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Bleszinski Praises Difficulty Of Demon's Souls, Dark Souls

Many veteran gamers have noted the decreasing difficulty levels of video games over the past few generations, while reluctantly acknowledging that it's very, very necessary for mainstream appeal.

But Epic boss Cliff Bleszinski believes the hardcore - like himself - still want a challenge. In speaking about the upcoming Gears of War: Judgment, CliffyB spoke about how games have become "more linear and easier,", which is why his new game will ratchet up the difficulty level.

"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.

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."

If you're anticipating Gears of War: Judgment, you should definitely prepare yourself for a challenge. But in regards to the overall point, it's certainly true that with QTEs and minor consequences associated with death and failure, games are a great deal easier to play and complete. But then again, as I've said in the past, I'm really okay with that. How's about you?

Tags: cliff bleszinski, game difficulty, gears of war, gaming culture

6/20/2012 12:23:13 PM Ben Dutka

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Comments (21 posts)

WorldEndsWithMe
Wednesday, June 20, 2012 @ 1:19:17 PM
Reply

I'm totally okay with it too. If I die in the game then it's still a challenge and it just isn't feasible to have a great number of gaming experiences be as frustratingly difficult as games HAD to be in the old days to have any lasting power.

Time is a factor now too, everybody is so busy and we don't really want to have to replay a huge section of a game because of a death. I just want to learn my lesson and keep enjoying the game. A death should elicit and "Oh man," not a "You f*cking motherf*cker son of a b*tch as*hole! *Controller fling*"

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Axe99
Wednesday, June 20, 2012 @ 5:24:16 PM

Agreed - I think you need to cater to the market for sado-masochists (and young 'uns with a lot of time on their hands), but accessibility and range of difficulties is a good thing.

I also think it's important to distinguish between moment-to-moment difficulty, and punishment for failure. And to not forget that many of the high punishment games at the past had radically different difficulty curves to the checkpoint games of today.

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Ichigo40
Wednesday, June 20, 2012 @ 1:27:21 PM
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I'm ok with games being easier to appeal to a wider audience but in my opinion nothing beats a tougher game. I love both the Soul games because of that main reason.

For me playing games for over 20 years I've always been a fan of a good challenge with my video games...for one after going through a few controllers you learn that its ok to lose (there is only so many time a parent will buy you a new one)...and on top of that it helps you learn the fact that you may actually have to use your brain and some skills to win sometimes.

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farfus
Wednesday, June 20, 2012 @ 1:39:51 PM
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Definitely nothing wrong with games being a challenge, without a challenge there isnt much there to keep my interest. Im getting ready to play Dark Souls so it will be interesting to see just how much of a challenge it really is!!!

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sirbob6
Wednesday, June 20, 2012 @ 3:51:39 PM

To be honest it really isn't that hard or frustrating. It simply requires you to be patient and to think a little bit. I think I've only rage quited once when facing the Capra Demon early on in the game.

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Temjin001
Wednesday, June 20, 2012 @ 4:44:24 PM

Your sentiment echoes my own brothers, sirbob. He being one of the series biggest fans has expressed utter bliss in the genius of its design giving me cause to believe the correlation between difficulty and one's genre aptitude seem to go hand in hand.
I can relate in the case of Ninja Gaiden. Like my accomplished fellow Gaiden fans, most don't acknowledge gaiden's high level of difficulty until its approached from harder modes. Complaints made against its normal mode concerning difficulty is only a signal to me of a players ignorance to the play system in question.

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sirbob6
Thursday, June 21, 2012 @ 12:42:25 PM

Exactly, the game is not difficult if you simply learn how it operates. The only way it is hard is if you don't learn the enemy or bosses patterns.

Now Demon's Souls is another beast. Still doable but a lot harder. Just read this: www.reddit.com/r/gaming/comments/acz2t/let_me_tell_you_about_demons_souls/

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Temjin001
Wednesday, June 20, 2012 @ 1:47:11 PM
Reply

There's a wide breadth of reasons to engage games and software these days. I think it's best the medium continues to broaden its appeal by attracting a wide range of people. I love that there's games like Demons Souls and Dark Souls for the more game play minded gamers. It's also nice knowing theres the more brain dead stuff for those who want to be stimulated in other ways without the challenge.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Wednesday, June 20, 2012 @ 2:03:13 PM

I don't think a challenge means you have to die all the time, there's so many more creative ways to be challenging.

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Neo_Aeon666
Wednesday, June 20, 2012 @ 5:05:30 PM

@ World

Yeah there are many sorts of challenges but the challenges that have your life and part of your progress on the line make it so much more *epic*.

I really get more *into* the game since the survival of my character is very important.

At some point, I started to feel detached from recent games. It does not matter if you die. Meh! I'll restart at the last minute's checkpoint. Just continue with the story, there is no real *threat* anymore. There are many enemies but since dying has no consequence... They just feel like the next *target*.

Because of this I found out I am starting to not really care anymore. When Demon's Souls came out I got the *caring* back. My actions could be fatal and I tried to rely on anything in my surroundings for tips on how to survive. It really sucked me right into the game.

I am not saying all games should be like this though. We need diversity. And me getting *detached* from my games was probably due the over abundant flow of games that do not value the life of your main character. But only Demon's Souls/Dark Souls is definitely not enough. I hope they continue in that direction and more people react positively to it so we can see more games that put an emphasis on survival.

Last edited by Neo_Aeon666 on 6/20/2012 5:09:04 PM

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WorldEndsWithMe
Wednesday, June 20, 2012 @ 5:51:03 PM

I used to feel the same way, but these days I get detached if I'm spending too much time replaying parts that I already played. It feels unproductive when there's so much more gaming to do.

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Neo_Aeon666
Wednesday, June 20, 2012 @ 9:04:05 PM

Yeah I get yah on the *it feels unproductive*. Each time I invest too much time in a game or run around too much I feel like I am missing out on other games and it kills the experience lol.

So I am trying hard right now to NOT buy new games until I am done with what I have and stop thinking about an other game when I invest myself in one. Like women yknow! You can't look at two at the same time else you'll die!

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PC_Max
Wednesday, June 20, 2012 @ 1:58:15 PM
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I would disagree to a point. I see a range of games that go from casual type play to more indepth and commitment play. Be they on Easy, Medium, Hard, or Insane.

What it probably comes down to is one you play about 5 games with the same difficulty or "challenge" the next 5 pos no challenge at all. Its experience and you are in the "zone" knowing how to approach the challenge.

As the Demon Souls and Dark Souls.... I found them repetitive generic and repetitive. Thats not say they do no or should not appeal to those who like the genre or gameplay. Just I found them boring and got rid of them. To each his/her/its own.

But please, the challenge and consequences are there is games. Different types of challenges for different types or genre of games. Putting them all in to one basket of generalization and trying to promote your own game as being different and challenging... please. I have heard this all before. Happens every few years.

Gears of War, played them for the most part on friends systmes, generic, repetitive and boring to my tastes. Again, to each his/her/its own. But don't generalize that challenge needs are not being met. Maybe your aren't whatever they are. But don't speak for everyone.

Just keep making the games you think you like and what some others like and let everyone else do the same.

Keep playing!

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Neo_Aeon666
Wednesday, June 20, 2012 @ 5:13:32 PM

Did you play Demon's/Dark without a guide or help from the internet? Because if you use any resources other than the game... It is a sure thing that it will be boring. But every Boss has a different approach to it. Every enemy has a special way of dealing with. I do not see how it is repetitive. If you say it is repetitive because you kill monsters for Souls(exp) and kill more and more to level up... Then you just do not like the *rpg* approach? I am curious as to what can make you say it is a repetitive game in its genre?

*I agree with to each their own, I am just curious as to why you would label it as such*

Last edited by Neo_Aeon666 on 6/20/2012 5:14:10 PM

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Shams
Wednesday, June 20, 2012 @ 8:17:50 PM

I think all games that involve full character/class customization, especially those that are almost threadbare in terms of story or production values, run the risk of looking generic.

Demon's Souls/Dark Souls instead draws the players curiosity and continuously simply through enemy design and AI, environments, and how the game changes as you react with the world, unlocking secrets, shortcuts, missions, items, etc. It has subtle, yet highly effective draw.

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PC_Max
Friday, June 22, 2012 @ 12:15:37 PM

My real point is that games do have challenges based on their genre, and specifically the challenge is subjective to the individual, be it how they play or their gaming experience. It was his opinion and I was disputing it with my own. I play all genres, and yes RPG's. And no... I do not use guides to get through them. And if there are quests that require multiplayer... I usually try to do them solo.... guess why... for the challenge.

Players bring their own style, method to games and gameplay.

So yes, to each their own... my point being saying that games lack challenge or consequences is BS. If he is referring to RPG type game... possibly. Its subjective. What I find repetitive and easy, another might find extremely enthralling and challenging. And vice versa.

All said... again... let him/her keep making the games they like to make and what they think players like to play and let the other devs do their thing.

So.... lets all just keep playing! And find a little happiness in vid games.

Cheers!

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JackDillinger89
Wednesday, June 20, 2012 @ 11:10:38 PM
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Ive spent too many god awful time in both demons and dark souls. Dark Souls i find it slightly easier due to bonfires and one massive world hub. Lets not forget dark souls online structure. Regarding cliffys comments i doubt this new gears game will be any different gameplay wise than the last 3. But its cool he recognises the souls games. We need more rpgs like dark souls. Not just about its difficulty but its online structure also. I cant break this terrible addiction of invading people in tomb of the giants and making their life a living hell lol.

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___________
Thursday, June 21, 2012 @ 5:09:42 AM
Reply

dam straight!
exactly why im so excited for the new gears, finally a visceral gory high action fast paced TPS that is not easy and a typical corridor shooter!
as much as i loved the gears games ive always wanted them to open up, and be a lot more brutal!
as the sense of difficulty.
and not cheapness like dark souls or deamon souls there not hard, there just cheap!
having 2 paths one with a easy enemy, and one with a hard enemy and posting NO information on which is which IS NOT difficulty!
its the prime definition of lazy game design and cheapness!

exactly why i enjoyed splatterhouse so much, because it just felt so old school!
tough as nails, as forgiving as a nun at the nursery and gritty fast paced action!
god, i wish they would give us a all new splatterhouse game!

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Rogueagent01
Thursday, June 21, 2012 @ 9:27:21 AM
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This is the reason I like Sacred 2 as much as I do. It is built around the idea of everyone playing it. The first few difficulty levels Bronze, Silver, & Gold are built for anyone to play. The next couple Platinum, & Niob are made with the hardcore in mind. They also took the proper approach with Niob, not requiring the player to beat it to obtain the Platinum trophy. Niob is there for one reason, to test out your intelligence with real RPGs, if you don't build your character the right way through the previous difficulty playthroughs then you don't stand a chance of beating it.

I wish all games would take this approach. We don't need seperate hardcore or casual games. What we need is developers to blend these playstyles into each and every game out there. If they were to do this then all gamers would have the games they like with the experience they want.

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xenris
Thursday, June 21, 2012 @ 1:46:32 PM
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I think games are really lacking in challenge these days. I really appreciate when games like the Souls series come out and give me something I can really try and master. That being said, the souls games are not really that "hard" you honestly just need to keep a level head and monitor your stamina. Playing it like devil may cry well that will get you killed.

I think some of the most fun I have had in games is learning out patterns and strategies to overcome difficult obstacles. Also I think speed runs are my favourite thing to do in a game that has stages, like Rayman:Origins.

I'm a person who enjoys overcoming something, I don't care how badass I feel in a game if its easy it does nothing for me. I do martial arts in real life and that empowers me to feel awesome, I don't need a game to tell me that. However when a game present a challenge that tests my coordination, problem solving and ability to adapt quickly, man there just isn't anything that beats the feeling of overcoming that. In games that is, in real life there are far more satisfying things that conquering tough videogames, but yeah as far as why I play videogames its definitely to be challenged and tested and see what I can overcome. I only don't like difficulty when it lacks any rhyme or reason, like the game I want to be the guy or something that is just broken and hard because it isn't possible to beat.

I think there needs to be balance. Making sure that there are difficulty settings at the very least that way everyone is happy.

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eLLeJuss
Thursday, June 21, 2012 @ 11:38:37 PM
Reply

I miss these games already. i wish they make more.. :)

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