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Opinion
9/9/2021

Easy Mode!

Written by
Kiri Broad

I’m being straight up honest: If a game offers me an easy mode, I’m going to take it!

I know, I know! It’s a shocking statement to make andI dare say you gasped as you read it. I’ll take the disgusted reactions but, hear me out….

Cast your mind back to the first time you ever played a game. Was it an FPS, a puzzler, a sports game? Did you have to play with strategy and tact, or was it a simulation game?

More importantly – were you any good?

The first time I picked up my Xbox controller for an FPS, I couldn’t even get the crosshair in the right place. I’d stand stock still and try to get the crosshair exactly where it needed to be to blow the brains out of the alien I was trying to kill.
Of course, the enemy moved and I was obliterated. I didn’t play for very long that day.

Practice does indeed make perfect, and I’m pleased to say I’ve improved tenfold since then. I like to consider myself a force to be reckoned with, although I doubt others would agree. If I’d had an option back then to play in easy mode, I think I’d have welcomed it with open arms!

For me, it’s about the story.

I’m a busy girl and I don’t have multiple hours to sit and play games, and as there are so many I do want to play, I need to get through them quickly. Easy mode allows me to immerse myself in the characters, the surroundings, soak up the narrative and really enjoy the game.


Of course there are some exceptions to that where the challenge of beating the final boss on a more difficult setting, and that sense of achievement when you finally take them out, simply outweighs everything else. I’m thankful that there are developers out there who realise and appreciate that there are some of us who want the option.

When I bought my Switch, it was for one game only (at the time): The Legend Of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild.
I couldn’t wait to get into it and dive back into the world of Zelda! But my word is that game difficult from the off!
Maybe it’s because I was just getting used to the controls and mechanics of the game, but I couldn’t work out where I was supposed to be going, what I was supposed to be doing, and I couldn’t explore without the fear of being killed from every corner of the map!
The open nature of the game is brilliant, but an easy mode with a little more guidance through the game would have been really helpful for me!

Of course, there’s a flip side to this. Sticking to the Switch theme: Super Mario Odyssey is way too easy! The only difficulty in this game is completing it 100%, but the actual gameplay is just a breeze! For me, this could really have benefitted from having varied difficulties.

 

The experience will be different for each of us, but for games where the difficulty isn’t so intricately involved in every aspect of the game, I like having the option to tailor the challenge to how I like it. I like that it doesn’t matter how good I am at a game. Whether I find it too difficult, or I just want to breeze through without having to think too much, having that option, for me, is a fantastic addition to my overall experience.

There are SO many games out there, regardless of your choice of platform, that ability or how “good” you are will thankfully never be a concern for most.
You can fly through space, drive a car across the desert, shoot an alien through the head, set your mind a challenge with a puzzle – Gaming is a world like no other!
There are games that are made to be easy if you just want a smooth run through, and those that are made to be difficult if you want to spend hours trying to kill that one big boss you just haven’t conquered yet!  Then there are the games that give you choice; The ones that allow you to enjoy the experience YOUR way, and if you want to take the easy route, go for it! You should never feel bad for making use of the multiple settings the developers have afforded you, and others shouldn’t shame you for it.

Ultimately, you do you!

For me, I’ll take easy mode at every turn 😉

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