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Are Souls games too hard? Completion trophy percentages say "no"

Some people say that Souls games are too hard and need an easy mode. Are they? Let's take a look at the trophy data:

In Dark Souls III 48.3% beat the penultimate boss. This is the last trophy that everyone will get, since the different endings give different trophies.

In Bloodborne 31.9% beat the final mandatory boss (Mergo's Wet Nurse)

In Dark Souls II (OG PS3 version) 38% beat the game

In the first Dark Souls 37.2% beat Bed of Chaos (the one of the Lord Soul battles that had the lowest percentage). The different endings give different trophies, but probably most people who beat Bed of Chaos beat the game.

In Demon's Souls 22.7% beat False King, which was the hardest boss of the game. Also, note that this game was free on PS+ at one point which will lower the completion percentage.

Now let's compare it to some other random games I have beaten. I'm trying to include lots of different kinds of games, but I have a preference for Japanese games, so Western games (especially FPS games) are under-represented.

The Last Guardian: 31.0% beat the game

The Witness: 23.0% beat the game

MGSV: 20% beat the final story mission

Dragon's Dogma: Dark Arisen: 25.4% beat the game

Portal 2: 38.2% beat the game

Ratchet and Clank: A Crack in Time: 39.8% beat the game

Heavy Rain: 56.6% finished the game with any ending

God of War III: 53.1% beat the game

Red Dead Redemption: 23.7% beat the final mission (not counting the epilogue mission)

GTA IV: 9.3% beat the game Disregard, apparently trophies were patched in later

Final Fantasy XIII: 27.7% beat the game

Resonance of Fate: 8.4% beat the game

(Could someone who has beaten them give me the numbers for some Naughty Dog game, and something like a CoD game. I feel like they should be represented.)

As you can see, Souls games have some of the highest completion rates in this selection of games. It's definitely higher than the average game. You might tell me that it's niche and self-selecting towards good players. But it's not so niche anymore. Dark Souls III was among the top 10 games sold in the 12 months since it released according to NPD. Yet still nearly 50% of the people who played it could beat it.

At this point, it's clear that through grinding and co-op, there are really enough options for anyone to be able to beat them (barring disabilities).
They really aren't that difficult. I'm not sure where this negative stigma stems from. They are difficult, but fairly balanced. 7% of players have the Platinum for Bloodborne, so it's not impossible to even Platinum it, let alone beat the main campaign.

Since the OP requested it:

Uncharted PS4: 6.2% on Hard, 28.5% on Normal
Uncharted 2 PS4: 9.0% on Hard, 37.1% on Normal
Uncharted 3 PS4: 8.7% on Hard, 34.1% on Normal
Uncharted 4: 5.8% completed on Hard, 31.0% on Moderate
Considering you can summon people who can carry you through most tough areas I'd be more interested in these numbers if they showed "beat game no summons"

Also -souls should have an easy mode


These games don't have casual mainstream audience, so that certainly pushes the percentages up.
Souls games are difficult but also engaging throughout.

No one will say GTA IV is too difficult to complete. It just bores everyone to stop before reaching the finish line.
Apparently people who buy games just don't finish them, that's what I'm seeing.

Souls games just have a higher rate because it has more of a hardcore following.
These games don't have casual mainstream audience, so that certainly pushes the percentages up.

This. Look at any mainstream game and you'll start seeing 40% and below on not very difficult things, like milestone trophies that you get for getting to half-way marks in the game and so on.


So going with your assumption that tropy % correlates with difficulty, it means that ratchet and clank is more difficult than ds3?
No they aren't that difficult once you get good, get levels and better gear. I'd say the releases have generally gotten easier too


My guess would be the Souls games attract quite a few completionist gamers, who love a hard challenging grind of a game that makes them feel like a king when they do the hardest portions of said game. These trophy stat threads mostly just show how few people who purchase/rent/borrow games actually finish them. Almost all games have their story completion trophy's at less than 50%.
Yeah, summons is the easy mode. Those percentages are surprisingly high for me though.

I'd imagine that the game's core audience pursues such challenges.

There's an argument that with easy mode option, the genre will get more audience which lead to more revenue, and more revenue means more and/or better quality games like this coming from the devs.


Completion data isn't the best metric to measure difficulty in this case. The Dark souls series has a reputation of being difficult which narrows the player base down to people who are motivated to completing it. If you took a fan of Mass Effect or Call of Duty or something and told them to play the game there would still be a decent chance that they'd not enjoy the amount of effort that it takes to learn the combat mechanics.

That being said I don't think that the game needs an easy mode. There are plenty of other games out there for people who aren't into the challenge of beating your head against a wall until you figure out how to play the game properly.
Dark Souls is one of the few actually hard games where you can group up with 3 of your buddies (or strangers) and basically rip through everything if you want to


Souls games let you learn at your own pace your own mode of battle. So you can be any kind of player and fit the game to your method of play. And if you have the patience and have been hooked enough, you'll get pulled in once you do find your mode.


Yeah I'll have to agree that this only proves that games with a reputation of being hard will naturally mostly attract players determined enough to finish them. However I also think that these games aren't really very hard, only challenging and doable enough for anyone with the right amount of patience.

Put me in the crowd of people who would like them to have an easy mode though. They don't /need/ it, but absolutely no one would lose anything if they had it, on the contrary, more people would be able to enjoy them and the companies involved would make more money.

And yes I realize summoning is basically easy mode, but as someone who doesn't dig the co-op aspect of these games at all, I wouldn't be surprised to hear many people who aren't into these games already would rather play alone on easy than get help from other people.


I'd say the completion purcentage on this game doesn't mean anything, you can coop on every bosses, with 1 or 2 other players... And playing it that way, those games become easier than 90% of other games.


But that is the case for every game. Comparing across games should still give you an idea.

I'm not sure I understand your thesis here. Are you suggesting DS3 is easier than any of the other games listed? It's preposterous.

The masochists into this series are more likely to complete the game. They're also more likely to be aware of trophies and what it takes to obtain them. Further, they're more likely to take the time to manually sync.
I'm not sure I understand your thesis here. Are you suggesting DS3 is easier than any of the other games listed? It's preposterous.

The masochists into this series are more likely to complete the game. They're also more likely to be aware of trophies and what it takes to obtain them.

No, I'm saying that if you take into account both how well they sell (they are no longer super niche) and completion percentages they are not harder than they should be. And adding another easy mode in addition to summoning is not really necessary


My posts and feeling from the Demon's Souls 2nd OT:

Help a newbie out guys and girls. I must have like 6 or more hours. I'm in souls form. 1-1. Red Knight has been kicking my ass 3 hours straight. Chickened away from the dragon's path. What should I do? And how do I become human form again? Is it a specific souls count?
Playing as a wanderer

Edit- and he killed me again. I think I'm gonna cry. Not really of course but I've had my moment of a vocal outburst.
Lol. So much pain and agony.

Oh haha. I actually have the thief ring as well as the bow and the key to the place that the red knight is guarding (only to learn that there is a stronger foe inside lol). Well I'm gonna give the knight one last shot as I've had him near a quarter of death. If not I'll make my way back to the dragon.

Edit- well, he one shoted me. To the dragon we go.

Alright. Passed the bridge and got the main gate open. Went back to the Nexus and calling it a night. I'm scared to know what lies ahead but it feels good to be making some progress after getting into a self-imposed dead end.

I needed to repair my swords and now have a question about physical attack stats. I understand that the base strength number is always the same. What affects the bonus stats? Cause when my two swords were busted they were -20 and -21. Now I fixed one and it is +7. The same sword at some point was -5 before it was even broken. So is durability the main culprit? The sword now is 120/120 durability. Say it goes down to 70/120. Is that going to affect the swords physical bonus stat?

After some observations it appears that durability has no effect on the bonus stat of physical attack. Only if the weapon breaks does it change (negatively of course). I'm at the boss of 1-2. Totally got this but died when his entire weight shifted onto me during a backwards hop which I was not expecting. Question about 1-2:
I noticed that on top of one of the towers in between the bridge where the dragon breathes fire I was able to actually lock onto it. Is it possible to kill it? Keep in mind I went from 1-1 straight to 1-2 so I'm probably a weakling still. I don't want any spoilers. Just curious to know if I could potentially slay the dragon at this point.
GAF community being good to me and my questions.

I've been making my way slowly through the game. I've gotten to 1-3 but at this point can't continue on that path. So I went to 2-1 and
defeated that disgusting spider. Been leveling myself up in a way that supports my physical attacks and defense for the most part. Don't think I'll go for magic much. I finally got overburdened (without the ring to be fair) so I had to think what I do and don't need with me.

2-2 is actually kind of freaking me out because I'm not quite sure what to do with
those fire bed bugs.I use curved swords, bows, and the pickaxe. Nothing particularly is that strong against these guys. And on top of that I think I'm about to "save" another character. I don't want to blow this because Ostrava died literally a few seconds after I met him. I walked into a group of enemies and died immediately which I think sealed his fate as well.

I also use 1-3 as a grinding ground. I just take out the
two blue eyed knights
. Seems like a good strategy as I have not found a quicker way to farm souls.

Oh and I find my first post here funny because I went to see how I'd fare against the red eye knight in my current state and I downed that fellow somewhat easily.

Man... I've completed 1-2, 2-1, 3-1. I can't go too deep into 2-2 because I don't use magic. I've hit a wall in 3-2 because the boss simply kicked my ass.

I'm level 30. Focusing on strength and dexterity and I play like a sneaky agile character.

Should I go to 4-1 and 5-1 for now? Am I screwed if I don't start focusing on magic?
Mhm... game is still hard but he's gonna make it with the help of his friends.

Well in 2-1 I was able to pickaxe my way through everything. In 2-2 that's ok until I get into the lava area. I saved that dude from the big bug by just wasting a few minutes smacking its butt with my sword enhanced by Turpintine. But I can't really do much as I get deeper into the tunnels. But really what should I do with these fire thingies?
I needed to up my magic game.

Ok, ok. I'll start using my head instead of trying to Hulk my way through everything haha
He decides to "git gud"

Actually using magic makes a hell of a difference. Whoda thunk haha. The boss for 4-1 sure was a pushover. All I had to do was
walk down to his level after finally realizing the big lug was downstairs and I guess the vibrations were hurting me or something. Practically impossible for him to do any damage as he is so slow and my character is all about maneuverability. Even easier than the magic lady in 3-1. Or maybe it was because at level 43 it's just that much easier.

Also, Patches... F U. I am bidding my time but I will likely kill you at some point if you don't just vanish. Get the hell out of here with an anti-bleeding ring. I already had one.
He starts to "git gud"

Feel bad that I just cheesed the 2-2 boss by accident. He got stuck behind some bones so I went to town with the soul Rays on him.

Woo! Beat the demon in 2-3. Some large struggles at first but once I got to the stairs portion of the battle I completed the task in one try.
Comical moment after I slayed the demon. I was thinking maybe it will explode so I run away and accidentally fall off the cliff. My face was -_____- . Thinking I may have to redo the entire battle but luckily it registered the victory before my fall.
Gitting gud sometimes means overthinking things. This isn't Ninja Gaiden 2 breh.

I'm playing online and I don't think I've ever seen anything other than dark tendency. But yeah I saw some neat looking sword sitting there.
Yeah what was up with the Tendency stuff anyway? Never understood it.

Hey it's me again. Started playing this month after a longer break. I'm at 4-2 and I'm having a miserable time working my way through the this first part. I kill the ghost leader guy and move on to the skeletons. That's all fine. Then there are more ghosts that shoot lasers. Wtf?! I can't really do anything. I try to rush them and slice em up but to no greater success than one or two. I've been at this for two nights now. What gives?

I should note I've long long ago done the silly Patches part.
He sucks again.

Yeah I got tired of trying my luck. Reluctantly used the wikidot guide to find a useful shield. Used the guide to find the Rune shield which has 60% magic resistance. That 100% magic shield mentioned few posts up seemed to be too much of a hassle as I don't recall running into the character who drops it (or is it an enemy?). I simply put that option aside as I am doing my best to play the game blind so it wouldn't occur to me to kill that character if I had not seen the guide.

Anyways, we'll give it a shot tomorrow with the Rune shield. Sick of spending half a dozen hours on what amounts to a few hundred meters of game distance.
He slightly cracks.

I passed the area finally. Easy boss for such a torturous path.

Random question. You know the symbols for weapons that state blunt,slash, pierce attacks? What does the symbol all the way on the left mean? I couldn't find that answer anywhere. Like for example the Storm Ruler.

Edit: I've finished world 4. That means 2,3,4 are complete. The calm music of the nexus (Black Maiden theme I suppose) has now changed into a very creepy church organ tune. Jesus it is unsettling. It's my one place of solitude and now they wish to keep me miserable even here.
Oh wow. Somehow he still made it really far.

Wow. World 5 was amazing. I always see people complaining about it and yeah if you don't have the petals to heal poison and plague then tough luck. If you do though then it is simply a joy. Satisfying enemy combat, bosses that aren't too hard to figure out. That
Astrea fight was something else. I saw the snipers perch but thought that would be awfully lame to take out such a boss who seems to wish no harm upon me. Have some pride I thought to myself. So I wanted to snag some loot. Eh, those babies are like killer bees haha. Couple of deaths but a couple treasures snagged. So I finally decide to fight Garl Vinland but think to myself "hey I can pass him after he attacks and rush to Astrea. I took down about half her health before Garl came marching back to finish me off. Oh and Astrea seems to have some miracle attack herself. I found it curious she had a talk option. Could she really be as peaceful as her opening dialogue? This time I I don't BS anything. 1 on 1 with Garl. I have him down to half... Oops I rolled into the baby pool, dead. Let's do this again, same tactic. Double hand attack him after he strikes. This time success. "I have failed you Astrea". Aw, I feel so bad for these two. I work my way to Astrea wondering if I should ruthlessly kill her. Ah that talk option is available. You can hear her sadness that Vinland has died and she sees no point in fighting so she commits suicide but not without saying what she says in a tone that lets you know she is angry with the whole situation.
Kinda geeking out over this but it was probably my favorite moment so far. Wonder what that idiot back in the Nexus has to say about Astrea giving into the demon instead of "Umbasa-ing" until she would have perished. I mean she's an awesome character who helps the miserable. Uh, she was alleviating them of pain right? Or is she just an abusive person gobbling up souls and tricking the poor fools?
Holy shit holy shit holy shit holy shit. THIS IS DEMON'S SOULS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Hey guys. No moaning or complaining this time about being helpless.

I've beaten the game! Hooray. Ending credits music is gorgeous and I've been listening to it all week. As for the game it hit me at the end that while I felt like a complete loser during my playthrough I actually gained lots of experience and looking back at when I couldn't kill a blue eyed knight or heaven forbid the red eye knight, that was a loooong time ago and now I charge at those enemies without any fear. My feeling of incompetence isn't misplaced though. There is plenty that I missed during this first playthrough and many enemies (dragons in Boletaria) which I did not attempt to kill. Certain play styles which I fully ignored (miracles) and I have not run into several NPCs which I probabvly should have. But that's alright. My journey was truly mine and what happened was meant to happen. I didn't attempt to look at guides unless I felt completely stuck or when it came to understanding stats and leveling up weapons. For the time being I'm putting Demon's Souls away but will return to it for NG+ as I'd like to test myself with the things I left out and actually care about world tendency.

In the end my feelings for the game could be summed up as frustration, perseverance, curiosity, and wonder. Almost never do you feel like you've actually truly accomplished something in games like in Demon's Souls. You get knocked down and think "how will I ever beat this enemy/area". Eventually though you do conquer it and it isn't just by dumb luck (though it could happen on the rare occasion) but through skill and learning. That sense of accomplishment is likely what kept me going besides being interested in investigating this universe.

"Soul of the lost, withdrawn from its vessel. Let strength be granted so the world might be mended, so the world might be mended."

And in my playthrough, it was.
He wins and it was one of the best experiences in games. If you persevere you are rewarded. That's the Souls experience. That's what makes it special.


Dark Souls is a classic "once you get a grasp of the systems and enemy patterns + time and repetition = win" series. Knowing is half the battle or some shit. Teaching yourself to scream internally also helps.

Many people seem to think the games are TOO easy because it's not broken (generally). "Oh, well once you learn to circle to the left during so-and-so's fuck you attack he's mostly a slouch". No duh, that's because you took the care and patience (or luck) required to come to that conclusion, which is the TRUE boss fight.

And then you both walk off into the sunset hand-in-hand dressed as Siegward.


Behold the glory of self-selection, OP. Those percentages do nothing to account for the people who don't bother to pick up the game at all. Turns out, a reasonable percentage of people who pick up a game marketed as "fuck you, you're gonna die a lot" finish it. Super weird.


They aren't that hard.

The biggest hurdle you can have playing Souls games is being patient. If you aren't, you won't get through it.
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