When Demon’s Souls first came out in 2009 it released quietly, not many people jumped in, nor talked about it. It was niche. Last year when Elden Ring released it was the Game of the Year for most gaming outlets, and perhaps the most talked about game of the year. What was once a small niche has now become a genre.
Soulsborne games require more skill than most games because every death forces your progress to be reset. Every level requires trial and error as you learn where the hidden enemies are that are going to jump out at you. By the time you get to the boss you have usually perfected the path there, but the smallest slip up leaves you with that much health less against the boss. Once at the boss you will be defeated almost instantly as you know none of the move-sets they will bring down on you. Every death requires you to redo the path there, so once again you can be defeated (multiple times) by the boss before you may work out how to defeat them.
Considering how difficult these games are it is astounding how many people complete them. It would be expected for these games to show a low completion rate, however the completion is usually higher than most other games. Elden Ring has sold more than seventeen million copies and over ten percent of players on PlayStation have achieved the platinum trophy, which requires the game to be completed as well as miscellaneous tasks as well. While the original Demon’s Souls on PlayStation 3 sold one million copies and three percent achieved the platinum trophy. Things have changed. I personally spent twenty hours on Elden Ring and made it four percent through the achievements before I hit a wall. I love the game world, although I always hit this souldsborne wall after a couple of bosses. So what is it that makes the average gamer so good these days?
There are many factors that make me terrible at these games, the biggest being patience. Patience is what I think teens have these days when they play battle royal games like Fortnite that are rinse and repeat. You need patience to get good in those games or you will be eliminated quickly and those games don’t have respawn. When a soulsborne game like Star Wars: Jedi Fallen Order has a sliding difficulty I can finish it and actually enjoy myself more. While game developers shouldn’t have to cater to those of us not good at these games I sure like having the options.
Although there is something to be said for the feelings of accomplishment in soulsborne games, they are instantly squashed as soon as I enter the next boss fight. Eventually, I plan to return to each of the Dark Souls games and finish them in their entirety, when that will be I don’t know, but I think that probably won’t be anytime soon.
What do you think, is patience and perseverance the key to completing these games?