A few days ago, Hideo Kojima confirmed that Death Stranding would have a “Very Easy Mode”.
He reasoned that some people simply want to see the story and this new game mode would allow them to do just that. Of course, just like clockwork, once the internet heard this they went ballistic. Conjuring several memes and a few nasty words in regards to this new game mode. Oh yeah, and dropping “this new mode is great for gaming journalists”. Something that I despise, for obvious reasons.
— 小島秀夫 (@Kojima_Hideo) September 5, 2019
I feel that a lot of the backlash is coming from those who don’t see the big picture. Thanks to the modern age and the dominance of places such as Twitch and YouTube, those who don’t want to spend time playing a game for the narrative can simply tune in and watch someone else play the game. Which typically satisfies the viewer. They got to see the game, the story bits and ultimately the ending. This doesn’t, however, put money into the pockets of the developers or publishers. Which is why I feel that adding this very easy mode is a smart idea.
Now, I’m not a business person but I do know how the world works and how money drives it. If I can produce a product that’s so simple that anyone can use it and sell it, why wouldn’t I? That’s easy money! Which is exactly what Kojima is doing with Death Stranding. Sure, people are complaining now, but those complaints are easily outweighed by the number of sales this game is going to get. Likely more now thanks to this announcement than it previously may have received.
I also feel that most people forget that gaming is a hobby that should be embraced by everyone. That not everyone has 10+ hours of the day to play a game, as many of us have responsibilities. Jobs, families, other hobbies and everything else that takes up a day. Which many times leaves gaming on the backburner, not for lack of trying. A very easy mode would let those who just want to jump in, get a few hours in without being stuck on a segment for hours on end. Of which could cause many to drop the game entirely.
Look at this tweet below from a person who took place in the Death Stranding test. It took them a month using this very easy mode. An entire month! Now imagine how long it might have taken if they selected a higher difficulty level?
Finished DS test play. It took a month as I was playing while doing daily work since 8/6. As being a beginner I picked Very Easy Mode. According to my boss, this mode is for ppl who usually don’t play game,movie fans or RPG fans. Normal or Hard Mode is for action game fans. pic.twitter.com/8zz3noE5iA
— Ayako (Touchy!) (@Kaizerkunkun) September 5, 2019
This is also not the first time Kojima has done this either. The Metal Gear Solid series Has always had selectable difficulties, from easy and all the way up to extreme. Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain includes a mechanic that assisted the player if they kept dying over and over. Does anyone remember the Chicken Hat? A mechanic that made it hard to be spotted, but also lowered your in-game rank? If you were still terrible with that hat, then the game attempted to make it easier for you by providing the Little Chicken Hat, which made it damned near impossible to be spotted.
At the end of the day, if this very easy mode makes it, well easier for someone to play the game then I’m all for it. For those complaining, this shouldn’t even bother you as it doesn’t concern you. Kojima has stated that the very easy mode is for beginners. There’s zero harm in having options, as this allows all gamers a chance to get through the game. For those who want a challenge, play it on normal or experienced. Or even better, how about you simply stop judging how other people play their game and you play yours the way you want to?