PC Gamer: You’ve said that Dark Souls 2 will not be easier. However, it has a bigger budget than Dark Souls, so will be expected to sell more copies. How do you appeal to a wider audience without compromising the harsh difficulty the series is known for?
Tanimura: Dark Souls 2 will focus on streamlining the game play experience to more directly portray the pure essence of the Dark Souls experience. This includes elements such as the strong sense of achievement of overcoming the challenges in the game, and also the “loose” connections players have with other players in the online space. Our goal is to really focus on having players deeply immerse themselves into the world, and fully take on their roles within the game play experience.
PC Gamer: On the other hand, do you think there’s a danger you’ll overcompensate and make the game harder? For example, many people came away from your demo last year saying the Mirror Knight was too hard, and that enemy AI is generally smarter.
Tanimura: Our aim is not to develop a difficult game. Our aim is to tune the difficulty to a level for players to be able to overcome and sense the highest sense of accomplishment possible. With this, the AI will be tuned to react more naturally to the player actions, but at the same time, the player controls and motions will be more natural and fitting to the actions carried out. I hope players will continue to learn from their mistakes and carry out multiple trial and error to conquer the challenges that await, and defeat the enemies that stand in the way. We try to tune so that the games difficulty is not a result of the players reflexes or ability to effectively use the controller, but will be based more on the player’s ability to learn from mistakes and be flexible in strategizing, and paying attention to all that happens around them.