I run, sprinting along a rooftop, jump, just barely make it, look around, a guard is about to fire, I jump down. Suddenly I find myself surrounded, I draw my swords. Within a minute or two, ten bodies lie at my feet and the few that are left turn and flee. I felt like a badass, but then I looked at my health bar, I had only gotten hit once… I the feeling of badassery left me, the game made it too easy.
Recently I have noticed a lot of games seem to hold your hand while you play, they coddle you, make sure you understand everything and then make sure nothing is to challenging especially not right away. If you ever get stuck or lost, the game makes it all too easy to find your way back. I understand why developers do this, they don’t want the game to alienate a potential player by making the game too challenging. However an argument could be made that they are in fact doing the opposite. Games are becoming too easy, without a challenge you lose a sense of accomplishment, Assassins Creed is one of the most notoriously easy games in my opinion. To make things worse, this series seems to get easier with each installment, guards are incredibly easy, they all take a turn attacking with a very obvious set of movements. The difficulty level is easy to start with, but as you progress through the game your character gets better equipment, making it even easier so by the end enemies offer no challenge. This frustrates me, I remember games being difficult, you had to be good at the game, or at least have some skill.
Games like Skyrim and of course the famous Dark Souls series are some of the few that do not fall into the easy category. Skyrim is not necessarily difficult, but if you change it to the highest level it can definitely be a challenge, enemies like dragons and trolls and the like do not seem much of bother when you are level 50… until you ramp up the difficulty to master, then a dragon becomes a terrifying sight once again, reminiscent of the first time you encountered one, It flying around above you, raining death. Dark Souls is probably the most famous for being difficult, both games are notorious for causing gamers to fly into a rage. A friend of mine, who I must say is incredibly calm (I have never ever seen him even raise his temper towards a game) was playing Dark Souls, he ended up getting so frustrated he ended braking his PS3 controller in two.
Dark Souls is a bit extreme I must say, it is incredibly challenging, but rarely have I experienced such a sense of accomplishment within a game. Now don’t get me wrong I am definitely not saying that all games should be like Dark Souls, definitely not. I am simply saying that a challenge once in a while would not be terrible. Games like Assassins Creed should stop holding our hands, let us take a crack at it, don’t make it so easy anyone can play, or at least have different difficulty settings. I am tired of being able to sleep through games without even trying I end up often beating them too quickly or easily.