The sOUlS gAMeS aRe tOo HArD argument is an endless one, but that timelessness is built on the premise that nobody seriously expects these games to ever not be hard. So it’s wild hearing that for the Demon’s Souls remake on the PS5, the developers actually considered implementing an “easy mode”.
Just so we’re clear, this remake wasn’t handled by original developers From Software. The port was instead handed off to Bluepoint, who in addition to making a few visual changes also briefly toyed with changing some other stuff. Before—perhaps wisely—deciding, nah, that’s probably not within our remit here.
In an interview with the Washington Post, Bluepoint’s creative director Gavin Moore says, “This project remakes the work of another development team. While we’ve made some changes, our core driving mantra has always been to preserve the spirit and intent of the original creators.”
“While we considered and discussed an easy mode, we ultimately decided it wasn’t our place — merely being custodians for this amazing game — to add something that would fundamentally alter its balance.”
There’s a little bit to unpack here. His first point is a good one, and probably the most important one made. Demon’s Souls is a uniquely From Software experience, and messing too much with it would have been a massive mistake.
But then, his reasoning for not adding an easy mode doesn’t check out either. How would adding an easier mode “fundamentally alter its balance” if you left the original difficulty in there as an option? You would have altered jack shit!
Ah, but here I go, wading into that timeless argument again. I’ll stop myself here, then, and just say you should go read the rest of the interview over at the Washington Post.