View Full Version : Are Video Games getting easier to beat?

Miss Doronjo
June 3rd, 2013, 6:09 AM
Mind you, this is just from an article that I read, but, I'd love to hear some opinions on the matter. Are video games getting easier, and easier than before? For isntance, from what the article I've read about, take a look at the video games from a couple of years ago. Some of them don't have that extensive 'tutorial' from the first moments of the game, so, you'd basically have to figure out everything yourself if you didn't have a manual. But, that's only one opinion.

But what do you think - do you think video games nowadays (like the ones on the Wii U, the Xbox 360, the PS3, the 3ds etc.) are much easier to beat than the video games before (like the ones on the NES, the Genisis, etc).

Feel free to post all thoughts~

June 3rd, 2013, 6:35 AM
I don't think so, that appreciation is due to many factors. Its true some games are very easy, but that doesn't mean that in general the games in our days are more easy. That perception is for this factors:

1. Complexity of controls : Each generation have controls more complicated, that is predecesor. If we think in the atari, it have just a handle and one button. After with the family and other consoles have four buttons, after six, and so on. Nowadays, some controls like the xbox have 3 handles, four frontal buttons and 4 in the sides, thats means more options to move.

2. More actions for chars. In the first games the moves you can make with your character are very simple, like just jump or jump high, but in the most newest games there are many actions, like cover, order other characters a determine action, jump, change of weapon in the moment, make special moves.

This two points explain in certain way the more extensive tutorial that exist in the nowadays games.

3. Increased casual gamers: Before, the games were almost alone for hardcore gamers, but in the recent years, the casual gamers represents for the industry a juicy market. But a casual gamer doesn't like to reach level 100 in one game just to beat a superboss.

In this cases, it's true that there are some games that are more easy like the games of years ago.

4. Decision of the player.: Some games left the decision of the difficult of the game to the player, that way, he can choose between different levels of difficult. A example of this is Resident Evil 4 that bring 3 or four level of difficult; or God of War with his high level of difficult that is insane, and his challenges of the gods.

In conclusion, even though there are many easy games in the industry, that doesn't mean the actual games are more each time more easy, because now we have a good challenger games.


June 13th, 2013, 7:22 PM
yea the games are dumbed down for this generation.

June 13th, 2013, 9:46 PM
Exceptions are still vast in number, but among major releases yes. Simple, immediately intuitive games sell better, and so here we are. The industry seems to want to accomodate everyone; the notion of a player failing at a game simply because they're bad at it is no longer considered acceptable, it seems.

June 14th, 2013, 6:12 AM
I do notice a lot of newer games are taking out a lot of the frustrations that older games offered. "Dying" in older games usually meant a trip back to the beginning. Meaning it wasted time. Retro fan gamers know most of all that old games weren't about progression, they were mostly about high scores and/or time attacks. xD This type of gaming is alive and well though, thanks to Independent Game Developers! The library of these types of games will only increase.

People nowadays don't like wasted time since we all are pressed for it! >_< I do think a lot of newer games over do it on tutorials though. I miss figuring out things on my own or reading the manual instead of watching the game play itself or go into heavy detail about features of the game (Ni No Kuni really overdid it).

(I mostly play RPGs, so yes, most of my feedback here is related to those. :) )

I'm sure people notice that many newer games are adding 2-3 difficulty modes. They are usually calling the "Normal Mode" as "Hard mode", to hide the fact that it is really the "Easy Mode" and is actually the dumbed down mode. ^ ^; The "Insane", "Nightmare", or "Lunatic" modes are usually the REAL "Hard Modes". No point in making a game frustrating to lesser patient (or skilled) and time pressed players. However I do tire of the illusion of a challenge increase when all they do is double the enemies stats and hp. That isn't challenge, that's just more grinding.

At least game devs are TRYING to cater (Fire Emblem devs I praise you for your boldness!) to more types of players though, and realize that not every gamer is "hardcore". I'm in the middle area myself here. I usually prefer to play a game for how it was meant to originally be played aka "Normal Mode" with no shortcuts, tricks, or handicaps. I rarely have time for New Game+ or re-runs through a game, because there is just too many games I have lined up to play next! xD

TL;DR: Some are, and some aren't. ^ ^

June 14th, 2013, 9:26 AM
Well, as has already been mentioned, a lot of games nowadays give you the option to choose which difficulty you want to play on, which is most likely part of the reason, since people usually choose something like normal during their first playthroughs, but then again, there are harder difficulties, so it's not really fair to call them easy unless you've tried those difficulties. But the fact is, they didn't have that back in the day, so games were usually just hard by default.

The main reason though, is most likely due to the fact, that they made their games hard on purpose to make the games last longer. Games usually weren't that long back in the early days of gaming, most likely due to the limitations of the hardware and less knowledge about programming, so to fill in the lack of content, they made the games super difficult, so that it'd take much longer to finish the games. Combine that with the awful controls a lot of games had, and voila! You get a frustratingly hard but long game :p Today, most games are usually (relatively) easy by default, because the harder difficulty isn't needed for the games to be of a decent length anymore. Also, more and more people have started trying out video games over the past few years, so the easier difficulties appeal to a lot of those newer players as well.

June 14th, 2013, 6:59 PM
Exceptions are still vast in number, but among major releases yes. Simple, immediately intuitive games sell better, and so here we are. The industry seems to want to accomodate everyone; the notion of a player failing at a game simply because they're bad at it is no longer considered acceptable, it seems.

Case in point - Compare the difficulty level of games like Devil May Cry 3: Dante's Awakening and DmC: Devil May Cry (the fifth installment). Try playing both the games in their default difficulty setting. There's a huge difference between the two. Former is considered one of the most difficult games of all time and latter is playable by most people who haven't ever touched a controller in their lives. DMC3's DMD, the hardest difficulty setting, is a nightmare to play. I still haven't completed it to this day. While DmC's is, quite frankly, meek in comparison.

DmC is still a great game, though. Just saying.

June 14th, 2013, 9:28 PM
I don't know, there's still some difficulty found in games out there, but it usually doesn't have anything to do with beating it. I know of some difficult Achievements... Pure Survival Mode for Dead Space 3, beat WaW on Veteran, Mile High Club in CoD4, Seriously 3.0 in Gears of War 3 and the single hardest Achievement ever is in G.R.A.W. called World Champion where you have to be at the top of leaderboard.

Mr. X
June 14th, 2013, 10:38 PM
It varies from game to game, but a lot of it is because a person is good at that specific type of game.

Even though a game may introduce new mechanics in it's next release, people who have played its predecessor a lot will find the new game a lot easier - Mainly since they know a lot of the basics already.

This issue is more prevalent though with the mass of copy & paste games - Games with the exact same mechanics, but slightly different graphics and a different story (see: the CoD series and FPS games in general).

Anyway, even though a lot of games are diffrient, each specific genre of game does have similarities between each of them.

June 15th, 2013, 1:02 PM
well i think the reason people are thinking like this is because that the old games like tetris were endless so it was kinda impossible to win. personally i think thats not the case since controls are getting more complex with each passing generation and plots are getting deeper which makes it a more realistic experience with more potions to choose from.

June 15th, 2013, 7:12 PM
I personally find a lot of games a lot easier than they used to be. Most often big name titles seem to take far less time to complete. I normally go straight onto the hardest difficulty and even then I find most of the time I'm not very challenged by them.

DmC the latest one I had a lot of fun playing with their harder modes as that really was extreme and took a lot of effort, has to be the most challenging game I have played in a very long time but that was due more to the whole dieing in 1 hit difficulty. But sure was fun.

June 16th, 2013, 2:00 AM
It's probably the expanding amount of players. They have to cater for all age groups now, since more kids are playing those games that are centred around an older audience (those silly 10 year olds playing Call of Duty...)

June 16th, 2013, 2:31 AM
I think one reason for 'easier' games is the movement to online/competitive play.

If the focus of a game is really to get you online and playing there, then the main story should be fairly easy to manage.

I can't really think of any direct comparisons to assess whether games are 'easier' though.

June 16th, 2013, 3:15 AM
Yes, games are getting easier & that's why (compared to older games):

1. More Flexible Movement: in old games controlling the main char was a bit difficult, mainly due to how primitive game programming was, also the absence of analog sticks and the only alternative was a stiff joystick like the Atari one making games harder & requiring more practice thus somewhat narrowing the audience to hardcore gamers (gamers who invest time to practice & succeed in a game), but now that game programming advanced up & there's smooth analog sticks & more button it's easier for casual gamers & even little children to play games nowadays.

2. Better Graphics: in the early attempts in making 3D games, graphics were poor that you couldn't clearly distinguish between elements in the game such as enemies, backgrounds & items, nowadays graphics got more realistic resulting in an easier vision & also more audience, as people like playing realistic-looking games, especially on HD screens.

3. General Gaming Knowledge: most of us know how to play a side-scrolling adventure game, or a 3D shooter, or a top-view RPG, that's because as games become more available & people play more & more, they get to know the "basics" of every genre of games, like how all of us got a good grip of Pokemon Games now since we played many of the games & even replayed some.

That was my personal opinion, I agree to many of the posts above but I thought I should only post what I think.

Purple Materia
June 16th, 2013, 3:16 AM
I think games becoming easier is a byproduct of gaming becoming mainstream.

Devs need to keep the attention of their players. If the player gets frustrated, they'll most likely stop playing. Either that, or there's more emphasis put on multiplayer, thus putting the single player game to the background, while the team focuses on making a more polished multiplayer.

My two cents.

June 16th, 2013, 3:34 AM
A lot of the older games that stick out in my mind that were difficult, were mostly difficult because their action was continuous and instead of complex mechanics you faced time and mechanics that got faster and faster, making you rely on reflexes and quick thinking alone.

A lot of games today are slowed down, giving you time before you make your next move. This is why games like Fire Emblem are not hard even at the highest difficulty to people who take time to strategize. This is also why the hardest levels on Donkey Kong Country Returns were the rocket and mine cart levels, which were as hard as any retro game really.

What I'm saying is in most retro games, your actual opponents were your reflexes, memory, critical thinking, and how you managed the pressure and stress caused by the ever increasing speed of the game. It was pretty much PvP against yourself.

Most games these days are slowed down to allow immersion and such. In fact, in Skyward Swords hero mode the most difficult thing was getting the motion sensing to work. Most of my failures there were due to my remote becoming unresponsive.

There are still some very difficult games, mostly online PvP- even Pokemons PvP! I guess what I mean is games are only difficult when they challenge the qualities (reactions, pressure managment etc) I listed above, and become as easy as you want it to be when they allow the player to dictate the pace.

Idk thats just my opinion. I've played Fire Emblem so much that games are only difficult when you can't determine the pace or when you're up against other players. So my view might make zero sense.

Lt. Col. Fantastic
July 2nd, 2013, 11:14 AM
A lot of games nowadays are geared for PvP more than PvE, like SwiftSign said. Call of Duty PvP is pretty hard (given the right opponent), and the story mode is more of an add-on for you to do when the internet goes down really. The focus on competitve PvP has left development of a difficult engine below parr by many games. Still, the focus on PvP isnt a bad thing, just different.

Then there are games that still focus on a challenging engine, like Demon's Souls and Dark Souls. PvP in those games is often criticized for being broken, but I believe that is simply because so much focus on offline play was put into the game.

Also as others have stated, more complex moves and combos make gameplay more about strategy than reflexes, which for most people makes games much easier (I mean come on, Ghost and Goblins had zero strategy, but it still kicked most peoples asses.) There are still difficult game out there, just most of them are only difficult when playing against another player.