Opinion – Dark Souls does have an easy mode (Kind of!)
With the release of Dark Souls 3’s DLC in the near future, it’s safe to say the same crowd asking for an easy mode may be back again to voice their concern. As we all know though, an Easy mode never really came and assuredly won’t. However, I do believe the Dark Souls series does offer a form of an easy mode. Although, it might not be clear to many people.
Fun Fact: According to Steam’s global tracker, a quarter of the community has actually finished the game (give or take, due to multiple endings). I can imagine the statistics are somewhat similar across consoles.
Rather than looking for a direct difficulty screen, we need to look at the character classes, since this choice is what carries the player through the first hours of the journey. Which for many people, is where it usually ends. The class screen brings you choices from the knight all the way down to the deprived. There are a large variety of classes, but they are also positioned in a drop down list to represent, what I would consider, to be a characters difficulty. The knight, being at the top of the list, has an extremely high armor value and a shield that stops 100% of any physical damage. You very rarely see anything besides physical damage in the first 5-10 hours of the game, which gives the player sufficient time to really nail some of the basics. You can block almost everything and still have enough stamina to roll away if you’re still unsure of the strike.
Starting from the knight down, everything gradually increases in difficulty as new tactics, skill sets and eventually spells are taught to the player. Even farther down, they start to eventually blend multiple skillsets such as the sword in one hand and magic in the other. Finally, you can start a deprived character if you are feeling particularly masochistic. For myself, spells have always been quite difficult to properly learn and master since they are much more complex in requirement and use. So, I completely understand the pain that some may feel when they cannot immediately play the character that they would normally enjoy most. Sometimes it’s best to start at the basics and work yourself up. It’s definitely not as easy as picking up a sword in most cases. If you’re sold on being a magic user though, start with the knight or a much easier class and eventually apply your stats as you see fit.
For those brand new to the series though, or even those who couldn’t progress but enjoy it, I would like to invite you to try and try again. The game is difficult, but it’s also beautiful, engrossing and truly capitalizes on the adrenaline from the battle, but also the rush of accomplishment after.
Statistics Source: Steam