Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty, the upcoming action-RPG from Team Ninja and Koei Tecmo, will not have multiple difficulty settings. This shouldn’t come as a surprise considering that it’s largely inspired by From Software’s Souls series which also doesn’t feature any difficulty options. The game’s producer recently explained why this is the case.
During an interview with MP1st, Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty producer Masaaki Yamagiwa confirmed that the game will not allow players to change the difficulty. Like Team Ninja’s Nioh series, the game will have one standard difficulty setting, ensuring “everyone has the same experience of overcoming a really intense obstacle.”
Yamagiwa spoke in detail about the lack of difficulty options in Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty, explaining:
“We’re thinking it’s ‘good’ to have one set difficulty so that everyone has the same experience of overcoming a really intense obstacle and they all have that feeling of achievement, like I did it. But the caveat there is giving players all different ways that they can do that. So you could talk to your friends and say hey I beat this boss and this is how I did it, you want to talk to people and go online because you really want to have communication with them. It’s really important to keep the challenge the same and giving players different ways to overcome it. Wo Long is not an easy game by any means but we’re working to give players as much freedom and agency to play it as they want, overcome obstacles in their own way.”
As is the case for most Souls-like titles, not having any difficulty settings is part of the shared experience for players. Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty is also being touted as a spiritual successor to Nioh, albeit with a historical Chinese setting as opposed to Japan.
Recent Souls-like games like Steelrising allowed players to tweak the difficulty to their liking and it ended up being one of the game’s strongest features. It also set itself up as a gateway into the Souls genre for new players, though it’s understandable why Team Ninja would continue to implement a single difficulty option. Most returning players will have already experienced Nioh and their fair share of Souls games.
Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty releases in early 2023 for PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S and PC. It will also be available day one on Xbox Game Pass.