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Don't worry, even Miyazaki struggled with Elden Ring's high difficulty

"I absolutely suck at video games."

Elden Ring dragon battle
Image credit: FromSoftware

The release of Elden Ring DLC Shadow of the Erdtree has reawakened the typical Soulsborne debate around high difficulty, but even the game's creator struggled to play it.

In an interview with The Guardian, FromSoftware's Hidetaka Miyazaki discussed playing Elden Ring in the run up to Shadow of the Erdtree but struggled as he's not a very good player.

"Leading up to the release of any game, I'll be very hands-on playing it and getting as much time on it as much as possible," he said. "But after the release, I tend to not want to touch it, because I know I'm going to either find things that I left on the table or issues that will bug me. And once I become a player, I'm powerless to do anything significant to change it. So once a game is out in the wild, I tend to not play."

Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree | Official Launch TrailerWatch on YouTube

He continued: "But in preparation for Shadow of the Erdtree, I played through the main story of Elden Ring. I want to preface this by saying I absolutely suck at video games, so my approach or play style was to use everything I have at my disposal, all the assistance, every scrap of aid that the game offers, and also all the knowledge that I have as the architect of the game ... the freedom and open-world nature of Elden Ring perhaps lowered the barrier to entry, and I might be the one who's benefiting the most from that, as a player, more than anyone else."

As an open world game, Elden Ring is more approachable than previous FromSoftware games, and provides players with plenty of options to help: be that co-operative play, extra summons, or simply wandering off to grind for runes. And if Miyazaki is relying on these features to finish the game, so can you.

It is somewhat amusing, however, that Miyazaki conjures these dark, terrifying worlds for players to battle in, but struggles to play them himself. No wonder he admitted to being a "huge masochist" in a previous interview.

"There are some areas that are designed to be funny and with humour in mind, but I think a lot of the time things we try to take seriously or try to approach from a serious or dark place tend to get construed as humour," he later told Eurogamer. "But it's not a calculated thing, we don't set out to make a lot of these games and characters funny. I think it is just interpreted this way and is construed in that way due to the player and the environment they're playing in. A lot of it is not intentional."

Legendary player Let Me Solo Her has now returned for Shadow of the Erdtree to help players struggling with bosses, so look out for a summon sign if you're struggling.

FromSoftware also released an update for the game this week that adjusts the balance scaling of Shadow Blessings, which should make the DLC a little easier.

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