Starting with Demon’s Souls in 2009, FromSoftware has built up a reputation for delivering mechanically dense and challenging games that test players’ skills in often grueling ways. Those who’ve been playing From’s games regularly will tell you that they’re more about patience than they are about skill (other than Sekiro, perhaps), but either way, the question of accessibility always comes up when any of these games are on the horizon.
Elden Ring is looking like FromSoftware’s most ambitious game ever, but what can fans expect from it in the difficulty department? According to director Hidetaka Miyazaki in a recent interview with Famitsu (via Kotaku), Elden Ring is still not going to have difficulty options, but owing to several factors, it’s going to be easier and more accessible than past FromSoftware games like Bloodborne or Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice. Miyazaki says the game’s difficulty level is going to be at about the same level as Dark Souls 3.
The game’s open world structure is partly responsible for that. Since it is structured non-linearly and allows players to tackle areas in different orders and even skip past some boss fights, Miyazaki says it will afford players more freedom to find a more accessible path. Meanwhile, options like stealth and summoning customizable spirits will also help make combat encounters less taxing. Finally, Elden Ring is going to have multiplayer as well, and as any Souls fan will tell you, summoning another player for help is always a great way to get past daunting challenges.
How much of a cumulative difference this all ends up making remains to be seen, but thankfully, we won’t have to wait too long to find out. Elden Ring is out on January 21, 2022 for PS5, Xbox Series X/S, PS4, Xbox One, and PC.