Advocating for accessible gaming shouldn't be so challenging.
Lies of P (and Soulslikes): Easy Mode
filed under "Gaming"
For those of you who weren't aware, I recently shuttered Ghost Gamer News after about 3.5 years of running it.
I'll get into more detail on that story in a whole 'nother post at some point, but the above link does go into a bit of why.
The actual reason I'm writing today is this:
I love soulslikes.. But many are too hard for folks like me to play.
There is no "git gud" in my - or other's - case(s). We're physically nerfed as gamers.
In my case, I don't have even close to ordinary dexterity in my hands anymore. My.. Well, we still don't know exactly what's wrong in my case, but when my doctor can walk in to the room, see my hands from across the room, and know that something is definitely not going right, well.. That should be a pretty big clue there.
Not all nerfed gamers have my issue; I've seen gamers missing hands beat soulslike games before, but those tend to be the exception, rather than the rule, for my fellow nerfed gamers.
Soulslikes require dexterity that I just don't have by default anymore. The time it takes for my fingers to curl around the trigger to achieve a perfect parry or dodge roll is variable, so there is no amount of practice that can help me achieve success here.
That doesn't mean I can't enjoy soulslikes, though; Elden Ring was one I beat thanks to using a Faith ranged build and some grinding for levels, plus liberal amounts of the requisite dying.
Lies of P, however, is a different story.
When folks started talking about how hard it was, I almost resigned myself to the fact that I'd never be able to play it.. Until I did a cursory search for mods and found an easy-mode mod for Lies of P.
This mod is perfect: It allows me to enjoy the challenge of soulslikes, without being soul-crushing. I take more hits than most folks in soulslikes, but this let's me have a better chance at surviving and still experiencing what it IS to play a soulslike (yes, I've died multiple times still).
Not all games require mods, however; Steelrising has a number of settings under "Assist Mode" that reduce damage taken and more based on whatever you prefer.
Star Wars Fallen Order & Jedi Survivor both have difficulty settings (Jedi Survivor was great, btw).
I won't begrudge a developer for not including options for folks like me, but I will never not advocate for it.
Soulslikes in particular tend to have a community rife with gatekeeping: Folks who believe if you can't beat it at it's hardest, you don't deserve to play it, and you are a lesser person because of it. They believe that just the mere hint of making it more accessible reduces the value of the game for everybody, for some reason.
I say Neowiz is going to make a lot more games because of that mod I linked above.. and they'd do even better if they made that difficulty setting part of the core options available to all, rather than requiring a mod to enable it (in case you didn't know, they literally have a config setting to enable it in the backend of the game).
They really created something fantastic, and because of that mod, more people can experience the rich story and setting with more accessible (and yet still challenging for me) gameplay.