Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty is the next tough-as-nails game from Team Ninja: the guys behind the Nioh series and other notoriously difficult games. The studio is known for making difficult games, much like From Software. And, just like From Software, they’ve had to field questions about difficulty and why their games aren’t more “accessible” in that way. Well, in an interview with Mp1st.com, they’ve explained their reasoning.
I’m not going to copy the interview verbatim since it was MP1st that went to the trouble of conducting it, but here’s the gist: it’s because it aligns with their design philosophy. One of the producers, Masaaki Yamagiwa, said basically that they (the developer) enjoy the exhilaration of overcoming a tough boss, and would like for their players to have the chance to enjoy the same, shared experience. They’ve given players options like a variety of mechanics and multiplayer (again, like Elden Ring), so they can find their own way to progress.
There you go, the reason why a hard game from a developer that makes hard games (and is loved by their fans for doing so) is not going to have a separate easy mode. Frankly, I don’t understand why so many are so adamant on forcing this stuff on developers. If they want to make a hard game, then that’s what they should be able to make. Same if they want to make an easy one or a scalable one. We shouldn’t all be jumping on them for making the kinds of games they like.
Not every game is going to be for everyone, and that’s fine! There’s already tons out there to suit whatever taste one might have. Sure, make it accessible if you can. Give color options, make text more readable, allow controller remapping for player comfort and so on. That stuff is “accessibility.”
Difficulty is something else entirely and adding different options requires a different kind of design. Anyway…that’s enough time spent on this particular soap box. The game’s gonna be hard because that’s the kind of game Team Ninja wants to make. Good on them, and I hope their fans enjoy the heck out of it.
Will you be playing Wo Long? How do you feel about all this?
photo by Hatm0nster