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Just How Difficult Is Elden Ring?

Recent news about "Elden Ring," the latest title by FromSoftware, sent gamers into a frenzy. After releasing a new trailer for the game the internet waited so long for, the team behind "Elden Ring" got to work promoting the new title, teasing fans with just the right amount of information. The director of "Elden Ring," Hidetaka Miyazaki, has granted interviews with several major gaming sources, detailing how "Elden Ring" will embrace open world design and what working with "Game of Thrones" novelist George R.R. Martin on the game's story was like. However, in one interview, Miyazaki let something surprising slip: "Elden Ring" might not be as challenging as other FromSoftware games — or may simply embrace a different kind of difficulty. 

Miyazaki's interview with Japanese gaming magazine Famitsu (translated by Frontline Japan) described the difficulty level of "Elden Ring," comparing it to other FromSoftware titles like "Dark Souls" and "Demon's Souls." After the interviewer mentioned FromSoftware's notoriously challenging games, Miyazaki commented that "Elden Ring" seeks to give players choices in how they want to do battle. Instead of enemies presenting a straightforward challenge that must be hit until it dies, players will need to engage in various strategies in order to progress in the game.

Horses, jumping, and other new details

To illustrate how strategy will play a larger part in "Elden Ring," Miyazaki highlighted the game's new stealth mechanic. Players will be able to approach enemies quietly by crouching behind objects or hiding in tall grass. Then, the player can surprise the enemy and immediately gain the upper hand in battle. This sort of play requires thought over brute strength, which means that players might find themselves thinking outside the box, rather than grinding to level up their character.

Miyazaki added that other new game elements, like horse riding and jumping, will add dimension to combat and travel. Players will be able to perform powerful jump attacks that result in heavy (but time-consuming) blows. While FromSoftware's "Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice" also featured a jump mechanic, it'll be interesting to see how player characters leap through the air while wearing heavy armor. The same goes for the game's horses, which may have a double jump ability of their own.

The interview detailed that "Elden Ring" will still feature vertical maps like those frequently used in "Souls" games, with castles and other archaic structures for players to explore. Notably, traversing these maps will feel different, thanks to the new jump mechanic. In other words, "Elden Ring" seems to have perfected some of the complaints fans have had about the "Dark Souls" series, hyping it up to be the best FromSoftware game yet.