The makers of Bioshock knew they had something genius on their hands, but they wanted a way to ensure everyone knew it. The only way everyone would truly know it is if they got to the “twist” about 2/3 into the game. They talked amongst each other and came up with a plan. A way that everyone could play through the game, no matter how good or how bad they were at FPS’s. That invention was the Vita-Chamber. A way in which you could die in a game, but come back at same point, endlessly if need be. I realize there were probably games and game companies that may have done this before Bioshock, but Bioshock was the first game I remember pretty much insisting I beat the whole game (whilst giving me the tools to do so). To me, I really believe every game should have a vita-chamber option. Though I understand that wont happen (for many reasons), for now I will turn this article into why I think every game should have an easy mode.
That is pushing it a little, but if I can finally kill the dog, I am in.
I can tell you, as an avid gamer, there are few things worse than hitting a wall in a game. That single moment you just cannot seem to get past. It may be too hard. You may have missed a tutorial for something you need to specifically do in this area. Or, God forbid, you could be a shitty gamer. Take no shame in that. We are all that at one time or another. The thing is, if you have thrown down sixty bucks (or various lower prices for used wares), you are not paying to play two hours into the game. You are buying that game on the assumption that you should be able to experience that game in full. Would you buy a book if the book could randomly lock you out of the last two chapters if you didn’t read the first ten fast enough or concise enough? Of course you wouldn’t, so why put up with that in any other medium?
I know this article will go up hardcore gamer’s asses, but I want you all to know, I respect you. I respect what you do. You are the types of masochists who want to play through Dark Souls with one hand tied behind and blindfolded. You want a challenge SO extreme, that when you are done with it, you know by default you are one of the toughest, best, most hardcore gamers in the world. You not only want games to have a tough mode, you want them to have a “You Have No F*cking Chance” mode. I also know you will play that mode for 300 hours if that is what it takes for you to beat it. I respect that. I don’t understand it, and I don’t do it myself, but I understand it. I think ALL games should have options for you, too. That is my whole point here, just scale your games in different modes for all types of gamers. I respect hardcore gamers, but hardcore gamers need to respect people like me who want to experience a whole game without wanting to rip out my hair.
I would love to see this entire game? Yet I am not allowed to because…um, I suck? That’s not cool.
Seriously, what about the rest of us gamers who want to play to have fun and lose ourselves in a medium that takes us outside the looping blah of our daily lives and lets us live vicariously in someone’s else’s? We should be shut out of sections of games and finishing games because we are not hardcore gamers? I was a hardcore gamer in my N.E.S days because I had no choice. I bought a game I knew I would have that game for months (no used games to buy back then, kids.), so playing it that way, repetitiously, until I mastered it was a huge part of how I gamed. I said it before and will say it again, I beat Mike Tyson in Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out. You have to be of an adult age and grew up in that era to know just how hardcore that is. Thing is, that was me earning my stripes. I did that for years. I don’t want to have to do that anymore. I buy a game now, I want to see the entirety of that game. I don’t mind if there is a tough boss or tough section here or there (even on easy mode) but my point is, let me enjoy the game the way I want. At least give me the option. I do not have the patience for a game like Dark Souls. I respect what it does and would LOVE to see that game from start to end, but nope. How about throwing a Vita-chamber-esque option in? I know purists will spit at the thought, but what the jackass companies don’t realize is that by doing that, they sell more copies.
Okay, not THAT easy.
I know certain companies (Team Ninja) are known for re-releasing games with lighter difficulty options, but even that is kind of an insult. Here, a new version just for you. Wait, why the shit didn’t you just put an easy mode in the original? I also know Bayonetta is an example that gets people all riled up. It had an automatic mode which pretty much played itself. Thing is, who the shit cares if someone wants to play it that way? Why condemn people who want to do that? I would NEVER play on an automatic mode (as I would get bored), but if anything, I applaud game companies giving options for gamers to experience their entire game the way they want to.
Red Dead Redemption and Grand Theft Auto Five finally came up with what I consider to be the greatest “everyone can make it to the ending” option I have ever seen in a game. It is subtle as Hell, and you have to suck considerably for the option to present itself. But in either of those games, if the game itself started noticing you were dying a lot on one mission, they would offer you to skip that section of the mission. This may seem small and insignificant, but it is not. There were moments in old GTA games where MANY gamers just stopped playing (hint, radio controlled vehicle missions) when suddenly, you had to know an all new game mechanic and had to INSTANTLY be good at it. By the 100th time you played it, all love for that game is lost. Of course, Rockstar are geniuses, and figured this out, so in their two best games of all time, you could finish them, no matter what. The stats show that these are the two Rockstar games that have actually been “completed” by more gamers than all their last volumes of this series. What does that tell you?
” Wow, man. Thanks for noticing. No one said shit about that “skip section” feature and we were quite proud of it.”
The second funny thing about that is that the one time the option came up for me in GTA 5 (when you had to get and lose a five start wanted level in final stretch of game), I didn’t use it. I was so pumped up by the fact it was there, I kept playing to show the game I didn’t need it, and what do you know, I did it on my own. BUT, the game presented me the option, and that is amazing.
So I implore all future game developers, put an easy mode in all your games (put a hardcore mode, too, for all those purists). Ultimately, ensure we can play the game we want to. Also, ensure we can see all of the work and all the thought you and all the writers and artists and coders put into your video games. If I purchase your game, that is in hopes to get to experience all of it. If adding an easy mode (or life chamber, or clone drop, or whatever you choose to call it) would ensure that, why not do it? We are not all hardcore gamers. Some of us just need to escape our lives sometimes. Death to the rage quit. Up with Easy mode!
If you enjoyed this, feel free to pop over here and read something that will scar you for life. After that, come join the REMlin army. There are thousands of us, and we are legion.