While we've yet to play it, the general assumption is that Elden Ring is going to be a pretty difficult game. It is, after all, the latest release from Dark Souls creator Hidetaka Miyazaki and his studio FromSoftware. Those guys aren't known for taking it easy on players.
I quite recently wrote about the fact that I think Elden Ring should probably include some kind of difficulty modifier. It is, after all, the largest and most open FromSoftware game to date - it feels like as many gamers as possible should be able to enjoy it regardless of skill. People disagreed with me.
Take a look at the game in action below:
As it turns out, it sounds as if Elden Ring actually will have a few ways to make the game easier for newcomers, just don't expect anything as simple as the ability to switch from "hard" to "easy" in the game's settings menu.
As reported by Japanese gaming mag Famitsu (and translated by theangryfurlong on Reddit), Miyazaki explained in a recent interview that Elden Ring will feature spirits that can stand and fight with you in certain areas. You'll remember that Dark Souls and Bloodborne allowed players to call on NPCs and other humans at certain points to help out with boss battles. In Elden Ring, these spirits are actually ghostly versions of enemies the player has defeated.
Players can essentially collect enemies they've bested, and then bring them out for battle like some kind of twisted Pokémon. These spirits will serve various functions: you can use one with a shield to cover yourself from a certain angle, for example. Archers, of course, can be used to attack from a distance. You'll even be able to level them up and make them even stronger.
Being able to make use of various enemies with vastly different skills is a huge departure from previous FromSoftware games. Bosses in the likes of Dark Souls and Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice would rarely offer players multiple strategies or approaches. If you couldn't get the hang of the "right" way, you were stuck from moving forward. It sounds like Elden Ring offers the freedom to take on enemies and bosses in plenty of different ways, which should absolutely help a ton more players overcome any difficulty based hurdles.
Elden Ring is coming to PlayStation 5, Xbox Series consoles, PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One January 21, 2022.
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