It's no secret that Elden Ring is intentionally designed to be incredibly challenging. While some will have a better time with it than others, it's not exactly a simple hack-and-slash RPG. Many have critiqued the Souls genre for being needlessly difficult over the years, asking for an easy mode. Others have defended it, believing in the creative vision and satisfaction of overcoming such frustrating obstacles. Nonetheless, the debate over the difficulty in the genre is never-ending and will likely continue for the foreseeable future. With that said, the controversy over the difficulty in games like Elden Ring doesn't seem to have impacted the developers much.
In a recent interview with The New Yorker, Elden Ring director Hidetaka Miyazaki noted how he wanted to convey the satisfaction of overcoming challenges in life, but is sorry to those that it's crossing a line with its difficulty. "I do feel apologetic toward anyone who feels there's just too much to overcome in my games – I just want as many players as possible to experience the joy that comes from overcoming hardship," said Miyazaki "We all face problems in our daily lives. Finding answers is always a satisfying thing. But in life, you know, there's not a lot that gives us those feelings readily."
Miyazaki also noted the team has no plans to make its games less challenging, despite believing Elden Ring is easier than other entries in the series. "We are always looking to improve, but, in our games specifically, hardship is what gives meaning to the experience. So it's not something we're willing to abandon at the moment. It's our identity," said Miyazaki.
Recently discovered data revealed that barely half of Elden Ring's player base have defeated the first proper boss in the game, so although it may be less grueling than some of the other games in the series, it is still causing many to struggle. It's possible that these numbers are skewed due to the game's sudden and massive commercial success, but a large chunk of players are still stuck in the early hours of the game.
In general, Elden Ring is currently available for the Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, PS4, PS5, and PC. You can check out all of our previous coverage of the latest and greatest FromSoftware video game right here.
Do you think games like Elden Ring should be easier or should Miyazaki's vision be maintained in future games? Let me know in the comments below or hit me up on Twitter @Cade_Onder.