Elden Ring Director Doesn’t Think It’s Easier, But Thinks More People Will Finish the Game
Elden Ring director Hidetaka Miyazaki has discussed that, while he doesn’t think the game is necessarily easier than previous FromSoftware titles, he does believe more people will be able to finish it this time around.
Speaking to PlayStation.Blog, Miyazaki was asked about the “ongoing discourse” that surrounds the challenge and accessibility of FromSoftware’s games, if the team was more mindful of these conversations when developing Elden Ring, and if they have impacted the way the team “tailored and maintained FromSoftware’s trademark difficulty” for the game.
“Yes, we have,” Miyazaki said. “It’s a valid discussion. 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. We don’t want players to feel like the game is unfairly punishing, but rather that there’s a chance to win a difficult encounter and make progress.
“We understand that Souls-like games are regularly associated with impossible levels of difficulty with high barriers to entry. But we try to design the games to make the cycle of repeatedly trying to overcome these challenges enjoyable in itself. So we hope that with Elden Ring and the new options it provides, it will be a success in that respect.”
He continued to discuss how the level of freedom Elden Ring offers in its more open-world format should also lead to more players finishing the game, even though FromSoftware did not “intentionally lower the game’s difficulty.”
“In Elden Ring, we have not intentionally tried to lower the game’s difficulty, but I think more players will finish it this time,” Miyazaki said. “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. Also, there isn’t a focus on pure action. The player has more agency to dictate their approach against, for example, the field bosses in the overworld and how they utilize stealth in various situations.
“We’ve even reduced the number of hoops that you have to jump through to enjoy it in multiplayer. So we hope the players embrace that idea of receiving help from others. And we feel like the overall clear rate will go up this time because of these things.”
For those who may still be a bit worried Elden Ring may not be for them, Miyazaki did offer one further piece of advice when picking a class – don’t choose the Wretch!
“As for a starting class, it’s entirely up to the player,” Miyazaki said. “It’s an RPG, and they can approach it however they like and choose whichever looks the coolest to them. But I would recommend against choosing the naked one (known as the Wretch). As before, it’s probably the most difficult starting class!”
For more on Elden Ring, which will be released on PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, and PC on February 25, 2022, be sure to check out our hands-on preview of the game’s closed network test, how long it will take to beat, and more details on its multiplayer.
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