Easy Mode

I read a good piece about the use of “easy mode” in games the other day, and it sparked a lot of interesting debate about difficulty and how it interacts with accessibility.

Whachu think?

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Early thread plug for this wonderful charity:



That’s cool - I just gave my PS2 to my colleague who helps out with a charity which provides consoles and games to kids who have longterm stays in hospital:



It seems weird to sell a product where some of the core features are only accessible if you’re above a certain level of ability. Like have trophies or whatever but everyone should be able to access every level of a game if they buy that game


I think the difficulty (har) with this topic in the context of From games in particular is that it’s not like there’s The Game and then separate to that there’s some slider that can get moved from “really easy” to “bastard hard”, it’s that the difficulty of those games is baked into the experience in a way that’s hard to articulate if you’ve not played them.

But also I completed it already because I’m better than everyone.

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As anyone who has read the Sekiro thread knows, I have some #opinions on this.

I am generally in favour of easy modes or, at minimum, the ability to calibrate the difficulty in some way. You can always play on hard mode if you choose but it’s werid to lock the story you’re telling behind compulsory difficulty.

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Oh boy do I have some opinions


I understand this, but the argument people have been making is, for example, you can watch a film with subtitles or audio description and it’s more accessible for more people - but you wouldn’t necessarily expect a director to provide notes or explanations for themes / plots etc, which might be inaccessible to people who don’t understand particular references or have missed certain subtleties in the script or acting. In the same way, while a game could have practical changes to its mechanics to be more accessible, if the experience is meant to be challenging in order to fully experience what the creator intended, should they be expected to amend it?

Also the existence of an easy version has zero impact on the gameplay for people who want to use higher difficulties so anyone complaining is obviously a colossal baby (don’t know what this game is, cheers)



In football manager, easy mode is normally known as ‘Manchester city’ hahahahah




I realise I say this from a place of able bodied privilege but I think developers should be able to make games as difficult as they like. Not all experiences can be accessible to everyone.

I’m on team #letfrombefrom and I expect to die on this hill some day.

Yes, but other From games have given you much more control over the actual difficulty. Mainly through summoning but also to a lesser extent through levelling and gear choice.

My bigger beef with Sekiro is more with how it (dis)respects the player’s time in the first portion, but that’s a slightly different issue.

Manchester City have a very good squad and a large transfer budget


Also, and I’m prepared to take a shoeing for this, there are entire genres that are totally inaccessible to me because I don’t have the required skill levels to play them, like bullet hell shooters. I don’t care, because there are so many more games that are available to me than I would have time to play if I did nothing but play games until the day I die.

This is a separate idea from games that have accessibility issues for people with disabilities though, and I don’t want to conflate the two.


I’m playing Resident Evil 2 and using a guide while doing. Just cause I cba getting spooked or having to run around all the time

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Easy mode for life, me. In it for the narrative, not to spend 15 hours playing and dying in a 30 second loop



But not all games (#notallgames) are about a narrative, right? I don’t really give a shit about dragon’s blood or whatever the fuck the short one was blabbing on about, I just want to experience a smug sense of superiority from deftly parrying things.