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Demon’s Souls’ devs considered, and ultimately left out, an easy mode

KyoShiRo330

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When the brutally difficult action game “Demon’s Souls” was reborn on the PS5, it rekindled a familiar, divisive debate: Should the game have an easy mode? Bluepoint, which took the reins for the remake from the game’s original creators, Japanese studio FromSoftware, contemplated adding an easy mode and ultimately decided against it, revealed creative director Gavin Moore in an email to The Washington Post.
“This project remakes the work of another development team," wrote Moore. “While we’ve made some changes, our core driving mantra has always been to preserve the spirit and intent of the original creators. While we considered and discussed an easy mode, we ultimately decided it wasn’t our place — merely being custodians for this amazing game — to add something that would fundamentally alter its balance.”



The topic’s endurance and fervor in video game discourse has shown how arriving at an answer is difficult at best, with any outcome likely to provoke criticism. At the root of the debate is a question about reconciling the challenge of a game with its accessibility, something that has prompted opinion pieces in outlets such as Game Informer and Kotaku, particularly about “Souls” games. Some argue that “easy modes” aren’t an adequate enough answer for accessibility to begin with; others have noted that difficulty and accessibility are separate issues.

Moore had made it clear that “Demon’s Souls” would have no easy mode in late October, stating in an interview with Game Informer, “There are no difficulty options, and there shouldn’t be,” adding that he felt the game’s challenge was “fair.” What Bluepoint and Sony did, however, was introduce a number of accessibility features to allow more people to play the game while also utilizing the PlayStation 5′s new user interface to offer help for the game’s grind.



Though the difficulty is unchanged, Bluepoint and Sony didn’t want to leave players without help, especially for those playing the game for the first time. As such, PlayStation Plus members can access 180 tip videos without exiting the game, as part of PlayStation 5’s new UI. You can view them by clicking on an activity card in the control menu of the PS5.
“I think a lot of new users hear ‘Demon’s Souls’ and they go ‘Oh that’s game’s really difficult.’ But it’s not. It’s actually very fair. It’s challenging, but very fair,” said Moore in an earlier conversation with The Post. “But we do understand that people get stuck. ... And we’ve got 180 plus help videos that actually sit inside the game, so if you do get stuck, you can bring up, as you’re still playing, one of those help videos and it will tell you, ‘In this area, you need to do this,’ or ‘This is the best tactic against this boss.’ The way the system works is it will show you a video if you ask for some help, which is just enough to give you a hint. And then if you still haven’t got it, you can look at the next one.”

More at the link:
 
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MastAndo

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It's understandable (and commendable) that Bluepoint didn't want to alter the original vision for the game being that it's not their IP.

Generally speaking though, I think it's bizarre that people get worked up about modes or options that they don't have to go anywhere near. Don't worry, everyone will still think you're awesome for beating the game as intended, even if others are playing on easy mode.
 

Tranquil

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It's not a burn. You're not entitled to play every game. I'd like to play BG3 but I hate turn based combat. I'm not asking them to insert real time combat. I'll play a game that features actual real time combat instead.
I like options. They didn't provide the option that would make me purchase the game. So I'm moving on.

I just love that everyone on this forums loves having options, except in this case.
 

Danjin44

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Again with this stupid difficulty arguments in Souls games. Its what they are, you either going like it or not. I don't like the fact REVIII went first person with their game but ultimately its devs choice how they want to make their games
 

Bitmap Frogs

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I like options. They didn't provide the option that would make me purchase the game. So I'm moving on.

I just love that everyone on this forums loves having options, except in this case.

If you're hurting so much, pretty much all souls have an "easy mode" baked in.... just ask around. You still need to actually play the game tho.
 
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Nymphae

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He says it perfectly

“I think a lot of new users hear ‘Demon’s Souls’ and they go ‘Oh that’s game’s really difficult.’ But it’s not. It’s actually very fair. It’s challenging, but very fair,”

This is soulsborne. Challenging, but ultimately very fair. That's almost the entire ethos of the series' gameplay in my mind. It seems like you can't do this, but you can do it. It presents itself as (and has a reputation for being) an extremely challenging affair, but the dirty little secret is that you just have to be a cautious player and come to grips with the relatively simple systems you have to work with, and then the challenge becomes a joy to overcome. And that's what they want for you as a player.

There may be an argument that adding baby modes increases sales and brings the work to a broader audience, but I have always believed it's up to the artists to decide what shape they want their work to take. The fact that these games have for so long avoided this sort of mode speaks to how much they value the experience as it has always been. Challenging, but fair.
 
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RedVIper

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Generally speaking though, I think it's bizarre that people get worked up about modes or options that they don't have to go anywhere near. Don't worry, everyone will still think you're awesome for beating the game as intended, even if others are playing on easy mode.

If the developers believe that the designed difficulty provides the best experience to the majority of players including an easy difficulty means that a lot of people will be playing a worse version of the game. So now you have more people playing your game, but with a worse opinion of it.

Maybe fromsoftware is just okay with having less sales if it means the games are higher regarded than trying to appeal to more people but bringing down the game.
 

Fake

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The right call. If you want a new difficult mode, create a new game. Remaking a game changing that don't make sense at all.
 

Danjin44

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I've always hated these losers game, people who never achieve stuff in their life and think a "challenging" game is an actual accomplishment.

I guess I won't get into souls game with that remake either then, bye.
People play these games to have fun, and maybe for you playing challenging games is not "fun" but to other is, thats all.
 
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Tranquil

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If you're hurting so much, pretty much all souls have an "easy mode" baked in.... just ask around. You still need to actually play the game tho.
I've heard you can cheese every boss encounter in some way. Not into that. I did play about half of Sekiro, I had to take a break after every boss to settle down. Not my kind of entertainment.
 

Fake

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I've always hated these losers game, people who never achieve stuff in their life and think a "challenging" game is an actual accomplishment.

I guess I won't get into souls game with that remake either then, bye.

No offense, but after analyzing your post this make the game perfect for you.
 
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Moogle11

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Makes sense to respect the original developer's intents when doing a remaster.

I got the plat in Bloodborne, beat all the bosses through the first DLC in DS3 etc., but doubt I’ll finish Demon's Souls. My patience and frustration tolerance are near gone after this year. I just plan to play it as it’s the only true next-gen exclusive graphics’ showcase and I bought physical and will sell if (when) I get too salty.

I’ve got no issues with hard games having no difficulty options. Not every game has to be accessible to everyone.
 
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Feb 9, 2018
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I've heard you can cheese every boss encounter in some way. Not into that. I did play about half of Sekiro, I had to take a break after every boss to settle down. Not my kind of entertainment.
It's not even close to being as difficult as Sekiro. It's not particularly difficult at all.
 

MastaKiiLA

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It's not the rarest plat trophy I've seen, and I managed to platinum Trine 2. So I'm not worried. I can get good enough.
 
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