Diminishing the challenge level of Elden Ring would compromise the core integrity of the game, according to Miyazaki

  • 21-06-2024 |
  • Polad Aladi

FromSoftware's Soulsborne titles are infamous for their relentless difficulty, yet creator Hidetaka Miyazaki has indicated that reducing this level of challenge would undermine the very essence of the games.

In a conversation with The Guardian, Miyazaki conveyed that the punishing nature of these games is not only integral to their design but also key to their widespread acclaim.

"We could have made the game easier to appeal to a broader audience," he stated. "But that decision would not have been true to our vision."
He continued, "That path would lead to the game failing to accomplish what it has because the sense of triumph that players experience after overcoming tremendous obstacles is a core component of the gameplay. Easing the difficulty would remove that sense of elation – and, to me, that would fundamentally dismantle the game."

Perceptions of difficulty vary, and Elden Ring's latest DLC, Shadow of the Erdtree, makes no concessions by introducing new features to enhance accessibility.
Still, in remarks to Eurogamer, Miyazaki expressed an openness to the topic, saying, "I am not at all averse to it," and further mentioned, "We will keep exploring how to integrate such elements into our future projects."

Today marks the release of Shadow of the Erdtree, which Miyazaki told Eurogamer offers a level of challenge akin to the latter stages of the central game.
"The aim was to deliver confrontations that were intense and daunting threats, and for this, we wanted to grant the players ample freedom in how and when they decide to face and surmount these challenges," he explained. "Those who seek out the formidable tests present in our games will encounter an equitable level of difficulty in the DLC as well."

The challenge inherent to Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree was a focal point of our review

"It's undeniable that this unique, FromSoft-crafted exasperation is a crucial facet of the Souls experience – to continually clash with what appears to be an unyielding barrier until, by some combination of fortune and precise timing, you manage to succeed," the review detailed.

"There's tangible elation, pride, and relief in that victory - a sensation we've all known, and with the benefit of reflection, all that struggle seems justified. At times, these challenges serve as genuine teaching moments. This instance seems to amp up difficulty purely for the sake of it, dialed to the maximum, perhaps to fulfill the expectation that a DLC must present something exceedingly insurmountable even though it’s not a prerequisite to complete the main game."