Voters will select which six finalists have their shields included in the final game.
In April, Namco Bandai launched a contest, calling on gamers across varying regions to design shields with the promise of six eventual winners making it into the game and earning a spot in its credits. Now the publisher has unveiled thirty finalists from North America, Europe and Asia and is asking gamers to vote to decide the final winners.
Altogether, the overall collection from all three regions is pretty diverse, offering up a variety that runs from the gamut from grim and creepy to bright and even patriotic. Some of the designs are, arguably, not the best fit when you consider them in the context of the Dark Souls franchise. The American submission emblazoned with a bald eagle and the word "liberty," for instance, might not blend too well with the oppressive and violent horror Dark Souls is know for. That said, there are a lot of really well done options to choose from. I am a particular fan of the lion themed shield from the Asian finalists. It kind of makes me want to tap into my inner-Lannister.
This contest was a neat move on the part of Namco Bandai and a fun way to help further involve Dark Souls fans in the series. That said, this act of inclusion does little to alleviate concerns that Namco Bandai, hoping to expand on the series' success, may change franchise formulas to be more easily digestible for wider audiences.