Why I changed my mind on a Soulsborne easy mode – Reader’s Feature

A reader explains why he’s in favour of an easy mode in games like Dark Souls and Bloodborne and how a glitch helped him change his mind.

I used to be against an easy mode for Souls games. The idea didn’t bother me so much in principle, but I’ve always said it’s not good enough to just ask for one, you have to explain what you actually want and how you’re going to implement it. You don’t want it to affect the underlying mechanics of the game.

I’ve seen some people say just give the player more health and reduce the enemy damage, but I’ve always felt this would fundamentally affect the way the game is designed, not just in terms of gameplay but also level design. Even in the early game enemies are able to one shot you. Their placement and damage output have been carefully balanced to teach you how to play the game and to guide you down certain routes until you’ve reached a certain level.

I felt that asking for an easy mode was redundant in the same way that asking for an easy mode in the Kaizo Mario ROM hacks would be. They’re designed explicitly to be difficult.

But then I realised I’ve been playing Dark Souls in easy mode for years now. I’m talking about the dupe glitch. For the most part I play the game as intended but if I get sick of the grind I simply pop a boss soul and buy that item, weapon or spell I want or level myself up so I can wield them. What if that was the easy mode?

Unlimited currency. Technically you’ve always had access to unlimited currency. It just requires grinding. The dupe glitch just cuts down on time. None of the fundamental mechanics of the game have been affected.

Maybe the fact that I didn’t know about the dupe glitch until long after I had beaten the game as intended was a benefit. If I had known about it before I may have relied on it too much and not had the same experience with the game. But if people are happy to have a different experience and just enjoy the game whatever way they want shouldn’t that be fair enough?

If you don’t want to play on easy mode then don’t. If you’re already avoiding using the dupe glitch you’re already avoiding easy mode.

I reckon you’d get a lot of people going on to normal mode after beating easy mode and experiencing the game properly anyway. Call the thing yellow-belly-chicken-baby mode or whatever if you want to discourage people from using it. Make it clear people are not playing the game as intended all you want. But would having the option affect you all that much?

I’ve since gone on to play the game not quite as intended to make it harder on myself by beating the game on soul level 1, trying to beat Sif as the first boss and doing speed runs, etc. Why not the ability to make it easier for people as well?

If people want to go through any game in god mode what’s it to me? I think a lot of people bemoaning an easy mode would have less of a problem if it was accessed through an old school cheat input system rather than just a menu choice, but what’s the difference really?

Contra 3 was impossible for me without the Konami code for extra lives. Why should I have to input a code on the title screen rather than just selecting from a menu screen? Why 10 button presses instead of two?

By reader Mrtankthreat

The reader’s feature does not necessarily represent the views of GameCentral or Metro.

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