On Friday, screenshots and art leaked via the /v/ board on 4chan and NeoGAF, showing a new game from Japanese studio, From Software. By looking at the screenshots and concept art, they suggest that this Project Beast is the new entry in the Souls franchise for current generation consoles. If the leak is true and it is confirmed to be the new entry in the Souls series, what does this means for the series going forward?

Looking at the screenshots, a couple of things jump out as interesting. First off, one thing that many have pointed out is that in the opening screenshot, the character seems to be leaning on something that looks like a double-barrelled shotgun, which can then be seen is his left hand in a later screenshot. If this is correct, this changes the Souls series quite drastically from a game which draws from the medieval, to a game more gothic in style. Will guns replace magic as your primary way to deal ranged damage? How plentiful will ammo be in the game? The presence of the shotgun could change a hell of a lot about how this game plays compared to the others in the series. I’m not sure what to feel about this addition, but seeing as this game seems to be going for a more gothic feel, I imagine it could work.

Project Beast 1

If that is a shotgun, I imagine there will quite a few Blade builds out there.

The other screenshots don’t really tell us much, besides showing us more of the world. The world feels like a Souls game: run down, dark and filled will all sorts of shambling figures and monsters. What really suggests that this may be a new Souls game, is the presence of what looks like a fog door in the final screen. As any Souls fan will tell you, fog doors are present in every game to either block off a new area or warn you that a boss is coming so by having it in these screens acts as pretty solid proof that this is part of the series.

Other extra things that could point to this being the new Souls game is the name, Project Beast. During development, Dark Souls was called Project Dark and if From are using the same system, this suggests that this new entry could be called Beast Souls. Another factor to take into account is that the final soul you get in Demon Souls’ is the ‘Beast Demon’s Soul’ which could suggest that this game could be Demon Souls’ 2, due to the working title of ‘Project Beast’. One major theory from fans is that this is what Miyazaki and many of the team who did not work on Dark Souls 2 have been doing in the meantime, working on this game for a release on current generation systems, with some suggesting that this version may be a PS4 exclusive, similar to how Demon Souls’ was a PS3 exclusive.

Project Beast Fog Door

What’s behind that fog door? Hopefully a release date.

While fans are still waiting on an official confirmation from From, one thing to note is that there have been suggestions that this is coming from Sony insiders since January. Diligent fans have been combing through NeoGAF threads to find that one Sony insider, going by the name of DemonNite, has been dropping hints about this installment since January, stating that a new Souls game would be ‘a whole different beast’ and that there may be a ‘PS4 exclusive Souls spinoff’, in response to a comment about someone wishing for a new Souls game after Dark Souls II. Again, these may be fans desperately looking for connections but comments like these can’t be a coincidence.

So, from the evidence gathered, we know that From is definitely working on a new dark fantasy game. Looking at screenshots and fan investigation, it is a strong bet that this could be a direct successor to Demon Souls’ or a brand new Souls game all together. It could be a new King’s Field game for all we know or it could be a brand new IP that looks a lot like the Souls franchise. While it is still too early to say for sure what Project Beast is, I know that fans of From Software should be getting excited. Let’s hope E3 sheds more light on this beast.

For more information and a list of all the screenshots, check out this thread dedicated to the leak, on the Dark Souls II subreddit: http://tinyurl.com/lqf83h8