If you take a good look at games of our current generation, you’d be able to find just about everything but a challenge. Sure, there are games like Dark Souls out there, but for every game that is genuinely challenging there are a hundred action-setpiece-ridden, hand-holding thrill rides that aim to shower the player with various forms of positive reinforcement, usually in the form of flashy explosions and/or copious amounts of gore.
There’s nothing necessarily wrong with that, admittedly, and it makes business sense. If you want to sell more copies–much more copies–you would want your game to be playable by as large of an audience as possible, which means that the game shouldn’t be overwhelmingly difficult. Cliff Bleszinski, the man behind the Gears of War franchise, hopes to buck that trend.
“It feels like in this current console generation that we’ve taken a lot of steps to grow the audience and what I think’s happened is that the games have become more linear and easier, so it feels like a lot of quick-time-events,” Bleszinski said in an interview with X360A (via Develop).
“The more I play games like that the more I turned off to them and just want to get back to systems interacting with systems, and get back to a game that, you know, when was the last time a game really challenged you and asked something of you, right? There’s a reason why Demon Souls and Dark Souls have taken off lately. It’s because they really require you actually try.”
With Gears of War: Judgment, Bleszinski says that developer People Can Fly are aiming to create quite a challenge for core gamers. As he put it in the interview, if you’re not sweating, they’re not doing their jobs right.
“Casual mode will still be casual, whatever, if you just want to see graphics and you don’t want to die, but every other mode will be hard in this game and you will die,” Bleszinski said, adding that Gears of War: Judgment will have an emphasis on tactical combat.
“When I played this in 4-player co-op… I mean, I’ve been playing Gears since the beginning of the course and I really have to hunker down and focus, and if my buddies aren’t reviving me, and we aren’t working as a team, you’re going to die, and it’s okay to die a few times in a game to try some different strategies, the S3 respawn system provides unique challenges.”
What do you think? Have games become too soft nowadays, or is the overall challenge already where it ought to be?