I can’t help feel 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?
You, the player, spend on average €60 or $60, depending on which side of the pond you are on, for 4/5 hours of a single player campaign!?! That seems a lot of money for 4/5 hrs entertainment, just imagine if you were asked to pay that at a cinema the next time a big movie came out? You would rightly be shocked.
A lot of people will argue that with all the games mentioned above; that they have excellent multiplayer modes, which keep you gaming long after the single player is over and done with. That would be a very fair point, but what if you don’t like multiplayer, and you buy the game just for the story mode!?
I love Halo, but I’ve never really played the multiplayer aspect of the games. I kept coming back for more because I wanted to know more about Master Chief and the Halo universe. The latest Mario Bros on the Wii has a mode in it called Super Guide, if a player fails a course eight times in a row; a green block appears, allowing a computer-controlled Luigi to show the player a safe path through the level. The player may interrupt the guide at anytime and take control. After Luigi completes it, the player has the option to try the level again, or skip it completely!!!!!!!! Are you kidding me?
I remember when I got my first console, a shiny grey NES with Super Mario Bros and Duck Hunt, it had one Joy-pad and the Nintendo light gun. The original Mario Bros game took me months to complete – MONTHS not hours and when I did it was like winning a gold medal. It was something to be shouted from the roof tops. You went to school the next day and it was something to make your friends jealous, who knows how that works in the school yard nowadays, “So Jonney have you beaten CoD MW2 yet?” “Yeah man I beat it in 3 hrs, you?” “Nah it took me 4hrs I got stuck at the end”.
The sense of achievement I got when I finished the Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time, to this very day was immense. I remember sitting in front of my TV, palms sweaty, hands trembling, heart racing – my friend Dave and I had spent weeks playing the game taking turns at dungeons and boss fights and when we finally finished it we both felt elated, we were truly overjoyed – we’d done it! Woo hoo.
In school the next day, friends were amazed, bombarding us with questions…. asking us how did we do it (ah, a time before YouTube videos ;) ). I didn’t need a gold pop up saying [congratulations game complete] to feel achievement! It was the same with the original Zelda, Sonic Mega Man any triple A game from the early 90’s to late 90’s – they were hard games to finish. I would even say that this ran up until the Xbox, PS2 and N64 days and then it all went to hell in a hand basket.
I’m an avid PC gamer now and I always laugh when I hear people saying “I’d love to try out Team Fortress 2 but it’s too hardcore I’ll get my ass handed to me”. When did this happen? When you start anything in life it’s hard but you try to get better and in time you improve; that’s the way I thought it worked.
Imagine if Tiger Woods just gave up the first time he swung a golf club because he didn’t get a hole in one? What if Michael Jordan gave up because he couldn’t dunk straight away? Both Golf and Basketball are games just like any other game, you play because it’s fun and in time you learn to play better and improve. There are games out at the moment that do take skill and time to finish: Mass Effect, Fallout 3, Half Life 2 and Dragon Age Origins are just a few off the top of my head. I’m sure if you are reading this you could name many more but they are few and far between
Did this trend start with the whole Xbox points/PSN trophies? Are developers afraid that if a game is too hard that gamers will just give up and move onto the next new shiny game? It seems a bigger priority to make games look like a Hollywood blockbuster and have loads of great trailers and hype than gameplay. I’m not saying that all new games must be infuriatingly hard to complete just make them fun and challenging (i.e.) last more than a day. Think about it this way, the first DOOM was in its day a great shooter but how much did Half Life change the way FPS games are played, they are both FPS games but Half Life added story and puzzle solving which created more to challenge the player than just mindless shooting. Who knows I may be 100% wrong here, maybe the whole Internet feels differently, this is just what I feel after playing most modern games.
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