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Wii Games

Are Games Getting Easier? 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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Are Games Getting Easier?

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

    by nonos ( 158469 ) on Tuesday October 26, 2010 @03:51PM (#34028936)

    Serial midi, on the Atari ST

  • by Monkeedude1212 ( 1560403 ) on Tuesday October 26, 2010 @03:55PM (#34028990) Journal

    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.

  • ROI (Score:5, Informative)

    by Ryvar ( 122400 ) on Tuesday October 26, 2010 @03:59PM (#34029074) Homepage

    (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.


  • Re:Where is the fun? (Score:5, Informative)

    by nschubach ( 922175 ) on Tuesday October 26, 2010 @04:20PM (#34029452) Journal

    I don't mind multiplayer. In fact, I encourage it... but I don't do PVP. Most people equate multiplayer to competitive and that's where I think multiplayer gaming gains a big red "x" for some people. What we need to do is encourage developers to develop a storyline and allow jump-in cooperation from people you approve.

    Personally I feel like MP games need to break a bit from the linearity of single player gaming (and I know people will disagree with me on this.) I'd love to be completing storyline missions in one town and let my friend go off and sell loot from our last mission or whatever they like (even if it's breaking form the party and exploring that cave over there.)

    I spend most of my time investigating the cooperative aspects of games so that I can log in and play with friends and complete objectives.

    I don't have nearly as much fun in games when it's just me.

  • by flitty ( 981864 ) on Tuesday October 26, 2010 @04:26PM (#34029564)
    And there are "hard" games out there. Just last week, Super Meat Boy came out, which is by no means easy. Yes, it has individual levels to beat, so no nintendo style restarting from the beginning, but that's for the better.

    Seriously, if someone is so nostalgic for old school game difficulty, go play those games. They are still there, they still work, and I'm sure you didn't play all of them. Go beat Ghosts n' Goblins twice.
  • Re:Where is the fun? (Score:4, Informative)

    by Late Adopter ( 1492849 ) on Tuesday October 26, 2010 @04:31PM (#34029652)
    Left 4 Dead is a great casual online multiplayer title. It's co-op for starters, which neutralizes a lot of the experience factor. It's also great if you know the people you're playing with (for those of us with jobs, it's easier to pop online for an hour or two after work), but it's not necessary, and even random strangers make a MUCH better experience than playing offline with bots.

    For local splitscreen gaming on the Xbox, the Gears of War series is pretty good. Also Madden, if you're into that sort of thing.
  • Re:Where is the fun? (Score:5, Informative)

    by vlm ( 69642 ) on Tuesday October 26, 2010 @04:32PM (#34029674)

    In the days before RS-232 we had current loop, which was basically the same idea, but used "current flow"/"no current flow" instead of RS-232 +15V/-15V to signal zeros and ones.

    MIDI 1.0 is a current loop serial port that runs at a bizarre baud rate 31250 bps. Yet it uses a nice standard async protocol of 8N1 just like a serial port.

    Depending on the peculiar non-standardness of your serial port, it might, with minimal hacking, be made to work MIDI.

    Take a UART chip, add a RS-232 level shifter like a MAX-232 or those ancient 1489 1488 level shifters, add a DB-25 and you've got a RS-232 port. Take the same UART chip, add some optoisolators and resistors, wire to a 5 pin DIN jack, and you're got a MIDI port. Not as different as you'd think. The software is a bit different of course.

    Or working the other way around, on the Atari ST, the MIDI ports could be connected in a "MIDI null modem"-ish cable, and you could play multiplayer games, although I never owned a ST.

  • Re:Where is the fun? (Score:5, Informative)

    by PopeRatzo ( 965947 ) * on Tuesday October 26, 2010 @04:59PM (#34030166) Journal

    What a coincidence..thats how I like my women!

    You mean because they give you extensive single-player content?

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

    by blahplusplus ( 757119 ) on Tuesday October 26, 2010 @05:34PM (#34030746)

    "How do I get better? Just walk around and hopefully someone misses so I can fire my weapon once?"

    This is exactly what is wrong with gaming, nobody wants to put in any effort to practice getting better.

    The whole point of _competitive_ multiplayer is to compete you only get better by playing people better then yourselves. The same way you build muscle by lifting weights until exhaustion.

    Back in the quake days everyone got their ass handed to them and we found this FUN and together on private servers with skillful people you get better.

    That's the only way to get better at games, gamers these days want a win button, and to that I say "Fuck that", if you don't like competitive multiplayer games then don't play them. Why should a developer have to dumb down FPS games for people who don't like the competitive aspect at all? I mean why not just play single player against bots on easy if you are so hard up? Seriously.

    The whole point of fun is challenge.

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

    by SuricouRaven ( 1897204 ) on Tuesday October 26, 2010 @05:34PM (#34030756)
    Most RS-232 ports today don't operate at the +-15V of the specification, for reasons of power consumption. +-5V is very common, and you'll find some that are 0V/5V. As RS-232 is designed to accept just about anything (To allow for attenuation on very long cable runs), this works fine on short cable runs. But it does mean that your common PC serial port isn't capable of driving long cables, like a true RS-232 would be.

    Note 'long' cables. As opposed to 'really long' cables, for which you want RS-232's long-range cousin, rs-422.
  • Re:Where is the fun? (Score:4, Informative)

    by SuricouRaven ( 1897204 ) on Tuesday October 26, 2010 @05:39PM (#34030834)
    Making the AI good isn't the problem. The problem is making it fun. In an FPS game, a bot could crush you with ease. They could spot you in a single frame, instantly point the sniper rifle and get a perfect headshot. The difficult part isn't simply making the AI smart, but making it realistically stupid - have it feel like an actual opponent, with imperfect aim, reaction time and poor decisions.

    Though in some genres... in RTSs, simply making an AI that could beat the player fairly is a very difficult task. To make the games challenging at all the AI usually needs to be given huge advantages like a pre-built base or infinite resources, which just makes the player feel incredibly annoyed when they realise the difficulty is artificial.
  • Re:Where is the fun? (Score:4, Informative)

    by BobMcD ( 601576 ) on Tuesday October 26, 2010 @05:49PM (#34031004)

    Except for the fact there is a difference between simply losing and being told you suck repeatedly from people who have no life other than the game.

    The problem is, unless you are part of the "community" and can devote a lot of time to a game, you aren't going to have fun because the majority of people online are assholes.

    There is a line between simply being bad at a game and 14 year old kids cursing you out because you can't devote 8 hours a day to the game.

    This is essential. In the MMO context, at least in WoW with their random dungeon finder thingy, the difference in these types of people is striking. Take these two examples where someone notices you're 'doing it wrong', they can:

    A) Whisper you discretely with either a short tip or an offer to answer any questions you may have...


    B) Declare to the world how greatly you suck, enjoy a laugh at your expense, and vote to kick you from the group...

    FPS games seem dominated by the latter, but the former is very rare in any setting.

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

    by shutdown -p now ( 807394 ) on Tuesday October 26, 2010 @07:10PM (#34032178) Journal

    Cooperative and/or single-player games are getting harder to find.

    Au contraire, there seems to be quite a revival of co-op lately - Left 4 Dead, Borderlands...

  • UFO: Enemy Unknown (Score:3, Informative)

    by Terrasque ( 796014 ) on Wednesday October 27, 2010 @04:51AM (#34035374) Homepage Journal

    I played UFO: Enemy Unknown quite a bit when I was a young lad. I remembered the game as being pretty hard.

    So, I got the chance to play it again. I laughed a bit at remembering it being "hard", and figured it would be piss easy now.
    If it was hard when I was 12 years old and had no clue what I was doing, it should be easy when I'm 25 and have gamed quite a lost these last 10 years..

    Ok, so I load it up, getting filled by nostalgia, shoot down my first UFO, and go out to pick up the remains. Ship land, first turn. This time, the bastards won't know what hit'em :)
    Send first man out, first step outside the ship, a shot comes from nowhere, dead man. Next man out, same. After third man, the invisible shooter is out of time / ammo (yay), so I run down with man 4.

    He sees an alien with the back to me. A-ha! Revenge time! I order my man to open fire, three shot burst. First miss by a country mile, second hit within the same screen at least, third hits the alien. I cheer! Alien, unhurt, turns around and guns my man down with one shot.

    I managed to clean it up (was only 2 aliens), but with massive losses. Second mission goes better, but cost of replacing soldiers and equipment have me at almost-broke already. Third mission. First round, my first team member carefully poke his head outside. Right outside stands a little grey dude with a rocket launcher. He fires. All but 2 of my team is dead instantly.

    Yes, that game IS hard. For those that say earlier games only seemed harder because we were younger then, go play some of them. Some of those you had to fight nail and teeth for every step! The developers took pride in giving you a challenge (sometimes to the extreme), and winning actually meant something. And that was why they were so damn fun, too.

I've got a bad feeling about this.