Helldivers 2 PS5 PlayStation

The topic of difficulty inevitably crops up whenever FromSoftware drops a new release, and we once again find ourselves knee-deep in that old discourse. The director of one of the more mechanically unforgiving PS5 games of 2024, Helldivers 2, has defended the design choices made in Elden Ring's Shadow of the Erdtree expansion with the familiar refrain: "A game for everyone is a game for no one."

Arrowhead director Johan Pilestedt popped up on Twitter to disagree with an unsuspecting account's opinion. In response to Indoor_Carrot's completely valid take that they only felt relief when defeating a boss in Dark Souls, not accomplishment, Pilestedt explained the secret to success is actually in catering to a select audience; in the case of both studios' fans, sadists, gluttons for punishment who glory in overcoming impossible-seeming odds, the more brutal, the better. Pilestedt says that "good game design is evoking emotion more than anything" in another thread, and we find ourselves agreeing with that sentiment.

Indeed, FromSoftware boss Hidetaka Miyazaki himself recently put the difficulty discussion to bed, once and for all, stating that: "If we really wanted the whole world to play [Elden Ring], we could just crank the difficulty down more and more." Considering these two tough but fair franchises' astounding success this year alone, we think they might be onto something. Admittedly, that could be bias talking, having sold our souls to the dark gods of crushing difficulty modes many moons ago.

Do you see a pattern here? One in which challenging video games cultivate a hardcore audience that is, in turn, willing to work for meagre but incredibly satisfying rewards? Let us know in the comments section below.

[source x.com]