A very recent controversy in the gaming industry is games “journalists” demanding certain games have an easy mode so that they don't have to experience a game how its meant to be played. Instead, they just want to blaze through it to meet their deadlines and be first to write their reviews. The game that sparked this was none other than Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice.
The latest game from renowned challenging game makers, From Software, has games “journalists” pulling their hair out and crying for easy modes in all games. They claim that a game not having an easy mode, is somehow disrespectful to gamers. Like expecting a gamer to rise to a challenge is somehow disrespectful. Now in the case of Sekiro Shadows Die Twice, and pretty much all FromSoft games, they are intentionally designed to be challenging. You are meant to fail and learn from the games challenges; to persevere and overcome them. Now, not every game is a FromSoft game, and not every game is designed to challenge the player. This isn't really a call to say no game should have an easy mode. This is more a statement to say that these games “journalists” should respect the game designers vision for their games.
Remember back in the day when games didn't have easy modes, heck, remember when they didn't even have save slots? No one was complaining about these things back then. Yes, it was because the technology didn't exist back in the early years of gaming, and sometimes is feels like we have been spoiled be modern gaming features. With this call for easy modes has come another hollow reason to force easy modes in all games. That is, accessibility. Game “journalists” use people with disabilities as an excuse to force easy modes into hard games. Let's take a look back at the aforementioned Sekiro and FromSoft games. Here is an example of a quadriplegic gamer beating a really hard boss in Sekiro https://youtu.be/tso8u4OJLuI This man is a legend. But this also begs the question about accessibility. The best argument to be made and that a one stop shot easy mode is not the way to make a game accessible to many people. The best way to make a game accessible, like shown in the link above. Is to make the controls able to be mapped to different buttons. This allows someone who is disabled to be able to experience a game the way the devs want it to be experienced, while letting anyone be able to challenge it. But ultimately it shouldn't be up to an upset game “journalist” to decide if a game should have an easy mode. It should be up to the developer.
- John Balog