God of War: Ragnarok is out this week (yay!), and bringing with it a ton of accessibility options to ensure that as many people as possible can enjoy the game regardless of disabilities or skill level. However, along with options like toggling on checkpoints for boss fights, etc, comes the old debate about easy modes in games and “git gud” gatekeeping.
So I just wanted to add my voice to the conversation in support of letting people play how they want. Don’t make anyone feel bad for playing on an easier difficulty. Everyone pays the same $60-70 for a game, they have the same right to enjoy it all the way through. Choose the difficulty that feels right for you and your ability, or allotment of free time, and let’s stop reinforcing the idea that people who play more casually, or on easier difficulties are less than real gamers. It’s not necessary to tear them down in order to make a higher difficulty playthrough feel more impressive.
I hope more studios go to the lengths Santa Monica has in order to be more welcoming to a wider variety of gamers, and a ton of individually toggled options makes so much more sense than a standard, blanket “easy mode”. Maybe you love combat, but struggle with puzzles; you don’t want an easy mode tuning everything down just for one aspect. In a single player game, letting players fine tune the experience to their liking negatively affects no one, but benefits so many gamers who might otherwise miss out/be left out.