Hidetaka Miyazaki says "I absolutely suck at video games," but still got through Elden Ring by using "every scrap of aid that the game offers"

Elden Ring
(Image credit: FromSoftware)

Elden Ring director and FromSoftware boss Hidetaka Miyazaki may be the mastermind behind the studio's brutal action RPGs, but he claims that as far as his own skills go, "I absolutely suck at video games." 

In a new interview with The Guardian, Miyazaki reveals that despite not normally playing through his own games after their launch, since he doesn't want to see "issues that will bug me," he played through Elden Ring's story in preparation for the Shadow of the Erdtree DLC. However, he found himself using "everything" at his disposal to get through it. 

"I want to preface this by saying I absolutely suck at video games," he begins. "So my approach or play style was to use everything I have at my disposal, all the assistance, every scrap of aid that the game offers, and also all the knowledge that I have as the architect of the game… the freedom and open-world nature of Elden Ring perhaps lowered the barrier to entry, and I might be the one who's benefiting the most from that, as a player, more than anyone else." 

It's fair to say that even though the action RPG is difficult, simply giving players more freedom to run off, explore and get stronger, or sometimes fight different bosses rather than one they're stuck on, makes a massive difference in making the experience less frustrating, and Miyazaki clearly recognizes this. 

While Miyazaki doesn't discuss the specific features that helped him get through his own action RPG playthrough, we can probably deduce he's referring to things like Spirit Ashes, NPC summons, and consumables that apply buffs. Since Elden Ring's launch, some players have insisted on avoiding the likes of Spirit Ashes in order to take on boss fights totally solo and ultimately make things harder for themselves, but clearly, the director himself isn't opposed to using the tools that the game offers to make the ride a little smoother.

Regardless, it's interesting to hear Miyazaki himself profess to "suck" at games, especially given how hard FromSoftware games tend to be. He spoke about this recently in another interview with The Guardian about Elden Ring, and noted: "If we really wanted the whole world to play the game, we could just crank the difficulty down more and more. But that wasn't the right approach." He even went as far to say that making it easy "would break the game itself," since you wouldn't experience that same "sense of achievement" that you get with completing its many challenges. 

The Shadow of the Erdtree expansion is arguably even harder than the base game, too, but if you're stuck on one particularly fiery fight, you'll be pleased to hear that community legend Let Me Solo Her is back with a new mission. This time, he's helping players defeat Messmer the Impaler. With this quest comes a new name, Let Me Solo Him, so be sure to look out for that summon sign and jar helmet if you're stuck fighting him. 

Be sure to check out our guide on how to get to every Shadow of the Erdtree region and area on the map to help you explore the Realm of Shadow.

Catherine Lewis
News Writer

I'm one of GamesRadar+'s news writers, who works alongside the rest of the news team to deliver cool gaming stories that we love. After spending more hours than I can count filling The University of Sheffield's student newspaper with Pokemon and indie game content, and picking up a degree in Journalism Studies, I started my career at GAMINGbible where I worked as a journalist for over a year and a half. I then became TechRadar Gaming's news writer, where I sourced stories and wrote about all sorts of intriguing topics. In my spare time, you're sure to find me on my Nintendo Switch or PS5 playing through story-driven RPGs like Xenoblade Chronicles and Persona 5 Royal, nuzlocking old Pokemon games, or going for a Victory Royale in Fortnite.