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

Hunnybun

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It'll be a much bigger shame if each and every game should be piss easy just so everyone could play them.

Nobody is talking about making the games easier, just an easy option *for those who want it*.

It's really not a difficult concept to understand. What I don't understand is why it would hurt some people to think more people are able to enjoy a given game. Because, on the face of it, that kind of attitude tends to make someone look like a bastard.
 
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Danjin44

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Nobody is talking about making the games easier, just an easy option *for those who want it*.

It's really not a difficult concept to understand. What I don't understand is why it would hurt some people to think more people are able to enjoy a given game. Because, on the face of it, that kind of attitude tends to make someone look like a bastard.
Its devs choice if they want add the "option" or not, just like any other media not everything meant for everyone.
 

HF2014

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I wouldn't mind it actually (no I'm not a Übergamer), it would make the game nice and tense, and there are plenty of save points around, more than usual for a 2D Metroid in fact. I can see how it would make some throw their hands up in resignation and exclaim 'fuck this' though.
Lol. I think i would have not finish it. 😂
 

RoboFu

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Nobody is talking about making the games easier, just an easy option *for those who want it*.

It's really not a difficult concept to understand. What I don't understand is why it would hurt some people to think more people are able to enjoy a given game. Because, on the face of it, that kind of attitude tends to make someone look like a bastard.
It’s not a hard game in the first place and if there is an easy option everyone would play that instead just taking a few mins to figure things out. Win buttons are not the answer. They take so much away from a rewarding experience.
 

rofif

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It'll be a much bigger shame if each and every game should be piss easy just so everyone could play them.
Not everyone plays games just for a challange. Sure, dark souls are my fav games but I do not play them exactly for difficulty.
I play because it's fun, satisfying , immersive and so on.
And when I replay games like Half Life 2, I do it on normal. There is no challange there for me and I love these games
 
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Xenon

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Not a big fan of the false argument that if a game designed for some players is in turn excluding others. Too many companies are throwing a wide net with middling results while games that challenge players in a focused genre have done really well.

Also rarity in games is a major carrot for gamers. Many games use in game items and random loot to provide that thrill. I would say making a game where progress and accomplishment itself is rare due to difficulty is a valid technique. Hell it's even more pure considering what gaming has always been about.

Does that mean that people on social media can't share in that moment, sure. But that's OK. Not everything is for you.
 
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To me it is how modern developers make difficulty, which is basically stripping away the power fantasy. For instance, in darksouls, the controls are unresponsive and your character feels slow, lethargic and clumsy. In destiny the enemies become bullet sponges and your abilities do little to no damage. Compare that to older shooters where you still could drop enemies in a couple of shots. Id rather drop the health regen of modern day shooters and feel like a bad ass.
 
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skit_data

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Instead of creating a very boring and short LTTP I’ll just post here instead because its related to the subject:

Damn! The original God of War is hard at times! I don’t remember it being this hard the first time around. I tried playing it on normal but the QTEs are horrible. I died several times to the hydra because you need to press circle like a 100 times within a very short timeframe!

And don’t get me started on the sex minigame, its really hard as well! I didn’t even manage to beat it in GoW 3! Might be because my old Dualshock 3 controllers are so old and don’t register all presses of the buttons/analog sticks.

It’s easily harder than most games nowadays. My thumbs are all sore.

In summary: The QTEs in the first GoW games are hard. Like, really unforgiving. I know what to do but its physically painful to mash that circle button. Yeez.

Still great games though, I’m in Athens now and kicking ass. The PS3 God of War Collection has them sweet trophies that I lost when creating a new PSN account. Gonna replay the trilogy and GoW 2018 again before Ragnarök.
 
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jason10mm

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I don't mind hard games so long as they A. respect my time WRT save points/reloading after failure, B. mitigate difficulty through a reasonable amount of grinding (I like how you COULD win BOTW almost from the get go via player skill over in game levelling), and C. don't employ "cheating" where the game alters the rules on you.
 

WitchHunter

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Nobody is talking about making the games easier, just an easy option *for those who want it*.

It's really not a difficult concept to understand. What I don't understand is why it would hurt some people to think more people are able to enjoy a given game. Because, on the face of it, that kind of attitude tends to make someone look like a bastard.
We are living in totally fucked up times where EVERYONE want to be ANYONE WITHOUT ANY EFFORT. Well, fuck your culture.

I WANT TO BE A QUANTUM PHYSICIST WHY IS THIS TOPIC SO HARD TO UNDERSTAND?
I WANT TO BE A RACE DRIVER, HOW COME I SNAPPED MY NECK IN A 6G TURN WITHOUT PROPER TRAINING?
I WANT TO BE A SHOTOKAN BLACK BELT MASTER. I BOUGHT A BLACK BELT AND WENT TO A DOJO TO BE FUCKED UP REAAAAL GOOOOD. WHY?

You people don't want to understand that a game is like a child. You, the developer is the parent, and decide how to bring up that child. And no matter how hard you fucking cry, it won't have a difficulty setting if the parents don't want it. Until, of course, the troll army is deployed...

Also:

multiple difficulty setting takes a lot of time to balance out
 
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Dr Kaneda

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I don't mind "hard" but at least add an alternative if it gets too much.. There should always be options....
I agree. But the problem with difficulty options is that it's usually always obvious which setting the game was designed around. It's rare to find a game that's designed to scale well with difficulty options.
 

Sean Mirrsen

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I agree. But the problem with difficulty options is that it's usually always obvious which setting the game was designed around. It's rare to find a game that's designed to scale well with difficulty options.
I would argue that Super Robot Taisen, the series of turn-based strategy mecha games (specifically on the GBA, where I knew them best), got it right. Or at least got the right idea of it. And while it has difficulty levels, they are not something you choose. The game starts you on regular difficulty, and then gives you difficult optional challenges to overcome. If you keep overcoming those challenges, the game changes to Hard mode. If you keep failing them, it changes to Easy mode. And while the change in challenge is more or less entirely numeric (more or less enemies, more or less health on them), what also changes is the rewards you get - hard more gets you new characters, new machines, unique equipment, it all slightly alters your approach to the game, letting you overcome those higher challenges if you can use the tools you're given. In easy mode, some games also give out unique alternative rewards, but when it happens it is more to give the player a helping hand, allow them to survive to the end of the game (or beat some of those optional objectives and transition to normal difficulty).

The key aspect, I think, and what makes it different to traditional dynamic difficulty, is that it's not moment-to-moment. In order to stay in Hard mode, you have to keep getting those mastery points, keep beating those optional challenges. And in order to get to the extra-hard 'true' final ending, you have to keep yourself in Hard mode through the whole game.

I don't know if this system is something that could be applied to other game genres, but I don't think it's impossible. After all, there's no fairer way to treat "hard" mode than to make the player keep proving that they're worth it, and most games - at least, linear ones - could implement it. And rewarding the greater effort without completely locking out the easier path from completing the normal story, I think is also a fair way to do it.
 
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And don’t get me started on the sex minigame, its really hard as well!
Oh Yeah Snl GIF by Saturday Night Live
 

Hobbygaming

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I agree with Returnal... with Metroid and Kena is about become better and overcome the challenge... Returnal too but it needs also being lucky with the drops and not rely solely on the player skill.


Beated Kena and Metroid... and died several times on Returnal last boss and gived up on having a good drop run.
Give Returnal another try. If you get the Electropylon Driver gun it melts through enemies with ease including the last boss
 
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bender

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Metroid is a weird a one. Even though I died a bunch, I don't really consider it a hard game. It punishes your mistakes as most things hit extremely hard and is heavily reliant on pattern recognition. You could probably levy the pattern recognition against just about any game but it is really in the forefront for the boss encounters in Metroid. It often reminded me of learning a Cuphead boss but I often found myself more annoyed.
 

Melter

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Metroid Dread isn’t even that hard. Sure it’s not a cakewalk on normal difficulty like 90% of all other games coming out nowadays but by no means would I call it hard.
 
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Exoil

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What in the actual fuck? I played Kena. I replayed Kena. I'm not a super gamer, I barely got through Demons Soul unscathed.
Kena? I had to replay the bosses a couple of times to learn their patterns. You don't have to be able to beat a game without dying a single time, what the fuck is wrong with people now a days?

And this Jaffe asshole? I remember having a more difficult time beating GOW when it released than with the games he's talking about now. Is he trolling me? What's up with this? I don't understand, can someone explain to me what's going on? Is he trolling us?
 

Exoil

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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.
I had to replay a mission in Far Cry 6 more than I had to replay the final two bosses in Kena. That oughta tell you how "hard" the bosses in Kena are.

Play, die, learn the pattern and succeed, as the games used to be back in the days.
 
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And this Jaffe asshole? I remember having a more difficult time beating GOW when it released than with the games he's talking about now. Is he trolling me? What's up with this? I don't understand, can someone explain to me what's going on? Is he trolling us?
It could be just a move to get him into the discussion again, but I think he is serious.
 

Lognor

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The sequel!
That's amazing. He said there were so many different rooms your could go into but they were all blocked off! He still didn't admit he was wrong though. Wow.

At that point the game was still very linear so to me it made perfect sense that you had to go somewhere in that room.
 

Bragr

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I had to replay a mission in Far Cry 6 more than I had to replay the final two bosses in Kena. That oughta tell you how "hard" the bosses in Kena are.

Play, die, learn the pattern and succeed, as the games used to be back in the days.
But by that logic everything is easy, it's the "learn the pattern" process that's the hard part, mostly because it gets boring if it's not well-tuned. And Kena's bosses are mediocre in design, there is a lot of little bullshit about them that makes them boring quickly. Kena's last boss is a very hard boss. Games back in the day weren't hard because it was quality design, it was hard because it was the culture of the time and mostly 2D games.
 

tr1p1ex

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NES was a brutal era on average compared to today. Some of it because the games back then lacked creature comforts of today.

I don't mind difficulty/challenges. It depends on if I am having fun and I guess how boring/ doable the challenge is.

Some games just make the dumb enemies bullet sponges and super shots and that's boring as can be. FPS games are horrible at this. So cranking up difficultly in fps games or playing one that only had a super hard difficulty is a complete turn off to me. It's boring.

But if the challenge is fair and something that one can get better at and then I find that fun. I have to feel like I can get better at it and feel like I am figuring something out.

If the challenges amount to flip 10 coins in a row and get 10 heads in a row to pass then it becomes uninteresting as well. Then that just becomes sort of random beat your head against the wall stuff.

it also helps if the gameplay is new and novel to me. hard for me to play the same difficult game for the 5th time and have the desire to get past it.
 
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Exoil

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It could be just a move to get him into the discussion again, but I think he is serious.
That's what I don't get about him, if he's just trying to be relevant again or if he's being serious.

But by that logic everything is easy, it's the "learn the pattern" process that's the hard part, mostly because it gets boring if it's not well-tuned. And Kena's bosses are mediocre in design, there is a lot of little bullshit about them that makes them boring quickly. Kena's last boss is a very hard boss. Games back in the day weren't hard because it was quality design, it was hard because it was the culture of the time and mostly 2D games.
I don't agree with you. Far Cry 6 is meant to be easy, aim for the head and you'll be ok. Then a mission where you have to ride on the back of a truck comes along, you ain't got the right setup and it's impossible to make it through without cancelling the mission and restarting it after you changed what weapons you bring along.

Kena's bosses never felt like bullshit to me. They were just that, bosses, meant to be harder than the sections leading up to them. And all of them having patterns (or moves if you'd like) which you need to learn and learn to counter to be successful. I wouldn't rate Kena's bosses up there with some of From's top bosses, but you could easily see where they draw their influence from. I for one enjoy when I have to lean forward in my seat and really engage with the game instead of everything just going on auto like most of the games in this day and age.
 

Bragr

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That's what I don't get about him, if he's just trying to be relevant again or if he's being serious.


I don't agree with you. Far Cry 6 is meant to be easy, aim for the head and you'll be ok. Then a mission where you have to ride on the back of a truck comes along, you ain't got the right setup and it's impossible to make it through without cancelling the mission and restarting it after you changed what weapons you bring along.

Kena's bosses never felt like bullshit to me. They were just that, bosses, meant to be harder than the sections leading up to them. And all of them having patterns (or moves if you'd like) which you need to learn and learn to counter to be successful. I wouldn't rate Kena's bosses up there with some of From's top bosses, but you could easily see where they draw their influence from. I for one enjoy when I have to lean forward in my seat and really engage with the game instead of everything just going on auto like most of the games in this day and age.
I like to engage, to a point, it gets tiresome if every game does that constantly. But the harder it is the more important it is that the bosses are well made.

In Kena, there are a lot of things I find have issues when they do bosses. For example, the red shit they put on the ground you can walk over and lose health, sometimes you run around trying to survive and can stumble into it. Or sometimes they have some of the battlefields are so large that you intuitively feel you can run around and be safe if you feel things are hectic, but the bosses usually got attacks that can get to you no matter. The dodge isn't as accurate and fast as it needs to be, and some of the rot attacks are not responsive enough (if you press too fast it won't activate at times). There are also several bosses that spawn mobs, and dealing with mobs and bosses at the same time is usually frustrating.

Add to that, they have 3 small bosses leading up to the third boss, and while these 3 bosses aren't that hard, they leave you very little space to do what I feel Kena does best, namely exploration.

Cuphead or FromSoftware games are miles ahead with boss design IMO. Metroid Dread is on another planet. I generally like Kena, but I think the game would be substantially better if they designed the bosses differently.

And, I find that almost everyone seems to have a positive outlook on hard bosses once they clear them. But during the process, people won't admit to the issues because they don't wanna feel like a bitch. Kena's bosses reminded me of some of Lord of the Fallen's bosses, sure they are hard, but they are subpar and can get tiresome. In my opinion.
 

Exoil

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I like to engage, to a point, it gets tiresome if every game does that constantly. But the harder it is the more important it is that the bosses are well made.

In Kena, there are a lot of things I find have issues when they do bosses. For example, the red shit they put on the ground you can walk over and lose health, sometimes you run around trying to survive and can stumble into it. Or sometimes they have some of the battlefields are so large that you intuitively feel you can run around and be safe if you feel things are hectic, but the bosses usually got attacks that can get to you no matter. The dodge isn't as accurate and fast as it needs to be, and some of the rot attacks are not responsive enough (if you press too fast it won't activate at times). There are also several bosses that spawn mobs, and dealing with mobs and bosses at the same time is usually frustrating.

Add to that, they have 3 small bosses leading up to the third boss, and while these 3 bosses aren't that hard, they leave you very little space to do what I feel Kena does best, namely exploration.

Cuphead or FromSoftware games are miles ahead with boss design IMO. Metroid Dread is on another planet. I generally like Kena, but I think the game would be substantially better if they designed the bosses differently.

And, I find that almost everyone seems to have a positive outlook on hard bosses once they clear them. But during the process, people won't admit to the issues because they don't wanna feel like a bitch. Kena's bosses reminded me of some of Lord of the Fallen's bosses, sure they are hard, but they are subpar and can get tiresome. In my opinion.

I like discussing with someone who seemingly have a completely different opinion to that of my own.

IMO Kena have really well thought out and varied bosses, with all of them having very distinct movement patterns and attacks from one another. I don't mind the stuff they spew out or that they spawn lesser mobs because none of that feels like cheap mechanics to me. I got the slow mo bow and grenade for a reason, and that is to be able to look at my surroundings and figure out which enemy to prioritize.
I never felt the dodge wasn't accurate enough, rather that is was too effective, but I must say I had a tough time getting the parry to work out for me.

I too love the exploration of Kena, it really brought me much joy to go around and try to find all the rot and hats and so on, but I for one want to be challenged by a game too. When all the exploration and simple enemies are done I want a boss to figure out how to bring down.

I haven't played Dread so I won't bother to compare them, but IMO Kena's bosses are better than cupheads and not far from Froms bosses (you can't beat the "new" original).

I have absolutely no issue about "feeling like a bitch", I'm only human, I know I'm supposed to fail at a lot of things until I get the hang of them. I won't blame someone else because of my own shortcomings though.
Also, I agree with you that the bosses in LotF felt subpar, but that was because they all felt almost the same, with next to none variance other than a bigger HP pool from the boss before. None of Kenas bosses is the other one alike, just what I want from a game.
 
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That's what I don't get about him, if he's just trying to be relevant again or if he's being serious.


I don't agree with you. Far Cry 6 is meant to be easy, aim for the head and you'll be ok. Then a mission where you have to ride on the back of a truck comes along, you ain't got the right setup and it's impossible to make it through without cancelling the mission and restarting it after you changed what weapons you bring along.
In Far Cry 6, you can swap out weapons on the fly.
 
Aug 26, 2018
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Isn't the "old man" opinion this time the opposite of Jaffe's?
Well he is shouting over a difficulty that only bothers him and what he thinks is good game design. We have had some games that came out day one feeling like dog shit but Dred isnt that. Its polished to all ends, its up to you if you like more challenging games. But then again its Jaffe, he hates almost everything unless he is involved with it.
 

Shut0wen

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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/

No game can be as hard as ninja gaiden black and ghosts n hoblins, ulimate hardest game of sll time is lost world jurassic park on ps1, lmao tbh i dont mind hard games as long as its fair, currently playing dark souls remaster and honestly dark souls isnt that hard but id say the hardest thing about the whole game is knowing where to go
 
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Haven’t played the game yet but if this is what he’s talking about then I think he should’ve taken a break from the game and come back to it later with a clearer mind. That’s what I do if I’m stuck on a boss or something.

I just wanna come back to this because I finally got a Switch last night and started Dread. This section is waaaaay earlier in the game than I expected and there are like 3-5 other instances of shooting the wall /ceiling before it…….
 

Batiman

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When I first watched the video I was like an hour into the game and i sort of thought he had a point. But after spending much more time with it I’m realizing he’s just not very smart.
 
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I tried but couldn't do it during the mission
I know exactly the mission you're talking about, luckily I didn't need to change out weapons during the truck sequence. However, that seems odd, because I definitely switched out weapons and supremos during other missions. You may be right in that mission though, don't know
 
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Bragr

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I like discussing with someone who seemingly have a completely different opinion to that of my own.

IMO Kena have really well thought out and varied bosses, with all of them having very distinct movement patterns and attacks from one another. I don't mind the stuff they spew out or that they spawn lesser mobs because none of that feels like cheap mechanics to me. I got the slow mo bow and grenade for a reason, and that is to be able to look at my surroundings and figure out which enemy to prioritize.
I never felt the dodge wasn't accurate enough, rather that is was too effective, but I must say I had a tough time getting the parry to work out for me.

I too love the exploration of Kena, it really brought me much joy to go around and try to find all the rot and hats and so on, but I for one want to be challenged by a game too. When all the exploration and simple enemies are done I want a boss to figure out how to bring down.

I haven't played Dread so I won't bother to compare them, but IMO Kena's bosses are better than cupheads and not far from Froms bosses (you can't beat the "new" original).

I have absolutely no issue about "feeling like a bitch", I'm only human, I know I'm supposed to fail at a lot of things until I get the hang of them. I won't blame someone else because of my own shortcomings though.
Also, I agree with you that the bosses in LotF felt subpar, but that was because they all felt almost the same, with next to none variance other than a bigger HP pool from the boss before. None of Kenas bosses is the other one alike, just what I want from a game.
The problem I have with stuff like mobs in boss fights and areas you can walk over that damage you is that it increases the possibility that you will run into or stumble upon things that damage you without you noticing it. With the mobs, for example, sometimes you won't notice that there was a monster on your side somewhere that hits you out of nowhere. Same with the red areas, sometimes you get so focused on the boss you can lose the awareness of where those areas are and walk into them. And while the slow-mo help, the jumping slow-mo was subpar, if you are too fast in jumping and aiming it won't activate the slow-mo.

Stuff like that increases frustration, no matter if the boss is easy or hard.

The dodge is weird, I don't know if it's the hitbox or not, but sometimes I feel like I am far away from the boss, but they still hit me, and it took me too long to naturally "feel" the distance I need to dodge from boss fight to boss fight. And you mentioned the deflect, it's also a bit off. Both the dodge and deflect don't measure up to higher quality games IMO.

I liked the first boss, because once you learn to deflect 1 or 2 of his attacks, you understand the process to deal with him. But others have long stages that get tiresome to do over and over, this is where Metroid Dread shines. In that game, once you learn a pattern, you can absolutely waste the boss and get to the last stage quickly, which reduces the feeling of grinding.

Don't get me wrong, I like the game, but the second and last main boss fights I thought were very subpar.