Dragon Shrine - Dark Souls II, artwork by FromSoftware
'Dragon Shrine' is official concept artwork for action role playing video game Dark Souls II, made by Japanese studio FromSoftware. This limited edition Certified Art Giclee™ print is part of the official Dark Souls fine art collection by Cook & Becker, FromSoftware, and Bandai Namco. The print is hand-numbered and comes with a Certificate of Authenticity.
Dark Souls II takes place in the Kingdom of Drangleic. After an age of prosperity, the kingdom endured several wars that left the kingdom with a plethora of aggressive, ghoulish creatures, and a range of ruinous, ancient buildings. This 'historic' element defines the overall design of the game: castles, churches and villages show remnants of their former glory, but are well past their prime, setting a dark, haunted and wistful mood. Character and creature design follow the same historicized patterns: armour sets of knights show dents of previous fights, the dragon Sinh has a spear protruding his skin even before you attack him, et cetera.
Developed by FromSoftware, published by BandaiNamco, helmed by directors Tomohiro Shibuya and Yui Tanimura, and with famed director Hidetaka Miyazaki acting as supervisor, Dark Souls II offers a remarkable visual variety. Players travel from forests to castles, and from claustrophobic caverns to wide open coast towns, with each scene touting their own atmospheric details – fights in a crisp and 'wintry' forest, or encounters under a setting sun are no exception, which are remarkable features for a game series generally known for its dark color pallets.
The Dark Souls games are seen as some of the most influential video games of the past decade. Considered amongst the 'hardest' games around because of their soaring difficulty, they found a dedicated fanbase in people who experienced too much 'hand-holding' in other games, specifically in the fantasy role playing game genre. Dark Souls offered tactile man-to-man battles against AI-driven adversaries that require genuine (computer) fighting skills to beat, instead of mere button-mashing. Apart from this, players got hooked on the deep lore that the games offer: the story behind the games is revealed through layer after layer of narrative details.
FromSoftware, Inc. is a Japanese video game company founded in November 1986. The studio is primarily known for being the developers of the Dark Souls and Demon's Souls games, Bloodborne, Armored Core, Otogi and Tenchu series.
The studio has been a prominent fixture of the Japanese videogame landscape but it was the Demon's Souls (2009), Dark Souls and Bloodborne games that really gave the developers unprecedented exposure in North America and Europe. The Souls series and Bloodborne have all received widespread critical acclaim from both critics and general audience alike as well as strong sales.