A cou­ple of thou­sand hours of play later, we think we’ve got a rea­son­able han­dle on what makes Hide­taka Miyazaki the game de­signer tick, but what about the man as a player? Is he a Blood­borne-style com­bat­ant, all pacy ag­gres­sion, or does he pre­fer to sit back and fling spells from afar? “My favourite char­ac­ter type is the mys­te­ri­ous one,” he says, a rev­e­la­tion that will sur­prise no one. “I es­pe­cially like those who wear heavy armour and carry a shield, fac­ing their en­e­mies with a stiff, im­mov­able at­ti­tude. As for weapons, I like to use a mace or sword. It doesn’t mat­ter if it’s a straightsword or a greatsword – I like some­thing that can thrust. I don’t use pro­jec­tiles of­ten, but I will use a cross­bow in crit­i­cal sit­u­a­tions.”

The cross­bow’s weapon skill, which fires off mul­ti­ple bolts in quick suc­ces­sion, means that what was pre­vi­ously one of the weed­i­est op­tions for ranged bat­tle is now ca­pa­ble of dish­ing out the dam­age. Per­haps that came at Miyazaki’s in­sis­tence: he cer­tainly seems happy enough with the changes his team has made to some of his favourites. “In Dark Souls III, we’ve added new mace skills and tweaked the stats on the Light­ning Spear. It re­ally fits my playstyle now, and I’m very happy with it.” No doubt the staffer that im­ple­mented it feels a lit­tle safer in his job, too – if Miyazaki’s boss de­signs are any guide, it’s easy to en­vi­sion him as quite the taskmas­ter.

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