Does Difficulty Still Have a Place in Modern Video Games?

GameDynamo - "Today's breed of gamer is significantly different from 20 years ago. We have become a more varied and diverse species of human with different tastes and preferences. However, new traits are becoming the norm. Traits such as being unable to commit as much time to their favorite games, not being as dextrous, or simply not having interest in playing something that may be too difficult for them, instead giving up at the slightest roadblock."

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ironfist921921d ago

Give people a choice in difficulty.

Count1921d ago

Well, most games kind of have these.

I don't like games that are too easy or too hard. Too easy is boring and too hard is frustrating.

I like some kind of a middle ground.

Linsolv1921d ago

I disagree somewhat.

Most modern difficulty settings are naive, and that is part of what creates frustration.

In learning any new skill, most people don't just continue to do one thing as they get better. Guitarists don't get better at strumming chords, they learn to pick chords, or they go the rock route and learn more advanced fingering techniques like hammer-ons and such, or they learn to use a slide. Most games don't take this into account.

For example, take a game I'd pretty much praise in most ways, Skullgirls.

Skullgirls successfully implements a number of the advanced concepts in the larger Street Fighter scene, like cancels and such, but for some reason they designed a final boss that isn't just unfair (like most fighting game bosses) but actively ignores almost every element of advanced play. Instead, she's just got a ton of health, so the only way to get her down is to have a powerful rush, or a lot of patience.

And like I said--that's a game I'd praise, never mind Call of Duty or other games I would criticize heavily.

There are, of course, some games that do take scaling player skill rather well into account; Devil May Cry and the Souls series both actively encourage advanced tactics, for example. They're set up in such a way that when you start using advanced strategies, it not only gets easier because of the more effective strategy, but also because the encounters are designed to facilitate them.

Except the Gwyn fight, which was totally not set up to be that comically easy when you use parries.

Yodagamer1921d ago

Very few games get the difficulty choice right, goldeneye 007 (n64/wii) both had different objectives each one more difficult with the choices. Alot of games seem to just through more grenades or something cheap, that isn't difficulty it's just plain fustrations.

3-4-51921d ago

Far too many people think a Difficult game = a good game.

That couldn't be further from the truth.

Who wants to be mad and frustrated at a time when they are supposed to be having fun.

A Nice Mental sweat is always welcome, but games should never punish you.

caseh1921d ago

I grew up playing games in the 80's so I say yes. I don't play a game simply for entertainment, I want the challenge to go with it.

On the flip side, making game more accessible can only be done by making games easier.

Based on that giving the choice of difficulty from 'press start to complete the game' up to the extreme 'reflexes of a jedi' is the only way to go.

Please for the love of god, make tutorials optional or at least skippable.

bluetoto1921d ago (Edited 1921d ago )

As long as it's not done to falsely extend the game time and full of redundancy. Many Adults play games for entertainment as real life provides all the challenge needed for most adults.

If you're going to make it challenging then do it by having smarter A.I. and not just overpowered A.I. that's just meant to extend game time.

This isn't 1983 where only geeks played games because that's all they were good at. It's 2013 and most gamers want to play games to have fun, not as a way to validate their self-worth.

jackwei221921d ago

I feel many old school games were more unforgiving as when you die that is it you have to start all the way from beginning with no saves or checkpoints so you required a lot of skills, patience and be ready for rage quits that finishes at times with the cartridge and control pads thrown to the other side of the room.