Elden Ring is plenty tough, but the director expects players to finish

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Elden Ring is plenty tough, but the director expects players to finish. Elden Ring feels just as tough as the Souls game, but with more ways to tone down the challenge.

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Image credit: Bandai Namco

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Elden Ring has been in the works for a long time, and now that it's almost here, FromSoftware's old trick does the trick:

"I didn't beat Dark Souls. Can I finish this game?"

Every time a new From game comes out, a horde of enthusiastic gamers take to social media and wonder aloud if it will finally be the "Soulsborne" game that will get them past the developer's huge signature difficulty curve. Hidetaka Miyazaki, director of Elden Ring and most of the Dark Souls series, believes the answer is "yes." This is great news for new fans. This is also great news for veterans, as Miyazaki doesn't think the difficulty curve will be drastically different from previous games.

"In Elden Ring, we didn't intentionally try to reduce the difficulty of the game, but I think more players will complete it this time around," he said, as part of an extensive interview on the PlayStation Blog today (Jan 28). "The level of freedom for the player to progress through the world or return later to a challenge are things that I think will help people progress through the game at a more leisurely pace."

Miyazaki explains as he has in previous interviews, that difficulty in From games is not the main point. Instead, it's about training players to carefully explore environments, build characters wisely, watch enemies carefully, and retry persistently. In this sense, the design philosophy of Elden Ring is exactly the same as that of Dark Souls, Demon's Souls, Bloodborne, or Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice.

The big difference here, apparently, is that Elden Ring's open-world design gives players a lot of flexibility in selecting the challenges they want to complete.

"They can come back to something later when they're at an impasse so they can have that freedom to progress and not have to bang their heads against the wall over and over again," Miyazaki said. "They can figure out what to do and how to tackle it again, at their own pace."

With that in mind, however, Miyazaki had a recommendation for players who had never mastered a Soulsborne game before. He said that they should feel free to choose any character class and figure out a playstyle that suits them best. (In fact, he recommended choosing "the one that looks best," which seems like pretty solid advice.) However, he noticed one exception:

"I would advise against choosing the nude [class] (known as Miserable)," he said. "This is probably the hardest starting class!"

Elden Ring will be released on February 25 on PlayStation, Xbox, and PC. we will have a full review of the game closer to its release date.

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