Dark Souls II is more accessible than its predecessors, but it is by no means an easy game, claims director Yui Tanimura.
The Demon's Souls/Dark Souls franchise has long been praised for being utterly, soul-crushingly difficult. The game seems to delight in crushing players' hopes, and it's this unerring commitment to old school-style difficulty that has won the series a rabidly dedicated fanbase.
Still, the series has always been confounding to newcomers, and many are turned off by its insistence on forcing players to figure out most things out for themselves. With the upcoming Dark Souls II however, director Yui Tanimura promises a more accessible game which has left many fans worried that the series' trademark difficulty might be reduced for the imminent sequel. That's simply not the case, Tanimura claims.
"The reason why we used the word accessible was not to say that the game is going to be easier by any means," Tanimura tells Game Informer in a recent interview. "We're maintaining the difficulty and we think the challenges are required."
"What we meant was, there are certain aspects of the game where it didn't really have a direct connection to the sense of satisfaction of overcoming. There were things that were a little bit time consuming or a little bit tedious that we wanted to streamline - sort of carve away all the fat so we could really deliver the lean pure expression of what Dark Souls tries to communicate, which is the sense of satisfaction of overcoming."
"In terms of accessibility, what we meant was a more streamlined experience to deliver the more pure essence of Dark Souls," Tanimura adds.
Normally when developers attempt to reiterate their earlier comments to reassure fans, it comes off as pandering, but in this case I think Tanimura earns the benefit our collective doubt. He's absolutely right about Dark Souls being focused on giving players seemingly insurmountable goals which offer a huge burst of satisfaction on completion, and as long as Dark Souls II continues that trend we shouldn't have anything to worry about. Making the game more readily accessible to players should be seen as a positive, as it could potentially attract even more fans to the series who would otherwise give it a pass.
We'll reserve final judgement until such a time as we can sit down for a few dozen hours with Dark Souls II, but Tanimura seems to know what he's doing. Don't worry boys and girls, your frustratingly difficult, highly anticipated sequel is probably going to be just fine.
Source: Game Informer