Anybody here brave enough to admit that Fifa on Legendary single player difficulty is harder than Dark Souls?

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fourthline

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#1  Edited By fourthline

So i'm wrapping up Far Cry 5 (review in the next 24 hours) and I'm looking at my next game. Since i'm mostly new to the PS4 ecosystem I thought about picking up bloodborne, DS1, DS2, and DS3 since those games are part of the gaming zeitgeist. They are known to be tough games. But that got me thinking. When Fifa 17, Fifa 18, and Fifa 19 had a story mode i really wanted to play through them. When i started with 17 the options came up. I chose the default because i know i would never finish the story mode, yet alone score a goal or ever win a match at a harder difficulty.

Look at all these modes. Being able to score consistently and win games against computers in sports games has always been my nemesis so i checked out during the PS3 era.
Look at all these modes. Being able to score consistently and win games against computers in sports games has always been my nemesis so i checked out during the PS3 era.

Million dollar challenge. Finish Bloodborne or go a season undefeated in Legendary mode in Fifa 2020? You have a week.
Million dollar challenge. Finish Bloodborne or go a season undefeated in Legendary mode in Fifa 2020? You have a week.

Since Giantbomb is comprised, more likely than not, of people that would rather platinum Bloodborne than play in a local Fifa 20 tournament my replies are probably skewed. But for me, Bloodborne completion seems possible where as Legendary mode or even winning a match online in Fifa feels impossible (the only reason i bought those 3 fifas was because they were bundled together as the story collection. I have been without fifa for 15 years because i had run up against frustration). So who among us is brave enough to say the Dark Souls series is the easy button and sports games are the actual Dark Souls of videogames?

Next game is Persona 5, which i'm 60% through. Hopefully i can get a review up by August 1.

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BrunoTheThird

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I think the challenging aspects of the Souls games are demonstrably learnable, generally follow a certain internal and external logic that is understandable and quite predictive, and rewards the player when they apply each lesson learned into that one successful run.

Sports games have always scaled their difficulty in a way that often feels insanely robotic after a certain point, especially at the highest ones (IMO). In fact, I kind of disagree with your thread's versus logic at a fundamental level because, outside of NG+, Souls games have a finely tuned and fixed difficulty and sports games don't/can't due to the real-life variables they attempt to emulate (the sudden on-a-roll adrenaline rushes of a star player, wind speed in a golf game, formation changes, whatever.) It's like comparing a yo-yo to swing ball; one is far more predictable.

I will choose a different language than yours and say that the A.I. of some sports games at high difficulties is often far less predictive and arguably designed to be unfair rather than challenging. There's nothing "brave" about me saying that, though, because it's a by-product of its genre, not an arbitrary assignation of being "more difficult" than a famously challenging game like, say, DS1.

The frenzied boss/enemy states in DS3 and BB specifically, however, have some of that unpredictable behaviour, though still incomparable. Just my opinion, I'd love to be corrected if I've totally missed something or edged close to an ignorant viewpoint.

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fourthline

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BrunoTheThird

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#4  Edited By BrunoTheThird

You can simplify and interpret my response that way, I have no issue with that. I think words like "easier" or "harder" are a bit too limiting, is all. I find sports games more complex, definitely, and the way they balance systems and A.I. skew very hard one way in their "pro" modes.

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Efesell

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I don't think there's much to draw from this to be honest.

Like at this point I'm pretty good at Souls games, I would not call them the most difficult thing out there anymore. But I'm trash at sports games because I'm not a sports guy and I'm unlikely to win much even on super baby difficulties.

I don't think this says a whole lot about the relative difficulty of both though.

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AKTANE

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#6  Edited By AKTANE

I have been thinking about games' difficulty a lot, I recently played through retro games in this pursuit e.g. beat Mike Tyson in MTPO - was too young to play that game as a kid, but anyways I digress ... I think there are 3 layers to difficulty, and I think different games do different things to maximize how each layer makes the game hard:

1.) Reading aka Game Knowledge (recognize the exact situation you are in, why you're in that situation, and what can be done)

2.) Problem Solving aka Options and Consequences (now that you know the situation, do you know the answer to solve it?)

3.) Reactions aka Execution (you see the goomba, you know you must jump on top of it, but can you time it right?)

I'd love to hear if you think there is a 4th aspect here to add :) ... anyways

A sports game makes 1.) Reading very very difficult, you've got about 12 different things going on at once, each with many deep layers that you likely have not memorized. Sure in Dark Souls or BB you may have the odd enemy who is in the wrong place, but by and large, you probably know what problem you're about to face. You may not have seen all the attacks but after a few attempts, you have.

Sports games make 2.) Problem Solving somewhat simple BUT because of a layer of RNG - you can't be sure your response will solve the problem or the true consequence of an action. In Sekiro if you see a swing you've parried before, you know you can parry it again. If you dodge left and got hit, you probably will get hit a second time ( probably) in Fifa just because you Roulette'd a defender and got through, doesn't mean its gonna happen again. the computer could ostensibly make that particular tackle more effective due to some stat...

Sports games are usually pretty chill on 3.), they're not too hard to execute if you keep things simple, input lag and windows are suitably long. Sekiro or say Bloodborne, this is difficult. There are very tight timing windows. but 1.) and 2.) are much easier and can be relied on to simply focus on 3.) once you get 1.) and 2.) down.

Games that have the computer find the perfect rock to your scissors, force you to wait for the computer to show rock so you can play paper... not very fun, think Street Fighter 2 AI. removes player agency and creativity completely.... this is exactly what Mike Tyson makes you do on the NES :)

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liquiddragon

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Brave enough to admit? 🤔

Never

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cikame

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I knew this would be a fourthline thread.
Yeah it's probably harder than Dark Souls, for some people riding a bike is probably harder than Dark Souls.

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csl316

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ilomilo is harder than Dark Souls.

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Shindig

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It's a very different comparison to make. When you increase difficulty in sports games, the AI tends to tighten up, offer you less space, etc. It'd be like if Dark Souls tampered with attack, roll and dodge windows. I also feel that increasing difficulty in FIFA makes the AI get better at FIFA rather than play smarter football. FIFA is a game, rather than a simulation of the sport's tactics and philosophies.

Kinda.

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terminallychill

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I'm with you, I platinumed bloodborne but I think FIFA games are impossible. Obviously if I put in 90 hours I'm sure I would get a lot better but even as a kid trying to get into them I found the controls so obtuse. I can play NHL and NBA games casually and sort of understand what I'm doing even if I'm not doing the high-level tricks. With FIFA games though, I'm just pressing "shoot" and aiming sort of towards the goal and closing my eyes.

Same goes for the Skate games vs. Tony Hawk. I'm not great at either but I can play Tony Hawk because it feels more like an action game, while I'm terrible at Skate because it all the tricks are these really arcane "twist the stick a quarter of the way" commands. Once again I'm sure it's easier when you sink more time in, but my brain is wired in a way that makes that stuff harder for me to pick up.

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mellotronrules

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i admire and salute the temerity of this post. o7

i also have absolutely no opinion on the matter at hand. but i'll take your word for it, if only to start a gang war between the fifa the enthusiasts and the from software fanatics.

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Gundato

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Many (probably actually most in the grand scheme of things) games are harder than Souls games.

What made Souls games take off was that Dark Souls (and to a lesser extent Demon Souls) was "hard but fair" at a time when the options had mostly become hand-holdy fully game tutorials or nintendo-hard bullshit. Dark Souls was a game that was difficult but was specifically designed so that EVERYTHING had a tell. It wasn't about getting that perfect run to the boss so you could tank enough of the un-dodgeable stuff (Castlevania) . It was about fighting that boss repeatedly so that you could learn what range to stay at and so forth.

So yeah, games like Ninja Gaiden for the NES (although... probably any of them) are a lot harder because the level design and mechanics are set up to become almost unwinnable if you get off cycle (presumably it was designed for arcades although I am not sure if NG ever had an arcade release). Same with enemies like Motaro in MK3 which are harder than any Souls boss ever because they straight up cheat.

I have never played a fifa game meaningfully but considering you control one player at a time on a team of... more than one I imagine there is a lot of room for AI "bullshit" and so forth. And the heavy emphasis on RMTs make me suspect it has a lot in common with arcade games of olde.

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fourthline

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#15  Edited By fourthline

@aktane: I'll add a fourth and fifth since i try to relate all of my posts and reviews so that you get the full compendium of fourthline videogame opinion.

Courtesy of my Last of Us 2 - 3 star review - obfuscation of necessary objects and deliberate scarcity of objects. I would have much rather plowed through last of us 2 with nary an upgrade. I did enjoy the power strip animation and it was very much a power fantasy of now I'm going to f*** sh** up even more. However, minimizing aim sway or making bullets more effective is just the worst kind of padding of difficulty.

I'm playing Far Cry 5 (review within hours but it's looking like a 4/5 stars yet 9/10 game) and the auto-aim is so... automatic that it creates a cinematic time but if the difficulty toggle has anything to do with auto aim then that's just artificial difficulty.

So i would say #4 is artificial scarcity and #5 is auto-aim stickiness so whatever the converse to those would be. #4 managing resources effectively so in a sports game you know Lebron is not going to hit 20 3's in a game so can you apply what you know to be true in most games (and if they pull stats on a regular basis that would be amazing but i think it's pretty random) and #5 mechanics mastery in sports games shooting the free throw has gone through some pretty good iterations and if you've had a couple drinks then your performance is affected.

*i havent read through your post thoroughly but i find it interesting.

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fourthline

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@gundato: Wouldn't the enemies, in other games not so carefully crafted as Dark Souls like enemies in Last of Us 2, be mired in AI bullshit too?

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SethMode

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I truly don't mean any offense here, but this is just the dumbest comparison.

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Pezen

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There's a variable difference in Fifa and Souls games though; I can't rely on my team to be as good as me but I can rely on my opposing team to always perform as a unit. Which means they can set up plays in ways I cannot because I don't control every player simultaneously. So if my AI teammate don't predict where I want them to go, I'm out of luck. Which is a variable the opposing team doesn't have because the opposing team isn't two hands controlled by two different brains trying to work together. It would be like if in the Souls game, my off-hand weapon or shield had a mind of it's own and made it's own calculated decisions on when to work as intended and when not to.

Ignoring that, maybe Fifa is 'harder' but that just doesn't mean anything since the comparison isn't working on similar premises.

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fourthline

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#19  Edited By fourthline

@sethmode: how so? People looooove to celebrate dark souls. We should be cheering on the fifa legendary players. Just like teachers should be celebrated instead of nba players. Oh wait. Is this disproving my point? Nope

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SethMode

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ghost_cat

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#21  Edited By ghost_cat

@fourthline: Do you ever read any of your stuff out loud to yourself, or to any real people? If not, that would be a braver thing to do than whatever this post is.

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Efesell

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I'm not entirely convinced that fourthline is real.

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fourthline

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@ghost_cat: I barely reread text I send and I damn sure ain’t gonna reread anything I post here. This is sorting out all of my Far Cry 5 review thoughts. This is my process.

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ghost_cat

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Brackstone

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This all misses the point. There are lots of harder things in video games than Dark Souls. Hell some CoD games on Veteran are harder, I have terrible memories about World at War on Veteran. It's not about the degree to which Dark Souls is hard, it's about the way in which it is hard. It's a difficulty that rewards patience and attentive learning, and that makes it a rewarding difficulty. Dark Souls is known as being a hard game not because it's the hardest game around, but because there's only one difficulty level that's meticulously designed and balanced to be rewarding.

Any asshole can crank up the numbers to make some bullshit difficulty on their game. Sure it'll be harder but it's the bad kind of hard. Most games that have difficulty options just become tedious bullshit on the highest level. You could make it so Dark Souls had a 99% chance to kill you whenever you swung your weapon, and it'd probably be one of the hardest games at that point, but does that really say anything?

I'd make a comparison to hot sauce. Anyone can dump a bunch of pepper extract, vinegar and salt into a bottle, slap a picture on the label of a donkey shitting out a nuke , and call it the spiciest hot sauce around. Or you can actually make something that has a lot of heat, but also good flavour profile. One is a low effort gimmick, the other is something with purpose and thought behind it.

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imhungry

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I mean, it sounds like you're bad at Fifa. There's nothing wrong with that, but that's not remotely the same thing as the game being 'hard'.

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cikame

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I have a serious question, are we sure fourthline isn't just the worlds most advanced spam bot?
I jest of course, and for all the questionable statements in his posts he has certainly brought character to this forum.

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Gundato

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@gundato: Wouldn't the enemies, in other games not so carefully crafted as Dark Souls like enemies in Last of Us 2, be mired in AI bullshit too?

I mean, at the end of the day intent doesn't necessarily matter when it comes to game design. I've played MANY fighting games where I am sure the devs thought they made the most balanced thing ever and even I can figure out an infinite in the first few hours. Similarly, Smash is intentionally not balanced or meant to be competitive and by just disabling half the game there is a very competitive scene.

But I also don't think most shooters and Souls are going for the same thing. When a shooter wants to get "hard" it cranks up the health and turns on the aimbots. But, for the most part (actually probably not given the full breadth of gaming history but just roll with it), the goal of most shooter enemies is to be set dressing for the level as a whole. Barring the cases where they spawn from out of nowhere (or sometimes right in front of you...) they generally follow the same "rules" the players do and the difficulty tends to come from level design more than NPC design

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Gundato

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@cikame said:

I have a serious question, are we sure fourthline isn't just the worlds most advanced spam bot?

I jest of course, and for all the questionable statements in his posts he has certainly brought character to this forum.

Eh. Most of their arguments definitely come from a dunning kruger space but they;'ve raised some really interesting topics and aren't advertising external sites. If they are a bot, they are a bot I am mostly fine with

What I have a bigger problem with is the crowd of folk who follow them around and engage in ad hominem bordering on harassment. Respond to their arguments (and optimally don't engage when things turn to personal attacks). Don't be a peanut gallery that gets off on saying "ha ha, they suck". Because when folk do shit like that it means they are the folk making a community a worse place AND it makes for an incredibly hostile environment that tends to, at best, foster an echo chamber and, more often, just foster an incredibly hostile space where everyone wants to dunk on other people (see twitter).

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north6

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Dark Souls got a bad rep for being "hard". Not saying it's easy, but yeah, if you put probably any sports game on its hardest difficulty (i assume that's what legendary is) the computer is usually cheating, playing with stats you otherwise wouldn't have access to, making decisions faster than you can, etc.

Dark Souls is almost exclusively fair to you. There are some exceptions that prove the rule, notably the hunters in Bloodborne and some enemies in Dark Souls 3 that attack using your animations, but swing far more often than you can, inferring they don't use stamina like you do. In sports games, difficulty increases usually apply some kind of baseline stat increase across the board (among other things) to your opponent.

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_Brojangles_

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Dark Souls games aren’t even that hard. Especially Dark Souls 1.

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Giant_Gamer

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CoD:WaW have been released at around the same time Damon's Souls was release and its hardest difficulty is way harder than Demon's Souls. On that difficulty you could pretty much get around five grenades at your location in addition to the barrage of bullets hailing at you.

Demon's Souls came in at time when video games are becoming too easy that's why it had the infamy of being known as hard especially when it had no difficulty options.

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Onemanarmyy

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#33  Edited By Onemanarmyy

I fucking love these Fourthline posts :D

And yeah, i do agree that legendary fifa is way harder to most people here. Dark Souls may be 'somewhat hard' but it's still a game that when you pick it up you only need 5-10 minutes to get used to the controls. Wow, your attack & block buttons are on the shoulders? How novel! Also, those games tend to give you quite some leeway to eventually master a boss. Yeah, you might not be able to win with a naked lv1 guy without getting hit, but you can always collect souls and power level yourself and show up with the toughest armor & 8 estus flasks to a boss and get hit 20 times and still beat the enemy.

Then you pick up Fifa and you just don't get used to the controls in Fifa within 5-10 minutes. One look at the Fifa quicklooks should show that. You have to get to terms with the fact that you have 3 face buttons dedicated to the act of passing. You have to realize that Fifa doesn't wants you to hold these buttons for more than 0,3 seconds, which is very unusual in gaming. Especially when that means that the shooting bar on screen should not be filled. Jeff never gets taught to not do that and therefore never scores.

Then you have to learn that holding shoulder buttons modify all the face buttons in a few different ways and suddenly you are able to deliver powerful driven shots or extremely curly balls by holding a button for a bit longer. Your position compared to the ball and the modifier you have held matters. Whether you are running towards it or jogging towards the ball matters. There are like 60 skillmoves you can use by flicking the right stick around and pressing facebuttons in the middle, but only 3-4 are actually 'must-know' moves. And naturally there's still the ominous idea behind Fifa that the opponent cheats to create close games if you do well.

All this is incredibly specific to Fifa and you really need to put time into this one game to realize how it works because none of the skills you learn from playing CSGO, DOTA, Uncharted or Gears Of War will prepare you for Fifa. Legendary fifa also turns into a 'range' game. There's no leeway like there is in souls games, if a player is in range to tackle you, he will successfully do it, so you need to constantly move the ball around the pitch at a high tempo to make sure that the opponent never ends up in your range. Which is naturally easier for a CPU to measure out than a human who has to squint at the playfield and depend on his intuition.

Don't get me wrong, if you grew up playing Fifa, you can get very comfy with it and do well online. There's a reason this game franchise is huge and kids are able to pick it up and love it. But it's not something you can just jump into and expect to do well in on the highest difficulty within a few days.

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bwheeeler

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I love you, dude.

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fourthline

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@onemanarmyy: so. Million dollar challenge. Demon souls remastered f you’re gonna get snippy. But a dark souls that you haven’t beaten or a week to beat Legendary fifa season?

I am saying that fifa require more skills so can we retire the whole dark souls thing is cool? More to come in the far cry 5 review. Before end of day EST.

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Onemanarmyy

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#36  Edited By Onemanarmyy

I think i'd go for the Dark Souls run. But i've also not played Fifa for the last 5-ish years so despite knowing an above-average amount of those games, i'm not able to go in and immediatly do well at the higher difficulties.

Dark Souls is way cooler than Fifa so no i won't 'retire' liking that series. If difficulty was all that mattered, people would brag about beating those coin-gobbling arcade games from the 80's in 2020. Clearly Dark Souls has more to it than just difficulty.

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BrunoTheThird

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#37  Edited By BrunoTheThird

Sports games have more varied and adjustable mechanics that can be more easily cranked to give players an artifical sense of difficulty, yes. Guitar Hero and DDR are also harder with cheats and super speed on. Dark Souls is very carefully balanced most of the time (internal logic), to be more consistent with its game world (external logic), jank aside.

It is a bit like saying a cheetah is faster than a dog. It's just an unbalanced comparison with a fairly obvious (no offence at all) victor, even if the two things in discussion are still [relevant adjective] in the context of their own ecosystem.

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ghost_cat

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@fourthline: Did you know that people who like FIFA games think the Souls games are cooler? Don't forget to add that in your FC5 review.

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Humanity

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@cikame said:

I have a serious question, are we sure fourthline isn't just the worlds most advanced spam bot?

I jest of course, and for all the questionable statements in his posts he has certainly brought character to this forum.

It's more depressing that on these forums that are already so void of activity on most days, these threads of mindless drivel get the most traffic.

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plan6

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Sure, because Dark Souls isn't that hard. I know that there is an entire generation of game likers that thinks Dark Souls is the peak of difficult video games, but it really isn't.

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ll_Exile_ll

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#41  Edited By ll_Exile_ll

@plan6 said:

Sure, because Dark Souls isn't that hard. I know that there is an entire generation of game likers that thinks Dark Souls is the peak of difficult video games, but it really isn't.

As others have already articulated, it's not that Dark Souls is the hardest game ever, but that it feel like a fair challenge. Plenty of old school games with arcade sensibilities (or actual arcade games) follow that bullshit hard style of design that was originally designed to pump you for quarters. Other games just crank up enemy health and/or give them aimbots as you increase the difficulty. The challenge of Dark Souls resonated with people and became the defining element of the series because it never feels like the game is cheating and it is legitimately possible for most reasonably competent players to learn and overcome.

Any game can be brutally hard, but to have well designed fair challenge is more than just being super hard.

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Quantris

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Never tried Fifa on Legendary but I could definitely accept the idea that it's harder than Dark Souls.

Dark Souls is designed to be beaten. It's not hard to beat. It's not shy about killing you (sometimes in cheap ways) but equating that to difficulty is a bit of a marketing / hype trick...I mean there's a major mechanic built around making those deaths less consequential after all (for the record I'm not criticizing that mechanic; harrowing bloodstain runs are probably one of my favorite aspects of these games and they work really well at getting you invested in "the run").

If we'd take some arbitrary standard like "how many people could do this given a week of training time" as a measure of difficulty...there probably are some variations of Dark Souls runs (I mean player-imposed restrictions like no armour etc.) that would reach the level of Fifa Legendary. For better or worse such restrictions are the only way to adjust the "challenge" level in DS.

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fourthline

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Far Cry 5 review is live. It is unedited and will assume it's final form after i review in the morning. Enjoy.

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Mortimer

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With the number of variables that all add to the pseudo-randomness of sports games (even against the AI), I would argue that a better comparison would be the PVP in Souls games.

You can learn enemy placements and boss attack patterns, to the point of "solving" the games (see any DS lvl.1 no-hit run). In PVP though, the only thing you can do is to learn how to predict and react to the actions of your opponent. You cannot "solve" PVP matches in the same way you can with a boss fight, due to the uncontrolled variable; your opponent.

I think if the difficulty of the FromSoft games came, like with the higher FIFA difficulties, as a result of a large number of "random" variables, that these games would not have anywhere near the same popularity as they do. If you can die to things that are outside your control, simply because the PRNG-engine lined up that way, that's just the game being hard for the sake of being hard. They would at that point simply be unfair, not challenging.

As for which of the two I would choose, to git gud at DS PVP or go a full season of FIFA legendary/online, I'll take neither. I'll be offline in Sekiro, if you need me.

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north6

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@humanity said:
@cikame said:

I have a serious question, are we sure fourthline isn't just the worlds most advanced spam bot?

I jest of course, and for all the questionable statements in his posts he has certainly brought character to this forum.

It's more depressing that on these forums that are already so void of activity on most days, these threads of mindless drivel get the most traffic.

Can confirm. This literal apples and oranges argument is the best thing going.

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AKTANE

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@fourthline: hey thanks for reading my giant post :) I don't disagree with your 4th and 5th additions. I like 4 in particular as I think resourcing, or strategizing with resources is something that my framework sort of sidesteps. It assumes you have all the tools to succeed. I think that needs to be added. in terms of number 5 - auto aim or what have you, I think that is the game actually pulling back on execution and making it easier for you to execute. I think that falls under number 3 - execution for me, personally.

I would then add a number 4 to my list and call it "recognizing if you have the tools to succeed". See in most older games you just plain do, if you pick up fifa and play Team A. vs Team B. you have all the tools, you didn't miss an item upgrade, you didn't forget to pick up a weapon or click a button on some skill tree. Shit is ready to go. But in some games this isn't true :) so I do agree this "finding the tools" aspect is important to consider in terms of difficulty. If the game hides the tools to succeed then .. well ... its gonna be hard!!

cheers

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Onemanarmyy

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@aktane said:

I would then add a number 4 to my list and call it "recognizing if you have the tools to succeed". See in most older games you just plain do, if you pick up fifa and play Team A. vs Team B. you have all the tools, you didn't miss an item upgrade, you didn't forget to pick up a weapon or click a button on some skill tree. Shit is ready to go.

You could argue that the stats of the players decide if you have the tools to succeed. You probably don't want to try to knock the ball forwards & win a sprint with a player that has bad pace or hardly any stamina left. You probably don't want to attempt a long range shot with your centre defender. You don't want to play high balls if your striker is a small guy with bad jumping reach & heading. The stats & stamina decide which tools the different players have and which tools they don't really possess.

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Shindig

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I wonder how someone who doesn't have an interest in the sport would get on, mind. Like, does playing FIFA or PES inform you enough to improve you?

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Ungodly

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I mean, if you’re putting FIFA on its highest difficulty, then shouldn’t you be comparing it’s difficulty to any of the Soul’s new game+7s? Where almost everything one shots you, and the bosses have an hours worth of health (exaggerations)? I wouldn’t want to play either at their highest difficulties, but would enjoy my time with Dark Souls more. So I’ll say Dark Souls.

Neither are the hardest games out right now, though. Plus I would say that Dark Souls is more a victim of its own success as a decent challenge for people looking for it, and that the “Hardest Game” title has been exaggerated by From’s marketing team.

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cloudymusic

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#50  Edited By cloudymusic

It's trivial to make an impossibly-hard (or even literally impossible) game, so I've never understood the point of posturing about what game is "harder." Making a very hard game that's still fun and interesting is much more difficult.