Dark Souls fans may have felt a void after Dark Souls 3 launched in 2016, as Hidetaka Miyazaki and his team at FromSoftware have yet to return to the franchise. This being said, a lot of noteworthy Souls-like games have launched since then, including Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, Remnant: From the Ashes, and Blasphemous, and there are plenty of similar titles on the way. The following are all the games that fans of the Souls franchise have to look forward to in 2019 and 2020.
Best Souls-Like Games Coming Soon | Code Vein
Dark Souls fans who just so happen to also like anime should be pleased to know that Bandai Namco Studios’ Code Vein is right around the corner. When the game releases for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC on September 27, it’ll offer players gloomy, post-apocalyptic dungeons to explore together with a cast of strange A.I.-controlled characters. Users will be able to use vampiric “gifts” in order to grant themselves advantages on the battlefield, and Blood Code builds can be switched at any given moment when the going gets tough. Code Vein may not sport a medieval aesthetic, but it certainly seems like it’ll preserve Dark Souls‘ emphasis on customization. Fans should expect no less from the company that published the series outside of Japan.
Best Souls-Like Games Coming Soon | Elden Ring
We don’t know a whole lot about FromSoftware’s Elden Ring outside of the facts that it is being made in collaboration between Dark Souls director Hidetaka Miyazaki and A Song of Ice and Fire author George R. R. Martin and that it’s set to release for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC sometime next year. Miyazaki did state that the title will represent a “natural evolution” of the Dark Souls formula, as it’ll include elements like an open world and horseback riding, but didn’t offer many other details. Judging from Sekiro‘s most recent sales figures, it’s safe to assume that many people are eagerly looking to FromSoftware’s next project.
Best Souls-Like Games Coming Soon | EITR
EITR is currently being developed by Eneme Entertainment, a two-man team made up of game designer David Wright and coder Tobi Harper. This isometric action RPG will task fans with traveling across nine beautifully designed Nordic realms in order to reclaim their fate from the three Norns and the mischievous Loki. EITR will be something akin to an amalgamation of Dark Souls and Diablo, as it’ll feature grueling dungeons and will encourage players to gather as much randomly generated loot as they can. The game doesn’t have a release window yet, but it is set to launch on PlayStation 4 and PC in the near future.
Best Souls-Like Games Coming Soon | Nioh 2
When Nioh 2 releases for PlayStation 4 sometime in early 2020, it’ll maintain a lot of the Souls-like mechanics that made the first title so popular, but will emphasize the franchise’s incorporation of Japanese folklore. As characters who are both human and yokai, players will be able to pick up soul cores from fallen enemies in order to use their attributes in battle. They’ll also frequently journey to the Dark Realm, which is supposedly home to some of the series’ most fearsome yokai yet. Thankfully, up to three players will be able to participate in the fray this time around. There’s a chance that Nioh 2 will turn out to be even better its predecessor, as what’s been shown so far are great steps in the right direction.
Best Souls-Like Games Coming Soon | Dungeonhaven
Dungeonhaven is currently being developer by another two-man team called Cold War Studios and is set to release for consoles and PC in 2020. Its premise is novel in that it tasks a knight to defeat dungeons on behalf of another dungeon called the Earth Core, the likes of which seeks to gain the power of creation. The game’s official website hints that this pawn may wind up betraying his or her master at some point throughout the narrative, though fans will have to wait and see if this turns out to be true. If Dungeonhaven turns out to be just as good as it sounds, Cold War Studios may give birth to the next great Souls-like indie hit.
Best Souls-Like Games Coming Soon | Lords of the Fallen 2
Though Lords of the Fallen 2 has had a troubled development so far, it’s possible that the sequel could arrive on consoles and PC as early as next year. The original game was well-received by critics back in 2014, and it went to sell over 900,000 copies less than a year after it hit shelves. One can assume that Lord of the Fallen 2 will maintain the property’s simple hack-and-slash combat, as this is a gateway for fans who are into Dark Souls‘ aesthetic but are put off by its high difficulty. Hopefully CI Games and Deck13 didn’t completely scrap the work that the project’s previous developer, Defiant Studios, started, as a new title in the franchise is well overdue.
Best Souls-Like Games Coming Soon | The Surge 2
Speaking of Deck13, the studio’s next game, The Surge 2, is the Souls-like that’s closest to release. Like its predecessor, it is set in a dystopian cybernetic future where chopping off limbs and upgrading is the main RPG loop. The first game was relatively well-received and the sequel looks to be more of the same with a few tweaks here and there like more diverse weaponry and bigger, more open levels. It may not win over those who passed on the first, but players looking for a Souls-like slightly different setting might find some good in The Surge 2.
The games above will attempt to capture the Souls franchise’s charm in different ways, as some will offer challenging combat while others will present brooding set pieces to admire. Of course, FromSoftware’s series is always worth another visit in between major Souls-like releases, if only to test how far one is able to go without taking damage or to see how From is still at the top of genre. Thankfully, the community and the genre is still thriving. Here’s hoping that it continues to punish us for years to come.