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Are Games Getting Easier?

CmdrTaco posted more than 3 years ago | from the kids-these-days dept.

Wii 854

An anonymous reader writes "I can't help feeling that this generation of games for both consoles and PCs are getting increasingly dumbed down and easier to complete. There's no challenge in today's games, most of which can be completed on the day of purchase. Triple A titles such as Halo, Modern Warfare 2 are the worst of the lot. The whole reason for this article is Medal of Honor, this can be completed within hours of purchase. Where's the fun in that?"

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854 comments

*yawn* (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34028710)

Nothing is more lame than some game snob living in his parents basement who thinks he's hardcore because he's good at a video game.

Re:*yawn* (4, Funny)

khallow (566160) | more than 3 years ago | (#34028784)

I don't know. This Slashdot game is pretty hard. I still haven't made it past level 1 where I get dogpiled by FP trolls. And I've been playing since 2001.

Re:*yawn* (4, Funny)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#34029020)

Then play it in Lawrence of Arabia mode.

"The trick is not minding that it hurts."

Re:*yawn* (2, Interesting)

hesiod (111176) | more than 3 years ago | (#34029048)

The presentation was a bit trolly, but I agree with the sentiment 100%. The reason the guy can complete games so fast is because he's played so many of them. If you want more of a challenge and change, don't play the same type of over and over.

Where is the fun? (5, Insightful)

weachiod (1928554) | more than 3 years ago | (#34028716)

In multiplayer.

Re:Where is the fun? (5, Insightful)

jaymz666 (34050) | more than 3 years ago | (#34028774)

Yep, there's nothing more fun than being teabagged by some jerk who has no life or job so they spend 24/7 practising so they can feel their life has meaning when some wage slave logs on to go find some fun for a few hours.

Re:Where is the fun? (5, Insightful)

mark72005 (1233572) | more than 3 years ago | (#34028790)

This.

I hate how game companies today are shoving everyone toward online play - though I understand, because it frees them from having to... you know... create content for the game.

Some of us want to be able to play single player in exchange for our $60... it's not too much to ask.

Re:Where is the fun? (5, Interesting)

abigor (540274) | more than 3 years ago | (#34028954)

Fully agree. That said, you just have to pick your games: Assassin's Creed 2, Red Dead Redemption, GTA4 and many others offer extensive single player content. I love stuff like the Modern Warfare games, but I make sure to buy them used and cheap.

Re:Where is the fun? (5, Insightful)

Nemyst (1383049) | more than 3 years ago | (#34029032)

I wish I had mod points now. I'd often rather not have MP at all, for I barely ever do multiplayer. There isn't a whole lot of fun to getting shot at by people you don't know who'll rub it in your face in the typical well-mannered way a 14-year old can.

Re:Where is the fun? (5, Insightful)

AstrumPreliator (708436) | more than 3 years ago | (#34029046)

I don't know. My all time favorite multiplayer FPS is Starsiege: Tribes. It was only multiplayer and it was hard as hell to play. I was never one of the greats, or even really good but I always found it fun. Thing is the game is absolutely full of content. The multiplayer was amazingly complex for its day. Even though it had no multiplayer it was still seeped in Starsiege lore. You don't need to know any of it to play the game, but they did put a lot of time into it. So it's not like content and multiplayer are mutually exclusive.

Re:Where is the fun? (-1, Troll)

MichaelKristopeit 19 (1916668) | more than 3 years ago | (#34028850)

got it... jerks don't deserve fun.

why don't you make your own games?

Re:Where is the fun? (3, Insightful)

Desler (1608317) | more than 3 years ago | (#34028938)

got it... jerks don't deserve to ruin the fun of everyone else.

FTFY.

Re:Where is the fun? (-1, Troll)

MichaelKristopeit 19 (1916668) | more than 3 years ago | (#34029056)

got it... jerks don't deserve fun.

so... why don't you make your own games?

Re:Where is the fun? (2)

Desler (1608317) | more than 3 years ago | (#34029096)

Yes, you are correct. If what you consider to be "fun" is being a jerk and ruining everyone else's good time then you really need to evaluate your life. That and move out of your parents basement.

Re:Where is the fun? (4, Insightful)

Ephemeriis (315124) | more than 3 years ago | (#34029034)

got it... jerks don't deserve fun.

Sure they do. I'd just prefer it if their fun wasn't had at my expense.

why don't you make your own games?

Because I already have a job. I don't want to spend my few leisure hours trying to code up a video game. I want to relax and enjoy myself.

Re:Where is the fun? (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 3 years ago | (#34028862)

Find a better server.

Re:Where is the fun? (1)

Ephemeriis (315124) | more than 3 years ago | (#34029004)

Find a better server.

Right. Because after a 12+ hour day at work, when I'm trying to find a way to relax and let off some steam, what I really want to do is hop from one server to the next in the hopes that I'll find one that isn't full of jerks.

Re:Where is the fun? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34029146)

You should try to work less than 12 hours.

Re:Where is the fun? (1)

chocky (73857) | more than 3 years ago | (#34029026)

Find a better server~

FTFY

Re:Where is the fun? (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 3 years ago | (#34029076)

And you really have to max out your character or play the way you need to play to win. I'm having great fun now in Civilization V, it's funny to not go for a domination victory even though that's by far the easiest...

Re:Where is the fun? (2, Insightful)

Ephemeriis (315124) | more than 3 years ago | (#34029184)

Yep, there's nothing more fun than being teabagged by some jerk who has no life or job so they spend 24/7 practising so they can feel their life has meaning when some wage slave logs on to go find some fun for a few hours.

Indeed.

I used to have more time on my hands. I used to be able to play Unreal (pre-tournament!) for multiple hours a day. I got halfway-decent at it. It was fun.

But those days are long-gone. I don't have the time to get good enough at a modern multi-player title for it to actually be fun. If I log into something multi-player these days I just get my ass handed to me time and again. Usually while somebody mocks me. Not my idea of fun.

This wouldn't really be a problem if there was more single-player content out there. Seems like everyone prefers multi-player these days.

I can understand the appeal... You build just a few maps and your players can entertain themselves for hours. Saves you money. Makes you more money. Makes good sense from a business standpoint.

But I miss the days when I could pay $50 and get a good 50 hours or so of gameplay.

Yes, some RPGs still offer that kind longevity... And I do enjoy a good RPG... Had a lot of fun with Dragon Age...

And there's always MMOGs... They offer almost limitless gameplay, as long as you keep paying your subscription...

But I enjoy playing different types of games. And sometimes I really feel like a good shooter. Used to be you could get 50 hours out of a shooter. These days it's more like 10.

I suppose I could crank the difficulty up... Make it so hard that I'm dying every 5 minutes... That'd drag things out quite a bit longer... But that isn't exactly my idea of fun.

Re:Where is the fun? (2, Interesting)

kheldan (1460303) | more than 3 years ago | (#34028800)

Yes. This. Once upon a time multiplayer used to require being in the same room or building, connected via LAN (or MIDI, if you want to go back that far), but once the Internet became ubiquitous, that all changed. Why bother putting tons of money and effort into solo gameplay when multiplayer is so much more attractive to everyone?

Re:Where is the fun? (1)

stupidfoo (836212) | more than 3 years ago | (#34028888)

Connect via MIDI? Did you mean serial or parallel cables?

Re:Where is the fun? (3, Informative)

nonos (158469) | more than 3 years ago | (#34028936)

Serial midi, on the Atari ST

Re:Where is the fun? (1)

Hyppy (74366) | more than 3 years ago | (#34028896)

Connected via MIDI? As in... Musical Instrument Digital Interface? Unless you're just talking about a null-modem connection via RS-232 between serial ports, ya lost me.

Re:Where is the fun? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34028814)

Yes. It's mostly about multiplayer now. Trying to get the AI to be smart enough to really make a game fun, is in many ways much harder than allowing real players to fight it out - specially in FPS games. The challenge shifts from being a AI problem to largely a networking problem. And there's already a lot of experience in the industry to overcome networking challenges as compared to AI challenges. So I think moving the entire model to a multiplayer one kind of works in everyone's favor. It also allows the server owners to charge a fee downstream, to keep making recurring profits from the game. I bought COD for only single player gaming. And once I played multiplayer, I never went back to complete the single player mission.

Re:Where is the fun? (1)

SandwhichMaster (1044184) | more than 3 years ago | (#34029108)

In multiplayer.

Have you played the new Medal of Honor? If the fun is hiding in the multiplayer, I have yet to find it. The game's "difficulty" might have inspired this article, but really it should have been the game's "crappiness". $60 officially wasted.

Then don't . . . (1)

Mitchell314 (1576581) | more than 3 years ago | (#34028738)

. . . set the difficulty level to "I bruise like a banana." :P

Re:Then don't . . . (1)

hypergreatthing (254983) | more than 3 years ago | (#34028974)

That should secretly set the difficulty to "ultra hard mode" and enable the webcam. You'll have to publish the game out of a school district though, thus avoiding all legal responsibility for the pictures.

Sad git (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34028740)

Who, other than the bored teens, has time to sit down and play a game all day and evening in one session, just to "beat" it (probably on the easy level)?

Re:Sad git (1)

spire3661 (1038968) | more than 3 years ago | (#34029158)

People who have control over their time. Jealous?

More players = More money (5, Interesting)

Manos_Of_Fate (1092793) | more than 3 years ago | (#34028742)

It's a business decision, pure and simple. The more people your game is accessible to, the more copies you sell. Why spend a lot of time developing a game 5% of the potential market will want when you can spend the same effort appealing to the other 95%?

Re:More players = More money (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#34029094)

Lemma 1:

The more time it takes people to get through single-player, the longer it takes them to start playing multiplayer online.

Lemma 2:

The more effort you put into developing challenges in the single-player mode, the less effort you can put into making sure the environment and online security are solid.

Lemma 3:

The user community makes a deeper and richer challenge in online mode than you can possibly make in single-player mode.

Re:More players = More money (2, Insightful)

tbannist (230135) | more than 3 years ago | (#34029112)

Yes, it's a business decision, but I'm not sure you've got the reason correct. I don't think multiplayer appeals to more than 50% of the audience. However, multiplayer is trivially "sticky" which means by spending a little time adding multiplayer you can keep people who do buy your game playing longer and talking about your game for longer. If people are playing longer that means you have a longer sales window before used copies start seriously competing with new copies of the game. If people are talking about it for longer you sell more copies as well.

It's a very good strategy for companies like EA which produce very similar games year after year because it doesn't require much creativity to create new iterations.

We wanted it! (2, Insightful)

sznupi (719324) | more than 3 years ago | (#34029124)

Remember all those pains involved in having such ignored and even ridiculed way of spending time? How "games were only for kids", and only weird and awkward ones at that? How, if only the masses would really try, they would understand and like it?

Well, it happened. So now many games are made for them, not you. Deal with the consequences of what we wanted (this is extremely easy, considering huge numbers of great "hard" games made also now; even if limiting oneself to what's available, more than can be played in a lifetime)

Could it be... (1)

suman28 (558822) | more than 3 years ago | (#34028748)

The people playing the games might be getting faster as well? Kids as young as 5 years old are using computers. I couldn't remember getting my hands on a computer till I was 15. Kids these days are faster, better, but not necessarily smarter? according to all the other articles on /.

Re:Could it be... (1)

Paradigm_Complex (968558) | more than 3 years ago | (#34029118)

Not exactly, but close. It's easy enough to test: have the newer generation play the older games and newer games. If the trend TFA discusses was primarily a result of a difference in generations' skills, older games wouldn't seem any more difficult than newer games to the same people.

From what I've seen, younger gamers who grew up with games struggle just as much with the NES's Super Mario Brothers just as much as I did when I was there age, and they breeze through more modern titles the same way I do now.

One difference between the newer gamers and the old guard, from what I've seen: patience. Rather than spending months trying to get through Super Mario Brothers as the author in TFA did, it seems the newer generation would likely just get frustrated and give up and go play something else.

That's not to say today's youth have any more patience than yesterday's; rather, there's far more people gaming now than previous. This difference comes from the addition of what is often called ``casual gamers''. That catagory didn't exist as we know it now back in the wild west of the NES days.

There simply isn't as much money in difficult games as easy ones today. The NES's Battletoads wouldn't sell to the vast majority of today's audience.

Fucking turbo tunnel.

Difficulty Settings! (4, Interesting)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 3 years ago | (#34028750)

... Halo, Modern Warfare 2 are the worst of the lot. The whole reason for this article is Medal of Honor ...

I can't speak for Halo but I'm pretty sure MW2 had difficulty settings and I know Medal of Honor has difficulty settings because I played that piece of shit game last night. Easy and Normal maybe but I think that Difficult would take more than a couple tries on most levels.

You're just mad because it doesn't mean anything to beat a game anymore. Sure, on XBox you can get gamer points or achievements for beating it on the hardest setting but it bothers you that others can experience the same rewarding progress dopamine that you get. Well, that's never going to change. By the very nature of how that is rewarding to you is the fact that you're a select few of maybe ~10% of the population that can beat the game.

So Craptivision can either shutout some of their content to the vast majority of players or introduce difficulty settings so the toddler across the street can mash the controller in order to beat the game in easy mode. That drives profits and the only thing they see as a sacrifice is the rare super gamer that feels a bit miffed he or she just forked over $60 in order to autopilot through a game.

You know I still played through all the levels of difficulty in Goldeneye on the N64 and didn't feel cheated. When I ran that train level on 00-Agent difficulty night after night after night I can still think back to those rare times when I would laser the engineer room hatch open with my watch and then drop down with Natalya only to have to run down the length of the train with people shooting at our backs. One bullet in either of our backs and we were basically dead. That goddamn bitch always died. Always. I swear to Christ when I eventually passed that level it was by sheer bug alone that she did not die. So after that cruel Sisyphean task that my friend and I worked together strategizing and getting through it, I was rewarded and will never forget some of those levels.

Games are getting easier but I ask you what does it matter? You will have your difficulty settings (usually) so play only on the hardest setting and enjoy your Contra III style impossibilities [thebestpag...iverse.net] . The era of earning progress through a game has largely come to pass unless you look at the end game material of WoW at any one moment. Final Fantasy XIII was a travesty in this respect. And profit dictates it will stay that way.

Re:Difficulty Settings! (4, Informative)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 3 years ago | (#34028990)

Halo gives you the options to make the game incredibly difficult - not only are there the 4 difficulty settings but there's a whole slew of skulls you can activate to make things harder (Limitted Ammo, Enemies like to use grenades more often, and of course Iron mode (any death by you or a team mate if you are playing co op means you restart the whole level, no checkpoints).

So if he is complaining about Halo 3 or Reach not being difficult enough, I challenge him to legendary with all skulls on, and try beating that in anything less than 6 hours and I will bow down and call him the gamer king.

He is just reminiscing the days of difficult platformers where every moving object on the screen was trying to kill you, and one touch meant you were dead and lost a life, and you only got 3 to start.

Don't get me wrong, games ARE getting easier, but that's not a bad thing. When I first played the new Halo Reach - it was with a buddy of mine and we were trying it on Legendary, no skulls. We got about half way through in one night - and its only because we've played all the halos through since the DEMO of Halo 1 - so our skills in those games are rather refined. When I was playing the game for myself, I wanted to jump in on multiplayer as soon as possible, but I also wanted to finish the campaign, just for the storyline - I would do Legendary another time when I felt like the challenge. Being able to breeze through the campaign on easy was a good thing, like an added feature to the game. When a game is storyline driven, as most games try to be now-a-days, its not a bad thing to have an easy difficulty setting where you can progress the game more like a movie.

Re:Difficulty Settings! (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#34029100)

The default is not even limited ammo?

Yet, people wonder why those of us who remember goldeneye and before look down on halo.

Re:Difficulty Settings! (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 3 years ago | (#34028998)

Well, everyone knows that Halo on "Legendary" is a fucking walk in the park. That must explain why so many poseurs who call the game "easy" have never done it--because it's *so* easy that it would be an insult for them to even bother.

Re:Difficulty Settings! (1)

rwa2 (4391) | more than 3 years ago | (#34029066)

Yep, he's certainly playing the wrong kind of games.

Try getting through Left4Dead on Expert Realism. It's a whole different style of gameplay from even the Advanced setting. I can see why people these days might not have the patience for that sort of thing.

On the other end of the spectrum is the relentless advance of the multiplayer versus mode. I think it's notable because once you figure out the basic game mechanics, your success as a team actually has more to do with how well you coordinate than with your skill level. A good leader can actually talk a novice player to success even against a modestly competent opponent.

Online gaming (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34028754)

Those games typically are not geared towards single player. Online play is where it is at.

You're too good. (1)

callmebill (1917294) | more than 3 years ago | (#34028756)

Maybe the problem is that you're too good for such games. I suggest that you find an alternate form of entertainment.

RPG FTW (1)

Philomage (1851668) | more than 3 years ago | (#34028758)

This is why I don't play RTS or FPS.

They're being dumbed down too! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34028988)

Just look at WOW.

Hunters used to need to take care of ammo counts and bags.
Everyone needed wood to light a fire.
You used to need to spend time going somewhere in order to play a BG.
You used to need to spend time going somewhere to get in a dungeon instance.
Some spells/abilities were only available at certain trainers.
They've just dumbed down the whole stats and talenting system, so there will be even fewer cookie-cutter character builds.

Slowly, but surely, it's turning into another InstaFrag game where the RP is pointless.

Re:They're being dumbed down too! (1)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 3 years ago | (#34029166)

Hunters had a bag slot wasted, as did Warlocks and were the only class that had to spend money to kill. Oh and warlocks had to go farm mobs before a dungeon or raid so they could cast important spells. It was a great farking mechanic.

Wood? Fire? It was pointless when you could cook in any town or camp. Oh that buff from a camp fire was a make or break.

Yes, you have to go out to the middle of nowhere if you wanted to queue for a BG, and you had to commit to that BG. So like if AV had a 3 hour queue you just waited and waited and hoped it didn't crash you out when you zoned.

Again, it was awesome to travel all the way to Strath, or better yet Dire Maul and then find out someone dropped group.

Spells, abilities, professions are still only available at certain trainers, or are you that one guy who liked having weapon trainers spread across three cities?

All your points are things that needed to be fixed.

Re:They're being dumbed down too! (1)

supradave (623574) | more than 3 years ago | (#34029182)

I haven't paid my account for a few months now and I'm really debating to spend the money on Cataclysm. When I got my first dread steed at level 40 and then amount of money and time I had to spend and never got to get the level 60 dread steed, I was a bit torqued regarding the ability to get it after taking a few months off at that point.

If anything, Blizzard should have 2 modes, stupid-easy mode with all the new "wonderments" and regular mode with all the original requirements.

Re:RPG FTW (1)

BradleyUffner (103496) | more than 3 years ago | (#34029178)

This is creeping in to RPGs too, just look at games like Fable II. One button that "Does the right thing" for attacking, blocking, whatever. Plus no penalty for death... In fact, death actually helps you as it stuns all the enemies and knocks them away from you. It feels like you could practically win the game by just holding forward on the controller and tapping the same button once every second.

Easy or Stupidly Difficult (5, Funny)

VoiceInTheDesert (1613565) | more than 3 years ago | (#34028760)

It seems the way to make AI these days is to make it really stupid and easy for the player to beat, unless the player turns it on hard mode, in which case, they see you from 5 miles away and one-hit you before you were aware the map had finished loading.

Studios are under a lot of pressure to churn out games as fast as possible these days and AI is suffering. The solution to making games challenging is to make them either never miss and insta-kill the player or to just give them tons of health and attack power, but keep them stupid. Neither strategy is entertaining and it would be nice to have actual care put into building intelligent, challenging AI instead.

Re:Easy or Stupidly Difficult (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 3 years ago | (#34029144)

At least games today *HAVE* AI. Back in the day, the only AI that enemies had was "run directly towards the player shooting."

Failure (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34028762)

Somebody never played COD6 on Expert difficulty.

Profit! (4, Insightful)

aapold (753705) | more than 3 years ago | (#34028764)

Just like planned obsolescence in other products, there's less money to be made in something that will keep a customer challenged and occupied for months. Better to let them finish it quickly and back to purchase another game (or some DLC to extend it).

Re:Profit! (1)

Hyppy (74366) | more than 3 years ago | (#34028922)

Blizzard disagrees. I suppose MMOs would sort of fit into the "DLC to extend" category, though.

Nope. It is not the games. It is you. (-1, Flamebait)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | more than 3 years ago | (#34028770)

This is what happens when you don't have a life and play games all day. You reach a point where you complete all the games on the day of purchase and you are left despondently looking at the basement floor and begging mom for more money to buy more games.

The cure is simple, get a life.

Re:Nope. It is not the games. It is you. (1)

Shadow Wrought (586631) | more than 3 years ago | (#34028864)

I have a hard time believing you finished Halo on Legendary within a few hours. And, if you did, and everyone else is doing it, than you should be playing on XBox Live to get the challenge that the game is lacking for you. Matchup against similar players and you're good to go.

Re:Nope. It is not the games. It is you. (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 3 years ago | (#34028908)

Then how do you explain those of us who own their oen homes, have families go to sports event for the kids and still kick ass at games?

Re:Nope. It is not the games. It is you. (1)

swanzilla (1458281) | more than 3 years ago | (#34029128)

Then how do you explain those of us who own their oen homes, have families go to sports event for the kids and still kick ass at games?

Statistical outlier.

Demon's Souls (1)

Suiggy (1544213) | more than 3 years ago | (#34028780)

It's a breath of fresh air compared to the current crop of watered down games on today's consoles. It ushers in the rage inducing difficulty level that many of us grew up with as kids. If you haven't played it yet, you're in for a real treat.

Re:Demon's Souls (1)

Sumadartson (965043) | more than 3 years ago | (#34029036)

I concur! The hardest and best game out there at the moment. Atmostpheric, unbelievable replay value, requires tactics and planning and has an awesome online component. Some of the coolest bosses ever encountered in any video game. If you're bored with the current generation, get this game! I've clocked at least 100 hours and am still finding new ways of playing it.
Don't forget though;this is not an easy or forgiving game. One mistake and you're dead*. It only adds to the fun that dying makes your enemies stronger. Demon's souls fucking hates you.

Also, a sequel is already in the works, codename Project Dark.

* Especially when facing Flamelurker, The False King, Maneater, the group of crossbowmen and blue eyed knights at the end of 1-2 or, of course, the giant Depraved Ones. Or, for that matter, Penetrator, dual katana black skeletons, invading black phantoms, the reapers and BP Satsuki.

Re:Demon's Souls (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34029082)

There always were hard games for those that wanted them. Before it was Ninja Gaiden in its various incarnations, now it's Demon's Souls..

Burn the rope (1)

Fynnsky (1238708) | more than 3 years ago | (#34028786)

Before you even think about attempting this challenging game, remember, you have to burn the rope: http://www.newgrounds.com/portal/view/432872 [newgrounds.com]

Just play Soldner X on Impossible (1)

obarel (670863) | more than 3 years ago | (#34028788)

If you can finish it in a couple of hours, I salute you!

Think before you speak (1)

Caboose885 (1831582) | more than 3 years ago | (#34028802)

Halo is not easy. Try legendary on for size. I can't vouch for MW2 cause I don't play it but you need to think before you open your mouth and say such bullshit.

Re:Think before you speak (1)

stupidfoo (836212) | more than 3 years ago | (#34028838)

Indeed. Halo Reach on Legendary is quite difficult.

Completed? (1)

snookerhog (1835110) | more than 3 years ago | (#34028806)

depends on your definition of "completed", especially with multiplayer games. If all you care about is blowing through the single player story as quickly as possible, then you need to either come to grips with the fact that this is how you play or lower your expectations. Personally, I "completed" WC3 when the SC2 came out, many years later. I still liked playing it and it did not get old for me.

It's adult gamers (4, Insightful)

Derkec (463377) | more than 3 years ago | (#34028826)

Hey we're busy. We really don't necessarily all want to struggle with games. We want something fun, that's a little challenging that we can get through. 12 hours of content for 60 bucks? That's about even with a movie.

Personally, I gravitate to the games I can play over and over again, rather than big story games, but I get it.

And the games we do play a lot are usually more social these days. The author complains about a short story in Halo or Modern Warfare. Well duh. Most people are paying for the multiplayer experience which infinitely re playable. The single player parts are a sideline. Is a 5 hour single player worth the money there? No. But that's not what people are buying anyway. It's like complaining about hugely expensive veg and potatoes while ignoring the steak that came alongside.

Non-car-analogy detected (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34029142)

I am trying really hard....

So....its like buying an expensive car and complaining about the cheap steak?

Or was the car supposed to have been made of steak?

Oh wait, maybe this is it. The glovebox cooks steak, but the steak is just mediocre quality and doesn't include potatos, so you feel like you paid too much for the car.

Right?

Hate the mind numbing "Boss Battles" (4, Insightful)

cruff (171569) | more than 3 years ago | (#34028830)

I really enjoy games with interesting puzzles and goals, until I get to those damn boss battles at the end of a segment. Who finds that any fun after the second time around? Really, do I need to die 30 times before I manage to hang on long enough to get past it?

Never so easy as... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34028832)

No matter how easy games get, none will come close to the ease of "winning" Monty Python's Quest for the Holy Grail...

http://www.amazon.com/Python-Mac-OSX-Classic-System-7-1/dp/B000067O93/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=videogames&qid=1288122104&sr=8-2

Which games? (3, Insightful)

geekoid (135745) | more than 3 years ago | (#34028836)

and what do you mean by easier?

The time to complete something it's a good indicator of whether or not a game is harder.

I played Might and magic and it took 100 hours to complete. Does spending 40 minutes killing 10000 skeletons by hitting the same two keys hard?

More gamers have lives (2, Insightful)

Byzantine (85549) | more than 3 years ago | (#34028842)

If games are getting easier, I think you need look no further for the reason than the rising average age of the gamer demographic. When I was in college, I could spend six hours a day for a week on games if I wanted to. Now I have a job and a family, and I might have an hour a day in which I could play games—but probably not. On those rare occasions I do play something, well, it wouldn't be very exciting to play for an hour and just make it through the tutorial.

Shorter games are better for busy people.

Funny thing... (1)

Slutticus (1237534) | more than 3 years ago | (#34028846)

...I fired up Super Mario Brothers 3 for the first time in years last night, and I almost broke my TV from an angrily tossed controller. I only made it to level 2-3. And I had 20 lives.
Yes, absolutely games are getting easier. The only truly difficult game i've played lately is Halo 3 on Legendary mode; but that's BS because you have the option to complete the game at a much easier setting. Not true of SMB3 for sure! Kids these days have it easy.
now GTFOML!

No Possibility Huh... (1)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 3 years ago | (#34028848)

No possibility, huh, that you might just be a better game player now than in the past? Can't give yourself a pat on the back there?

The problem is that if games continually get harder as time goes by, new players to computer games overall will never be able to complete them and quit buying them out of frustration.

If games are too easy then experienced players will quit buying them. Game makers will see the trend and increase the challenge.

Or you could just overclock your PS3..

Der what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34028860)

Um, on Legendary Halo Reach is MURDEROUS. With skulls on it can get even crazier. And I hear there is an unlockable difficulty above legendary. Don't come whining to me just becuase game developers have finally started to realize that continually frusteraiting your players by fickle jump puzzles is poor game design.

Re:Der what? (1)

Slutticus (1237534) | more than 3 years ago | (#34029040)

Yes, but you can always play through on a much easier level. The point is: it wasn't like that before.
I can see both sides of it: On one hand you can pick the difficulty you're comfortable with and that can make a game more accessible to people but on the other hand.....there is something satisfying about beating one of those old-school games that you just don't get with the modern ones....I can't place it....but it is some kind of satisfaction knowing that not everyone can do what you just did (where as my wife could probably complete halo reach on the easiest setting.probably)

I'm a linux user, and I'm gay. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34028880)

Debian is my distro of choice.

I'm not sure... (5, Funny)

brian0918 (638904) | more than 3 years ago | (#34028884)

I'm not sure - I haven't played a new game in years. Still working on Myst. I hope to have it completed by 2015, and then I'll move on to Riven. I may just finish this series before I die...

Indie Games (2, Insightful)

rakuen (1230808) | more than 3 years ago | (#34028902)

The main developers are making somewhat easier games (with difficulty settings) because that's the way the market works. If you make every game require the same level of memorization, reflexes, and skill as Battletoads, a large portion of people are going to stop buying your games pretty quickly. They're a business, they have to make money, so no surprise here that they try to cater to the larger demographic.

There are, however, independent developers who are still making difficult games. They don't have to answer to the bottom-line so much. Some of them even do it for fun. If you want a difficult challenge, go looking around for IWBTG and its ilk. Theyr'e not hard to find, and they won't cost you anything, except perhaps the keyboard you broke in half.

Everything was better in my day (3, Insightful)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 3 years ago | (#34028914)

When I was young, everything was better. Today, everything is worse.

Sincerely,
Every Generation Since the Dawn of Time.

It is me or... (1)

Syberz (1170343) | more than 3 years ago | (#34028920)

Is it me or is there a story on here about how games are too easy or not long enough every couple of weeks or so?

Go back a few years and people were complaining of how difficult and frustration games were (to this day I haven't beaten Mega Man, the first one with the horrible box art).

This is a cycle, we're just in the "easy-peasy" part of it, the difficulty will come back, just like leggings... *shudder* Speaking of which, spandex is a privilege, not a right!

those are Multilayer games. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34028926)

The games listed in the summary are multilayer games and are dick hard to get all the unlock-ables in them. The single player is just a little bonus and should not be heavily considered when talking about these games.

They want to be like the movie industry (1)

rvr777 (1082819) | more than 3 years ago | (#34028930)

That is because some game company want to turn games in something similar to Hollywood. They only care to make spetacular-looking games, but without paying TOO much attention to the history behind it. And they turn this games into blockbusters. Medal of Honor sells for U$ 59.99 and you can complete in just a few hours. Sure, if you are planning on playing it online everyday, it is worth it. But must people I know, don't do this. And it gets worse when the game doesn't even have a multiplayer mode. Pay 60 bucks for some hours of entertainment? Sounds expensive.

Well... (1)

AstrumPreliator (708436) | more than 3 years ago | (#34028944)

Well the focus has shifted from single player to multiplayer quite a lot in the last decade or so. Single play has been getting easier and shorter for mainstream blockbuster titles, but they tend to focus on multiplayer. I did enjoyed the new Medal of Honor single player even with it being very short, they did screw up majorly on multiplayer though. Even games which are heavily focused on single player have been getting shorter, like the episodic releases of Half-Life 2. I'd give them a break but the reason they did episodic releases was shorter games, at quicker intervals. They got the first part down I suppose...

If you want something that's hard as nails then try I Wanna Be The Guy. It's not an FPS with amazing graphics or anything, but you'll be playing that for a long time. You can also try going back to some of the classic FPS single player games like System Shock 2. It's not like they have somehow gotten worse.

Demon's Souls (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34028948)

i take it the original poster hasn't played Demon's Souls yet

Well... (1)

Jaysyn (203771) | more than 3 years ago | (#34028958)

Well if you guys keep buying them, they'll keep making them!!

Money is fun (1)

Kenoli (934612) | more than 3 years ago | (#34028984)

I imagine catering to a less skilled but broader audience translates into higher sales. It's all about numbers, you know.

Also, it seems that people are increasingly willing to buy watered down shit, ignoring quality and focusing on theme. I'm looking at you, sports games.

Beating hard games doesn't make you a badass. (2, Insightful)

B Nesson (1153483) | more than 3 years ago | (#34028986)

I played through Mass Effect 2 on normal, and felt like a badass by the end, because in Mass Effect 2, you play a badass. You go up against impossible odds and save the human race.

Some of my friends played through Mass Effect 2 on Insane difficulty, and felt like badasses by the end, because they had done something hard.

Neither of these things actually makes you a badass, though. One is just pretending in a story, and one is just developing proficiency at a game. The difference is, I don't have any illusions about how badass I actually am.

Games are easier because games have changed (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34029006)

In oldschool games, you had gameplay, and nothing more. The gameplay and the challenge were the entire point.
Games today try to be a cinematic experience. You spend 10 minutes trekking through a stage to get to a boss, you dont want to die and then have to play through all that again. Why not? Because its boring as hell to play through again. It's like getting to a good point in a movie and then rewinding to watch some boring bit that you just watched 3 times already. As long as games are long, drawn out experiences, you just dont have that "one more try" feeling that oldschool games used to keep you playing over and over.

There are no new games? (1)

hawguy (1600213) | more than 3 years ago | (#34029008)

I'm not a gamer, and I know I'll get royally flamed for this, but my theory is that there are no new games -- there are a handful of unique games styles and everything else is a variant of those styles with different eye candy pasted on. Faster computers and better graphics cards just enable better eye candy (and maybe better game physics), not better games.

I've got my flame retardant suit donned, so flame on!

console vs PC difficulty (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34029010)

Yes. And if even a *little* difficulty is put into a game, such as Dragon Age (*), all the console kiddies will bitch that it's too hard (even though their console version was already dumbed down from the PC version!). Then, you have auto-aim on console FPSs, and other kinds of dumbing down.

(*) DA was easy compared to oldschool games, but harder than a lot of people were used to these days.

It also doesn't help that developers mistake "assload of health in enemies" for "difficulty". These are not the same thing.

Maybe you should branch out (1)

aztektum (170569) | more than 3 years ago | (#34029054)

"Games" are getting easier and the only examples he offers are 3 recent FPS games. FPS games have never offered much in the way of what I'd consider to be difficult, engaging gameplay.

ROI (5, Informative)

Ryvar (122400) | more than 3 years ago | (#34029074)

(All opinions expressed herein may not reflect the views of my employer, and in fact we try to avoid falling into this trap but it's a pretty prevalent attitude in the industry right now):

I work as a game designer on big-budget shooters for a living, so here's my take:

Game companies are consciously making the decision to do this for two reasons:
1) Easier games have broader markets, by increasing the likelihood and rate at which the user receives validation we increase sales, and much more importantly:

2) It's unusual for more than 50% of the people who beat the first level of your game to beat the last level. Money spent on later levels is generally money wasted, and shortening the experience altogether is a function of the increasing development cost per hour of gameplay and ROI of even having more than 10 hours of content at all. If 95% of the people who bought the game complete the first level (as tracked by developers through achievement systems) but only, say, 35-40% finish the game, that necessarily influences how you invest your limited development funds.

--Ryv

Agreed. (1)

lunatic1969 (1010175) | more than 3 years ago | (#34029086)

Meh. These multiplayer shoot-em-ups don't do it for me anymore. They don't offer anything different. We might as well all still be playing Half Life - and frankly that'd probably be more fun anyway (Mods, Maps, etc). I'm hugely disappointed with what's available in the game market, especially on the console. Give me something different. Give me a story that grabs my attention. Give me something that makes me think. I mean, actually THINK. I think some developers think that's the same thing as having the patience to simply put up with the game....

A Rather Terrible Analogy, There (4, Insightful)

damn_registrars (1103043) | more than 3 years ago | (#34029102)

From the article:

Imagine if Tiger Woods just gave up the first time he swung a golf club because he didnt get a hole in one? What if Michael Jordan gave up because he couldnt dunk straight away? Both Golf and Basketball are games just like any other game, you play because its fun and in time you learn to play better and improve.

Well, if Tiger Woods had to play his first ever game of golf against Jack Nicklaus, he probably would have been so frustrated with the experience that he might have considered not bothering. That is how multiplayer (your favorite FPS here) is for many people. That is exactly why I only played the first Quake for about an hour - and the rest of the series not at all. People who are new to the games end up in multiplayer games against people who play it 16 hours a day and hence find themselves annihilated faster than they can even figure out which button opens a door and which button changes weapons.

People aren't giving up games quickly because they are hard - more often they are giving up because there is no point in trying to compete when there are no new players around. It would be as it there was no such thing as amateur boxing, everyone had to get started by fighting Mike Tyson; many people wouldn't even consider it out of fear of immediate death.

Easier, more entertaining, or are you older? (2, Insightful)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 3 years ago | (#34029104)

Games are certainly getting easier if you define it as "I can beat it."

Back in the early console days, I only ever beat maybe one in ten of the games, "beating" meaning that I got to the end credits. PC games were a different story because you could save the game state. With sheer endurance, you could make it to the end.

Older games didn't have much going for them but the play mechanics themselves and they could be fiendishly difficult and completely unforgiving. "Twitch gaming" is not a recent development.

So yeah, through sheer endurance, you can beat most games out these days. The question is whether you can maintain enough interest to bother.

The thing I've noticed as I've gotten older is that it takes a greater effort and more originality to pique my interest. I have no tolerance for annoying play mechanics, derivative designs, and rehashes of games I've already played.

I've been a fan of RTS games for a long time but nothing kills my interest in a game more than seeing something five or ten times shinier than the last RTS I played with AI and pathfinding every bit as awful as the last one.

I say good. (1)

DrEldarion (114072) | more than 3 years ago | (#34029116)

Back in the day, companies had to make games hard in order to get any sort of play time out of them. Contra, for instance, is brutally hard, but once you get good at it, you can make it through the game in under a half hour. Nowadays, the focus is on the content itself - I'd much rather play even a very-short 5 hours of storyline and progress than 5 hours of dying repeatedly until I memorize the exact location of every enemy on a level.

Of course, all this is moot anyway because almost all of these games offer higher difficulty levels or multiplayer modes.

um did anyone read the blog first? (1)

greymond (539980) | more than 3 years ago | (#34029132)

The first paragraph complains about FPS that are easy to complete in "4 hours", but then the post goes on to compare that against games like Zelda Ocarina of Time, a RPG...

Let me break things down for those who have not grasped this concept:

FPS: First Person Shooters (ie: Halo, MoA, etc) have typically "short" single player campaigns because the games typically have a lot of replay value in that after you "finish" the game you spend the majority of your time going head to head with others online, or at home, or on different modes co-op.

RPG: Role Playing Games (ie: Zelda, DragonAge, etc) have typically 80-120 hours of game play story because typically once you beat them you never play them again. Granted, you may play the game again "later", like I played FF: Tactics when I was in high school and when it was released on the PSP I got a copy to play again.

The fun in that is (1)

baadfood (690464) | more than 3 years ago | (#34029138)

Game developers used to ask players what they wanted, and players asked for more, harder, content. Then the internet was invented, and consoles got online games. And developers got to measure the gap between what players said they did, and what they actually did. And game developers found that the more, harder, content was mostly ignored, and actually the majority of players gave up on content longer than a few hours, and stuck to easy mode. Because thats where the fun is.

PVZ Endless (1)

omnibit (1737004) | more than 3 years ago | (#34029172)

Plants v Zombies, hardly an old game, has a survival mode that can potentially go on forever, getting more difficult with each turn.

That should appeal to your penchant for difficult gaming.

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