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Weekend Debate: Are games too easy these days? (Update)

The Weekend Debate

UPDATE: Thanks to everyone who took part this week, and apologies for the slight delay in announcing winners. The following posters have secured themselves a Flower/flOw code – congratulations: bjaac, ThugETH, Project2insanity, maro_mq and Tydeus. We’ll be in touch via a PM to your ID on the official forums later this week.

ORIGINAL POST: If by chance you’ve been following me on Twitter, you’ll know that I’ve been pretty obsessed with OlliOlli this week – the astonishingly good console debut from hot UK developer roll7. If you haven’t picked it up yet, I recommend you do so – it’s a brilliant, pure arcader that demands lightning fast twitch reflexes and spot-on timing.

Yes, it’s hard. Really hard. And I love it all the more for it. Of course, there’s a time and a place for a nice, relaxing experience that doesn’t cut your nerves into ribbons (see below) – but by and large I like my games to give me a hefty kick up the backside. Many would argue that, outside of the indie space, AAA games are just a little too forgiving these days. Do you agree? Or do you welcome all those checkpoints, weapon buffs, autosaves and infinite re-starts? Present your reasoned arguments below.

Your prize this week: I’ve got five codes for the delightfully laid-back flOw and Flower on PS4 for the most entertaining or thoughtful responses.

Lead image 720p-w-Rays with TM

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StevenJamesHyde 24 January, 2014 @ 5:04 pm   1

Sometimes games get better the more challenging they are. I played through The Last of Us on easy to start with, because I wanted to see how the plot played out, and you know what – it wasn’t half the game that it is on higher difficulties. All that effort it puts into creating tension is completely wasted when you’ve got near-limitless ammo and resources the whole time

Likewise Dark Souls, XCOM etc. wouldn’t be anywhere near as effective if you could just breeze through without a second thought

Some games are hard, some are easy.
I think that is a good combination of games to support the many gamers the Playstation Network has. If it’s only harder games then many people will simply give up, if it’s only easy games the same thing happens. I think right now it’s a nice variation.

If most games were like Demon Souls I would probably sell my PS3.
The same might happen if they’re all platted in less then a day.

AAA games may be too easy but as was alluded to in the post there are an abundance of indie games filling that space and doing so in awesome and unexpected ways. Current PS+ title Don’t Starve is an excellent example of that, so unforgiving and no mercy when you die! With the huge amount of support Sony has given indie developers I think PlayStation will have a huge variety of difficulties for all gamers of all ages and skill levels for a long time to come. That’s why they’re #4ThePlayers! Yes I realise that was cheesy haha.

Yes and No. Firstmost not all games have the same task or path to bring joy to the consumer. If the purpose of one games is make you relax, then it will naturally make it quite easy for you.
If the focus is on competition with other gamers, the opposite will be the case.

But what changed indeed is that AAA games are more streamlined than ever, these days. For the simple reason that developers can’t risk those budgets while they might repel larger parts of their potential customers.
Every other game can find its niche by either going hardcore or casual. They even benefit from defining themselves as specifially designed for one chosen audience.

MantaGTJ001 24 January, 2014 @ 5:09 pm   5

I usually start on hard anyways so YES games are getting too easy but I agree with JezPSN that indie games are made more difficult but I think its cus they are usually shorter. Love a hard game as long as it is a good game that I enjoy and can see why I failed and not for silly reasons on the consoles behalf.

*starts getting confused*
Was it Dark Souls or Demon Souls … hmmm
XCom is only really difficult if you wish to plat, but luckaly it does have a difficulty setting.
Not everything is about platting :) (can’t believe I said that…)

Xandrilios 24 January, 2014 @ 5:10 pm   7

Nope, there are hard games enough out there if you like those. I really enjoy stories and doing stuff in games. I do not like load-screens. So dying is not my favorite thing in games usually. Games seem to be very well balanced these days (Uncharted, Assassin’s Creed, etc.) Without insane end-bosses which make you quit the game just before the ending. There are always difficulty settings and challenges you can choose to take!

Coolcongoj 24 January, 2014 @ 5:11 pm   8

I think games have become harder, and I believe this is due to games having to be made so there fun. How many people will play a game over and over that is hard, not many game are about getting you excited and to have fun as well so, if it is to hard then you don’t want to play it. A lot of people play games to relax and unwind so yes they have become easy and this is because people have also changed what they want to play.

It feels like most, but not all games, are being made easier and easier, cause the developers dont want gamers to be stuck in their games and give up on them, which is a shame if you ask me. I see the idea in it of course, but it really bothers me at times. I’m a huge fan of games like Demon’s Souls, Dark Souls, Hotline Miami & X-Com Enemy Unknown etc. Games where you get punished if you get to greedy or dont pay attention. I love and miss old-school games, back from PS1, where you had to use your head to solve puzzles, had checkpoints where you had to save yourself(like in Resident Evil~Ink Ribbon)no autosaves whatsoever. So if you died, you started over from your last save.
So i completely agree that games now a days are being way too easy. Of course they dont have to be insanely hard so nobody can beat them, but a challenge dosent hurt, does it? And that said challenge seems to be missing from most games now. We get everything served. Checkpoints everywhere, autosave, infite lifes etc. Really wish more games would stop holding our hands throughout an entire game. At least give us the option to turn features like these off, so some people can have a challenge.

I think Games Overall are a bi too easy, but this matches the wider demographic of people playing games at this point, 10 years ago most games had several points where you’d get stuck, which was fine as back then if you played games, you were way more likely to be hardcore about it. however as more and more people are getting into games in a casual sense those points would probably stop those people from continuing all together.

This is not to say that hard games are dead, they’ve just receded from the Tripe A titles, some exist like dark souls and Max Payne 3, but for the most part indie games are where difficulty is at now, Things like Super Meat Boy, The impossible game and Super Hexagon, all pitch their difficulty perfectly, getting a difficulty level correct in a Triple A game is very tricky as there skill range is super wide. so most tend to keep it safely low, indies have a more concentrated player base and as such have an easier time assuming the correct level for their players.

Of course Triple A games get round this by having difficulty levels, but all they do is up the damage you are dealt, and that’s just lazy.

Furiekins 24 January, 2014 @ 5:15 pm   11

It has to depend on the game and what you expect to gain from playing it.
Games are no longer a device for dragging 10p pieces from your pocket. There’s no longer any need to create a game which can be played within a single gaming session (look back to 8-bit era games, with no ability to save and often no way of ever recording where you had reached).
The reason “tough games” were developed were for precisely those thing. You needed to give the player a challenge that they could better themselves at in a short playing time frame.
Those games are still good, and we’ve seen a resurgence of them in games like Jetpack Joyride and now Olliolli. It’s great to be met head on by what is essentially a simple task that requires a lot of skill to master.
It’s rewarding getting those fingers doing the right thing in the right order. Knowing you have failed because you’re not good enough is incentive to try again and get better.

Furiekins 24 January, 2014 @ 5:16 pm   12

…Cont

However, games like Flower mentioned here, or The Last of Us are taking us on a journey. They’re telling a story. The competition isn’t really against our own ability, it’s against the tale being spun. We don’t want to unlock a higher score, in these cases we want to unlock a plot, or story element. How difficult you want those games to be is entirely personal. The objective isn’t to make the game hard, but to tell a story in a way that intrigues, captivates or challenges the player. How that player experiences it is their choice.

At the end of the day, the only important thing is “has the player gained something through their time with the game?” If they have (whether it’s blisters from retrying the same move over and over, or a joyous revelation in the story), then the game has succeeded. Difficulty is only relevant if it enhances that.

cream_110 24 January, 2014 @ 5:17 pm   13

I agree that many AAA games today are, at least, a bit too forgiving. Do I want them to be harder? Yes, but with a catch. If game is “hard” it should provide a decent joyful challenge for a player rather than just punishing him for every mistake (which is sometimes considered as a “hard mode”). Also, it must be a “smart” type of hardness. I mean, it is very easy for developer to make controls of the game boring or clunky (think recent AC games, for example) or just up the taken damage and stuff (many FPS titles tend to do it). Yes, it will be hard – but in a dumb way that makes a game repetitive or even unplayable. “Hard part” should be the core of the gameplay, testing players skills rather than ignoring them or proving them totally wrong (if you know what I mean). And I think AAA games can learn a thing or two from indie titles (e.g. more experimenting in terms of gameplay).

won2winit 24 January, 2014 @ 5:19 pm   14

It’s a fine line and developers need to tread carefully.

Make a game to easy with no challenge then gamers will plow through it & complain it was not worth the money.
Make it too hard gamers will get disgruntled with having to go over the same sections to get through it or give up.

Either way the run the risk of people bony swerving any sequels for which ever reason they hated.

I would say that the number of games being easy has certainly grown in the past years but I would say there’s still plenty of hard games available.
I welcome hard games as much as I do easy games, some games are much more intense and enjoyable if they’re difficult look at Dark Souls, when you finally advance if feels great. The Last Of Us is another good example, survivor makes you think, you don’t want to waste ammo or anything for that matter.
Also the introduction of trophies has helped as you try out things that you wouldn’t normally.

Overall I think games have come a long way, more people game now than ever before and every type of experience is catered for, from extremely easy to extremely hard.

With the upcoming metal gear solid ground zeroes I just started to replay MGS4. And I must say, I like MGS4 even more now then when I first played it.

Why? Because there aren’t many checkpoints, weapon buffs, autosaves and infinite re-starts. If I look for example at Assassin’s Creed IV Black Flag and how easy it is. I love the game, I won’t deny that. But a desynchronisation message isn’t the end of the world. You lost 2 maybe 3 minutes of gameplay and weapons. It just too easy.

Remember the days you had to save a princes and their weren’t any checkpoints and infinite re-starts. That where gaming days. I still remember that I screamed off anger when I lost my last life in the last level. GAME OVER, and they mean over. I had to start from the beginning. The horror at that time, but I must say I didn’t mind to replay it all over again.

I know that over the years the games got bigger and the time to play them, lets say, smaller. But the hefty kick up the backside is going away way to fast. A game must be challenging and difficult. If you do something wrong, you pay for it. But now days you get a little slap on the back: Don’t worry try again.

Kingcobra-9999 24 January, 2014 @ 5:23 pm   17

I would say games have got easier, it wouldnt be fair to rule out growing up and discovering tips and hints that could help with games generally also if i go back to play an old game i would find that easier too, so maybe games are the same difficulty but growing up with them has made me better

windscare007 24 January, 2014 @ 5:25 pm   18

I would agree and disagree with it in equal sense.
While it can be rightly said that things like auto health restore, checkpoints etc. which are more prevalent in modern games do make things “easier” for people, I would also think that it is equally prevalent to make “hard” games. Almost every game have higher difficulty levels to satiate the needs of more skilled gamers.

Plus, I guess the “easiness” can be easily contributed to not only the fact that games have a much bigger audience right than ever (a lot of credit for that goes to PlayStation :D ), and not all of them might like a game if its too hard. But also in the same breath, it may well be that improvements in hardware and software design have just made games easier to control. For example, controlling a game with DualShock 4 feels way better than DualShock 1, which was once the industry standard.

I think games should give more control over difficulty.
Some games are finely tuned for a specific demographic, such as the lego games, but id like to see an added difficulty level, or optional challenges in these games.
Other games may generally be too difficult, I still think the first Devil May Cry is a great example. Start off on a standard difficulty and offer a simplified or easier version if a player struggles, still allowing progress onto harder difficulties with a few surprises.

What I can’t stand, is that modern games mostly confuse difficult with cheating AI and low health.
I loved resistance 3 for reverting to health packs, having finite lives or health really adds to tension.
I could rant for ages on the differences between modern FPS and TimeSplitters, games used to be harder (I never got far with Space Invaders or Pacman) but there is more choice now, some days I will want Dark Souls, and other days I want Journey. Its great to have that choice, I would love to be able to make that choice within one game but it would have to be expertly crafted and perfectly balanced.

SoggyMonkey 24 January, 2014 @ 5:28 pm   20

Demon Souls and Dark souls excluded it has to be a resounding yes, way too easy. I would say that normal these days is what used to considered easy. If given the option I often put on hard immediately. Just look at the difference between ninja gaiden sigma compared to the most recent release. A game needs to be challenging to be interesting if it was simply about the story like heavy rain and beyond two souls then I would opt to watch a film rather than play a game. If I wanted an interactive story I would read a book.

A_Nonny_Moose 24 January, 2014 @ 5:29 pm   21

I think the difficulty of older games mostly came from the lives system, a carry-over from the arcade where it was used to make more money. But when you pay a single lump sum for a game up-front then having a system that deletes all your progress if you die too many times is just arbitrary. Infinite continues and checkpoints before every boss would make a lot of older games a lot easier, and not in a bad way.

New Ninja Gaiden is still tough as nails, but in a satisfying way that makes you feel like the game is teaching you as you continue to succeed. Rather than the old NG which greeted each victory with the constant threat that it could all be for nothing if you make a mistake on the next test.

The modern approach is positive reinforcement. If you do really well then you get extra prizes, but if you don’t then you can still continue. As opposed the old way, negative reinforcement. Where if you do really well then your reward is to continue and if you mess up you get sent back to the start.

There are examples of both throughout the generations but I prefer positive reinforcement in games, so I’m happy.

This is the benefit of trophies on games, it gives the games more life and increases the difficulty by trying to earn platinum, back in the sega console days i’d finish a game on the normal/medium difficulty setting more than likely never play it again, these days if theirs a trophy for finishing it on the hardest difficulty i’ll play on the hardest setting on my first play through, also multiplier drastically increases the life of the game and a human opponent is always going to better than an AI

With the price of retail games these days i think its a waste if the games to easy

s-p3ci4L-K 24 January, 2014 @ 5:37 pm   23

Games are not easier, they are more boring

A game these days, usually makes you do the same missions over and over again, or visit the same locations over and over again, just to make it last longer. The games these days should be more quality than trying to rush it out. A game can be small in length, but have so much content that can make a gamer fall in love with it. What games miss these days is fun. Games are no fun any longer. Games do not have the same level of immersion like adventure games had. It needs for special studios to invest a lot of time and money to make a truly remarkable game. Developers should start making games again because they are in love with them and not because it sells. $$$ is good, but a truly immersive game is what a gamer wants. To play a character they can relate to, or a situation he dreams to be in. That is what should drive the game

it really all depends on the game, some are interactive experiences and gain nothing by being hardcore and others are hardcore by design and it adds to the experience.

Yes lots of games are easy. And main reason is that in older days games was more of the geekier (smarter) people thing and they liked learning from mistakes and evolve. Now games are for everyone from 2-110. But easy games helped to boost gaming popularity.

When i can’t beat one of level for couple of hours i just drop the game saying i will come back later and sometimes never do (example: Battletoads on emulator with saves :D), because gamer now statistically is 18+ and nobody has so much time to repeat same thing over and over, better go to browse something or do some more fun thing in your free time.

But in current games at least we have Trophies, that makes games kind of harder and more re playable.

PS.: I don’t need flower or flow have them :)

Lunastra78 24 January, 2014 @ 5:42 pm   26

The short answer: No.

I’ve been gaming since early 80s, and the games back then (while I love many of them) were often far too difficult – based more on memory than actually skill. In order to play through the whole game, you basically had to memorize where every enemy would appear. Just watch gameplay videos of Shadow of the Beast or Rick Dangerous if you don’t believe me.

Nowadays, most games allow us to choose the difficulty ourselves – a very good option in my opinion. Usually, the “normal” difficulty is the best if I want to finish a game quickly and enjoy the story. For games I particularly enjoy – I’ll replay them on the hardest difficulty. Usually though, that isn’t much harder than normal because I’m already familiar with the gameplay, levels and enemies.

That being said: most games tend to just up the damage done and/or life of the player character – in my opinion a bit of a lazy choice. I wish there were more games that opted to actually change number of enemies, type of enemies, loot etc… basically removing that familiarity that makes it easier for the player!

Captain9Fingers 24 January, 2014 @ 5:47 pm   27

Maybe now I’m in my 40′s and my reactions are slower but I find games are still challenging. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE don’t ever make them harder, I can’t afford to keep replacing my game pads ;-p

I play everything on easy and my son laughs at me calling me a noob as he plays on hard. That’s how it should be a difficulty that you can select to suit your own requirements. I really loved GTA 5 and although you can’t select the difficulty the level skip feature was a life saver for me there were quite a few levels that I skipped because I got stuck. I’ll play a game until I get to a hard part that I fail to progress then just give up on it (take a look at my trophies so many unfinished games). I don’t want to pay top price for a game that I’m only going to get part way through, I wouldn’t go watch a film at the Cinema and walk out before the end. When deciding what game to play next I usually check out reviews and forums to work out whether I’ll be able to handle a game or not. Punishing challenges are not for me I don’t have the patience

Maybe we are just to skilled for today games :) not games are to easy :)

Generally I’d say games are pretty well balanced. Games these days are so much more than the traditional arcade grind or shooter. Games are an experience and roller coaster ride like a good movie or a visit to the theme park. When you have the opportunity to complete the game on ‘normal’ settings to get the full experience and then afterwards do another run on ‘hardcore/insanity’ to get the additional challenge (based on your learning curve from the first run) _and_ the missed details in the story, I think the balance is perfect. It’s value for money and you’d maybe even get that 100% and/or Platinum trophy!

doomsday619 24 January, 2014 @ 5:57 pm   30

I dont like games too easy but i dont really like them too hard, i have 4 children and limited amount of time before its time for Jake And The Neverland Pirates, Dora The Explorer or Doc McStuffins to come on tv.
I always play a game on medium so i can at least complete the game fully if its a game i really like as fast as i can then i will change to a harder difficulty and play it in between the newer games i accumulate.

I do believe games are too easy now. I like to be challenged while gaming, not just have my hand held through what may well be an epic adventure, but doesn’t feel as rewarding due to the lack of challenge. At the same time, games should not be so brutally hard (I’m looking at you Demon’s souls)that a controller suffers a premature demise against the wall. Difficulty levels contribute somewhat to making games harder – but unfortunately it’s always the lazy route of less hitpoints, or enemies hitting harder, or there being more of them – I’d like to see a game where the opponents AI scales with the difficulty level.

mikey_b_89 24 January, 2014 @ 6:04 pm   32

I think some developers approach difficulty in some games in the wrong way. Too many games ramp up the difficulty simply by throwing increasingly more enemies at the player or by adjusting how many hits it takes for them to kill you / you to kill them.
I think developers need to explore alternative ways to increase difficulty, especially with games needing to appeal to wider audience as budgets rise. Instead of having options for easy, medium and hard, the inclusion of optional objectives or multiple paths could provide an experience a beginner could finish, yet a more experienced player could still have a challenge playing.
As with any aspects of gaming though I think variety is important, there is not one perfect way to approach difficulty as different gamers enjoy different things. A hardcore darks souls player has no more right to ownership of the hobby than a casual gamer who prefers easier games.

I definitely agree that games are to easy nowadays. Having grown up with an Atari 800XL, I became a gamer with some of the most frustrating titles ever created!
I recently (yesterday) got my first PS4 platinum trophy which was from AC4 Black Flag and although I enjoyed the game, it offered little challenge for 90% of the game and was still giving me tool tips as I approached 100% completion. I realise you can turn the tips off but that defeats the point. Why not disable them by default and only show then upon failing a certain objective multiple times? Or only show tips for the most complex of mechanics that wouldn’t be figured out by most players?

This is why Dark and Demon’s Souls are so poular. Imo the games are not even that tough (I’ve platinumed them both) they just don’t hold your hand and give you very little information about everything in the entire game! I think they appeal to the old skool gamers because of this.
Dark Souls 2 is my most wanted, especially after reading it will be twice the size of DaS. I can’t wait to once again feel the pain!

Bulbatron22 24 January, 2014 @ 6:09 pm   34

I don’t see why game difficulty even needs to be an issue. Many games allow the player to adjust the difficulty, so less skilled player like myself can still enjoy the experience while players with more skill can also benefit from harder settings.

It seems to me that having a limited number of ‘lives’ or restarts is really just a relic of the arcade days when this was used to artificially increase game difficulty and force players to keep pumping the coins into the machine.

I think that limiting the ability to save is another artificial way to increase game difficulty. Game difficulty should be increased by making the player employ more skill to succeed, not by forcing the player to redo the last 30 minutes because they didn’t reach a checkpoint or auto-save point.

I’d prefer more games to allow manual saving, so the player can decide when and how often to save. Perhaps in an ideal world, a combination of the two is best. I think there are a couple of games out there that allow this. If I remember correctly, The Suffering on PlayStation 2 used both systems, while more recently, Doom 3 BFG Edition added an auto-save feature while retaining the ability to save manually.

It´s nice to have options for sure. Easy, medium, hard, superhard, ridiculously over-the-top-hard. It´s debate among my gamer friends who´s a true gamer and who plays on harder difficulties and who doesn´t. It´s about what you want from your experience. Some like the punishing challenge, pushing them to their limits, but me personally, I´m in it for the story and journey. I used to try and play on hard but I wasn´t enjoying it. Games became a chore and I want to have fun with my games and relax. Nowadays, I´m a father and work long days at the office so I´m really short on sparetime and I´d hate spending that hour or two throwing the controller to the wall and swearing cuz I got stuck in a game or had to restart from the beginning because of a game over. I´ve actually started playing games on easy difficulty just to save time because there are so many great games and so little time. I love games and it´s not a shame to play on easy.

dark_angel69 24 January, 2014 @ 6:17 pm   36

Yes and No

Yes they are too easy for those of us that want a challenge. Shooters for example should be a bit more challenging. I do love a good challenge with certain games. But unfortunately their hardest difficulty is always easy. Perhaps it’s just my skills improving that are making them so easy therefore multiplayer can be useful for a challenge.

And No because many games out there don’t require a game to be so difficult. Perhaps many people are only interested in the story and not a challenge therefore playing on medium (or no difficulty to select from) is the perfect way to enjoy the story with a balance between easy and hard moments.

A mixer of both is the best way for games. If something is too easy then there is no fun in it. If something is too difficult then we get bored of it. A perfect balance if the best way to enjoy it all! And leave the hard challenge to multiplayer

Flugsvampen_97 24 January, 2014 @ 6:20 pm   37

Some games are easy and some are hard. I want my games to be a bit changeling but not too hard. I only get mad at the game if it’s too hard for me. Easy games can be relaxing and fun as well depending on what kind of game it is. An example is The Unfinished Swan or Journey.

I mostly play games on hard difficulty if I can choose that, lower than hard can sometimes be too easy. I have played some old games recently and think that they are sometimes WAY too hard. This might be a bit embarrasing, but I have actually never completed the first Super Mario. I havent completed the first Crash Bandicoot on my phone either. The hardest game that I’ve played is the first The Legend of Zelda, I only completed one dungeon…

I like how the most games are today. It’s good that you can choose difficulty on many games. Some games like Assassin’s Creed dont have that option and really need it. It’s often too easy for me, if you get in battle can you just run away or kill 50 guys really easy.

Todays games are surely easier than old games, but I thinks that its ok. Some games are too easy and forgiving and others are perfect, but I wouldn’t mind if all the games were a little bit harder. I want a good challange but not too hard ones.

DoYouLikeMyID 24 January, 2014 @ 6:27 pm   38

Comment 1/2

Well, anyone that has played God of War on the highest difficulty (like me) will know that not all new AAA games are “too easy”. Some games are very easy though, but not all games should be difficult. It really depends on the game.

Imagine if a game like Skylanders was insanely difficult (and had no easier difficulty). How would children that have grown up playing extremely simple games on smartphones or tablets enjoy a game that’s designed to be fun, but turns out to be extremely frustrating because of the difficulty?

DoYouLikeMyID 24 January, 2014 @ 6:28 pm   39

Comment 2/2

On the other hand, the first time I played The Last of Us, I played it on the normal difficulty. On normal, everything just felt kind of stale, like it didn’t matter what I did. The recurring thought in my mind was just – “I’ll probably be alright anyway…” Even though The Last of Us still was a good game on normal, it was NOTHING compared to playing the game on survivor. Choosing what to do with your resources, and whether or not to engage in battle felt so much more consequential on Survivor. It felt like I could feel the struggle of the characters so much more on the higher difficulty. I wouldn’t blame anyone for thinking the game is mediocre if they’ve only played it on easy. It’s simply better on Survivor.

High difficulty can either undermine or support a game’s quality depending on the game. Maybe we should all just stop worrying about the difficulty of games in general, and realize that certain difficulties are meant for certain games, and certain games are meant for certain people. So play what suits you best. :)

TaxemicNdogg 24 January, 2014 @ 6:29 pm   40

Yes I agree in most cases. Any game I play nowadays is in hard because that’s the only mode that you can play that is even remotely challenging and fun. Many times I play a game and it just coddles the player and eases them to success. Maybe this is due to the fact that games are targeted at a wider audience these days that includes younger players not able to play difficult titles. But I remember playing Final Fantasy VII as a child and being completely out of my depth but it only made me fight harder and play longer to become better at the game and beat the bosses etc. So I for one would like some more challenging titles to present themselves .

Greenpeace08 24 January, 2014 @ 6:34 pm   41

I guess what do u class as diffcult may depend on what type of gamer u r, young or old, experienced or a novice, sometimes a game needs a story to be told and it allows u to play and enjoy it like a film other times it’s to test the gamer and improve them, u gotta love em and hate em :)

HaidenFox 24 January, 2014 @ 6:44 pm   42

Part I
…medipacks in every corner…a load of devastating weapons…more freedom to the player than the already smart enemy-ai can handle…..and youre through with the game in less than 6 hours with dying about 6 times total, spending more time running through the levels than actually fighting, dodging and using your brains to overcome certain obstacles/enemies.

Dont you hate that ? wheres the fun with running and gunning through the levels without even worrying about ammo or death ? ok…there probably is a harder difficulty level…..AFTER you played it through the first time…so i am forced to play through the game only to finally have more fun with the harder difficulty level….well…thanks there are save-game-sites where i can get the 100% save-game-stat so i can enjoy the hardest difficulty from the beginning on.

I cant even count the games i found myself way too easy, some of them are just ok on harder settings but still not really that hard, CRYSIS 3 for example…a great game….but the pc exclusive post-human difficulty level isnt really that hard….thanks to certain weapons and all the gadgets of my nanosuit..of cours only if you really know how to use it all.

Games nowdays are more complicated and well presented. Easy or not depends on the gameplay mechanics and only and not on what decade they get published. So simple for me. :)

HaidenFox 24 January, 2014 @ 6:45 pm   44

Part II

What i really hate are games with an unballanced difficulty, like LOST PLANET (the first one, havent played the others yet), i remember it being way too easy on normal, on hard it was just right..but then the endbosses were almost unbeatable on that difficulty, so i switched back to normal only to beat the endbosses while i bored my ass off through the rest of the levels.

Max payne 3….great game, an ok harder difficulty level…with one flaw….the level in the hangar with that friggin shield-wielding cop….i almost spent more time beating that area than i needed through the whole game.

But after all i have to say…i prefer rather more difficult games than being too easy and getting through it too fast or being bored while running through the levels, and i have the feeling more and more games these days are getting way too easy

Except for strategy games i start all games on the hardest difficulty and mostly those are ok then, while the normal setting is just plain boring mostly.

Superbuu3 24 January, 2014 @ 6:50 pm   45

It’s a mixed bag really. I think a lot of people say games are easier because with how things have been this generation people expect to be entertained in one playthrough.

Something like Velocity Ultra, which was amazing I might add was a walk in the park to finish the game. To perfect ever mission on the other hand now that was a challenge and a really fun one. Same with things like Uncharted seemingly quite easy on normal difficulty, but replay the game on crushing and you really do have a challenge on your hands.

I’d say honestly its about the same. The concept of regeneratig health makes games look easier now, but each individual enemy normally kills you a lot easier, making every fight a battle for survival.

I love how games have been evolving.

pinkplaybunny 24 January, 2014 @ 6:53 pm   46

No they just used to be too hard! The amount of games I got stuck on and never finished and therefore never found out how the stories ended. Back then there wasn’t you tube to watch the endings either

I belive games are easier now only because they’re done better, game back in 80s and 90s were still new, developers were still learning. Now developers know from their mistakes and feedback what was hard and cheap. So now they try to avoid that to make the game the most accessible (which is not always good). And if you remove cheap and too hard your left with easy but still challenging. And I think that’s the problem. Indie games like hotline Miami are hard only because of one hit death if it was like a big budget game with regenerating life or a life bar than it would be easy. Olliolli is also only hard because you have to land stuff perfectly or else you fall or lose points and also becuase of poorly designed controlls (spin and adv grind on the same button). Unfortunately some other games are easy because of in game help like invincibility powerup in sm3dw. I like a good challenge not cheap (eh sometimes even cheap) but since big games today don’t take risks but try to be as accessible to the widest audience to sell as many copies possible. We’re left with easy games. Some may not agree but that’s how I see it.

VenomousAlbino 24 January, 2014 @ 7:15 pm   48

Indie games aren’t too hard. I’m just too rubbish.

I don’t think games as a whole have become easier, but I do think games have become more diversified and because of this the mainstream games like Assassin’s Creed, GTA and so on have become easier at standard difficulty. However on the other hand more of these games especially spectacle fighters like Darksiders for example will have optional harder and even very hard aka Nightmare mode difficulties.

Indeed more games as a whole these days have optional difficulty settings, but sometimes it seems like Hard is actually what we would have called 5-10 years ago as Normal so it probably balances out somewhere.

comment continued…

For a lot of games its less about being difficult and more about being entertaining, if the game can make you feel like a total badass WITHOUT being boring or feeling ‘too easy’ then its pretty much accomplished what it set out to do, if however you manage to kill/complete everything thrown at you but find yourself bored or uninterested then at that point I would say that game on that difficulty is too easy. Its really a case of 10-15 years ago games like Dark Souls in terms of difficulty would have been more common but now games that are ‘Normal’ level difficulty are standard with games like Dark Souls being a more niche experience. Hell games one of the main selling points for games like Dark Souls is their difficulty.

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