Talk to Infarct gameHidetaka Miyazaki, director of Dark Souls and Bloodborne, among others, and president of From Software, shed light on his creative process – specifically saying that reviews of his latest directorial effort, the acclaimed Elden Ring, were misunderstandings about deliberate design choices.
“I’ve seen people on the internet say that Elden Ring’s lock feature is bad, that it never seems to choose the player’s closest enemy, leaving them completely vulnerable to attack while they try to fix it,” Miyazaki said. “Have you ever been in a fight? Have you ever had to deal with the threat of getting your ass kicked? Do you think you would be particularly focused on an opponent? No, in the rush of the moment your brain of lizard takes over. , and your mind swings between the many threats around you. It’s hard to concentrate. We kept this in mind when designing Elden Ring. We implemented a very complex that causes your lock to miss the target you want nine times out of ten.”
While Elden Ring’s boss fights are generally fantastic, many have singled out the Fire Giant as an outlier. Due to the creature’s immense size, accurately reading the attacks is proving difficult for many players, who have taken to various social platforms to express their frustration. The main problem is this: if you have to be directly under the giant to attack at its ankles, you can’t see when the fire giant is swinging at you.
Again, Miyazaki balked at the idea that this was somehow a design flaw on From Software’s part.
“Is that a real complaint,” Miyazaki asked in disbelief. “I guess we can’t all have shared life experiences, but every time I’ve fought a fire giant, that’s the risk I’ve had to take. When you face a creature 60 feet tall size – as I have done many times – due to your relatively small size, your only hope is to stand under your opponent, knocking their ankles in. It’s just a fact of life that you won’t be able to see when it swings over you. Is that right? Maybe not. But gamers always say how much they want realism in video games. Yet when given realistic features, they get Complain? Who am I making these games for? Idiots?
Towards the end of the interview, the conversation turned to the often-controversial topic of video game difficulty. Specifically, whether From Software’s games should feature an easy mode to appeal to gamers who might not appreciate the developer’s typical level of difficulty or gamers who rely on accessibility features to enjoy video games. Miyazaki didn’t seem thrilled about changing his core design philosophies to appeal to the dozens of diverse gamers around the world who might want to enjoy his work.
“What? So you can cheat at the game and yourself,” Miyazaki shouted at the top of his voice, ripping his shirt off and beating his chest as he made his point. “My work is for the real gamers of the world. I am their God. They bow to me like the little ants they are. You will play my games and you will love the pain – you will savor it as it invades your whole being, infecting your bones and hollowing out your skull. Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Cthulhu R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn.”
The interview abruptly ended with Miyazaki transforming into the eldritch abomination Cthulu, devouring the world and claiming ownership of the universe.
Elden Ring is now available on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One