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Last week, FromSoftware released a cryptic teaser for what appears to be a new game. This teaser is all of 13 seconds long and doesn't provide much in the way of information, or even a title. Is it a sequel to Bloodborne? A sequel to Demon's Souls? A reboot of Tenchu? Or maybe a new IP altogether?

The teaser followed the announcement a few days prior that the Demon's Souls servers are finally going to be shut down -- for reals this time. The fact that every publisher (Sony, Atlus, and Namco/Bandai) announced a server shut down effective the same date -- the 28th of February 2018 -- has lead many to speculate that From may announce a sequel or HD remaster of Demon's Souls.

There's plenty that I'd like to see in a sequel (or remaster) to Demon's Souls, and also plenty that I'd like to see from any possible future Souls-Borne games in general. But I'm not completely sold on the idea of "Shadows Die Twice" being a Demon's Souls or Bloodborne sequel.

FromSoftware's "Shadows Die Twice" teaser from the The Game Awards 2017.

First off, the teaser has a very Japanese style. The music sounds very east Asian, there's Japanese script apparently chiseled into the background. Is it possible that this game could explore the fabled "Easter Lands" referenced in the Souls-Borne games? Every game has had such references. Demon's Souls includes Satsuki and the Magic Sword Makato. Dark Souls has the Eastern Armor and characters like Shiva of the East and the Swordmaster. Bloodborne even has allusions to an eastern land in the form of the NPC Old Hunter Yamamura, who traveled from an eastern land in pursuit of "honorable revenge" against a beast.

A game featuring an eastern land, in the style of the Souls-Borne series would probably add plenty of fuel to the speculation that all the games may have a shared continuity. Even if the game doesn't explicitly connect the continuities of Demon's Souls, Dark Souls, and Bloodborne (which I find highly unlikely), its mere existence could imply that it is the same "eastern land" referenced by all three games.

As for the rest of the "Shadows Die Twice" teaser, there's very little to go on. The teaser features a strange, bloodied chord wrapped around a mechanism of some sort attached to a bone. This could be some kind of pulley, or grappling hook. Personally, I suspect that it may actually be some kind of prosthetic arm. There even appears to be some kind of kunai or throwing dagger wrapped up in the bloodied chord. Maybe we've got some kind of Mortal Kombat Scorpion harpoon thing going on?

Furthermore, if "Shadows Die Twice" is a new IP, will it maintain the trademark multiplayer and community mechanics that the Souls-Borne games are famous for?

Personally, I don't like the idea of a sequel to Bloodborne or Demon's Souls. I feel that both games stand tall on their own, and a sequel would likely only serve to dilute the respective games' established lore. FromSoft has done an excellent job with new IPs like Bloodborne, but they have a shaky track record with direct sequels. Dark Souls 2 still has a very mixed, polarized position within the Dark Souls fandom, and Dark Souls 3 also failed to live up to the expectations set by the first game. So I'm hoping for a new IP. That is, after all, what FromSoft has done best. Though I'm currently leaning towards the game being a Tenchu reboot or sequel.

In any case, it's a shame that the Demon's Souls servers are finally shutting down. Demon's Souls is one of -- if not the -- best games of its generation. While the game can still be played in strict single-player, it's innovative multiplayer and community aspects will disappear as of February 28th. If you haven't played the game yet, go pick up a copy now, and play it before the end of February. It's well worth it!

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