Crackdown 2′s Thompson: Modern games are “too easy”

Tuesday, 27th April 2010 09:56 GMT By Patrick Garratt


Ruffian creative chief Billy Thompson reckons completing modern games might not be challenging enough. Crackdown 2 should be a laugh then, innit.

“I have to say I do worry that we’re starting to make games that are potentially too easy to complete,” said Thompson, speaking to Develop.

“I still look fondly back on the days of the early Spectrum games that were sometimes insanely difficult to complete.”

Thompson added that making games easier is a commercial decision:

“I know we can never make games that have that level of difficulty any more,” he conceded.

“We’re aiming at such a wide audience that it would be commercial suicide, but it doesn’t stop me longing for the truly selfish opportunity to make a game that would be genuinely challenging to the people who made it.”

Crackdown 2 ships on July 9.

Thanks, CVG.



  1. Robo_1

    Very Hard

    #1 5 years ago
  2. Blerk

    The thing he appears to be forgetting is that most Spectrum games were unfairly hard, to the point of frustration. I still maintain that a significant proportion of them were plain impossible to complete without cheating your arse off.

    Games are easier now, but they’re more fun for it.

    #2 5 years ago
  3. mington

    i wish all game would give a description of what you’ll expect from a difficulty setting.

    There’s no place for easy, medium, hard today

    it should ready

    Infant: Auto settings / easy operation controls turned on
    Casual: not much challenge
    normal: um, normal
    Experienced: How the game is meant to be played, challenging
    Hardcore: (unlocks, stupidly hard for a second play through)

    #3 5 years ago
  4. NGCes26294BIV


    “Experienced: How the game is meant to be played”

    Isn’t that a little subjective? Why should all games be challenging as standard?

    I agree that for some games, the difficulty level ads to the experience, but for others it’s of no consequence.

    I enjoy completing games in scaled runthroughs, for example – i.e. My g/f and I will often play a co-op game on normal first, then play through again on the tougher settings. This makes sense as the more we play, the better we get, and the more equipped we are in dealing with the later difficulty levels.

    I shouldn’t be forced to have to be really good at a game just to be able to complete it. It’s a game, after all, not an exam.

    Like Dara o’Brien said on Gameswipe, referring to the Beserker in Gears 1 (and I’m paraphrasing) ‘I often end up paying for content I can never access because I get stuck at a point in the game. If I can’t do it, why should I be prevented from playing the rest of the content the game has to offer? I’ve paid for it, after all?’

    #4 5 years ago
  5. The Hindle

    Modern games are to easy, try mile high club on veteren on Cod 4 if you want a challenge.

    #5 5 years ago
  6. mington

    @4 ok, its completely dependent on the game, and actually most games are probably not applicable to my post.

    Just recently i’ve been constantly switching difficulty mid game as it’s not giving me a satisfactory level of challenge

    Spliter cell C: normal to hard
    Cod MW2: hard to normal
    Mass effect 2: normal to hard
    Uncharted 2: hard to normal

    all of these switches made for a far more enjoy play through for me, and i just wish that i had know before i started the game

    Give a decent sized description of what experience you’ll be having on each difficulty, and who it caters towards

    Mass Effect 2 actually did this perfectly by stating that the AI was nerfed on normal

    #6 5 years ago
  7. DJ Deathstar

    Yeah i don’t like my games too easy, i tend to play on the difficulty below stupidly hard first like Hardened for COD games, Heroic for Halo, Resi 5 on Veteran, then play through the hardest on a second play through

    #7 5 years ago
  8. itsucks

    @Robo_1: bows.

    #8 5 years ago
  9. Gadzooks!

    Most of the problem is not necessarily an overall difficulty level, but difficulty spikes that stop gamers (and quite frequently me) from completing a game.

    Recent examples:

    Final Fantasy XIII – Gran Pulse. Oh my bastarding christ, I’m being 1-shotted by most things no matter what paradigm I use. The grind to become competant is sucking my will to live. Hovering near trade-in pile.

    Assasins Creed II – 6th Assasins tomb in Venice with the timed jumps over water. The controls are not accurate enough to support the jump puzzle they have built. Not fun at all. Ditto for the timed carnival event in Venice. It has ruined what was up to that point rapidly becoming my GOTY.

    If I could turn down the difficulty level on these I would. I play games to relax and am not too proud to switch to a lower setting.

    My one exception is Halo. I have to complete Halo on Legendary, and Legendary+Mythic when playing co-op.

    #9 5 years ago
  10. reask

    I think one of the main problems is the frequency of checkpoints.
    OK no one wants to go back to the beginning of a level each time they die but the checkpoints in MW2 were ridiculous imo.

    I played it on veteran first time through and found it quite easy compared to COD 2 for example.
    Surely the checkpoints could be halved say for each level of difficulty.

    Just my take on it. :)

    #10 5 years ago
  11. Gheritt White

    @ 9: The 6th Assassin tomb can be a bit of a challenge – but oh! The sweet relief when you finish it! It is totally possible, it just takes a few practise goes and a little patience, IMHO.

    #11 5 years ago
  12. mington

    @9 hold right trigger and push forward innit :P

    #12 5 years ago
  13. Gadzooks!


    I’d keep plugging at it if it didn’t take an age to swim back and reset the timer. Worst piece of game design I’ve seen in a long time.


    Yes, it is mostly RT+forward, except (and this is the world’s largest, most bold and underlined except) for the constantly shifting camera angle making you jump sideways and the walljump which ALWAYS makes me jump backward instead of the required sideways.

    After approx 15 failed attempts at the jumps and 3 failed attempts to break my controller (megafail day), I’d rather dip my johnson in a jar of acid than ever attempt that tomb again.

    #13 5 years ago
  14. mington

    @13 i must admit it took me a fair few try’s, there’s a 4 part tomb later in the game thats worse, it’s probably best that you stopped where you did for the sake of your controller and your johnson

    other recent entries of ‘Worst piece of game design’ also goes to…
    Metro 2033 for it infinitely respawing dog/rat monsters
    God of War 3 for making you climb up the giant chain twice and for its over use of boring giant wooden boxes

    #14 5 years ago
  15. Robo_1


    A fellow spec chum, the highest of fives mate. :)

    #15 5 years ago
  16. Gheritt White

    @ 15: if you haven’t finished Head Over Heels, then you’re not much of a gamer IMHO.

    #16 5 years ago

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