It seems that the war of difficulty continues, but at least it's not FromSoftware this time. Ice-Pick Lodge, the studio behind adventure RPG Pathologic 2, have announced that the game will be getting a difficulty slider in coming weeks.
This issue, if you can call it one, has been subject to plenty of debates lately, and even the companies who are famous for making are suddenly facing criticism for doing so. Heck, even The Division 2 is under fire.
Obviously, Pathologic 2 is no exception, and the dev decided to offer players a chance to reduce the difficulty, but they're hoping you won't be resorting to it.
"Pathologic 2 was always intended to be gruelling, stressful, and bleak; we believe in ludonarrative cohesion and aren't too fond of stories that are only dark and hurtful on the cover. However, we also believe—even firmer—in player freedom", they wrote.
They also reminded that Pathologic 2 is built to keep players on their toes by balancing them on the verge of death. It forces them to sacrifice content and makes optimal playthroughs difficult, if not impossible.
While the team agrees that all of the above is well balanced, they've also received feedback that made them think about player freedom as well.
"We have received clear feedback that the game is too hard—and we don't think that everyone who says that misses the point of the experience. People are different and have different attention spans and patterns. So we're fine with allowing the players to tweak the game a bit to account for this fact, they said.
Ice-Pick Lodge think that including a difficulty slider in Pathologic 2 is about allowing more casual players to get a taste of the game, as "not everyone wants a life-changing experience" from games.
The developer is adamant that they like giving players this freedom, but still reminded of the investment-payout system inherent to games as difficult as Pathologic 2.
"But we hope that you don't [use the slider]. Pathologic 2 is supposed to be almost unbearable, otherwise the effect is lost. We concede that everyone has their own limits to push. But we strongly advise against making the game easy for yourself", they wrote.