When Housemarque, the creator of Super Stardust HD and the particle-filled PlayStation 4 shooter Resogun, revealed its next game earlier this month, there was no way to know that the twin stick shooter Alienation was influenced by a series of Japanese action role-playing games — but a teaser was in there nonetheless.
Mikael Haveri, director of public relations at Housemarque, told the PlayStation Blog that, like a lot of projects at the developer, Alienation began with technological experiments and tinkering, which were also influenced by games developers play.
"We happily admit that we do borrow from what we think are some of the greatest games ever, but then we reinvent them in the Housemarque way," Haveri said. "For example, we play a lot of Dark Souls and Demon's Souls, and a lot of different stuff to get inspiration. Then we take a concept we like and try and improve it or put a twist on it."
The Souls games also influenced an aspect of the forthcoming PS4 game that was teased in Alienation's debut trailer.
"We're not going into too much detail right now, but in the trailer there's a segment where you see co-op play and then a message that says, 'Go rogue,'" he said. "And that's an indicator of the kind of elements we might have in the game. That's us asking how we can do interesting things with player relations and I'd say there might be some influences from the Souls series in that aspect of the game.
"Ask yourself what the scenario might be. Why would you attack another group? Are there factions involved? Let your mind go crazy and think of different reasons players might start murdering each other. I've got to keep a little air of mystery here!"
This isn't the first time a developer has cited the Souls series as an influence. Capy Games' Below culls the series for inspiration, as does Deck13 Interactive's Lords of the Fallen. Dark Souls and Demon's Souls even inspired the PlayStation 4's design, president of Sony Computer Entertainment Worldwide Studios Shuhei Yoshida said.
For more on the latest from the latest Souls game, be sure to read our Dark Souls 2: Crown of the Sunken King review and check out Polygon's guide. You can learn more about From Software's next PlayStation 4 game, which is being developed by Souls creator Hidetaka Miyazaki, by reading our coverage of Bloodborne, including six minutes of gameplay.