ArsTechnica: Every game should copy Death Stranding’s “Very Easy Mode”

Fiery Phoenix

Member
Oct 26, 2017
2,324
Link

An interesting column. This paragraph especially caught my attention:

Games, on the other hand, are the only major artistic medium that routinely requires the audience to prove they're "good enough" before they can experience the entirety of the work. Plenty of game-makers seem perfectly content completely stopping players from even trying levels 5 through 25 until they've finished level 4."
Give me a very easy mod if already posted.
 
Nov 3, 2017
3,530
There's plenty of music and movies that if you're not smart enough to get the artistic expression you won't get the full enjoyment of it, I don't really see why this is any different

There should be one for accessibility by default but acting like this is a videogames only thing is shortsighted
 

discotrigger

Member
Oct 25, 2017
268
I would say that books require you to be good enough at reading to experience the entirety of the work. It's not a perfect comparison, but literacy is not as widespread as you might think. I don't think authors should be pressured into rewriting their books for people with low reading comprehension, such as young children. Likewise, I don't think game developers need to consider unskilled or inexperienced players if they don't want to.

Personally, I think it would be great if more games didn't have an easy mode in the first place and focused more on creating an enriching experience. I'm all for accessibility, but not in the form of removing any significant challenges or obstacles. Those are often essential to the experience itself. If the story is married to the gameplay progress in significant ways and the game designer wants the story to be earned, I don't think you should feel entitled to that story just for buying the game.

Of course, if a game designer like Kojima wants people who aren't into games to enjoy the story, that's perfectly fine, too. But we should not be expecting game designers to do this, and I personally think it would represent a step backwards for the medium.
 
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Jubbe

Member
Oct 27, 2017
3,440
With the quote you have posted, I don't see why this needs to be seen as a negative as oppose to something unique that can be celebrated about games.

I'm not saying games need to be difficult, but difficulty is an artistic decision that only game creators have at their disposal.
 

daninthemix

Member
Nov 2, 2017
1,545
Game developers can do what they want vis a vis difficulty settings.

And if I disagree with what they want, I'll use Cheat Engine / Trainers to rewrite the matrix as I see fit.
 

anexanhume

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,716
A movie reaching its conclusion is not contingent on the viewers’ comprehension. That being said, I struggle to think of a case where a game’s worth is inherently devalued by lowering the difficulty of its mechanics.
 

Son Lamar

Avenger
Oct 27, 2017
3,032
Alabama
There's plenty of music and movies that if you're not smart enough to get the artistic expression you won't get the full enjoyment of it, I don't really see why this is any different

There should be one for accessibility by default but acting like this is a videogames only thing is shortsighted
Yea I got a friend who just doesn't seem to grasp nuance at all its either all or none with him he's def like that with some movies, wouldnt say he's not smart just idk lol
 

Piston

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,680
Nintendo has been implementing assist modes or something similar since around New Super Mario Bros. Wii.

Edit: Wow, they actually mention that specific game.
 

Synth

Member
Oct 26, 2017
1,790
There's plenty of music and movies that if you're not smart enough to get the artistic expression you won't get the full enjoyment of it, I don't really see why this is any different

There should be one for accessibility by default but acting like this is a videogames only thing is shortsighted
There's a significant difference between not getting the full appreciation of say a movie or book, and that movie or book not letting you see past the opening chapter because of it. Many people can completely miss the intended point of a movie and be completely unaware of that and have that end up their favourite movie regardless.
 

Neiteio

Member
Oct 25, 2017
9,518
I think Very Easy modes — or modes where the game practically plays itself — are fine. I just think it might be a good idea for the game to tell you at the start what the "intended" setting is. That way, if someone plays Very Easy and doesn't find the game engaging, at least they will know that, hey, if they tried a higher difficulty, maybe they'd see how riveting the game can be.

But yeah, I think there's definitely merit to a Very Easy mode. I'm sure there are people who would find Bloodborne's world and art and atmosphere to be engaging, but it's a struggle for them to get down the first street in Yharnam. I don't see what benefit is it to anyone to lock them out just because they don't have the skill or time. As long as they know that the "intended" experience is the default difficulty, no harm in them dialing it down.
 

Procheno

Member
Nov 14, 2018
1,648
Every game should respect the intellect and dedication of the player has to the game to maximize the effectiveness of personal accomplishment and treat them like a thinking individual who respects the medium

See I can make generalizing headlines too. Some games are different than others and require different choices and experiences
 

kirbyfan407

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,611
The quoted paragraph reminds me of what Nintendo has done with their Mario games (which the article mentions).

Have details of Death Stranding's Very Easy mode been provided?

Personally, I tend to play games on the easier difficulties, but then sometimes I play others at default (or am forced into it like at the end of Astral Chain) and am fine. The option is very nice to have. I feel like it is a trend in gaming to increasingly add these modes.
 

Starlatine

Member
Oct 28, 2017
10,872
I'm not seeing anything done different by DS that other very easy or casual modes havent done before that they need to copy this one, at least from reading this article? Maybe i missed it.

Nintendo in particular is making games accessible for both interested in stories and gameplay even for their most "hardcore" series for quite a while (regardless of how bad the stories are cough awakening and fates).
 
Nov 23, 2017
3,222
Oh my word, I am shocked that a video game is designed so level 5 comes after level 4 or is harder in any way. How dare they????

I even agree with the overall point but some of these arguments are terrible.
 

itchi

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,087
Every game should allow you to increase the subtitle size and have a colorblind mode but they don't
 

NoName999

Member
Oct 29, 2017
3,651
Gamers complaining about hand holding for years but when Kojima likes it, suddenly it's "genius" and "innovative" and "why isn't every game doing it"

What the hell?
 

Rosebud

Member
Apr 16, 2018
5,003
There's plenty of music and movies that if you're not smart enough to get the artistic expression you won't get the full enjoyment of it, I don't really see why this is any different

There should be one for accessibility by default but acting like this is a videogames only thing is shortsighted
You can listen to any music and watch any movie to the end. There is not a test in the middle of the film to prove you are understanding the message.

In games there's no way at all, unless you cheat.
 

Plum

The Fallen
May 31, 2018
7,155
Why is this article coming out now? Games have had 'very easy' difficulty options for ages and some have even had modes where the game literally plays itself. What is Death Stranding doing that hasn't been done by games like NieR Automata (and now Astral Chain), Super Mario Galaxy 2, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, etc?
 

Miles Davis

Alt account
Banned
Jun 22, 2019
802
Link

An interesting column. This paragraph especially caught my attention:



Give me a very easy mod if already posted.
Well he is not quite right there as high-end literature will not be parsed by random children lol. Sure you can watch the pages I guess. A lot of work requires something from the person viewing such work. Games I get it do deserve some super easy modes. Thing is games have been doing this for a bit now. Super easy on your random adventure game is piss easy stuff folks.
 

k0decraft

Member
Oct 27, 2017
785
Earth
Platinum Games has done this for awhile now in their games. Easy Automatic Mode. It's actually a fun casual experience. This is of course after you tasted a real challenge in the other modes.
 

coldcrush

Member
Jun 11, 2018
119
This is an absolutely great idea. Gamers have constantly shown that if they want a challenge they will seek it out and activate a hard mode if they want. It is simply not a reality that giving people easy modes they will then automatically select that and ''ruin the game''. Especially in a game with a more cinematic story , if the team can (within scope of development time) support very easy modes then this unlocks the game to a huge number of new players whom through differing accessibility needs may want a very easy play through. This is not exclusive to people whom have these needs, it could be someone with no impairments and just doesn't want to be locked out of experiencing a games story due to the difficulty, someone very new to gaming, an elderly relative etc. I am a huge fan of Microsoft saying ''when everybody plays we all win'
I think we all should not be so elitist when it comes to difficulty. Sure provide an extra tough mode for those that want it, but also if at all possible provide the inverse.
 

-COOLIO-

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,150
and i still disagree. it's up to the devs. sometimes the difficulty and the fact that not everyone can beat the game is a part of the larger the experience. yes, even for single player story driven games.
 

Trickstah

Member
Sep 16, 2018
194
No...

If an easier difficulty changes the way the game is meant to be enjoyed and experienced how the director envisioned it, then it should not have a Very Easy Mode.

Not every game is meant for every single person out there.
 

Dyle

The Fallen
Oct 25, 2017
8,419
Wisconsin
Games, on the other hand, are the only major artistic medium that routinely requires the audience to prove they're "good enough" before they can experience the entirety of the work.
I hate this sentiment, it's so ignorant of the history of art, where every single medium has had in the past or currently has some form of gatekeeping on the basis of expertise or knowledge. The idea that art should be accessible to all is good as an aspirational statement but it should not ever be seen as indicative of past or current trends in art consumption
 

sora87

Member
Oct 27, 2017
3,992
Of course. The hardcore lose literally nothing if other people have more options to play the game.
They complete the game on the ultra brutal difficulty, others can complete it on easy mode.