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Bleszinski: Gears of War 2 will have casual appeal

Bleszinski: Gears of War 2 will have casual appeal

Gears of War 2 has an included casual mode where it's supposed to be harder to die than it is to live.

Gears of War 2 lead designer Cliff Bleszinski is keen to welcome the casual games audience with his latest game, claiming that the casual games movement is definitely a good thing and that other developers shouldn't be intimidated by casual gamers.

"Thanks to the success of Guitar Hero and Wii, we've seen a lot of new people play games, and we've seen a lot of ex-gamers get back into gaming," Bleszinski noted in an interview with Develop, via EG.

"Some developers are nervous about that, but I think that's a dumb response. I think it's great to have more people playing games, and maybe they'll evolve from playing Guitar Hero to playing Gears or Halo or GTA."

With that as a tenet, Bleszinski saw that there was a casual mode made for Gears of War 2 in which it it was practically harder to die than it was to survive. Bleszinski claimed that the team went deliberately out of their way to create this mode, specifically so that it can pull casual gamers in and get them interested in the harder modes.

"We want casual gamers to get involved this time around," he explained. "Yes it's got blood, monsters and guns, but it is also a story about loss and redemption and a bit of heart."

What do you think about the casual appeal of the Gears of War games? Check out our hands-on Gears of War 2 preview and then let us know what you think in the forums.

20 Comments

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proxess 8th October 2008, 12:24 Quote
All this "Casual Game" talk is starting to honestly pizz me off... why don't they just make "Game"? Pac-Man is a Game, Super Mario is a Game. Just make Games!
liratheal 8th October 2008, 12:26 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by proxess
All this "Casual Game" talk is starting to honestly pizz me off... why don't they just make "Game"? Pac-Man is a Game, Super Mario is a Game. Just make Games!

Agreed.
badders 8th October 2008, 12:33 Quote
I have the first GOW, which also has a "Casual" mode.

I'm stuck about 30 minutes in, on the beserk-thing bit. 60+ deaths and counting.

<sarcasm>Best tenner I ever spent</sarcasm>
Burnout21 8th October 2008, 12:36 Quote
casual gaming to me is like playing GTA or doing a quick race in Grid, where you just piss around to blow 5 minutes of spare time, and when you have time you do the actual game.

the only way i can see GoW2 being a casual game is if it had a time crysis feel about it.
spectre456 8th October 2008, 12:39 Quote
what disturbs me is that these devs (epic, peter molyneux's studio, just to name a few) seem more focused on making games for everyone but a gamer. at this rate my mum will be playing games next year, and that's not cool.
liratheal 8th October 2008, 12:41 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by badders
I have the first GOW, which also has a "Casual" mode.

I'm stuck about 30 minutes in, on the beserk-thing bit. 60+ deaths and counting.

<sarcasm>Best tenner I ever spent</sarcasm>

First or second encounter?
Kúsař 8th October 2008, 12:53 Quote
Great, and next year games shall start playing themselves for us. Or perhaps they'll include some kind of in-game guide: "you missed a key, please return and pick up the key. It is located next to the post 'Please pick up key here'".

I miss gameplay of hard-core games like Tomb Raider(I,II), Operation Flashpoint, Vietcong...
Grasshopper 8th October 2008, 13:02 Quote
Bleszinski claimed that the team went deliberately out of their way to create this mode, specifically so that it can pull casual gamers in and get them interested in the harder modes. - in other words: "We can't keep up with gamers expectations so will name it casual game!"
liratheal 8th October 2008, 13:09 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Grasshopper
Bleszinski claimed that the team went deliberately out of their way to create this mode, specifically so that it can pull casual gamers in and get them interested in the harder modes. - in other words: "We can't keep up with gamers expectations so will name it casual game!"

I'm under the impression that the mode will be an additional, not a main feature, so it's not really an 'all casual' game.
badders 8th October 2008, 13:25 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by liratheal


First or second encounter?


There's a Second one?
It's the one where you're supposed to lead it outside to get it with the big (sattelite?) gun. I just can't lure it to the doors and get out of the way.
liratheal 8th October 2008, 13:32 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by badders
There's a Second one?
It's the one where you're supposed to lead it outside to get it with the big (sattelite?) gun. I just can't lure it to the doors and get out of the way.

The second one is a hell of a lot easier, but yes, there is a second one :D I think it's in the last act/end of the penultimate act, but my memory is fuzzy.

I found standing in the center-ish of the door but obviously far enough out to not dive into an obstacle or Dom, and then diving to the left or right to avoid her is the easiest way. Admittedly, I did my fair share of diving into her >.>. To me it seemed more about luck than anything, especially on Insane. Usually, you can dive out of the way when she's a little way away from you, and she won't be able to make the turn in time, and hits the door. Obviously, dive too early, and she will try to swerve and hit you.
bbshammo 8th October 2008, 14:27 Quote
This Bleszinski guy is already proven his skills in complete BS with his last comment about pc-savvy gamers=pirates, in which case there's no reason to take anything he says seriously.

As far as I'm concerned, this is just another bout of BS to try and rationalise their choice to basically churn out as much money as they can from the original title with as little effort and cost as possible (at the expense of consumers) and hide behind some rubbish about this being a deliberate marketing strategy. Deliberate? Sure, a deliberate attempt at doing a half-arsed job and trying to dress it up as something more credible.

The term "casual gamer" I agree with and such gamers aren't some kind of retarded inferior segment of gamers; they simply value a slightly different set of attributes from their games.

Bleszinski's argument is solely based on the premise that by simply making things easier in that you effectively suspend "game-over" or respawns, or death (whatever) is laughable.

Casual games such as the nintendo classics, wii-sports games, wii-party-style games, guitar hero etc... are all solid games in their own right.

They have their learning curves and increasing difficulty, and the classics have their own uniqueness in terms of design etc...

Basically, they're designed with the "casual" gamer in mind from the outset and this is evident in all the successful casual titles.

Simply ramping down the difficulty to let people who would otherwise avoid fps's or 3rd-ps's in order to attract them assumes that the only reason they don't play these games is because they are hard to get into!!

Don't all the other factors that make a game what it is count at all?! For example, the genre, the universe it's set in, the plot, the flow, the way it looks, the game logic, the design in general etc...

Sure, his argument about casual gaming being a good direction and a viable one that is challenging and highly rewarding as proven by nintendo is absolutely right in my opinion, but his attempts at linking GoW2 to this rational is just an insult to the achievements of Nintendo and all the other good "casual" game providers.

GoW2 is just a bells and whistles title by the look of it, and ramping down the difficulty may indeed attract those "gamers" with money to burn who also are attracted primarily by shiny bright things, but they eventually see the light and if the game isn't a good game, it'll show, Epic's reputation gets a makeover, and with any luck those responsible will come out in the wash.
liratheal 8th October 2008, 14:31 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by bbshammo
GoW2 is just a bells and whistles title by the look of it, and ramping down the difficulty may indeed attract those "gamers" with money to burn who also are attracted primarily by shiny bright things, but they eventually see the light and if the game isn't a good game, it'll show, Epic's reputation gets a makeover, and with any luck those responsible will come out in the wash.

That's the only bit I disagree with, possibly due to misinterpretation.

The way I'm reading it is "You're not a real gamer if you like GoW/GoW2, because it's got all the story of a fart, with a bit of shine", which just smacks of elitism.

Correct me if I'm wrong :B
DougEdey 8th October 2008, 14:37 Quote
Cliff Bleszinski is a ruddy game DESIGNER he's not a fecking analyst. He's only out and about now because his main job is pritty much finished with so he's out getting Gears in the news.
biebiep 8th October 2008, 14:39 Quote
I hate the fact that I don't have to look on gamefaqs anymore to actually beat a certain small part of the game.

This might seem like a lame statement. But I think you all know what i mean here ;). Games are just too easy nowadays, the challenge is to follow the road ahead. Whilst in games of old, the road ahead usually meant looking around in all the places you had ever been to finally find what you needed :p
bbshammo 8th October 2008, 17:56 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by liratheal
Quote:
Originally Posted by bbshammo
GoW2 is just a bells and whistles title by the look of it, and ramping down the difficulty may indeed attract those "gamers" with money to burn who also are attracted primarily by shiny bright things, but they eventually see the light and if the game isn't a good game, it'll show, Epic's reputation gets a makeover, and with any luck those responsible will come out in the wash.

That's the only bit I disagree with, possibly due to misinterpretation.

The way I'm reading it is "You're not a real gamer if you like GoW/GoW2, because it's got all the story of a fart, with a bit of shine", which just smacks of elitism.

Correct me if I'm wrong :B

I can see how it might be interpreted that way, but to reiterate; it's to describe the segment of gamers, regardless of their tastes, standards, or whatever who are less specific of their gaming needs, but just as demanding in terms of quality and perceived value. In which case, seeing a title like GoW2 with its amazing graphics etc... ("shiny bright") can easily confuse in terms of seeing it as a good potential buy to someone looking for a good casual game.

I don't think that anyone can disagree with the fact that gamers are very diverse in terms of their desired standards, tastes, attributes etc... and the level to which individuals go to in order to evaluate a game varies hugely. Acknowledging this fact can seem eliteist, but I see it as pragmatic.

Basically, what I'm saying is that simply dumbing a game down on difficulty alone doesn't constitute a "casual" game for "casual gamers". Games are games and I think what makes individual titles good is a whole raft of attributes that are tailored specifically to their target gamers from the outset.

Casual gaming, to me, means convenient, easy to learn and enjoy, but hard to master, and I don't see how simply making it harder to restart mid-game (making it harder to be killed in this case) constitutes "casual gaming".

What bugs me is that statements like that made by Bleszinski about GoW2 deliberately try to mislead gamers, and and cover up their failings. It all just looks a lot like a damage limitation exercise to me.
Lepermessiah 8th October 2008, 19:07 Quote
Why is this news? Really, Cliffy B is a moron, lets not give him more time to inflate his ego and run his mouth.
UrbanMarine 8th October 2008, 20:15 Quote
It's about making money now not the love of gaming. Hardcore gamers are the minority of the gaming industry now. Just about everything electronic has some form of gaming. Cell phones, PC, consoles, websites etc etc and there are more casual gamers now than hardcore. So companies are reaching into those pockets for income.
liratheal 8th October 2008, 21:30 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by bbshammo
I can see how it might be interpreted that way, but to reiterate; it's to describe the segment of gamers, regardless of their tastes, standards, or whatever who are less specific of their gaming needs, but just as demanding in terms of quality and perceived value. In which case, seeing a title like GoW2 with its amazing graphics etc... ("shiny bright") can easily confuse in terms of seeing it as a good potential buy to someone looking for a good casual game.

I don't think that anyone can disagree with the fact that gamers are very diverse in terms of their desired standards, tastes, attributes etc... and the level to which individuals go to in order to evaluate a game varies hugely. Acknowledging this fact can seem eliteist, but I see it as pragmatic.

Basically, what I'm saying is that simply dumbing a game down on difficulty alone doesn't constitute a "casual" game for "casual gamers". Games are games and I think what makes individual titles good is a whole raft of attributes that are tailored specifically to their target gamers from the outset.

Casual gaming, to me, means convenient, easy to learn and enjoy, but hard to master, and I don't see how simply making it harder to restart mid-game (making it harder to be killed in this case) constitutes "casual gaming".

What bugs me is that statements like that made by Bleszinski about GoW2 deliberately try to mislead gamers, and and cover up their failings. It all just looks a lot like a damage limitation exercise to me.

Fair enough then :)
1ad7 9th October 2008, 07:04 Quote
It seems gamers are no longer the target audience of games. What happened to the bf2 days where all the big competition was in which game appealed to the hardcore gamers and to attempt to steal them from there classics.
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