'Returnal' is one of the best games to buy for the PlayStation 5 - but the game has a reputation for being incredibly difficult.
The game, which recently took home the BAFTA for Best Game, was noted by critics and fans for it's tough difficulty, but game director Harry Krueger defended the difficulty of the game in a recent interview.
Speaking with journalist Greg Miller on 'PS I Love You XOXO', the game director addressed the complaints.
When asked if making 'Returnal' difficult to play made it less accessible for players, Krueger responded "That’s definitely always going to be an interesting challenge to find that sweet spot."
“I think we can always do more and could always add more support for different ways to play the game and different control methods. I think when it comes to the difficulty I think it is a question of what kind of experience you are having with Returnal.”
Krueger said the difficulty of the game is an inherent part of the game's narrative, with the game focusing on protagonist Celeste dying over and over again in order to solve the mystery of the planet Atropos.
He added "I think in many ways the story and the gameplay are very inseparable in Returnal."
“For example, Celine, she is talking about dying over and over and how these are insurmountable odds, and she can’t keep going on, and there’s this descent into madness that is happening purely because of the challenges she’s facing, and her challenges are the player’s challenges as well in many ways.”
“It feels like if you were allowed to just power through a boss without any challenge, or just go from A to B to C through the narrative points, it almost feels like it would create a bit of dissonance."
“The game is telling you this is really challenging, and that you’re overcoming these obstacles but you wouldn’t have had to experience that friction. So that’s always a line to walk, but it’s something we’re going to keep in mind.”
Despite the difficulty, the game sold well and was one of the most critically acclaimed titles of 2021, with the game claiming the 3rd spot in our year-end list.
A recent patch for the game added a co-op mode to make the game less difficult, and patches have been added to allow players to suspend their runs once they had begun the game.
The debate surrounding difficulty in games has sprung up again in recent weeks in the wake of the release of 'Elden Ring' with some noting that the difficulty is a major part of the enjoyability of the game, while others note that the game is unenjoyable because of the difficulty curve.