Although From Software’s Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is easier than Dark Souls and Bloodborne, it’s still an unforgiving game that will mercilessly kill you provided you don’t concentrate and learn to adapt. This has naturally resulted in outlets and gamers begging From Software to implement an easy mode, with even the creator of Celeste outlining how an easy mode could work. However, while it’s somewhat understandable that players want to see the end of a game they’ve just bought, the vocal demand for an easy mode is ultimately insulting to From Software and their legion of fans.
Look, I don’t want to come across as an obnoxious Soulsborne fanboy who berates struggling gamers by telling them to “git gud”, but I’m more than willing to be misrepresented in order to state an easy mode would be a betrayal of From Software’s philosophy and appeal. There isn’t a contract that demands From Software keep making controller breaking video games, but when fans purchase one of their titles they except a grueling challenge that pushes them to the limit. This is the From Software way, and it’d be wrong for them to lose their unique identity solely because outsiders or naïve admirers want to hop aboard the bandwagon.
While the desire for an easy mode is understandable as it’s undeniably frustrating to be on a stop-start rollercoaster that has prematurely broken down thanks to a seemingly irremovable object, there’s nothing that stops players from simply quitting or trying again later. It’s the transition from depressed hopelessness to success that makes From Software’s games special and beloved, but Sekiro, Dark Souls and Bloodborne don’t need to be completed in order to acquire a worthwhile and unforgettable experience.
When people ask for an easy mode for Sekiro, Dark Souls, and Bloodborne, they’re being ignorant of the demands that come with making a punishing game that doesn’t feel cheap or unfair. From Software has mastered the balance, but copycats such as The Surge and Lords Of The Fallen have come and gone because they haven’t been able to successfully replicate the near impossible formula that makes Soulsborne so addictive and enjoyable.
Moreover, not every game has to be accessible to everyone. Dead Space 3 was ruined by EA as they wanted to attract a larger audience, the Mass Effect series lost its shooter-RPG balance for the very same reason, and Kingdom Hearts 3 quickly became monotonous as Square Enix made it purposefully easy to appeal to new people. These games were tarnished because the publisher/developer wanted to accommodate the needs of others, when instead they just have remained true to their beliefs and what made their series so popular.
If Sekiro was given an easy mode to satisfy those who have probably never played Dark Souls or Bloodborne, then From Software would be betraying themselves and their legion of fans as they’d be jeopardising their own game. While Sekiro isn’t solely dependent on its difficulty as – unlike Dark Souls and Bloodborne – there is an overt narrative, it’s ultimately the adrenaline rush of toppling a mighty foe like David with Goliath that keeps players enamoured. Those who don’t enjoy or can’t overcome Sekiro’s steep learning curve should simply walk away and play gentler games, rather than beg, ask or demand From Software to accommodate them.
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