Breathe deeply, hold in your “git guds” and “fuck yous” until the end of the article, for I know I’m treading on shaky shaky ground with this piece. Yes, I’m about to tell you why I think Dark Souls III should have an easier setting available. Notice the words easier and available, they are all too important for this argument.
Yes, easier, not easy, not beginner, but easier. Currently Dark Souls games play out in a fashion you’d usually expect to see once you’ve complete a game. They are brutal, just straight up brutal, which is cool, that’s part of their appeal, and I’m not saying that should be removed. However there should be an option for players who don’t feel like spending hours to progress past a tiny stage to make things less chaotic. Sure, it could still be hard, but not in a way that makes you want to punt your computer into a lake.
I totally get that Dark Souls is based around a community that think the difficulty is the defining factor of the game, and sure it’s part of it, but there is so much else on offer here. The setting is great and the gameplay itself is right up there for actions RPG games.
And the thing with introducing a new difficulty is that it doesn’t impact anyone in any way apart from the person who selects that easier mode. I know hardcore Souls fans would rather see someone publicly lynched as they all chant “git gud” than allow that person to play the game on an easier mode, but why does it matter? Seriously, why? Do some of these fans spit on people that run for a bus and don’t make it? In fact let’s run with that stupid bus analogy, because it’s exactly that.
The hardcore community are already sitting on the bus, they’re warm and cosy, but outside there is torrential rain. There are other people running for this bus, but they can’t make it, the rain is beating them down as they desperately try and make it on board. Hell, maybe the person has a disability and can’t make it onto the bus because of that. Instead of helping this person by throwing a lifeline, the people on the bus are jeering and spitting.
What I said about the disability is all too true as well by the way. Some avid gamers have debilitating conditions that don’t allow them to use a controller or mouse and keyboard in the same way as others. Just look at that dude who recently had a custom PS4 controller made for him allowing him to finally play games properly. The guy loved gaming but couldn’t engage with his PS4 due to a design flaw in the default controller, so a caring Sony employee made him one that worked for him.
Using that same logic, I bet most of you wouldn’t scream “git gud” at someone with a similar disability who doesn’t have the dexterity to play a Souls game. Okay, I’m hoping that people can see that side of my argument at least, because I’m about to spread that same point across the bread that is this article.
Let’s now imagine someone who is physically able to play a Souls game, but doesn’t have the ball crushing amount of time it takes to get through it. When Bloodborne came out I absolutely adored it, I sunk so much time into that game… but I didn’t even get halfway through it, and I never will, I don’t have the time available to me to do so. I would have loved to get through the story, there were more than enough hours sunk in for it to be two playthroughs of Skyrim, but nope. There were a couple of sections that took me hours to complete, which turned out to be time I could have used for doing other things in the game, such as actually playing it instead of dying lots.
It’s the same for Dark Souls III, I adore the setting, and sometimes I would like to just progress the ambiguous plot and learn some more about it without having to replay the same shitting boss who keeps curb-stomping me, but I can’t… and probably never will be able to do. Yeah, most of this is due to one terrible reason, despite the fact I write about games a lot, I’m not very good at them. I don’t have the patience to crunch numbers and cobble together the perfect warrior. I just want to relax and slice up a few disgusting looking dudes and learn about some crisply old dead people. Is that too much to ask? The answer is probably yes, because nobody wants to tarnish the macho hardcore image Dark Souls has, at least not yet anyway.
I can vividly remember a party I was at a few years ago, there was this beyond pretentious guy there who needed to voice his opinion over everyone else. I stayed in the conversation despite his annoying habits, this was a circle of geeks and they were more interesting to me than awkwardly dancing or trying to buy drugs. So I stayed there with these guys not saying much until the topic of gaming came up, this was a topic I could really contribute to, so I started talking enthusiastically about my favourite games of all time. After I finished my little list he chimed in that I didn’t say Dark Souls, which meant that I’m not a gamer at all and couldn’t possibly know what a good game was.
I was blown away by that. Sure, I thought Dark Souls was good, but because I didn’t think it’s the best thing ever, it made me irrelevant in a field that I professionally work in. Anyway, to wrap up this story, he’s the spokesperson I see in my head every time I read a shitty obnoxious comment oozing of Souls smugness. Now I’m not saying that’s how I see all Souls fans, I love the community, it’s great, but if you’re gonna be putting players down you are literally that guy. Also for those playing at home, I managed to socially assassinate him by correcting him on a piece Star Trek trivia that he got wrong, and then he got angry and left.
Anyway, I think I’m done. To sum this all up, Dark Souls should have an easier mode because reasons. You can tell me to git gud now.