No Easy Mode Allowed: An Interview With 'Dark Souls II' Director Yui Tanimura, Plus New Screenshots

According to From Software’s Dark Souls II director, Yui Tanimura, challenge is one of the things that made the original game so satisfying.

But as word of a push toward more ‘accessibility’ in the new game spread across the internet, fans began to worry. News that creator Hidetaka Miyazaki was not directing the sequel only made matters worse.

Would the sequel be dumbed down? Would it be made easier? Would it go for the “Skyrim audience?”

“I would like to clarify here that we do not have any plan to make the game easier,” Tanimura tells me. “As Dark Souls focused on giving a sense of satisfaction to players, Dark Souls II is also pursuing to provide this sense. We cherish Dark Souls fans’ voices and would like to improve this game based on their voices to let them enjoy a highly challenging game.”

Along these lines, the developer has no plans to include options within the game to make it easier for more casual players.

“We do not plan on having an Easy Mode,” says Tanimura, “since we are creating this game with a thought that challenge and difficulty are core elements of the game.”

No Easy Mode should certainly come as a relief to many Souls fans.

When the idea was floated last year—accidentally, or as the result of a poor translation—there was a huge backlash online. The notion of an easier mode for some players in a game so tightly built around a multi-player experience that was supposed to be, at its core, very challenging rubbed many people the wrong way, and with good reason.

But Tanimura says that the “sense of satisfaction achieved through challenges is a great feeling for players.”

The very success of the game depended on that challenge, Tanimura notes. “Dark Souls succeeded because more players than we expected welcomed this thought and there were not many games offering this same sense of accomplishment at the time. What we have to do for Dark Souls II is to stick to this consistent stance.”