Dark Souls II director Yui Tanimura has clarified what the development team at From Software means by calling the upcoming sequel to the notoriously difficult role-playing game more accessible.
"The reason why we used the word accessible was not to say that the game is going to be easier by any means," said Tanimura to Game Informer.
"We're maintaining the difficulty and we think the challenges are required. What we meant was, there are certain aspects of the game where it didn't really have a direct connection to the sense of satisfaction of overcoming. There were things that were a little bit time consuming or a little bit tedious that we wanted to streamline--sort of carve away all the fat so we could really deliver the lean pure expression of what Dark Souls tries to communicate, which is the sense of satisfaction of overcoming."
"In terms of accessibility, what we meant was a more streamlined experience to deliver the more pure essence of Dark Souls."
Speaking further about the fine line between challenge and frustration in difficult games, Tanimura said, "We try to implement this difficulty for that added level of satisfaction and happiness when you are able to overcome. But there will be aspects of the game where there are some areas that will be more of a pain to get through than others."
"I think that balance is something important. It's hard to answer directly, but we took a lot of care in terms of tuning each instance of the so-called challenges so that we reached an overall good balance throughout the game," concluded Tanimura.
The Dark Souls II demonstration at E3 2013 showed a new boss, The Mirror Knight, which could conjure additional adversaries from his shield.
Dark Souls II will be released for the Xbox 360, PC, and PlayStation 3 in March 2014.