A few days ago, I read an article talking about how Dark Souls III could benefit from an ‘easy mode’. Whilst I can see the author’s point, and that they clearly wrote it with good intentions, I’m not necessarily sure if I agree with them. That’s not because they’re wrong, but perhaps more because it highlights a trend within society that I’ve been noticing of late. That trend being that people are becoming increasingly lazy – and that’s in general, not just with video-games.
In life, things rarely get handed to you. Unless you’re the son or daughter of an oil barren, property tycoon or celebrity, that is. But for us norms, we have to work for what we get. But, in an age of internet fame, ridiculous lottery jackpots and competitions galore, people are starting to act as if things should be given to them. We seem to be developing a culture of the ‘quick fix’.
Now this doesn’t include everyone, of course. I’m not generalising that the entire population feels the world and its oyster will be dropped into their lap. Rather, what I’m highlighting is that a work ethic and a willingness to try seem to be fading in some people. That’s no more obvious than in the video-game industry. Go back ten or twenty years and video-games were once reasonably difficult. I recently picked up Battletoads again, for instance, and died at least ten times in the opening five minutes. Pick up some games now, and you’d struggle to die ten times in the duration of your first play through. Maybe it’s just me, but I definitely feel that we’re being spoon-fed our games in recent years. And that’s why I feel that Dark Souls is a bit of a gem.
The Dark Souls series is difficult, that’s the point. Part of its charm is the fact that it’s hard. It’s going to make you suffer, it’s going to make you tear your hair out, punch the wall or break your controller – and Dark Souls III is no different. The game is designed to be difficult, because the challenge is part of the fun. I’ve never played a game that gives me an equal sense of achievement. You spend the duration with your character playing David, and Dark Souls embodying Goliath. Each enemy you defeat, each boss you crush, each section of the game that you clear, it’s all part of that overall achievement. You earn your game progression, you earn your Achievements or Trophies, and you earn it with your fair share of blood, sweat and tears. But, once all’s said and done and you’ve lit that Bonfire – you know that you’ve achieved something, and that’s a feeling that isn’t replicated in many games these days.
So no, I don’t think that Dark Souls III needs an ‘easy mode’. The Dark Souls series is designed for people who want a challenge – not for the sort of person who falls at the first hurdle and then asks for all of the other hurdles to be removed from the track.
What do you think? Does Dark Souls III need an easy mode, or do people just need to git gud? Let me know in the comments below!