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Rovelius Blog

understanding Dark Souls' difficulty

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Due to a supposed mistranslated statement of the Dark Souls designer, a lot of people were talking about a more easy and accessible Dark Souls experience "so everyone could play the game".

Well, I got news, everyone can play the game now, exactly as it is.

Dark Souls is not difficult because it requires inhuman skill (like some platformers). In fact, in that regard it is much easier than any super Mario game.

Dark Souls is difficult for many people because it requires a skill set that is lost to gamers nowadays (and most people in general):

. patience;
. lateral thinking;
. observation;
. experimentation;

It is a unique experience because while playing you do not evolve your character as much as you evolve yourself as a player. It is unbelievably rewarding to decipher the innumerous secrets of the game. That's the game, the discovery. The game is not about running around killing monsters.

It is insanely awesome to see that something that looked like impossible a few hours ago you can now do with your eyes closed (well, maybe one eye closed).

Putting a minimap, an extensive tutorial and save points on the game would not make the game easier - it would be creating another game - one that is simply not nearly as interesting or innovative.

Dark Souls is a unique, intelligent new experience, we really should not be trying to make it equal to other thousands of games.

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I understand the frustration if you want to experience the setting but thinks the experience is too hard. But, honestly, have you even tried? Most people shy away from the game because of its fame alone.

A friend of mine have arthritis and cannot play most fight games and platformers and, after a little bit of effort he finished the game twice already.

I am not a very accomplished player also. I can't memorize patterns very well, I can't do a combo in a fighting game for the life of me and cannot drive in a straight line in racing games. And I completed the new content for the game dying only twice.

The famous super uber difficulty of Dark Souls (and Demons Souls for that matter), can be easily conquered by rethinking yourself as a gamer, being more methodical in your approach.

Some people say that an easy mode doesn't hurt because you doesn't have to play it. But the fact that Dark Souls have only one setting of difficulty works as a watermark, a parameter for your successes and failures.

This is what makes people to come back to the game - discovering the new ways to kill a boss or getting the most difficult equipment should be a reference to all. Why? Simply because there's no game that does it now. Comparing notes, efforts and challenges is part of the game. Some things in the game are meant to be very hard to discover and an easy way around it just kills the sense of accomplishment that is so impressive in this game.

Hell, the game became huge mostly because of its style and difficulty. Why try to make something so innovative into another triple A title with all the trappings that executives think that are required for a game to succeed?

In any case, the discussion is moot because lazy people are already cheating their way into the game, making everything supereasy. Which would be fine, I think, if they weren't bringing their fake accomplishments online, to the multiplayer component of the game.

But this is people for you. There will always be someone ready to spoil everyone's fun on the behalf of their fun. We cannot do much about this, unfortunately.

What we can do is enjoy one of the greatest games of all time in the way that made it one of the greatest games of all time: difficult, but conquerable.

Capcha: comfort zone. So true...

P.S. I love Skyrim.