Dark Souls director Hidetaka Miyazaki has been weighing up the pros and cons of an easy mode for From Software's rock solid RPG, Dark Souls. Dark Souls aficionados love that difficulty, they CRAVE it. Wouldn't an easy mode undermine the sanguine joy of overcoming a seemingly impossible challenge?
“I personally want my games to be described as satisfying rather than difficult," Miyazaki told
"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, 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.”
The skeleton armies of the Undead Burg aren't about to morph into puppies. An easy mode isn't in the works yet, and it may never happen. As Miyazaki notes, "gamers do not particularly prefer easy games."
A poorly timed roll or a misguided parry attempt can mean sudden death at the hands of Dark Souls' ghouls. If you die and don't make it back to your corpse, you lose the souls you were carrying. Even menial foes can cut you down if you're not paying attention. The fear of exploration and the relief of survival are the yin and yang of the Dark Souls experience. Neither would exist without that punishing difficulty curve.
The giant butterfly boss, however, can go to hell.
"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,” muses Miyazaki. “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.”
I love a bit of Dark Souls, and so does Rich. You can read his verdict on the PC edition of From Software's fearsome dungeon crawler in our
Dark Souls review
. If you're planning on picking up a copy, be sure to apply this
Dark Souls mod
, which fixes the port's smeary resolution problems.