FromSoftware loves challenging and demanding games, and while Elden Ring is certainly the most accessible of all the studio’s games, the developers don’t want to make any concessions on difficulty.
From Demon’s Souls and Elden Ring to Bloodborne and Sekiro, difficulty is central to the game, its gameplay and its gamedesign. For years, FromSoftware has built its identity on the “die & retry”concocting ever finer and more demanding apps, but also devilishly addictive in their designs and their ability to offer persevering players a real sense of accomplishment.
Difficulty as a driving force, achievement as a reward
Obviously, the difficulty is only one point here, essential that said, which makes FromSoftware’s games atypical, strong and even controversial works for those who would like to see the Souls much more accessible and/or easy. Except that lowering the difficulty of games is not on the agenda.
However, it is something that Hidetaka Miyazaki, big boss of FromSoftware, is well aware of since he considers himself a novice player who often dies in the games he plays. In a long interview for The New Yorkerthe man confided that it was this experience that pushed him to make difficult titles by nature, while working to offer something other than simple frustration and a feeling of failure when one passes away in the world. one of his games.
I’ve never been a very good player and I often die. So in my work I want to answer the following question: If death is to be more than just a mark of failure, how can it be given meaning? How can I make death “pleasant”, useful?
[…] I apologize to those who think there is too much to overcome in my games. I just want as many gamers as possible to experience the joy of overcoming hardship.
A feeling of accomplishment and success, galvanized by difficult ordeals to overcome, such is the vision, and the proposal, that Miyazaki, and more generally FromSoftwareseek to offer in their games. The man also compares his works to the vagaries of life, and our ability to face them, overcome them.
A more accurate way of looking at things is problem solving. We all face challenges in our daily lives. Finding answers is always satisfying. But in life, you know, there is not much that gives us such feelings so easily.
Elden Ring, or the challenge of accessibility for all, without distorting the vision of its creators
It is therefore with a view to providing this wide range of sensations that FromSoftware has worked to make Elden Ring as accessible as possible.. Not by lowering the difficulty, but rather by giving players more opportunities to overcome the trials that stand in their way.
As a reminder, Elden Ring is now a completely open world where it is possible to move freely from the start, opening up a wide choice of paths and possibilities. In our test, we were talking to you, for example, about Torrent, the mount, which, in addition to allowing you to trudge across the map, also makes it possible to avoid conflicts or, on the contrary, to face them more effectively. Where the old Souls were more structured and more commanding, Elden Ring therefore offers a whole bunch of new tools to allow everyone to face the dangerswhether through experience farming, circumventing obstacles or using new magic, such as summons.
And it is a fact, it is successful, since the raw difficulty and the requirement remain intact. A tour de force which confirms the studio in its idea of continuing to offer difficult games in the future.
We’re always looking to improve, but in our games in particular, it’s the difficulty that gives meaning to the experience. So it’s not something we’re willing to give up just yet. It’s our identity. […]Death and rebirth, trial and overcoming, we want this cycle to be rewarding. In life, death is a horrible thing. In a game, it can be something else.
FromSoftware is therefore not about to deny its vision of the difficultyand we can already expect future works that are ever more difficult, but also ever more accessible.