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​More Than 30% Of ‘XCOM 2 Players Play On Easy

​More Than 30% Of ‘XCOM 2 Players Play On Easy

XCOM 2 is an often unforgiving and challenging strategy game. When your soldiers die, that's it, there's no take backs. Troops you've trained from rookies into veterans across hours and hours of play can be wiped out in a moment. Completing a campaign of XCOM is a badge of honour for some gamers, so it's interesting to see the stats on Firaxis' site show that 50% have completed the game on Veteran (or Normal difficulty) and 31% on Rookie (or easy difficulty).

Games having an easy mode has become a surprisingly contentious issues, with some people arguing that it diminishes a game to have a mode that is less challenging. One argument for this is that the satisfaction from completing a game comes from overcoming challenges and if you make the challenges easier then the satisfaction will be less profound.

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It ain't easy fighting off an alien occupation
It ain't easy fighting off an alien occupation

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Yet, even with a game like XCOM which is often talked about in terms of how challenging it is, which you might expect would draw the type of player who insisted on playing the game on its hardest difficulty mode, the vast majority aren't playing the game on hard. And, nearly a third are in fact playing it on easy.

One problem with the conversation about difficulty is that it assumes people play games to master something challenging. While that's a part of why I play games - I'm a big fan of Super Hexagon, for instance, which is a game that demands a high level of reflexes and muscle memory - it also reduces games to simply their conclusion. For many people, especially in an age of games with ever larger open worlds, the joy of games comes from exploration, meeting new characters, solving puzzles. How hard those elements are doesn't make the game any more enjoyable.

Also, personally, I only have so much time to play games and I don't want to spend three hours on getting more and more frustrated as I struggle to complete a boss fight.

What do you think, should games have an easy mode?

Featured Image Credit: 2K Games

Topics: video games, 2K Games, gamingbible

Julian Benson

Senior journalist at GAMINGbible. Former deputy editor of PCGamesN and news editor of Kotaku UK. Written for Eurogamer, PC Gamer, Rock, Paper, Shotgun, Wired, and GamesMaster. Author of 'Rags, Bones and Tea Leaves'. Contact: [email protected]