The folks at PlayStation had the opportunity to sit down with FromSoftware’s director, Hidetaka Miyazaki, for an exclusive interview on their upcoming game, Elden Ring. In this interview, Miyazaki-san shared his thoughts on artistic collaboration with George R.R. Martin, accessibility, and even a tidbit on playing 2021’s game of the year, It Takes Two.
Facets that players found difficult or frustrating were valuable feedback from the Closed Network Test and helped the team fine-tune and tweak certain features and mechanics. Miyazaki-san wants the players to “feel the importance of the level of freedom” and “enjoy the game in their own way.” Therefore, it’s best to go into the game with a fresh and open mind, without any prior spoilers or research.
Regarding the open-world design, the team at FromSoftware faced two significant challenges, one being how to expand on this new level of freedom and the other being pacing the game’s open-world with the player’s progression. It should also be known that the development of Sekiro and Elden Ring overlapped to some extent, and Elden Ring‘s enemy stance break is similar to Sekiro‘s posture system. The team tried to apply the positive elements of Sekiro into Elden Ring, both in terms of gameplay mechanics and narrative story-telling.
Elden Ring will offer the classic Souls-like starting class that contains no equipment and armor, known as the Wretch in this particular iteration. The team at FromSoftware has not deliberately lowered Elden Ring‘s difficulty but is confident that more players will finish the game compared to their previous titles. Field bosses in the over-world, stealth, and reduced complexity to summon co-op multiplayer are all examples of improved accessibility features.
Miyazaki-san wanted to give Elden Ring a splash of color to represent the Golden Age, given that it contains a vast and open world to explore. They decided that having the world be dark and dreary all the time would be too oppressive. Rest assured that the game will also feature multiple endings and a New Game Plus option.
Boss designs and otherworldliness are slightly different this time, considering the world and mythos were created in collaboration with George R.R. Martin. In addition, the team wanted to combine the heroic concept with twists and mishaps due to the power and corruption of the Elden Ring. Godrick the Grafted is an example of this as he encompasses sadness and frustration, clinging onto the little power he has left.
The interview ended with Miyazaki-san saying he doesn’t have much time to play video games these days but did enjoy and play through It Takes Two in three days. He also explains how he enjoys more analog and retro games, such as murder mystery, but getting people together to play has become increasingly challenging due to the pandemic. When asked if there would be any more collaborations in the future, Miyazaki-san said he would probably choose a non-gamer and would want to work with someone who can provide the “same level of stimulation that’s impossible for us to achieve as game developers.”
Elden Ring will be releasing on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Windows PC via Steam, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X|S on February 25, 2022. If you missed it, check out our impressions of the Elden Ring Closed Network Test.
Read more about the interview over on the official PlayStation blog.
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