What the hell do we know about From Software’s next game?

During The Game Awards on Thursday, December 7, Dark Souls III and Bloodborne developer From Software showed a teaser trailer for its new untitled project. The video was less than 30 seconds long, but the studio responsible for creating the “Souls-like” genre has cultivated a passionate fanbase that quickly began speculating what the project could be. We don’t currently have a title, a list of platforms, or even a genre … so just what do we know about From Software’s next game? Let’s figure it out.

The teaser

The teaser trailer, shown during The Game Awards, is very brief. The teaser shows a bloody mechanical device twisting a large bone. It’s a crude and violent machine that appears like it could come from the same school of medieval medicine responsible for skull-drilling, blood-letting, and other sadistic pseudoscience. As the bone twists, we hear creaks that suggest the bone is about to snap. Before it does, the screen cuts to black and we are greeted with a tagline, “Shadows die twice.”

Is this ‘Bloodborne 2’?

It has been nearly three years since the original Bloodborne launched on PlayStation 4, so it would seem appropriate for a sequel to be nearing the finish line. However, From Software has not provided any real indication that a sequel is in development.

Prior to E3 2017, a poster began making the rounds which listed Bloodborne II as a collaboration between From Software and Sony’s Japan Studio, with a release day of December 12, 2018. Ori and the Blind Forest director Thomas Mahler said he was “99 percent sure” the game would be shown during Sony’s conference … but it wasn’t.

Thus far, the only other evidence we have that the game could be a Bloodborne sequel is in the “Shadows die twice” tagline. The “twice” seems to imply this isn’t the first game in a series, and the boss fight against the “Shadow of Yharnam” was among the most memorable in the original. It isn’t much to go on, but when paired with the aesthetic of the trailer, it’s enough to give a fan hope.

What about ‘Dark Souls 4’?

It is very unlikely that From Software’s next project is a new Dark Souls game. Series creator Hidetaka Miyazaki said he didn’t plan to make another Dark Souls game, and wanted to put the series “on hold.” Technically, he didn’t leave out the possibility of a different From Software employee taking the reigns, as he did with Dark Souls II.

Still, with a definitive ending in Dark Souls III and the disparity between its dark fantasy setting and what we saw in the new game’s teaser, the odds are stacked against this being Dark Souls IV.

Something else entirely?

Speaking to GameSpot in 2015, Miyazaki made it clear that he wanted From Software to move forward on different projects so its legacy was not remembered purely for Dark Souls.

“I just believe that [moving on] is necessary in order for players to continue enjoying our games,” he said. “We have to keep creating quality games and be aggressive about doing new things.”

Prior to E3, a rumor began spreading that From Software’s next collaboration with Sony’s Japan Studio would be titled Phantom Wail. The rumor claimed the game would be revealed during E3, just like the previous Bloodborne II rumor, and that the game would have a setting inspired by ancient Aztecs.

This doesn’t sound very similar to what was saw in the teaser trailer, but the name “Phantom Wail” itself could have some similarity to the “Shadows die twice” tagline. Feasibly, the phantom could be the ghost of a shadow that has already died once — but that could be reaching pretty far into the wishful thinking void.

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