Hidetaka Miyazaki, creative director of the open world RPG, argues in an interview that overcoming a great challenge and the sensations that it offers is part of the DNA of the Japanese studio.
Like every time a sufficiently successful FromSoftware game or Soulslike hits stores , the premiere of Elden Ring on February 25 has reopened the debate on difficulty versus accessibility in video games. That struggle between whether a game has to be enjoyable for everyone or whether the creative intention of the development studio is what should prevail has been one of the topics of conversation in an interview in The New Yorker with Hidetaka Miyazaki, creative director of the Open world RPG that takes players as a Lightless One to the Middle Lands.
The Japanese has defended that the difficulty and sensations that the player has when overcoming the proposed challenges are part of the DNA of FromSoftware , the studio responsible for Dark Souls , Bloodborne and Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice . But before he clarifies: “I feel sorry for anyone who feels that there is too much to overcome in my games. I just want as many players as possible to experience the joy of overcoming difficulties.”
In Elden Ring , Miyazaki and his team have introduced a number of systems for players to take on challenges at their own pace : a horse that allows you to bolt out of some matches to try again later, more summons that fight alongside the player, the existence of dozens of alternative paths so that a challenge does not pose an obstacle in the game… They are mechanics “so that people perceive that victory is an attainable milestone” , according to the creator.
“We always seek to improve, but in our games in particular, the difficulty is what gives meaning to the experience . So it is not something that we are ready to abandon at the moment. It is our identity,” Miyazaki makes clear. “When I’m playing these titles, I think, ‘This is the way I’d like to die, in a fun or interesting way, or create a story that I can share.’ Death and rebirth, trying and overcoming: we want that cycle to be enjoyable. In life, death is a horrible thing. In the game it can be something else .”
Elden Ring now available on PC, PlayStation and Xbox
Elden Ring has been available since last Friday on PC (Steam), PS5, Xbox Series, PS4 and Xbox One .