Hidetaka Miyazaki has discussed the difficulty of Elden Ring in a new interview on the PlayStation Blog.
The Souls games are notorious for their high skill barrier of entry and punishing difficulty, but Miyazaki hopes that perception will change with Elden Ring.
“I feel like our approach to these games, not just Elden Ring, is to design them to encourage the player to overcome adversity,” he said.
“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, memorise 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.”
He continues: “In Elden Ring, we have not intentionally tried to lower the game’s difficulty, but I think more players will finish it this time.”
That’s down to the open world design, which allows players to tackle challenges at their own pace, and the variety of approaches to combat that includes stealth elements and an easier to access multiplayer experience.
“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,” he said.
What isn’t mentioned in this interview is accessibility, for which difficulty is only one aspect. The “git gud” mentality remains toxic, no matter what controller you use.
These comments also mirror those made by Elden Ring producer Yasuhiro Kitao, who spoke earlier this week at the Taipei Game Show to discuss the variety of combat approaches in the game.
Elsewhere, Miyazaki comments on the amount of colour in the game as the development team wanted to “provide the world with a much more painterly look to invoke a high fantasy feeling as a theme”.
He also discusses the boss designs, which twist and misshape the concept of heroism as inspired by the “very heroic and grandiose designs, essentially these demigods from the history of Elden Ring’s world” that George R.R. Martin created.
Additionally, Miyazaki confirms that multiple endings and new game plus will feature in the game.
Read his full comments on the PlayStation Blog. Elden Ring is due out on 25th February across PlayStation and Xbox consoles, and PC.