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Submitted by gulevski 686d ago | opinion piece

Do All Games need an ‘Easy’ Mode?

"The last couple of days have given rise to a good talking point in the gaming community. Just yesterday, Dark Souls director Hidetaka Miyazaki came out and admitted that he was considering adding an Easy mode to the game that’s considered one of the toughest of its generation. He spoke about this consideration with a seemingly heavy heart, mentioning in the process that the satisfaction derived from playing games in this day and age doesn’t necessarily stem from the challenge they present any more." (Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, Dark Souls, Dark Souls 2, PC, PS3, Xbox 360)

LostDjinn  +   686d ago
The problem as I see it is that accessibility and a feeling of accomplishment are inversely proportional.

By dumbing down the game/product you open it up to a larger audience (just as making it nasty hard can shrink the audience). Suddenly people who lack more then basic gaming skills "may" pick up your product and make it more successful (that's the rationale behind it as far as I can tell).

One problem being that the easier the game is the less rewarding it is to play, leading to an ultimately empty experience. It's common for gamers to now race through a game just to take it out, put it in its' case and sell it off just to purchase the next empty experience and repeat the cycle.

Anyway, I think I've said enough. I don't want to turn this into a rant.

Happy gaming everyone.
brish  +   686d ago
Q. Do All Games need an ‘Easy’ Mode?
A. No
-GametimeUK-  +   686d ago
You don't have to dumb down the product as a whole to accomidate for less skilled players. Uncharted 3 demonstrates that easy mode can be played and enjoyed by VERY casual players (such as my girlfriend) and still be as difficult in the other modes as it has always been. (Not saying it is a very difficult game, but the other modes are not dumbed down).

If more games can strike the amazing balance that Uncharted 3 has then I see no reason why casual players should not have a difficulty level talored for them for them.

Dumbing down an entire experience for casual players is a no no, but dedicating a seperate difficulty level (that the core gamers won't play) is brilliant and I support it. If the core gamers experience is not hurt at all then why not include a mode for casuals?
Kyosuke_Sanada  +   686d ago
Well it depends. If it's a game that obviously took pride for it's difficulty (even the trailer says "Prepare to Die!" in it), I would see no point.
william977   686d ago | Spam
Lord_Sloth  +   686d ago
Easy Mode just means more people will play which means more sales. More sales means higher budgets for future titles.

Funny thing about options is that they're optional. Most of us will never use it.
specialguest  +   686d ago
It's not that simple
For most games, an easy mode is almost mandatory and do-able. The difficulty level options means either more or less enemies, enemy AI, and how much damage they can inflict.

However, for games like Demon's/Dark Souls the main bulk of the gameplay is the challenge and learning how to play the game effectively. There are things you can't tone down on the Souls series with easy mode like resulting in death by:

-falling off a cliff to an immediate death
-recklessly attacking an enemy
-challenging an enemy with immensely higher level than you in an area you're not ready for yet
-neglecting to use your shield
-not being careful on how you walk on a narrow wooden plank

It's these aspects of the gameplay that makes the game hard and not the other aspects you typically find in most games that makes it hard. To tone down the things I've listed would be completely game-breaking. Falling off a cliff? Okay lets add an invisible wall. Neglecting to block an enemy's attack? Okay, lets add auto-block. Falling off a narrow wooden plank from 500 ft high? Okay, lets give them an invisible parachute so they can land softly and safely.... /s

I could totally understand why the creator of Demon's/Dark Souls don't want an easy mode. It's literally game-breaking. Why can't a game just sell the way it is with the creator's full vision on how it should play? Personally as a gamer, it wouldn't affect me since I won't play on easy mode, but from the creator/dev's point of view, I get it. I get why there's no easy mode.
#4.1 (Edited 686d ago ) | Agree(3) | Disagree(1) | Report | Reply
Kaos_Vll  +   685d ago
"The difficulty level options means either more or less enemies, enemy AI, (and how much damage they can inflict)."

this is all they would have to do to add an easy mode for the game.

The "challenge" in DS is having enough patience to hold block/evade long enough to learn/memorize their pattern without getting one-shot killed.

After so many deaths you simply remember where you went wrong. It's a simple trial and error design that can be scaled up or down to fit all gamers.
Sorry to say it's a cheap mechanic that is a massive test of one's patience. Whether that's a skill or not is of one's own opinion.

Problem is part of the fanbase that forgets gaming should be enjoyed by everyone and used to bring the masses together, not as some type of crutch to boost their ego.

You guys are complaining about an OPTION you don't ever have to use and affects you in NO way.
WOW

@specialguest

just be honest, if an easy mode is implemented than you and the others won't feel as special, an that is all this hub bub is about, you feeling special about beating a videogame.

you ever think others might just want to play the game because they want to play a good game and not boost some cyber ego?
#4.1.1 (Edited 685d ago ) | Agree(0) | Disagree(2) | Report
specialguest  +   685d ago
It's not a matter of complaining about having options, but more of defending the DS creator's reasons to leave it out. The people who are complaining are the ones who needs a game-breaking easy mode.
specialguest  +   685d ago
Boost my cyber ego?? LOL!
I'm not even a hardcore gamer who plays on some insanely difficult mode. On an article about GOW4 gameplay hours on this link: http://n4g.com/news/1071632...
I clearly stated on comment 1.5 that GOW4 reported to take 14hrs to complete would normally take me an additional 5 (total 19hrs)due to dying several times. I openly admitted I'm not the most skillful player. So I dont know what this ego boosting special feeling you're talking about.
Nevers  +   685d ago
This is a funny little debate. Reminds me a lot of Kurt Vonnegut's short story "Harrison Bergeron".

When games didn't have difficulty settings you were either meant to beat it or you were not. No big deal. It seems to me some may need to learn how to accept and get over failure. Microcosm of today's "everyone is a winner and gets a trophy" PC BS...

"Oh, no. People might get their feelings hurt. Guess we need government mandated easy settings."

It's really unfortunate that the DSouls games have gotten the reputation of being "too hard to try". Many people won't even attempt to play it because of the reputation alone. In reality the percieved "difficulty" of these games stems from the fact they are designed to punish people for being lazy.

I wish more people would play them but I don't want what makes these games so special to be dumbed down so the slowbies in the herd can keep up. Especially when I don't even think another difficulty setting is needed.
#4.1.4 (Edited 685d ago ) | Agree(1) | Disagree(1) | Report
SolidSystem  +   686d ago
Yes, through well done equations and balancing you can create a game that provides the perfect level of challenge to whom ever your audience may be. If that means I do a bit more damage than the next guy so I have less trouble with fights? thats my experience not yours...you can crank yours up to 11 if thats what is fun to you.
bub16  +   686d ago
Yeah. A few of my friends have trouble completing games. They are not hardcore gamers
Roper316  +   686d ago
Easy mode is great for after you've beaten the game on the hardest settings, where you have to move very slowly and precisely. I usually will do a run through on easy just to go wild & crazy after I've beaten the harder difficulties. I'm currently playing ME2 on Insane difficulty and am dying like crazy, I am looking forward to playing through again on easy so I can actually pop out of cover without being turned into Swiss Cheese.
Nevers  +   686d ago
I used to do that with most FPSs I bought. Pretty fun to master something at an extreme difficulty and then run through having created your own "god mode". Usually it helped when I was Achievement whoring to pick up any leftover chachkies I'd missed in the intense "I'm going to die!!!" initial playthrough.
DirtyLary  +   686d ago
No, just easy games for those that need them.
amaguli  +   686d ago
There is no right or wrong answer here. Believe it or not, but there are plenty of people that just want to kick back and play their game without getting frustrated with the difficulty.

I love a challenge in my games, I always set the difficulty to the highest setting when possible, but there are days when I don't want to deal with it. I just want to go through and and play the game without worrying about difficulty. It just depends.
i can see easy mode being necessary in most games. Especially if you are a casual gamer just looking to past time, or are interested in a particular story and just want to speed through the game. Hell, you could play on easy mode just for kicks after you have already beaten the game.

a lot of people on this site are actual gamers and like to have some challenge for their gaming experience, at least i am assuming. However, most gamers i believe do not visit this website, or sites similar. There has been a growing trend of casual gamers who game just to relax and enjoy.

idk where i am going with this, i guess easy mode is ok as long as it doesn't ruin the overall experience of the game for the harder difficulties, like adding permanent features and assets to a game that effects all difficulties just to appease the casual gamers. Let the hardcore gamers have their challenge!

still makes me question though when square enix added "easy mode" to ff13. i mean, the game was pretty easy enough as is without easy mode hahaha! *walk 3 steps forward, fight, repeat."
Mikefizzled  +   686d ago
No. If a game has easy mode there is no incentive to improve at it. For example playing casual/easy/amateur will be mind-numbingly boring to someone who has taken time to improve at it.
FCOLitsjustagame  +   686d ago
Sure why not.
I always assume a games "normal" (or default) setting is the experience the devs want people to have. One that is balanced enough for a "typical" gamer to finish(in the devs opinion). Then the game will have easier settings for game tourist or people that just want to run around and then 1 or 2 harder settings for more hardcore gamers.

Now a game like Dark Souls who focuses on the harder settings can have a "normal" setting that leans more toward what others consider hardcore and then an "easy" setting that would be more balanced for the average gamer. (They still would be leaving out the tourist unless they also had a super easy mode.) That way they can still consider themselves a tough game but give the average gamer hope of completing the games.

In the end its up to the devs and what they want the game to be. It can be a hardcore gamers game which is great, but is just not going to have the audience. Or they can add a setting so non-hardcore players can actually complete it but "normal" would still be tough, because that is the experience they want the fans to have.
#12 (Edited 686d ago ) | Agree(2) | Disagree(0) | Report | Reply
FinaLXiii  +   686d ago
yes and cheat codes sometimes you just wanna have fun with it.
#13 (Edited 686d ago ) | Agree(4) | Disagree(0) | Report | Reply
from the beach  +   686d ago
Modern gaming basically is 'easy mode', what with health regeneration, infinite lives and checkpoints every other step it's near impossible to fail at anything.

This happens at the same moment Achievements and the term 'hardcore' become popular, those crafty developers!
#14 (Edited 686d ago ) | Agree(1) | Disagree(0) | Report | Reply
Hasanhastam  +   686d ago
Yes and no . I think games like arma flashpoint surely yes . But most of games should have one balanced mode.
smashman98  +   686d ago
I think no

most games nowadays dont know how to be difficult
for instance call of duty in single player the only thing that happens when you up the difficulty is you get less health and thats what most games do

on the other hand you have darksouls which difficulty stems from level design and the player

mostly the player, if you are patient and observant you'll have an easier time than one whos the exact opposite of that
ZeroX9876  +   686d ago
mmmm
there's one thing coming to my mind when hearing about the game's level of completion. having a easy, normal, hard and very hard mode when the only thing hard mode bring is 4X health to enemies and reduced the damage given to enemies by half, that's not a good hard mode.

I want the AI to be actually smarter, not the same dumb AI with so much health the enemies are just rushing to you. that's creating a harder mode without putting any effort into it.
sonicsidewinder  +   686d ago
Game dificulty was best when there was an incentive to playing though the dificulties and improve.

Like, in Thief, dificulty didn't just mean, it's easier to die. You had more quest objectives, and more to do on the harder dificulties.

Other great games that did this:

TimeSplitters2 and Resident Evil 4.

Nowadays, games are made with easy mode in mind, which makes the harder dificulties annoying and cheap rather than challenging. e.g. grenade spams. Nne hit deaths in games that arn't designed for it.

Sign of bad game design.
#18 (Edited 686d ago ) | Agree(2) | Disagree(0) | Report | Reply
FCOLitsjustagame  +   686d ago
Oh that's a good idea, to have additional incentives for playing on hard.

Also, instead of making the enemies harder on hard they ought to design it for a certain level of hardness and then make the easier modes get "cheats" like additional health, shields, ammo. Maybe thats why the hardcore guys are upset, the game design is backwards.
Kaos_Vll  +   685d ago
^this
exactly.

and this
v
#18.1.1 (Edited 685d ago ) | Agree(1) | Disagree(0) | Report
Why not. An optional -let me repeat: Optional- easy mode would not take away nothing for who wants a great challenge. This is an incontrovertible fact.

Only a fanatic elitist would remove the possibility to any player -who paid the price of the full game- to enjoy the game as a whole. My money are as good as the money of someone who is more skilled than me.

For games with an online system like Demon's Souls and Dark Souls would be enough to split the server, some for those who play in easy mode and the others for those who want a tough challenge.

Problem solved. Everyone happy but the fanatics.
#19 (Edited 686d ago ) | Agree(2) | Disagree(0) | Report | Reply
Hicken  +   686d ago
Hell no!

To elaborate, what would be the point of making the Souls games, for example, easy?
Deadpool101  +   685d ago
An easy "option" wouldn't affect anyone else's choice of playing a harder difficulty so I can't see why it would be a problem

Also, if the only thing that makes your game interesting is that it's really hard, it doesn't say much for the gameplay.
#21 (Edited 685d ago ) | Agree(1) | Disagree(1) | Report | Reply
Veneno  +   685d ago
An easy mode for Daark Souls would have completely killed the group mentality feel to the game. A baby casual gamer playing Darks Souls on easy is not havingnthe same experience as someone on the hardest difficulty. The magic of Dark Soulsnand Demons Souls was that EVERYONE was playing the exact same game and having the same experience, trying to survive in a dark depressing world. If From Software made an easy mode they would have ruined what made the souls games popular to begin with.

Was there ever a difficulty option in the mario Nes /Snes games? No. We all played the exact same Mario games and thats what binds us all together as gamers. A games difficulty is as important as any oher aspect of a game because thats what defines videogames as a medium. They are challenges amd we as players must accomplish the challenges

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