Miyazaki Discusses Difficulty, Why More People Should Be Able To Finish Elden Ring
Hidetaka Miyazaki shares his thoughts on the difficulty discourse that frequently surrounds From Software games.
With only weeks standing between the highly-anticipated Elden Ring and its ravenous fans, game director Hidetaka Miyazaki has opened up about the difficulty discourse that has long surrounded From Software’s games.
Discussions regarding difficulty in games aren’t anything new, of course. In recent years, a community push toward accessibility has brought about significant analyses of difficulty and how it can be tailored for inclusiveness. From Software frequently draws the ire of some gamers who feel its popular role-playing games, which include the beloved and demanding Dark Souls series, provide too steep a challenge and should include difficulty options.
Some fans of the aptly-named Souls-like genre disagree with the assessment that such games need a difficulty setting, feeling strongly that the games benefit from their cryptic design choices and precise, punishing combat. From Software itself has long stood by this stance, too, imploring all gamers to embrace the challenge so that they can feel an equal sense of reward by overcoming it.
Despite this, speaking in an interview with PlayStation Blog, Miyazaki made it clear that he believes the conversation is still one worth having. “It’s a valid discussion,” he said. “I feel like our approach to these games, not just Elden Ring, is to design them to encourage the player to overcome adversity. We don’t try to force difficulty or make things hard for the sake of it. We want players to use their cunning, study the game, memorize what’s happening, and learn from their mistakes.”
Miyazaki went on to share that he believes the barrier of entry has been lowered in Elden Ring as well, due to design choices that now provide additional player agency. “In Elden Ring, we have not intentionally tried to lower the game’s difficulty,” he said. “But I think more players will finish it this time. As I mentioned, the player’s level of freedom to progress through the world or return to a challenge later are all elements that I feel will help people get through the game at a more leisurely pace.”
In addition to general design changes, Miyazaki states that he hopes “players embrace that idea of receiving help from others,” promising that the multiplayer function of the game has been streamlined to put an emphasis on working together to overcome Elden Ring’s toughest challenges. With this in mind, Miyazaki feels confident that Elden Ring will have the highest rate of completion in From Software’s Souls-like library.
Miyazaki’s interview also included confirmation that Elden Ring will feature a New Game Plus mode and multiple endings, two components that have become a core part of what makes From Software’s games endlessly replayable for die-hard fans.
Elden Ring launches February 25 on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, and PC.
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