Fans of FROM Software’s Souls games can be something of a sensitive bunch, a fact Dark Souls II co-director Yui Tanimura seems to have learned when he said the upcoming sequel would be more “accessible”.
Speaking to UK publication EDGE, Tanimura took a moment to clarify the statement that he had previously made when talking to the magazine—a statement that caused waves among Dark Souls fans online.
“First of all, we apologise for using the word ‘accessible’ and misleading the fans. By ‘accessible’, what we mainly meant was going through the process of streamlining and carving away the fat to more clearly communicate the true essence of Dark Souls.”
Tanimura continued on to say that the Dark Souls II team is concentrating on two main concepts: the “sense of satisfaction when overcoming the hurdles and challenges in the game”, and “the loose connections with other players in the same world”. The team wanted to enhance those two ideas by trying to better communicate the concepts to the player, as well as by getting rid of some of the “tediousness” that could stand between the original Dark Souls and those playing it.
I’ll be honest: I was one of the people who originally had some concern when I heard that Dark Souls II would be more accessible. Part of the fun of both the original and Demon’s Souls was that they weren’t accessible—at least in terms of holding the player’s hand and making sure they were never lost or too overwhelmed. They were games where you were thrown into a strange land with no clearly-stated goal or guidance on how to survive, and you had to use your brain and your skills in order to see things through to the end.
At the same time, there’s a difference between the bad kind of accessibility—as in, making the game easier—and making the overall experience a more polished one. That second is the kind of “accessibility” that Tanimura seems to have been talking about. Having previously had a chance to speak to him myself a few months ago, that’s definitely the impression that I wanted away with—that Dark Souls II would be a better game, not an easier or friendlier one.