‘God of War’ creator criticizes ‘Metroid Dread’ difficulty and level design

Metroid Dread continues to talk for very different reasons: if it is the best game so far this year for Nintendo Switch and even one of the best Metroid that have never been published, that if it has a most crappy error that can make you explode the game, that if the developer MercurySteam has had a terrible deal with its employees …

And not everything has a solution, of course: the error can be avoided and will be closed with a patch throughout this month, the problems with the studio already belong to the past, although unfortunately they are the day-to-day in an industry whose worst actors they behave as they get bigger … But let’s talk about another controversy that has arisen around Metroid Dread: the difficulty of the game.

That’s right: as incredible as it may seem, at a time when, except for those titles indie Low-budget designed with the sole intention of offering a challenge up to the most intrepid and skilled, all the games of the big companies are made for the common of the players to have fun without trying too much, it comes and goes Metroid Dread to get more than one out of their boxes.

It is, in fact, one of the most repeated criticisms of the game: it is very good, but the difficulty in certain levels, especially boss fights, is excessively high… For these times, it should be emphasized. However, the curious thing is to find people like David Jaffe, the creator of God of War, at the head of the most despised critics against Metroid Dread.

It is curious for being who he is and having created what he has created, but also because, precisely because he is who he is, he is granted knowledge and some experience with a franchise that is already in his forties. I comment on this because its main complaints have been characteristics of the Metroid saga since its inception, including the difficulties or a confusing level design on purpose.

Not only has he said it, but he has recorded a video of the moment in which he gave up continuing to play Metroid Dread: «After two and a half hours, I deleted Metroid Dread«, Jaffe tells on his Twitter account, adding a link to the video in question. «I know that many of you love it, but I already say no. And it had nothing to do with the difficulty«, He points out.

Nevertheless, in a previous tweet Jaffe commented that «Kena, Metroid, Returnal; all leading the way towards super challenging games. Maybe it’s the NES generation becoming designers, but I hate this shit. And it is not a question of age; I never liked it, but it wasn’t that rampant. It’s like the developers want to scare the players away«. In other words, the difficulty has had something to do with it.

However, in his video Jaffe focuses mainly on level design, alluding to the lack of indicators for the player, who does not have a guide to advance in Metroid Dread without turning. For a change, this explains it in another tweet, even offering annotated screenshots of the game and comments like “it’s time to learn to design.”

But as many players explain to him, there are subtle signs of where to advance in the game, as there have always been in the past. Metroid, the enemies are difficult, but they are within what is expected of a Metroid -although there are exceptions aside from the bosses-… and, of course, the difficulty is relative. As relative as ‘handicapped’ a person is, which is what they accuse Jaffe of.

The debate, however, is interesting: Difficult games or accessible to everyone? What is the appropriate strategy for developers? Traditionally, games included levels of difficulty to choose from before starting to play, and there are still levels depending on which games. But it is not something that matches all the titles on the market and it seems that Metroid Dread It is one of them.

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