Many gamers today don't know they are born. Back when I started playing games you were lucky to get out of the first room, never mind complete the game (I'm looking at you Jet Set Willy). Today it’s all AutoSaves and constant check points. An upcoming game that may buck this trend is Syndicate. In a recent interview with Eurogamer, Starbreeze have hinted that the game will provide around 50 hours of pleasure, but you'll have to work hard to complete everything.
The interview is enlightening in terms of the co-op in the game. The recent Syndicate demo gave us a hint of what to expect, but lead co-op programmer Lars Magnus Lang goes into further detail.
We're in constant fear we made it too hard.
Sounds pretty ominous, especially when you realise there is no 'easy' mode in the game. Instead there is a 3 star system for each co-op map; 1 star = Normal, 2 stars = Hard, 3 stars = Insane. If you want to unlock absolutely everything in the game you are going to have to complete the 3 star co-op maps and this may take up to 50 hours. Each star level will provide a subtly different style of gameplay:
But then we have scripted it differently on the different difficulties, so you will encounter more interesting enemies and have some special events that only occur on certain difficulties. We have mercenary events and more mini-bosses - a lot more mini-bosses - on three stars, for example:
You might be totally overwhelmed with missiles you need to breach in the air, something we tried to avoid in one star difficulty. Ambushes, for example. Before people learn the breaching mechanism it's a lot to keep track of. It's a lot to keep track of normal, but on three star difficulty multiply that a couple of times.
Games like the Gears of War franchise and Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Vegas 2 have shown that cranking up the difficulty can provide a new and fun experience for gamers who have already ran through the game on easy. With both a single player and co-op element to Syndicate, let's hope that the game lives up to the classic Bullfrog experience, a game which was no candy walk itself.
Are modern games too easy?
Should co-op experiences be made harder than single player?