Should From Software Finally Embrace More Casual Fans
I’ve never beaten a From Software game. The likelihood is that for the foreseeable future, I never will.
Why? Mainly due to the time constraints involved in playing a game that, on the surface at least, looks like it doesn’t allow you to play, instead, it forces and compels you to do so, intertwining the skin on your palm with the plastic on the controller until you beat that monster or make it to that bonfire. From afar, From Software games like Dark Souls and Bloodborne appear to be punishing and demonic, forcing you to put the time and effort into learning its system and moving forward in its games in a similar way that sports people practice for hours on end to make sure they’re ready for ‘that’ moment. The one that means so much to the team and its fans. Except, video games aren’t usually like that.
From’s games are different to the rest. I’ve dabbled with a few and even without being drawn in myself, I understand the appeal.
With video games becoming more popular and approachable than ever, is it time for From Software to reconsider its punishing series? Should they make it more – dare I say it – casual?
I can already hear the foaming at the mouth from some and, I get it. You don’t want your series tampered with in any way and if people just aren’t good enough or don’t have the time to ‘git gud’ then so be it. In many cases, you’re right.
As the average age of a ‘typical’ gamer grows though, many have less and less time to spend on that passion and, from a selfish viewpoint, just don’t have the time to plough into a From game and learn all of its intricacies and methods. At least, not to the extent that it deserves.
For the majority of games these days it’s easy to pick up and play without looking at any instruction at all and stumble your way through the opening few minutes, before nailing down the controls on a new game or one you’ve come back to after a long time away. From’s games though? Honestly, they’re kind of menacing to even think about playing for the first time or going back to after a period of time away from them.
If From opened up and softened their games, even just a little bit, it might be in their best interest.
In general, tough games don’t usually sell. However, the popularity of From’s titles means that it’s actually threatening to break through to a mainstream level, such is their mastery, lore and general appeal to the hardcore. From someone on the outside looking in, I’d like to get involved and join the community but I need From to meet me in the middle.
Give me a way of jumping into your games and joining in on the fun, even if it’s obvious that I’m not one of the skilled players. Force users to play a ‘simpler’ mode with a different coloured weapon – so it’s obvious it’s not on the ‘true’ mode – or even outright paste the word ‘EASY’ as text on the screen permanently. Just open the door a little bit to compel players who are currently on the outside of the From Software-land of games to take a peek and maybe, just maybe, start to make the time to tackle your true challenges.
Meet me halfway and if I like what I see, I’ll tackle the rest of the journey myself.
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