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Honestly, no, not really. I am cautiously optimistic, and I do have a few butterflies in my belly as this game gets closer and closer to release. But I'm not really "hyped".

I got into Dark Souls not just because of it's great leveling system and fun combat mechanics, but also because it had a feeling of wonder and excitement to it. It was, in addition, very unique. And I just don't think that's been something that From Software has consistently delivered throughout their last few games. Granted they have in small doses - something like going to the Boreal Valley only to realize the city is Anor Londo was fantastic. But I think the focus of the souls games have kind of just become a very narrow vision of difficulty and challenging boss battles, despite the fact that it is frequently repeated how "the point was never the difficulty". The way the series is now, it's not so far from the appeal of Souls that the games become disowned - in fact quite the opposite, people eat it up because it's more of what they love. It feels far too stagnant to me though. 

I guess the counter-argument to that is that Demon's Souls players might have felt the same way about Dark Souls. And I guess that's true, I never got to play that because of it's exclusivity status. But there's enough major differences between the two games - so much so that both are pretty influential in their own regards. I also think a lot of it just comes down to the fact that, if you're going to do something very similar numerous times, you have to keep raising the bar of quality - or at least maintain a consistently godly status. And I don't think they've quite done that.

Admittedly, the most unique high-profile From Software game of the past few years, Bloodborne, is one I never finished. I've always gotten a few hours into it and dropped it, multiple times. I have probably spent more time trying to get into that title than I have playing most of the games I own. A big reason for that is that they somehow ended up screwing up most of the Souls elements that are in the game. Having a lamp that doesn't heal you like a bonfire was one of the dumbest decisions ever - especially because Bloodborne actually fixed the issue that Dark Souls 2 had of having too many Bonfires, with lamps being spread out pretty far. This is made even dumber because if you use the lamp to teleport back to the hub, your health regenerates - so literally all it's adding is an extra loading screen. The feeling of having a wide variety of options in the beginning of the game is pretty much completely gone, especially because 2 out of 3 of your starter weapons feel the exact same. I've heard it doesn't get any better later on in the game, and honestly I don't mind From Software sacrificing the more diverse feeling of the traditional Souls games to make an action title - but it does ruin a lot of the player's expression from the get go. If you're going to focus specifically on action, you have to do it right, and Bloodborne doesn't do a good enough job in that department. Doing things like making a dedicated parry system, making a "dodge" button instead of a "roll" button, having the player character regain a certain amount of health they have lost from an enemy attack by doing damage to said enemy, having weapon transformations - these are all very smart decisions, but they're not taken nearly far enough. Most of the transformations feel very basic and don't add a lot other than the player simply extending their attack range, there is not a lot of depth to the combat system (ironically possibly less than past games), and it really feels like there should have been some sort of addition to make it all come together. Instead, the game just feels like it has standard Souls combat with a few nice touch-ups, and that's great but without all of the other additions Souls combat can't stand up by itself. It feels so naked, like the basic progression and gameplay loop is just missing. It's faster Dark Souls with less customization and more combat, hip hip hooray. It's actually less engaging even though it's faster paced. Oh, and did I mention how it's focus on a more action-oriented perspective is quite often ruined by possibly the worst frame rate in the entire series? Yeah ...

Now granted - Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is largely getting it's publicity because it's different from the other Souls games, and this is something From Software has championed quite a bit. But I also remember a lot of people debating this about Bloodborne, and now it's pretty comfortably sitting with the rest of the Souls games. And I have to ask the really hard question: Is it too little too late? Because it feels like how different this game might be from your average Souls game - is how different something like Bloodborne should have been all that time ago. And I just would not be surprised if I played it, noticed all the differences and new ideas, and still wasn't impressed ... because it's simply taken so long for a more-than-modest shakeup. But, fair play on From Software, the big changes do sound significant. 

I have to buy it because I'm obligated to, it's a high-profile From Software game. I just don't want to set a high standard because I know I'll probably be disappointed.