My Problem With The Difficulty

#1 Posted by ChristOnIce (71 posts) -

There's been no shortage of bitching about how easy this game is, but it seems to be centered almost exclusively around the fact that you cannot die.  To me, that's only a minor problem.

The fact that you can't die is fine with me.  It makes sense to respawn at a checkpoint without much delay.  However, having this mechanic could have allowed the developers to make the actual gameplay deeper, more complex, and more difficult.  I think that the biggest problem is just that the core gameplay is piss-easy. 

This game is forgiving and takes no skill.  It could have been far better if it were a game that was formidable but forgiving.  Just put one checkpoint at the beginning of each platforming sequence (instead of having one every few seconds) and create sequences that take even a modicum of thinking to get past.  The instant-save system they have provided the potential for challenge without frustration or heavy repetition, and Ubisoft just shat all over it.

Along with Assassin's Creed, this game suffers from the developers having a poor execution on a good idea.  They want the movement to be fluid and look cool.  However, they want to force that at all times and rob the player of control to do it.  The fluidity should be a reward for playing well.  Seeing the Prince or Altair doing cool acrobatics does nothing for me because it's essentially like watching a movie.  I just don't feel that I'm the one responsible for it. 

I think too many people are taken in by the production value and a predetermined want to like the game.   Certainly not everyone who likes the game is in this category, but many are.

#2 Edited by sickVisionz (1268 posts) -

I kinda disagree.  To me, they made this game under the following guideline:

Frustration doesn't equal good gameplay.  People don't like dying.  Thats not what makes platformers fun.  Is the running, jumping, doing cool looking stuff.  Thats what they really enjoy.

Everything about the game speaks to that, from the platforming to the combat.  I don't think that is a bad design idea.  However, there is a crowd that feels like frustration is the sole thing that makes a game good.  If they aren't throwing their controllers on the ground every few seconds, then it was worthless.  However, I think there is a perfect way to reach a happy medium.

  • Less Hand-Holding

I don't mind that the Prince basically locks on to object and that he never dies, but I do mind the game always telling you what to do.  If you need to wall run, that part of the wall always has marks as if a million people have wall run on it before.  They should remove that.  I ignore them alot of times and still get off fine by doing a super jump or wall running on something else.  I think alot of people would never try anything different though.  I think they will just what the game tells them and never think of a different way or try a different way.


After the game has shown you how an enemy attacks, you should never get another "RT" prompt telling you to block now.  Since you can't die, you don't need this anymore.


  • Reward the Frustration = Good Gameplay Player

I don't think they should change their core philosophy.  However, i think the game should grade your performance.  I don't know how.  Maybe in addition to light seeds, every area has a certain amount of "Skill Seeds" to collect.  You earn these based off of how many times you use Elika in combat or in regular platforming in that area and the time it takes you to complete an area..  If you go over a certain amount, you earn none.  Perhaps a small icon pops up and if you hit the Elika button at that time, she'll shoot out that blue light and the camera will pan out to show you where you need to go and a timer pops up.  If you ever want to reset, you have to go back to the icon location and retrigger it.  If they tie this to stage specifc rewards (like a bonus area with light seeds, new abilities or just something cool), you will create that need of, "I have to nail things right the first time" and "I can't let Elika save me in a fight".  However, none of this should be critical for completing the area and beating the game.  You can totally bumble your way through things and use Elika a million times.  But for the player who is good and is nailing things, they are getting a reward in return.  Because it's linked to each area, you have to excel in that specific area in order to get it.  I think that creates a "frustration = gameplay" situation where people who really want to get every possible light seed or want a cool new skin or outfit or ability or bonus area will be reloading constantly.  


For the people who just want to have fun running, jumping and doing cool looking combat moves, all of that is still there.  If you mess up, you aren't punished.  But if you do well, you are rewarded.  I honestly feel that their core concept of what makes a platformer fun is correct.  I think that alot of what they did is the future of platformers.  However, I think they went a little overboard in hand holding and they didn't do enough to reward the player who isn't constantly respawning.

#3 Posted by zerok (180 posts) -

IMO the "Reward the Frustration"-thing was at least partially implemented with the trophies/achievements were you get some for speed-runs and such. But I absolutely have to agree with you: The constant guidance gets highly annoying after the first hour.

I actually don't mind the game being that easy, though. It's kind of refreshing to play something that doesn't constantly try to piss you off ;-)
#4 Posted by Kr3lian (310 posts) -

If you think about this game as about 40% platformer, 60% rhythm action game, it all begins to make sense and you can have more fun :)

#5 Posted by Ineedaname (4319 posts) -

I wasn't bothered about not dying in platforming it was the combat, and the lack of it, I loved the prince of persia series because of the combat, and in two thrones they had a decent enough stealth system, but one bad guy at a time doesn't really work for prince of Persia in my opinion.

#6 Posted by gormers (289 posts) -

Interesting topic. I agree with most of what you guys say, the "reward the frustration" part comes in with achievements. I dont mind not being able to die, but the core gameplay was just to slow in Prince of Persia. And there were segments that I actually got annoyed over when dying over anyway. Im talking about like when you are in a long "power plate" segment, and I get a bit tired and loose focus when it goes on for so long. When I forget to press a button, and the whole gameplay resolves around pressing either b or y at the right time, I annoyed when I die because it takes time doing the same thing over again.

Simply put, the problem with prince of persia is that the game takes too much of the control from you and is slower in general. When you jump on a wall, there will be a delay when you hit it, and you will run at a fixed line. You will also run slower than in the older PoP games. The DLC they came out with improved much on what people had been complaining about, but the core gameplay was the same. I still enjoyed it more though, as it was a bit more challenging, had fewer long- and boring segments, and had some good puzzles. The combat was also a little too dumb and clunky (though pretty). The challenge when fighting the later bosses was enduaring the endles button tapping you had to do.

To be honest, I was just as annoyed by mirrors edge on the first playthrough as I was of Prince of persia. I wasnt that annoyed by either, but Im just saying.

So I agree with the threadstarter.. I think...

#7 Posted by KingX (220 posts) -
@ChristOnIce:  You got a good point actually. Now I don't own this game myself have seen it and heard other speal of this "cannot die" thingy.. though I ordered it today as I do wanna play it.. its Prince Of Persia. But from what Ive heard that might make it a bit challenging and that is at least on the ps3 system there is two trophies you can get one is that you must complete the game in under a certain time period and the other is that the woman that is helping you if you actually jumps wrong cannot help you as much as maybe needed. Now I thought going for both thos trophies at once might make this game a bit more challenging, Jumping correctly and doing it fast thu the game..
just a thought though

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