Here's Why Dark Souls, Bloodborne, And Sekiro Don't Have Difficulty Options

Would you like From Software's games to have difficulty options?

42 Comments

From Software is famed for making difficult games--most notably Dark Souls, Bloodborne, and now Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice--but it refuses to add difficulty levels. Now, in an interview with GameSpot, the company's president and director of many of its games, Hidetaka Miyazaki, has explained why From's games only have one punishing difficulty level.

"We don't want to include a difficulty selection because we want to bring everyone to the same level of discussion and the same level of enjoyment," Miyazaki said. "So we want everyone … to first face that challenge and to overcome it in some way that suits them as a player."

The creator continued: "We want everyone to feel that sense of accomplishment. We want everyone to feel elated and to join that discussion on the same level. We feel if there's different difficulties, that's going to segment and fragment the user base. People will have different experiences based on that [differing difficulty level]. This is something we take to heart when we design games. It's been the same way for previous titles and it's very much the same with Sekiro."

Finally, Miyazaki said Sekiro is "probably even more challenging than previous From games." Despite the difficulty level Sekiro possesses and the similarities it bears with Dark Souls and Bloodborne, Miyazaki insists Shadows Die Twice is not part of the Soulsborne series. Meanwhile, in a separate interview, From Software confirmed to GameSpot that Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice will not contain any multiplayer.

The game was revealed during Microsoft's Xbox E3 2018 press conference. It's to be published by Activision, and it's coming to PS4, Xbox One, and PC in early 2019. For more on the upcoming action title, check out our Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice gameplay impressions.

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srfilk86

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I'm nearly to plat on this game. It's 9.5/10, easily. A masterpiece.

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phppapa

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I get what the creator is saying and what the company is going for and how they are worried it would fragment their base and could hurt their sales, company and rep overall. But, the hard difficulty of Souls games and Bloodborne and Nioh and this upcoming Sekiro game or ANY game like it is BECAUSE of how hard it is. I'm 37 years old dammit! I'm old. I just want to pop a game on and have some fun... I like playing games on Easy or Normal and never on Hard, simply bec when a game is too challenging for me, it turns me off from wanting to play. When I was a kid, it was different. I bet you that if they added difficulty options their sales would go up. The new God of War is A LOT like the gameplay from Souls-style of games although prob a little bit more mainstream... however, it has different difficulty options and does kinda do it's own thing. But, the gameplay overall is almost exactly like Bloodborne or a Souls game... dodging, rolling, parrying, etc., then strike once or twice, then parry, etc. and in these 3rd person, over-the-shoulder-camera-types of games, they look and feel pretty similar, at least IMO. With that said, the difficulty option in GoW on PS4 being there made a big difference in me playing and finishing the game. If I was forced to play it on a difficulty setting that was "standard" and could not be adjusted but was pretty much a "Hard setting" at default (like the difficulty equivalent to Bloodborne), I would've been SO PISSED at Sony Santa Monica and the GoW creator Cory Barlog AND Sony overall AND blah!!!! I would've never finished the game and prob would've given up on the series if they went with extreme difficulty with no difficulty options. I thought GoW on PS4 was challenging on Easy and now on Normal, it's def challenging. I can't imagine how you guys play it on the Hardest difficulty setting, lol (and some are my age!). Still, the difficulty settings are OPTIONAL. I think From Software will eventually change their minds, esp when the series creator gets replaced or steps down or takes a new job or w/e. A LOT of developers and their companies can learn from God of War PS4!!! It deserved that 10/10 score on pretty much every site that matters for a reason. Nevertheless, I'm just saying that games with no difficulty options "fragment" the gamer fanbase from the get-go... so why not include them? It's like the new COD game not having a Campaign. I'm not buying it bec of that. I'm a single player gamer. FRAGMENTATION FROM THE GET-GO... it seems rather unfair to me. These are businesses that want to make money, right? I get the business choice with COD bec Activision and which dev team is making it at the time both make SOOO MUCH money on the IP and it's most important, game selling part: Multiplayer. So, I get that decision and I realize that the campaigns usually suck and no one likes them and fans bitch. So, they get a pass. However, it's still a decent enough example. I don't like it when gamers are singled out bec some gamers have time to put in 2-3 hours on some hardass boss in Dark Souls. I don't have the pleasure most people have of having that much time to play ONE BOSS out of the 30 bosses the game might have, let alone the navigating the game to get to them and finish it and blah. I'd rather press pause, set the difficulty to Easy, beat the boss and move on. I KNOW I'm not alone one this. If Sony doesn't have a good go-around with the PS5, From Software might find themselves in hot water. Crazier things have happened in the gaming industry. No matter, I'm a Sony fan and will get the PS5 even if the next gen-Xbox is more appealing to many. Why? Three words: First Party Studios. Two words: Exclusive Games. One word: IP (well, that's "kinda" one word, lol). I hope Xbox fans who play on PS4 now but had a Xbox 360 will remember this when the time comes to choose Sony or Microsoft on the next gen PS5/Xbox! Sony supports their systems MUCH longer and their IPs are LEGENDARY compared to ANYTHING Microsoft has (and don't even mention Halo... Halo currently SUCKS and one IP cannot stand up to the ever-rotating smorgasbord that Sony has amassed over the many years in the industry). I'm just hoping the games of the future consoles will have DIFFICULTY OPTIONS! Ty for reading my epic of a comment. ;)

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deactivated-5e50d2c5e25a2

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@phppapa: I'm older than you are and have zero complaints. You're only as old as you let yourself believe you are.

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Vodoo

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@phppapa: I'm around your age and agree. I hate that the Souls games don't have a difficulty selection, especially because I hate (and suck) at the slow type of combat. If this new game has fadt and fluid combat, like Ninja Gaiden, I don't mind the difficulty. Because your moves are instant. You don't have to wait for a 2 second animation to finish until you can block or dodge.

As for the next gen crap... It was not MS's fault for losing all of their 1st party studios. It was the work of 1 guy, Don Mattrick. He believed in timed 3rd party exclusives.

Why do you think MS has just acquired 5 new prominent developers? So they can have those great IP's with the full resources of MS helping in development.

I will probably end up with both consoles then, as I do now, but it's not fair to automatically write off Xbox as they're doing everything possible to get back their lost studios and put out quality games again. You're telling me that if MS started putting out great first party games that you wouldn't buy it because you love Sony so much? Kinda short sighted.

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Tyrant156

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Edited By Tyrant156

Dark Souls can't have multiple difficulty settings cause of the online system. If someone plays the game at an easier setting then it wouldn't be fair if they could invade other players playing at a much harder setting. Having the game set at one difficulty level ensures that everyone went through the same obstacles to receive the weapons, armor and spells found in the game.

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maitkarro

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@Tyrant156: Guess you didn't play Dark Souls 2 then, it basically had a difficulty setting in one form, that's what happens if you loosen your reign.

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Tyrant156

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@maitkarro: I've played a ton of Dark Souls 2, I'm not sure I understand what you mean. Can you be more specific?

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andyng211

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It's true. There is nothing like the feeling of trying to kill a boss for 20 times and then on the 21st time, you die again.

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ConsoleHaven

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@andyng211: Funny!

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fotis52

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Edited By fotis52

It is their right to do as they want. I respect their opinion, but I simply suck at their games. I have no patience or the right amount of concentration to perfectly time my hits or defenses to beat the bosses. But what angers me the most is the xp points that you lose if you get killed. I play games to have fun and relax and not to be frustrated. If that makes me a casual, the hell yeah I am one...

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maitkarro

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@fotis52: Those are souls, you earn them, not grind them mindlessly, also you bank them at the right moment, it's a risk reward system, do you push further or go back and bank it to get stronger or buy something to get stronger and face the enemies again with a greater ease while getting the same amount of souls again. There though have been peeps who play the game through as lvl 1 in numerous games.
If you take your time, you can easily beat the game, if you like to rush, then well how the peeps say "git gud".

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Bread_or_Decide

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@fotis52: Don’t give up. If you kept at it you’d be surprised how good you get at the game. This is life my friend. You can’t pick up a guitar and expect to shred in one minute.

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mickyfinn84

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I love From games as they are but an easy mode for those that really want it is fine by me, It doesn't affect my experience. They're really not that hard anyway once you learn the mechanics, it just requires some patience to get there. There's already the option to summon others to help with bosses which makes the games easier too.

I have a feeling many people that quit are trying to master the parry, which would be frustrating because you will die a lot. Parrying, in the souls games at least, is completely unnecessary. In Bloodborne it's useful but also easier to do.

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deactivated-5e50d2c5e25a2

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@mickyfinn84: It does affect your experience in that it causes games in general to be dumbed down. From refuses to do that, make games what they are supposed to be. You just don't get it.

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deactivated-5b2c8e0382c99

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These games were too hard for me at one point. Then I practiced and got good. I haven’t gone back to play the earlier games yet, but I beat Dark Souls 3 and Bloodborne. Can’t wait for the new game. I’m glad I’m forced to play these games at a certain difficulty, because I know I would’ve chosen an easier option if I were given the choice, and I would’ve been worse at games for it.

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Millionsedge

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To me, games can be art. You don’t change art to make it easier for the masses to understand, you just make art. Like it or leave it.

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zyxahn

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I have been wanting a difficulty level in these games. You can fight everything over and over to build up and make it a little easier. So there's that. I will never beat Dark Souls 1 without cheating, somehow. It's still one of my favorite games of all time. Honestly, if it was easier, I don't know if I say that. There is always Dark Souls 2. Not the Scholar of the First Sin. :) I used the dupe glitch to beat Demon's Souls. The new game plus still kicks my ass. I couldn't beat Dark Souls 3 with that souls glitch. The end boss. I'll never beat Bloodborne either. I get far enough in these games to enjoy them. Just not the end. Except DS 2 but that was easier. Not the DLC.

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deactivated-5e50d2c5e25a2

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@zyxahn: Find a new hobby.

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BuyaPC

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The minute they add lower difficulties to from games is the minute these games lose their identity and satisfaction you earn from getting through them. Even if you choose to play on hard just knowing that some shmo out there put it on easy and waltzed right through the game to completion would completely ruin a good chunk of the satisfaction those that earned it the right way have. They simply would not be the beloved games they have become if there were easy modes. And by the way as others have stated there are ways of making the game much easier such as farming the shit out of souls and upgrade items and simply over powering the enemies and bosses which can be done for sure in the first playthrough or two. If people who want to experience these games can't do at least that then they have no business playing them. And that's not even considering how much easier these games are after you figure the combat out or play a couple of them. I can breeze through any from soft new game now that I've played them all and honestly they're not so hard that anyone with an ounce of effort can't find a way through them.

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simulacraman

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From can do what they want, and more power to them. And if you like their games, great. What I don't understand is gamers defining themselves, and worse, others, by how difficult the games they play are. There's something uniquely pathetic about that.

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nedrith

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@simulacraman: Honestly part of it is due to the fact that If I play a game that I can button mash through the entire game, am I really playing the game or am I playing a movie that requires you to bash buttons to watch. It's also the problem that I see many people give up the first time they lose once or twice in a game and it's like really why are you playing a game if you hate losing. What's the point of playing a game where you never once die.

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zyxahn

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Edited By zyxahn

@simulacraman: Some say it actually affects their accomplishments, in said game. That's pathetic.

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asnakeneverdies

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While I believe From Software games suck balls, I cannot disagree with this notion. Games have become far too inclusive. Given our present circumstances, only good things can come from alienating plebeians.

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jelake

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If you think about it, there actually is a form of difficulty modifier in the Dark Souls games. We all agree the bosses are the tough parts of the game. You can always summon another player and most have a way to summon an npc to help you fight the bosses. This makes the boss fights much easier.

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dragonsama

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I have to say that this statement is very disappointing. The fact of the matter is by not giving options to the player you chase off potential players who hear it's super hard or grindy and they never try the games. They should put in difficulty options. Their reasons for not doing it are shallow at best

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deactivated-5e50d2c5e25a2

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@dragonsama: You simply don't grasp what gaming is then.

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RS13

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Edited By RS13

@dragonsama: In general, I agree, but I think that this is exception to the rule. First, the whole point of Dark Souls is to overcome the game's difficulty by memorizing the boss's moves and perfecting your recognition and response to those moves. The difficulty is central to the experience.

The second thing I'd note is that while there's no easy/normal/hard settings, there absolutely are ways to make the games significantly easier if you're in need of help: you can summon other players or NPCs to help you out. It accomplishes effectively the same thing, without changing the enemies in any way that might undermine the experience.

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Thanatos2k

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@dragonsama: They want to chase off those players. They are making the best game they can for their target audience. Bravo to them.

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LameSpot69

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Edited By LameSpot69

@dragonsama: I think if they added difficulty options, some modes might be more unbalanced than the others, like recent games like Nier: Automata where Normal difficulty is too easy while Hard difficulty is too hard. I think this way they're able to make just one really optimized mode instead of 3 or 5 unbalanced ones. Think about it, if Dark Souls had an easy mode would parrying be what it is? The reason parrying in Dark Souls is special, even though it's the same animation, is because you've earned every parry that you get. Parrying in Normal or Easy mode would be absolute whack. I also think it's rather admirable that they prioritize making the game they want versus the game that's going to attract the most players. A lot of games are like that these days and they leave much to be desired. I think From's games are fine the way they are. If people find them too difficult there are many other games they can play, but leave this series to the hardcore fans as we don't really get many like it.

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Destructionzz

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I love that challenge of seeing if I can actually eat the controller if I get angry enough.

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chad28_69

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I'm going to be totally honest here I would like them to add it. I hate feeling frustrated. I honestly don't play their games because of how they are. I don't think it would divide the fanbase. When I'm talking about DMC3 I don't say in which difficulty I played neither do I ask. People don't all have rhe same skill level so easy might be as difficult for them as normal for other person. They would sell more and it wouldn't affect the normal game and elitist coukd still look down on other people like the people who play souls games already do.

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gamer112696

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Edited By gamer112696

@chad28_69: Different games are meant for different people. Just like genres. These types of games are mainly for people that like challenge in games due to the satisfaction they receive from overcoming a difficult obstacle. To others, like me, it just appears to be trial and error gameplay that breaks the immersion factor. But I’m a gamer that has always loved a meaningful story and characters more, so the challenge type games don’t interest me. And that’s fine, people have different preferences in what they look for. I for example prefer a moderate challenge for each game, as my backlog is too large for me to spend time grinding or playing the same mission over and over. And the games I remember most and stick with me are the ones with the best narrative. But everyone’s different. I have friends that play only multiplayer (I like multiplayer too) games because they get satisfaction from competition. Adding a difficulty level to these games would destroy the foundation that it was built upon and ruin the fan base. It would be like a developer scrapping a single player game just because they think they can get more money for a multiplayer live service game. Thanks EA lol.

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chad28_69

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@gamer112696: in your example something is being removed, adding a difficulty slider doesn't ruin the experience for people that play in normal as intended by the developers, it's literally giving more options and let the players decide, and choice is what makes different from other media.

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Thanatos2k

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Edited By Thanatos2k

@chad28_69: Everyone of every skill level should not be able to finish every game. Play a game closer to your skill level.

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LameSpot69

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Edited By LameSpot69

@chad28_69: If Dark Souls 3 had difficulty levels there are many bosses I never would've defeated on Hard. I like that about the game. Not to sound like an elitist but you have so many other games to play where you can tone down the difficulty all you want. In this game (Soulsborne), you die, it doesn't go "aww... there, there. Would you like this chicken hat?" No, it tells you to phukk off and git gud, and when you finally do, the victory is just that much sweeter hence why so many people praise it for being rewarding.

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Barighm

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Hopefully it's not harder on average because of stealth elements. I hate forced stealth sections. Very few games ever get them right.

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Thanatos2k

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Edited By Thanatos2k

They want a consistent experience. That's it right there. And bravo that they've never compromised on their vision.

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LameSpot69

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@Thanatos2k: If only more devs took that approach.

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Thelostscribe

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It would have been better to answer the question as such, 'Our games are challenging and the further the player goes the harder it gets. However the balancing in our games makes it to where a player can overcome the difficulty through practice. This is because we work hard to balance our games correctly.'

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Renunciation

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"So we want everyone … to first face that challenge and to overcome it in some way that suits them as a player."

So I want... you to shut up and take my money. (Shutting up is completely optional.)

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Genji_Shimada

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"Miyazaki said, "git gud.""

-Summary

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Pyrosa

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Ah, well that's simply becase HARDEN THE F UP.

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