E3 2015, we have confirmation that he’lll be returning to the series as a co-director after entrusting his baby to Tomohiro Shibuya and Yui Tanimura for Dark Souls II while he ushered Bloodborne into the world. The prodigal sun-praiser has returned.

Dark Souls II boasted a number of memorable locales and boss encounters, however it’s been justifiably savaged for its lack of world-building continuity. Areas such as the Earthen Peak and lava-clogged Iron Keep conjoin like fraternal siamese twins, fused at the joints yet exhibiting precious little resemblance. It was as if the game’s level designers all went into separate meeting rooms and hammered out finished areas without a supervising architect making sure all the pieces fit seamlessly together.

Dark Souls III arrives in early 2016. We’ve been given a theatrical trailer of hunchbacked monstrosities trekking across fields of ash toward a distant bulwark. There’s a kneeling woman placing a spooky crown on her head. And there’s a titanic faceless phantom wielding a blade that looks so big it could cleave the moon in two with a single slash.

Go on, Miyazaki-san, we’re listening.

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