Dark Souls could get a sissy mode

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wussy

Dark Souls, rightly, has a pervasive reputation for being ball-blisteringly difficult. I mean, it even says so right on the box, with the thing telling you in about a hundred different ways that YOU WILL DIE. I loved every minute of the 80 plus hours I sunk in to the game, even though it regularly made me want to throw my controller at the wall and kick things. That old-school level of difficulty has put many gamers of what’s otherwise a pretty incredible (albeit frustrating) experience – and it’s made the game’s director sad. so sad that he’s contemplating adding an “easy” mode.

“I personally want my games to be described as satisfying rather than difficult,” Dark Souls director Hidetaka Miyazaki said to Metro.  “As a matter of fact, I am aiming at giving players sense of accomplishment in the use of difficulty. Having said that, however, it is true that Dark Souls is rather difficult and a number of people may hesitate to play.”

“This fact is really sad to me,” Miyazaki continued, “and I am thinking about whether I should prepare another difficulty that everyone can complete or carefully send all gamers the messages behind our difficult games.”

“However, I suppose gamers do not particularly prefer easy games. What they want is interesting and worthwhile games to play, so I think it is natural that hindrance or stress that does not attribute to such interesting and worthwhile elements will be removed in the end.”

“If the number of easy games is increasing nowadays, I guess it is because difficulty is not related to interesting and worthwhile game elements in many games among players,” Miyazaki concluded.

I don’t think it’s a great idea, to be honest – and not just for the fact that those who’ve actually finished the game belong to some sort of refined gentlemen’s club. Dark Souls charm lay in its punishing, but not impossible difficulty – and much of its reward came from figuring out how to accomplish tasks. In fact, it’s not that the game is difficult per se – it just (heavily) punishes mistakes. Whenever you die in the game, barring a couple of cheap deaths,  it’s because of something you’ve done (or failed to do). Easy mode would just ruin that – leaving you with a pretty generic RPG.

Last Updated: September 4, 2012

Geoffrey Tim

Editor. I’m old, grumpy and more than just a little cynical. One day, I found myself in possession of a NES, and a copy of Super Mario Bros 3. It was that game that made me realise that games were more than just toys to idly while away time – they were capable of being masterpieces. I’m here now, looking for more of those masterpieces.

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