How Dark Souls Perfected Difficulty in Video Games.

Only the Best Video Game Hot Takes Ever Made.

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Matthew Gomez, Writer

When you think of playing a difficult video game, you’d usually think of playing the “hard mode”. Maybe the enemies have more health, maybe you have less. Maybe the enemies do more damage, maybe you do less. You can change how hard the game will be with “difficulty settings” in the title screen. Dark Souls doesn’t have “difficulty settings”. You can’t simply make the game easier because you’re struggling with an area.

What many games fail to realize is that spawning 5 zombies instead of 3 doesn’t justify a “hard mode”. Artificial difficulty is usually not well made and is choppy. Dark Souls has a certain difficulty where although you might be getting destroyed by a boss, someone else can beat them without getting hit once.

Dark Souls is a game where sometimes you’re not meant to win, or to pass the area. Not nearly as many people finish Dark Souls then there are who start it. Enemy density is packed, even the weakest of weak enemies are still a threat to you. Sometimes you’ll just die because the game was being unfair. That’s intentional game design. If you can overcome the challenge, there is nothing more satisfying, but that’s the catch; not everyone will. 

When done right, the complexity of the game is amazing, but that’s not always the case. I’m not gonna sit here and argue that Dark Souls is the best game ever, because frankly I don’t think that. But when it comes to the most difficult things in gaming, Dark Souls is on top. That’s what gives the games charm.