If Dark Souls Had An Easy Mode

If Dark Souls Had An Easy Mode

The Dark Souls ‘easy mode’ frustrates the hell out of me. It can be patronising (urgh, git gud scrubs) or it can be ill-informed, ignoring the part difficulty has to play in the overall appeal of the Souls series.

I suspect a Dark Souls easy mode would look absolutely nothing like the above video, but still. This is a fun parody of modern video games and their refusal to let us figure out anything for ourselves.

It’s funny though, this sort of thing has me torn. Because I like the idea of games being accessible to a broader audience and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with providing newer players with the required information they need to play something like Dark Souls.

But the door opening gag, where he has to slam the ‘X’ button over and over? That was perfect. Absolutely perfect.


    • This. Anyone, and I mean anyone who can figure out how to use the controller can beat Dark Souls if they run the entire game in co-op.

      • There’s a video of someone killing all bosses in Dark Souls 3 by standing off to the side and emoting while his summoned players destroy the bosses. Sure is hard letting other people do all the work.

  • This isn’t ‘easy’ mode, this is ‘annoying’ mode.

    Though it does remind me a lot of how hand-holdy the last Legend of Zelda was.

  • Dark Souls III, at the start, already has a pretty hand-holding tutorial. The messages on the ground tell you how to do everything and the enemies are 1 hit kills essentially. I feel like there’s a certain level of elitism that comes from some people who have beaten the Souls games that means they’re biased against a difficulty setting like “you do more damage, enemies do less”. They feel like, because they’ve poured countless hours into the game to master it, people who don’t do that are somehow lesser.

    I think the Dark Souls games are really well put together and they have things going for them that I’d be more interested in (solid world design, interesting lore, tactile movement/combat) if it weren’t for the ridiculous grind you have to do on every boss. I end up single-mindedly focusing on this one boss, beating them, then running through to the next one. I’m all for a challenge but I think the game on “easy mode” would still have a lot to offer for less committed players.

    • I’m not sure what the game would offer anyone if it was easier. The worlds are pretty empty, but it works well when that emptiness is a welcome respite from an otherwise challenging game. I’m pretty sure if there was an easy mode people would complain about lack of content instead.

        • Git Gud…

          … but seriously, most bosses don’t need to take that many hits, especially as a lot of them are puzzle bosses. Compared to stuff like the chalice bosses in Bloodborne they’re really not that much of a problem if you’ve got your rings and weapons right and you’re targeting the bosses’ weaknesses. Most fall over after half a dozen parries as it is.

          • I need to git gud, I couldn’t master the parry and finished the game mostly without it 🙁

          • Mastering parries is just one way to go about the game. My first play through I ignored it a lot, because I was still stuck on Bloodborne parry system. I think that’s one of the great things about Souls games, as you play intelligently you can play your own way.

          • What I’m saying is that some people don’t want to repeatedly grind against an enemy to figure that stuff out, and reducing damage taken or increasing player damage would make that process take less time which I think would be better for some players. Having the option there never hurt anyone except the type of people who would say “well you didn’t REALLY play Dark Souls then” or “It’s not even that hard on the difficult setting”

          • It’s not really about grinding, I just try different things when I see I boss for the first time, you can usually figure it out. Like
            1) can it be parried?
            2) are some bits of it a bit weaker?
            3) is there anything in the environment I could be using?
            4) if I chuck some fire or lightning or whatever on my poking stick, is it taking more damage?

            That’s pretty much true for all the bosses except the lord of cinder really, and can be figured out in about 30 seconds

  • I am playing on easy mode right now. Choose your own difficulty level, from the following ranges:
    * zero-spoiler, go in blind … scanning wiki pages … watching let’s plays first
    * normal play … obscene amounts of levelling up / weapon upgrades
    * by-the-rules … learn where the save files are, take copies, learn to restore & reload them
    * accept invasions … disable internet connection

    I like to scan a wiki, then go explore, do a ridiculous load of levelling up (forest protectors, painted world), I only messed with save files in Sen’s Funhouse, and I’m getting OK with invasions – I’m at level 150 (starting to fill the lordvessel in NG), so it hardly ever happens!

    Disadvantages: you don’t get as much ‘leet-style satisfaction from beating the game
    Advantages: you trample of the intransigence & hubris of the developers, and for an added bonus tick off the fundamentalist fanboys.

  • I’ve never played a Souls game, and likely never will. That out of the way, what’s so wrong with things like an in game map or a quest log?

    I very much doubt that any dev team would ever let you respawn during a fight with infinite hp, or auto kill an optional boss. That said, I don’t see the problem with the rest of the design choices this video showcases (except quicktime events, they’re horrible).

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