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God of War creator (David Scott Jaffe) criticizes the high difficulty of games like Metroid Dread, Kena and Returnal

fermcr

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Mar 24, 2017
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... ”Kena, Metroid, Returnal; all leading the way towards super challenging games. Maybe it’s the NES generation becoming designers, but I HATE THIS. And it is not a question of age; I NEVER liked it, but it wasn’t that rampant. It’s as if the developers want to alienate players
"Quoting his own words, Jaffe believes that the high difficulty of some current games is pushing the players away, and that almost seems to be done on purpose. Do you agree with their opinion?..."

https://planetsmarts.com/2021/10/12...f-games-like-metroid-dread-kena-and-returnal/

 

FingerBang

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Jan 17, 2020
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Is this another "I hate David Jaffe" stealth thread? Cause people here seem to never get enough of this guy

I disagree with him, we get so few challenging games every year, they're welcome. Give me more.
I don't get the entitlement. The game is not for you. I don't complain that hip hop should have more guitars, I don't listen to it.
 
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DelireMan7

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If you enjoy playing a "hard/challenging" games, is it really hard (or masochism as some like to use this hyperbole)?

I think not :)

"Hard/challenging" is very subjective, for me Mario games are the hardest I could play since I hate platforming and the franchise.
 
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Black_Stride

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Mar 31, 2011
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Couldn’t agree more. I’m more for games being accessible to everyone. Imagine if something like Gran Turismo didn’t have driving aids and only simulation settings for example, I wouldn’t buy it.

And thats fine too.

Not every game is for every player.
And yes while you might say all games should be accessible a designers vision whether popular or not should really be what makes it to print, players will vote with their wallets and designers will temper their expectations.
If a game designer wants to challenge players and thats what they really care about then let them do that.
 

Hugare

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Sep 8, 2019
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I agree

Not offering options due to budget restrictions is understandable.

But saying your game "should only be experienced on Hard mode" makes my eyes roll.

Thats like Christopher Nolan saying that Tenet should only be seen on IMAX, or someone saying that some music can only be listened to on FLAC format.

Art is subjective so let people experience it how they want it.
 
Sep 6, 2021
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Wait...why is Kena being mentioned alongside Returnal?
I know Returnal is not for me because i'm not in the mood to be playing a game where i'm dying every second right now...but is Kena like that too?

If so it might be the type of game i'm not buying any time soon. Weird because i didn't get that vibe from it and i was really interested in buying the game.
 

ACESHIGH

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May 16, 2020
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I agree with him. Indie devs don't have the finesse to come up with fair difficulty systems. They seem to drink the git gud Kool aid way too much. Can't speak for returnal though, heard it has a terrible save system.

Not a fan of the install Boogeyman mechanic either from Metroid dread. It just kills the flow of the game in my opinion.
 

nowhat

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Sep 18, 2017
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Wait...why is Kena being mentioned alongside Returnal?
I know Returnal is not for me because i'm not in the mood to be playing a game where i'm dying every second right now...but is Kena like that too?
I'd say it's more challenging than what you'd expect by looking at the cartoony art style. But there are difficulty options unlike in Returnal.
 

Calverz

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Metroid isn’t that hard. Returnal isn’t even that hard. Wtf is he talking about?? These games just require patience and learning of patterns.
QWOP or something like that is hard. And deliberately so.
 

sncvsrtoip

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Jul 18, 2019
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I agree

Not offering options due to budget restrictions is understandable.

But saying your game "should only be experienced on Hard mode" makes my eyes roll.

Thats like Christopher Nolan saying that Tenet should only be seen on IMAX, or someone saying that some music can only be listened to on FLAC format.

Art is subjective so let people experience it how they want it.
or its just admitting that game is lacking in some departments and only thing that has to offer is very demanding difficulty level that's of course always gives satisfaction when overcomed
 

TheCockatrice

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Poor soy boy.


Tobey Maguire Reaction GIF
 

Hawks Eclipse

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I agree

Not offering options due to budget restrictions is understandable.

But saying your game "should only be experienced on Hard mode" makes my eyes roll.

Thats like Christopher Nolan saying that Tenet should only be seen on IMAX, or someone saying that some music can only be listened to on FLAC format.

Art is subjective so let people experience it how they want it.
Can you provide 2-3 concrete examples of the bolded?

Cause I feel like it's either a strawman or an uncharitable interpretation of what devs/PR might have conveyed before.
 

Ellery

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There are like 1000-1500 games releasing each year and 5 to 10 of them are somewhat difficult and maybe "too" difficult for the people that are used to play on story mode difficulty or being used to be held by their hand through games.

I absolutely see no issue with some games requiring a tiny bit of effort to overcome challenges.

And there is always Pokemon Snap and youtube Let's Play if you struggle really hard.
 

DelireMan7

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May 22, 2019
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I agree

Not offering options due to budget restrictions is understandable.

But saying your game "should only be experienced on Hard mode" makes my eyes roll.

Thats like Christopher Nolan saying that Tenet should only be seen on IMAX, or someone saying that some music can only be listened to on FLAC format.

Art is subjective so let people experience it how they want it.
I think your comparison is completely unfair.
You mentioned movies and music with different display option. The equivalent for gaming would be screen choice for example. Difficulty is not a display option.
Games with no difficulty option is a dev choice that affect the whole "art".
It would be like "I don't like Jazz music, I would prefer it with heavy drums and electric riff." or "I don't like action movie, I would prefer them with more love story inside and less action".
It wouldn't make sense since you will alter the "art" so much that it would be a different one from the initial one.

You can not like certain type of music, you can not like certain type movie as you can not like certain type of games.

Honestly I don't even get why this debate mainly pop for video games.
 

Swift_Star

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Sep 5, 2021
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There are like 1000-1500 games releasing each year and 5 to 10 of them are somewhat difficult and maybe "too" difficult for the people that are used to play on story mode difficulty or being used to be held by their hand through games.

I absolutely see no issue with some games requiring a tiny bit of effort to overcome challenges.

And there is always Pokemon Snap and youtube Let's Play if you struggle really hard.
It's not easy to make a challenging and engaging game. Most of the time, challenging games become boring and a chore to play. It's really hard to make it right.
 

Sander Cohen

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Returnal would never be so special if it had difficulty options. The fact you’re stuck with difficulty that devs prepared for you makes these games memorable and stand out from the rest. The most egregious ones are those that offer you to change difficulty on the fly without giving you any rewards for playing on higher difficulty, trivializing all sense of achievement. I’ll try to avoid such games in the future. Maybe I’m old school but beside good graphics and story, I also like to be challenged in my games, movie business already exists, games should stick to being games.
 

Rudius

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I played Returnal and completed it with a shared copy of the game. I liked the game but found it to difficult and frustrating. I would not have bought it myself.

I don't want challenging games because it's just fake challenge and a fake feeling of accomplishment, but in reality it's just a waste of my limited time.
 

xrnzaaas

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Wait, so Kena is actually a hard game? I didn't see any big complaints on the Internet about its difficulty.
 

Kabelly

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Metroid Dread is not that hard. Why do people equate dying a couple times to an enemy to extreme challenge. I guess he's just used to GOW combat where you can just mow everything down without a thought.
 

Punished Miku

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I think it's a real disservice to what Metroid Dread accomplished to lump it in with these other games. Kena has extremely unbalanced difficulty spikes, enemies that lock onto you and track you with attacks and large hitboxes, a parry that is awkwardly slow after you miss, and tons of additional add-on enemies that shoot explosives at you while fighting bosses (so they blow up and hit you even if you dodge it as long as you're near it). The rest of the game mechanically and thematically is much easier and doesn't really prepare you. The game works fine but comes across incredibly uneven; even according to some of its largest fans.

Returnal is a roguelike with power-ups that hurt you as much as they help. The game looks difficult for sure, but any game that relies on random drops and forces you to start over any time you die is just an entirely different thing. Personally, I am not a fan of the recent roguelike trend and feel like it wastes people's time grinding over the same content instead of making an action game where you advance through new content the entire time.

Metroid Dread is a supremely polished game focusing on clarity and fairness in every element of the bosses and enemy design. You can literally beat every single boss without being hit, but they're so clever and well made that you have to use your brain to observe and think through a plan. The exploration is so well paced that I almost never got lost, despite the map looking so complex that it's genuinely intimidating. It's the kind of game that was polished and replayed and fine tuned by the developers for five years, just tuning it and tweaking it over and over until it's pretty much perfect.

They're not at all the same thing.
 

CeeJay

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I agree

Not offering options due to budget restrictions is understandable.

But saying your game "should only be experienced on Hard mode" makes my eyes roll.

Thats like Christopher Nolan saying that Tenet should only be seen on IMAX, or someone saying that some music can only be listened to on FLAC format.

Art is subjective so let people experience it how they want it.
It's perfectly within the artists right to tell you how they want you to experience the art that they have created. It's very common to go to an art gallery and have to follow various different rules for a piece such as only one person at a time through an installation or having to wear headphones that are playing specific sounds. If an artist has a specific vision and wants the viewers to experience their work in a specific way to try and put them into a certain state of mind then that's perfectly acceptable in my view.

If the developers only want to include a hard mode then that's upto them, it's their right as an artist.
 

JimmyRustler

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Wait, so Kena is actually a hard game? I didn't see any big complaints on the Internet about its difficulty.
Bosses are quite rough. Just look at the trophy boards. Hardest difficulty is super hard - and I mean in an unfair way, not in a challenging way.
 
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Hugare

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Can you provide 2-3 concrete examples of the bolded?

Cause I feel like it's either a strawman or an uncharitable interpretation of what devs/PR might have conveyed before.
Really, dude?


Every fucking time a new From game is released we have this discussion

I think your comparison is completely unfair.
You mentioned movies and music with different display option. The equivalent for gaming would be screen choice for example. Difficulty is not a display option.
Games with no difficulty option is a dev choice that affect the whole "art".
It would be like "I don't like Jazz music, I would prefer it with heavy drums and electric riff." or "I don't like action movie, I would prefer them with more love story inside and less action".
It wouldn't make sense since you will alter the "art" so much that it would be a different one from the initial one.

You can not like certain type of music, you can not like certain type movie as you can not like certain type of games.

Honestly I don't even get why this debate mainly pop for video games.
I know a person that watches Netflix shows at 1.5x speed. Definitely not the way it was intended to be seen.

But this person has watched all of the +4 seasons of the show and loved it.

This doesnt hurt the viewing experience for other people, so why the hell not?

Gaming is an interactive media, so things get even more subjective.

I may finish Mario Odyssey only using basic jumping and collecting the required moons. Other person may finish it using the whole set of movements and habilities and collecting all moons.

Both enjoyed the game in their own way

Let people choose how to play your game

Look how many people would have enjoyed Returnal WAY more with a saving system.

How many people would have replayed Bloodborne with an easy mode just to breeze through and see all that art again.
 
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Men_in_Boxes

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Jaffe is only wrong in that there's some kind of "march towards super difficult games."

Kena, Returnal, and Metroid aren't big sellers.

If there's a march towards anything it's towards lowering the skill floor of games to grab a wider audience.

Animal Crossing New Horizons is on it's way to 50 million copies sold. Kena, Returnal, and Metroid combined won't crack 10 million.
 

Bragr

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Depends on the game, Returnal is built around it and it works fine, Metroid has a really good balance I thought, but Kena has issues, the combat becomes tedious when you have to rinse and repeat those last 2 bosses, it hurts the game.

Sure, it's the influence from From Software, but this is also a response to how fucking ABSURDLY handholding games have been for the last 2 decades.

That said, it can be exhausting to play hard games over and over, the trial and error style is tiresome in the long run, there is a point where it becomes too much.
 

DelireMan7

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I know a person that watches Netflix shows at 1.5x speed. Definitely not the way it was intended to be seen.

But this person has watched all of the +4 seasons of the show and loved it.

This doesnt hurt the viewing experience for other people, so why the hell not?

But again the content of the show was not changed. So it's not the same thing.
I may finish Mario Odyssey only using basic jumping and collecting the required moons. Other person may finish it using the whole set of movements and habilities and collecting all moons.
Yes some people play games some way and some people other ways. Also some people don't play some game. I am allergic to platforming so I don't play Mario Odyssesy (or any other) despite hearing everybody saying it's a masterpiece. Should I ask that they remove the platforming from it that I can enjoy it too ? Or just I don't play it because I don't like this kind of game ?
Look how many people would have enjoyed Returnal WAY more with a saving system.
I haven't play Returnal and I am not sure about the "saving system" but it's a roguelike... which is a type of game where you lose kind of everything when you die so altering that mechanics would change the genre of the game so will turn into a different game.
 
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Jan 20, 2018
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I didn't find Dread to be super hard, it's not peace of cake but not something extremely hard.
IMO I like games that are more difficult than mainstream. Harder difficulty make me enjoy the game more.
Also are Souls games impossible for him to play then? Did he played Diablo 2? 😂
 
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