190°
Submitted by Proeliator 690d ago | opinion piece

Is Gaming Too Easy Today?

OXCGN:

"I’m always after new experiences.

Therefore, I recently purchased a PS3 for Christmas, and one of the first games I bought was the highly-touted Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune.

I soon realised, that even though I’ve had my PS3 for just under a month, I’ve blasted through the Uncharted Series, as well as Ghost Recon: Future Soldier and DOOM 3: BFG Edition.

It got me thinking: have my skills as a gamer increased over time, or are games not as challenging as they once were?" (Dark Souls, Dark Souls 2, Halo 4, PC, PS3, Super Meat Boy, Wii U, Xbox 360)

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Proeliator  +   690d ago
I definitely agree that games have gotten easier, but I disagree with Max Payne 3. That was a legitimately difficult game.
8bitHero  +   690d ago
-struggles w/ max payne on normal-
Campy da Camper  +   690d ago
What I think it is is that there are too many explanations as to what to do to beat an enemy or an icon pointing the way. That is why I love dark souls/demon souls. No flashing arrows or red flashing parts of enemies. The combat itself is not hard but not knowing what to do means lots of trial and error.

Also, back in the day there was no way to Google something if you were stuck.
RIPSKATEDESTROY  +   689d ago
Demon souls and dark souls are NOT. Easy
pixelsword  +   689d ago
With Max Payne, all you need to know is that when you have groups of people, aim for the one in the back, while shooting through the ones in from of him.

You can't win withe stuff like this because when games are too hard people complain, so even very hard games nowadays aren't that hard.

At any rate, the writer of this article needs to study-up just a little bit more on the subject:

"I’ve blasted through the Uncharted Series"

Since all of them have puzzle elements contained within it, I highly doubt he blasted through them. It's very easy to complete games when you have the option to start at "easy" and "very easy", which I think he did.

"The original Halo contained health kits, and was a more challenging game because of it, but it too conformed to recharging health"

The original Halo INVENTED recharging health.

"I remember playing the original DOOM games, where after doing battle against a horde of demons, I’d be low on health, knowing I’d have to get past more demons in order to gain precious health kits.

It might be just me, but I felt there was more tension and intensity present, knowing that one wrong move would kill me, and making it to safety would give me a greater sense of accomplishment."

Or, you can just run pas them, which greatly cut-down the difficulty factor. The speed-run was invented by people who played games like this and many other games on the PC because they gave you unmatched agility when your computerized opponents could barely move coherently.

"Games such as Mega Man were brutally difficult. This is a franchise where precision timing and skill were needed in order to retain the precious few lives the player was afforded."

Not really; Mega Man all played the same: once you find the easiest level, you get a weapon from the boss, and then you find the next easiest level and kill that boss with that weapon, which will kill that boss with ease. It's a puzzle game, and not a very hard one once you see the pattern.

If you want hard games, here's a list and why:

Killzone 1 and 2: has checkpoints, but are very far between one and the other

Kill.Switch: out of all of the cover-shooters, this one was one of the most brutal: unlike Uncharted and Gears of War, you don't have people to assist you at any point of the game.

King's Field: PS1 RPG with very deep gameplay as it progresses, difficulty is not too over the top at any one time, but the challenge is consistent throughout the entire game.

And the most logical point of having extra lives or save points in games is because most gamers aren't layabouts or kids who have hours on end to play games; you go too far back into gaming, and gaming will die because only those two groups of people will be able to play those types of games, because most people don't have the time to play whole levels over and over again. Gamers WANT to face very hard challenges, but they don't have the time to waste half of a day to do so like they did when they were kids. Save points will allow them to continue the challenge when it's good for them to. Demon Souls balances it out very well in that regard.
#1.1.3 (Edited 689d ago ) | Agree(1) | Disagree(3) | Report
da_2pacalypse  +   689d ago
@RIPSKATEDESTROY

But see how much those games stick out like a sore thumb? These games would be normal in days of past.

So yes, games are too easy these days. They're catered towards the lowest common denominator... That's why.
Consoles did it. Definitely wasn't pc gaming.
http://www.gamespot.com/new...

lol every generation new 12 year olds get into gaming and consoles are just to popular. One button games sooner or later.

Not to mention that horror and tactical shooters are just about dead. The only stealth games left are MGS and dues Ex. Splinter cell looks like a joke now.

How easy are games?
http://youtu.be/YuhfD48VRGE...

Like stealth? here!
http://youtu.be/YuhfD48VRGE...
#1.2 (Edited 690d ago ) | Agree(3) | Disagree(23) | Report | Reply
MysticStrummer  +   690d ago
There are easy games on every platform, and if you think PC gaming is immune to the epidemic of accessibility you're insane.

"One button games sooner or later"

Look at early gaming controllers and then look at the current standard controllers. Controllers aren't getting less complex. Motion controls don't have anything to do with it so please don't try to play that card. Motion controls will stick around to lure in the casual gamers who are put off by the standard controllers, but we can all see that games designed purely for motion controls are firmly in the casual category.
th3n00bg4m3r  +   690d ago
Play Demon's Souls and God Of War 3 and then tell me if those games are easy.
ThanatosDMC  +   690d ago
Wait, how is God of War 3 difficult?
-MD-  +   690d ago
I don't remember Max Payne 3 being difficult.
Dude420  +   690d ago
Or perhaps it's because of the fact that so many games follow the same formula more or less, such as fps and action/adventure games. Think about it, we've played so many rpg's, fps's and a/a that it all becomes so familiar to us. All we have to do is pick up the controller, learn the functions and play, rinse and repeat. Most of the time we can predict what will happen in x scenario and then know how to proceed.

Take Demon Souls and Dark Souls for example. Demon Souls was a very punishing game, but it was unlike any other game we've played before, hence why it was extremely difficult. Once I've started to learn how the game functioned, then it wasn't so bad. After entering the realm of Dark Souls, it wasn't as punishing as I thought it would be, but that's because I went through so much with the previous one.
#1.4 (Edited 690d ago ) | Agree(2) | Disagree(1) | Report | Reply
dantesparda  +   690d ago
Games on the hardest setting are not easier than the games of yesteryear. And anybody who says so is just boasting and usually over exaggarating their skills
MysticStrummer  +   690d ago
Agreed, but today's Normal feels like yesterday's Easy in many cases.
Dark_Overlord  +   690d ago
I'm sorry but they most definitely are. Go play some old NES (Battletoads, Ghost and Goblins etc) or Amiga (Midnight Resistance etc) games, then come back to your Ps3/Xbox/Wii/WiiU/DS/3DS the games are far far easier.
dantesparda  +   689d ago
@Dark_Overlord

p.s. I've beaten every game you just listed, back in the old days all you had to do was remember the pattern, and you could play the game exactly the same way every time. It was easy once you new what to do. I dont think I've gotten worst at gaming as i've gotten older, but who knows, maybe i have. Im just saying that games are not easier on hard than the games of games gone by
#1.5.3 (Edited 689d ago ) | Agree(0) | Disagree(0) | Report
NeXXXuS  +   689d ago
inb4: demon's souls and dark souls.
solar  +   689d ago
yes they are easier, gotta make games for the casual more then the hardcore like when gaming was a niche and not mainstream. they gotta make them $$$$
wishingW3L  +   690d ago
we have different difficulty settings on most games and even on their hardest they are still easy. When you go from Ninja Gaiden 2 to Ninja Gaiden 3 the difference is like night and day and it's the same with every single game this gen. And let's not even talk about the ones from Nintendo. Mario Galaxy is so easy even a baby could beat it.
#2 (Edited 690d ago ) | Agree(1) | Disagree(12) | Report | Reply
ShaunCameron  +   690d ago
Um. There was nothing easy about Donkey Kong Country Returns. Or even Super Mario Galaxy. You're just talking out of your ***.

<And let's not even talk about the ones from Nintendo. Mario Galaxy is so easy even a baby could beat it.>
AdvanceWarsSgt  +   690d ago
Advance Wars and Fire Emblem (especially Fire Emblem) are easy games???
hennessey86  +   690d ago
Well I struggled
To finish halo 4 on legendary, in fact I did the last levels on a lower difficulty.
Reverent  +   690d ago
The thing about difficulty levels with games like Halo, or Battlefield, Call of Duty, or just any shooter out there... Strike that, ANY game with difficulty options, is that all the highest difficulty level does is give the enemy MORE damage, and the player LESS health. I'd hardly call that a fair way of calling a game truly difficult... It's more frustrating than anything.

It's for reasons like that that I really appreciate games like Demon's/Dark Souls because they achieve a different kind of difficulty. They don't have to resort to making the player extremely weak and the enemies really powerful, they make the game difficult by punishing impatient and unobservant players.

Just my opinion, but that's why I don't like to consider the higher difficulty settings on games as being "difficult". If a game is going to be called "difficult" it should be because the game is NATURALLY difficult. You shouldn't HAVE to set any sort of level to make it more so. And games that are only difficult because they throw more bullets at you, I just don't think they should count. Again, my opinion though.
#3.1 (Edited 690d ago ) | Agree(8) | Disagree(2) | Report | Reply
Irishguy95  +   690d ago
Halo actually improves the enemy Ai too...but I see what you mean.
Reverent  +   690d ago
I actually knew that, but thanks for bringing it up because I do respect that Halo at least does more than what I am talking about in that aspect.
Allsystemgamer  +   690d ago
In halo the AI improves, they get more health more damage AND use proper tactics.

Example in 4 if they see ur shield pop they will charge u even if ur behind cover and those with shields that go out will take cover. It became insanely hard on legendary but the health wasn't the issue. The AI was smart and KNEW when to attack.
mav805  +   689d ago
I totally agree that this is the type of difficulty that I think games need to go back to, not just going up against overpowered enemies.

Personally, I do not consider Demon's/Dark Souls as "hard" but what they do is make you consider your environment, the enemies and your abilities in a way other games haven't done in a long time, and for me, that makes a much more enjoyable game.

Anytime you actually NEED to learn the mechanics and intricacies of a game in order to beat it is a good thing in my opinion.
Reverent  +   689d ago
@mav, see that is exactly what I'm talking about. I love games like that. When you actually have to LEARN in order to overcome them, that's when the game can be called skillful.
pr0t0typeknuckles  +   690d ago
uh yeah, seriously the last game i played whare i felt i had to try but i liked it still was darksiders 2 on apocalyptic, besides that every game in 2012 was easy ,heck i beat prototype 2 on the hardet difficuly and platinumed it in 2 days and those days were when i had to go to school.
Dark_Overlord  +   689d ago
Its well known Prototype 2's difficulty was toned down a hell of a lot from the first.

The first is rated about 8/10

and

the second 2/10

for difficulty :) (Thats at ps3trophies.org)
Son_Lee  +   690d ago
I don't think it's so much that games have gotten easier, it's just there is WAY too much hand-holding.
Root  +   690d ago
Look at Oblivion to Skyrim for example....gaming is being dumbed down and in some cases screwing over loyal fan bases to gain a bigger audience when in the end it won't matter.
gaminoz  +   690d ago
I don't play games to be frustrated or to challenge myself overly much; I buy them for and adventure and escape from daily real life frustrations.

So I want a mildly challenging experience that is fun.

For this reason I have avoided (reluctantly) great games like Demon's Souls.

I don't get a great deal of satisfaction from passing difficult areas...I get relief.
contradictory  +   690d ago
yeah me too...
personally i'm not all that much into masochistic difficulties and Normal is the one i always go with
vlonjati77  +   690d ago
I used to beat games on hard all the time but since I got ps+.so many games I left half way,didnt finish them so I play them also on easy at least to finish the game and see how the story goes.
dorron  +   690d ago
Same here...but still, Demon's/Dark Souls and Ninja Gaiden really really deserve to be played. Amazing games!
Allsystemgamer  +   690d ago
Dark souls isn't that hard once y learn the mechanics. The game is all timing. Learn when to attack and evade/block and you'll be ok
Jakens  +   690d ago
Gaminoz has nailed my feelings about my games. They are a hobby and for fun. I don't have the time for being mad (at a game) during my relaxing time off.
#7.4 (Edited 690d ago ) | Agree(1) | Disagree(2) | Report | Reply
ZombieNinjaPanda  +   689d ago
Then I suggest watching movies instead, something that doesn't require you to make an effort.

Games are/were meant to be challenging. That's where the fun comes from.
memots  +   690d ago
Ok the article is good and guy knows his gaming but one has to wonder, he part of the editorial team of a gaming site and he just now bought a PS3?

Not sure about you but ps3 has been a big part of this gen and if I was working for a gaming website it would only be appropriate to own that piece of this ging gen.

I don't work for a gaming site and yet I have every console ( except the wii U )
StreetsofRage  +   690d ago
It is for me...I'm just a gaming stud like that. ;)
MrDead  +   690d ago
Killzone 2 on elite is one hell of a challange.

http://www.youtube.com/watc...
Allsystemgamer  +   690d ago
Yep. That was a challenge. I'm stuck on radek lol
Ezz2013  +   690d ago
i beat him after the 10th try on elite

games like uncharted2-3/god of war 3/killzone2-3/demon souls on the hardest difficulty
are some of the hardest games i have ever played
ghostrider32  +   690d ago
The Lion King game is harder than anything that came out this gen.
TotalHitman  +   690d ago
Well... I'm not looking for a challenge. I play a game for fun.
Hicken  +   690d ago
That's what the Normal and Easy difficulties are for.

Far too often these days, though, even the Hard and Expert difficulties are just too easy.

And then there are franchises whose names are synonymous with requiring a certain level of skill being FAR easier than they should be.
TekoIie  +   690d ago
*cough* assassins creed *cough*

I would love them to patch in a difficulty level for that game :(
linkenski  +   690d ago
Halo 4 had a good difficulty. But i really miss those early N64 games type of difficulty. It's not the fact that gameplay has become easier to master, but it's more that games tend to hold you in the hand by telling you exactly what to do to complete your goal. If you're getting stuck trying to solve a puzzle, the games give you obvious hints about where to go next.

I hate how coreographed games have become. Full of setpiece moments that most people seem blinded by, because of how big in scale they are, but they seem to miss the fact that most of these moments are basically a cutscene playing out ingame, and the player can't really interact with it in a genuine way.

At least these scripted moments never seem to occur dynamically. I'm obviously hinting at CoD, Uncharted and all the other franchises that try to rip these franchises off. The latest addition is Dead Space 3 which is seemingly completely ignorant of where it has its roots.
KnightRobby  +   690d ago
What baffles me is the Assassin's Creed franchise. This franchise has been played by millions and millions for years. They have become adapted to parkour, combat, etc. However, they haven't been offered an additional challenge in the way of difficulty settings - which would solve all the problems.

Sleeping Dogs had adaptive AI - I'd think as a developer you'd at least try something like that. I just hope difficulty settings are a continued practice and implemented into Watch Dogs and new AC titles.
edonus  +   690d ago
Games in general have definitely got easier but I feel its because they are more of interactive stories than real games. That MP is so popular because when you are competing at something it is a game.
Gamers have gotten very entitled and to make money the industry has coddled them. If something is new and learning it frustrates gamers they quit and in turn the game loses sells. This mean everything has to be primarily the same. They take away any real penalties for losing or they make the player way overpowered. To trick ppl in to thinking they are doing something the enemies becomes bullet sponges or plates of steel with few real ways to hurt you.
I would like to see more game theory.
Jakens  +   690d ago
"They take away any real penalties for losing"

I will strongly disagree! Edonus, maybe you are not buying the right games for your play style! Think about what you are saying. Maybe you want "real penalties for losing"

I believe you have used the word real for the meaning in-game and not wanting actaual real world penalties.

My Opinion, "I want light, fair, and fun penalties for doing poorly where there is enough information for the task at hand".

To developers: Give me enough information in my game to do well (there) and I will buy your game new for $60 USD.
edonus  +   689d ago
What I mean is I can play Halo Uncharted Gears COD and die 50 times in the same spot doing the same things over and over. And the only thing that happens is I start a few clicks back from were I was.
This creates very weak gamers. Gaming was once a trial of patience and solid thinking, you had to observe patterns and recognize strategies under pressure. If they just started reintroducing the limited lives concept back in design it would be great.
Thats why I loved ME2 and Steel battalion they gave you a squad of characters hat you built relationships with and if you didnt play right they would die and wouldnt comeback affecting the overall story arch of the game. Thats a real penalty.
Jakens  +   685d ago
Thanks for a respectful well said reply. +Bubbles.
Your point is (and will aways be) very valid and I now see clearly what you have said in your first post.

On topic: I do see what Halo (and others) did with infinte lives and there is no penilties. The only punishment in those type of games would be when the gamer himself (/herself) got bored enough to stop playing. Games can be beaten in days instead of weeks or months. Some like that, some don't. I do like the option though.

Now speaking of Halo, that game does have skulls that can easily be turned on and off at will. There are also many points (and goals) that can be earned in game. The points that I speak of are tasks to complete w/o being achievments. Other games set some quite high goals without affecting achievment too.

I myself could not beat the Game Halo 1 if not for the forgiving gameplay. I played on easy and had fun the whole time I was doing pooly. I was never mad at the game or the developer for having me die for no reason like (Tomb Raider 1 thru...25)

I'm happy that there are games for every play style. I want games made for the Hardcore. You seem to enjoy the challenge which is great!
CanadianTurtle  +   690d ago
Have games gotten easier? Yes. But have they gotten too easy? Nope.

There are tons of games out there that are considered insane on their highest difficulty. Try Halo Reach with 4 players on Legendary. Or the Destroyer from Borderlands 1 DLC with 4 players. What about the Resistance games on Superhuman or Gears of War on insane?

Games these days give you the options for easier settings, but they still do have the hardcore difficulties that you're looking for. But to be honest, why would you want it that hard anyways? Like to the point where you constantly die and struggle to the next checkpoint? That doesn't seem fun. I find it more engaging when the game is challenging but not overly cheap to the point where I'm dying every 10 steps.
DigitalAnalog  +   690d ago
Utilizing "difficulty" levels as an excuse to even out the handholding is a cop-out. Games are either built from the ground up to be difficult a-la Demon's Souls give severe underwhelming abilities to the player on higher difficulty modes. The former requires excellent design philosophy while the latter requires almost no thought. This is why so many "hard" modes are extremely cheap nowadays regardless if it's from Halo to Uncharted.

Hard doesn't necessarily mean letting the player die constantly. It's about making smart decisions and allow them to plan ahead and reward them accordingly or punish them vice-versa instead of rushing in head-to which many modern games promote. This is why there is a "thrill" trying to playing games where they only give you the tools for you to discover or work out the balance like Vanquish, Demon's souls or Gravity Rush.
#16.1 (Edited 690d ago ) | Agree(0) | Disagree(1) | Report | Reply
JohnApocalypse  +   690d ago
The games that were really hard 20 years ago lacked in content. The original Contra takes only 30 minutes to beat
Ps3-PCgamer  +   690d ago
go play the jetski level on battletoads for SNES thats all i have to say about this subject
badz149  +   690d ago
you thought the jetski level is hard?
That's just a warm up for Battletoads! The later levels are more difficult thus the reason why not many has finished it! Watching them on Youtube is enough reason for you not wanting to try it. There is no getting lucky, just pure skills!
Ps3-PCgamer  +   690d ago
Never got past it lol. I was only 9 and my little gaming heart couldn't endure the punishment! Would love to take a crack at it now
ShaunCameron  +   690d ago
Really? Back in the late 1980's early 1990's, most games could be completed in 1 to 2 hours. And this was in spite of the questionable design choices that made the games hard where cheap deaths and limited continues were common.

<Campaigns are being hastily completed in four to five
hours, when the norm used to be around ten to fifteen.>
#19 (Edited 690d ago ) | Agree(1) | Disagree(0) | Report | Reply
DeusExer  +   690d ago
While it's true most games never had campaigns of this length, it's more highlighting the fact that say FPS and Action/Adventure campaigns would regularly take this amount of time, compared to today.
chronoforce  +   690d ago
people have lives, who on earth has the time to play really difficult games eg dead space really,three saves
Son_Lee  +   690d ago
I'm doing hardcore mode now and while it's definitely tense, I just don't have the patience for something like that and find myself not enjoying it. Thinking I might just put it on normal and play through it for the first time in two years to get ready for Dead Space 3.
Oh_Yeah  +   690d ago
Yeah... I only found 3 games to be difficult this whole gen. Demon souls, Dark souls, and dragons dogma. Most games now give you an in depth tutorial as if you've never touched a game. Also alot of games now focus much more on story then challenging and rewarding gameplay. Game movies usually sell better than game games though, so it's what we're going to be seeing more of.
#21 (Edited 690d ago ) | Agree(1) | Disagree(0) | Report | Reply
MysticStrummer  +   690d ago
I agree about the Souls games, but Dragon's Dogma wasn't nearly as tough as they implied it would be. Still a great game though.
Beastradamus  +   690d ago
I definitely think that games are easier today, but I also think this is a good thing for the gaming industry in the long run because it makes the entire medium a lot more accessible.
younglj01  +   690d ago
Hardest MP this gen goes too MAG.Hardest SP goes too God of War 3......
VTKC  +   690d ago
God of War 3 hard? Dont you mean Ninja Gaiden 2 this gen?
younglj01  +   690d ago
yes for me God of War 3 on chaos is the hardest game I have played this gen.
Inception  +   690d ago
Right now i'm playing Demon's Souls (thx for the tips from N4G members) and UC3 in crushing mode. Demon's Souls...well...i died a lotttt xD (just beat Dragon God [WTF! dat fists!] and Adjucator. But those ghost like enemies with the flying manta in Shrine of Storm are sooo anoying xD). But i really like this game. It's been a while since i play a hard & challenging games like Demon's Souls. Last time i died a lot when i'm playing Ninja Gaiden (trilogy in SNES and Sigma).

And for Uncharted, i don't know why but i felt UC2 crushing mode is harder than this. But maybe my gaming skills are increased.

As for the articles, gaming this days are about acessible for all type of gamers, including the casual ones. That's why games like Demon's Souls / Ninja Gaiden are becoming very rare. But i'm not against games that isn't challenging as Demon's Souls / Ninja Gaiden. It's about balance i think and hardcore gamers require games that removed the stress from dying a lot after playing games like Demon's Souls ^^
RFornillos4  +   690d ago
i'd have to agree. the first time i played through the first Assassin's Creed. there was some learning curve involved. over time you tend to master the controls, and eventually come AC3, i admit that up to now i've been dragging myself just to complete the game. not because it's hard, in fact it's become too easy for me. too easy that i've somehow become bored with it. i'm just playing it now to follow the storyline; part of the gameplay is exciting but overall, i just find it too easy.

same thing for shooters like COD (referring to single player campaign only, since multiplayer is player-controlled). yes, once in a while you end up dead, but the "challenge" aspect is mediocre; it's practically the action and visual flair that keeps you going at it.
Psychotica  +   690d ago
That's right, there is nothing as hard today as Space Invaders or Asteroids was.. :)
b_one  +   690d ago
The Cave is a bit easy, to easy i supose.
Dmd  +   690d ago
Too much hand holding nowadays. It's like developers think that we, gamers, are getting older and dumber.
#28 (Edited 690d ago ) | Agree(0) | Disagree(0) | Report | Reply
byeGollum  +   690d ago
the problem for me isn't the difficulty levels. . Games have become stale. . There are only very, very few games that are worth playin' anymore. .
chukamachine  +   689d ago
Consoles never made games easy.

HALFLIFE 2 is the easiest game I've ever played. Even on hard it's a breeze.

HL1 was the better game with worse graphics.
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