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Demon’s Souls and Difficulty Modes

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Hi, Abi here!

As I’m sure many of you are well aware, Bluepoint Games have been developing a remake of Demon’s Souls for the PlayStation 5’s launch cycle.

One of the most notorious aspects of the Souls franchise (and subsequently From Software’s other games; Bloodborne, Sekiro, and the forthcoming Elden Ring) is the steep level of challenge that many have found to be the defining trait of their titles.

This particular level of difficulty is woven into the very fabric of the games, so much so that they don’t actually have any manner of selecting difficulty levels within the games themselves. When you start up a new game, you make your character and away you go, that’s it. It could be argued that – at least in the case of Souls and Bloodborne – selecting a particular starting class over another, or a certain weapon or build over another would make the game easier, but you wouldn’t necessarily know that going into the games blind.

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This has been a point of contention with the remake of Demon’s Souls.

In a recent interview with the game’s creative director, Gavin Moore, he claimed the game would not have difficulty levels so as to maintain the spirit of the original game (this is, of course, in spite of a few other changes that were not in the original but I digress):

This remark has sparked a renewed discussion on the lack of difficulty options in these games (and others like them in the genre that Demon’s Souls and Dark Souls helped cultivate), particularly surrounding the ideas of accessibility, and, dare I say it, some have proclaimed the games are ableist by their very design philosophy.

I would like to see some of your thoughts on this particular thing, so here are a few questions:

Do you believe this genre of games should have difficulty levels?

What do you think of leaving difficulty levels out of the Demon’s Souls remake?

Do you find the challenging, try-try-again game-play style to be inaccessible?

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I’m really racking my brain over this one and I have a project I’m working on where I’d really enjoy some outside input to challenge my perceptions in much the same way Sekiro did.



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