In Defense of Easy Difficulties

Games are hard. Games can be frustrating, and recently, there’s been an influx of games that put the emphasis on challenge. Games like Dark Souls and Bloodborne punish the player for every mistake they make, and titles like Cuphead focus on the players skill and reaction to complex animations. I see the appeal in this. I love a challenge more than anyone else, but I play games to escape. Sometimes, I don’t want to throw my controller down in a fit of rage. Sometimes I just want to play. This is why I will defend easy difficulty settings until the day I die. Obviously, games like Dark Souls, where the difficulty is the main gimmick, don’t need an easy difficulty setting. However, it can be very frustrating when a game is just too hard for you to get by something. I’d almost rather take the shame of setting a game to a lower difficulty than to be angry and never finish a game. I don’t have a lot of time to spend on games, so sometimes I just want to have fun and not worry about being the best. When games become work, they stop being fun. Now, I’m not trying to bash games in which the central gimmick is a high difficulty level, but it feels like there’s this stigma against playing on an easy difficulty. I played the last half of Persona 5 on easy, because I just wanted to get through faster to enjoy more of the story. However, I usually always start on normal, because I feel like that’s the way that the game developers intended for the game to be played. In a way, I feel like difficulty levels should be done away with entirely, because players should play the game at the intended difficulty of the developer. However, I would rather a game have a lower difficulty level that I could switch to if I just wanted to play through the game. Like I said before, I play games as a form of escapism, to relax, and to enjoy myself. If I’m not enjoying myself because the game is too hard, why bother?

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