Matt Thorson, Creator Of Celeste, Weighs In On Sekiro Difficulty Debate


A new From Software game normally means a new discussion around difficulty in games, and Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is no different. Lots of people have offered their thoughts around the subject, but Matt Thorson, the creator of the fiendishly challenging Celeste, has just weighed in.

Celeste is known among platform games for the level of difficulty, and the precise control needed to get through many of its superbly crafted levels. What also makes it stand out from the crowd of difficult games is the lack of ego involved about that same difficulty. Rather than just make the game very hard, then take pride in that, Thorson included an Assist Mode, that allows players to alter aspects of the difficulty and turn it into a game that provides them with just the right amount of challenge.

As such, I believe his thoughts around the difficulty level of Sekiro have value, as they come from someone who created a challenging game of their own, but also felt there was no harm in allowing people to play around with it a little bit. In a series of tweets, he outlined some of his thoughts around how such a mode might work in Sekiro.

He highlights things like combat speed, number of Resurrections, being invisible while sneaking, infinite posture, and invincibility while drinking from the Gourd as all being possible things that could be left open for players to tweak.

He caveats these thoughts by offering insights around how Assist Mode should work in general, stating it should only be done from the main menu, on a per save file basis. Also, be very well explained for those who wish to use it, and that everything should be tweakable while in game, giving players the chance to alter the various aspects of Assist Mode on the fly.

If you are interested in even a general debate around difficulty in gaming, I would strongly suggest reading his tweets. It is also well worth playing Celeste, not just to see the Assist Mode in action, but also because the game is a standout platformer for people who enjoy the genre.