Namco Bandai provided over a dozen new screenshots from their action RPG Dark Souls today. The shots depict fierce monsters, dark dungeons, and a betrayal or two.

Unlike many games these days, Dark Souls doesn't treat the player with kiddy gloves. You're going to die - often. Powerful monsters and deadly traps lie in wait around every corner. You don't just skate by in this game; success comes from learning from your mistakes and never quitting no matter how many times you die. The result is a very frustrating but ultimately gratifying game.

Dark Souls, like spiritual successor Demon's Souls, could be best described as "semi-multiplayer." You can play through the game without an Internet connection and still enjoy yourself. However, going online certainly adds a bit more to the experience. Players can jump into each other's games to help out with particularly challenging battles, or simply leave messages warning players of dangers ahead. However, being online can have disadvantages, too. Another player can infiltrate your game and ambush you, as is seen in several of the screenshots below.

Dark does differ from its predecessor in many key ways, though. It will feature an open-world environment instead of linear levels. It's supposedly much harder than its predecessor as well. However, this heightened difficulty is balanced out somewhat by the inclusion of several new weapons and spells.

Souls will arrive on the Xbox 360 and PS3 on October 4th in North America. The PAL release will follow on the 7th.

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