Out now, anti-grav racer Redout 2 by 34BigThings is great for those who love high octane thrills and spills, but lots of people simply won’t be able to fully enjoy it.
Before you can fully dive into Redout 2‘s career, you’re required to complete a series of tutorials dressed up as an academy. The trouble is, one of these tutorials is proving tough to beat for many players, locking them out of the rest of the game. 34BigThings say the game is meant to be challenging, but it just highlights how not testing your game with players of all skill levels can have negative results. But let’s not just pick on 34BigThings – other developers are guilty as well.
It’s most obvious in racing games that offer a variety of events. Chances are, if a game has a difficulty or A.I. slider, it can be tuned so that standard races are a walk in the park for all. As a casual racing game fan, you might stick the difficulty on easy and have fun battling to the front of the pack and then staying there with little competition. But the next event might have you just playing against the clock, and this is where problems often arise.
You see, racing game developers have a knack of putting in difficulty options and A.I. sliders to make competing against computer-controlled opponents more fun for all skill levels. But they forget to adjust target times in things like time trial events. So, if you’re someone that isn’t great at racing games, you can tweak the difficulty to make winning most events manageable, then come up against a time trial where you need to be an absolute pro to get a gold medal, and still a bloody good driver to even get bronze.
And it’s not just time trial events that are the problem. There might be drifting events, for example, where reaching a certain score threshold might be next to impossible for some players. Basically, any event where you’re not simply racing against the A.I.
Making games is hard. And making them suitable for a wide range of skill levels is even harder. But this is a silly oversight that we wish racing game developers would take into consideration. Not everyone is a racing game expert, and while pushing players to do better is welcome, presenting them with difficulty spikes is a sure-fire way to turn players away.
Thankfully 34BigThings has received feedback from players who are struggling, and is looking into tweaking the difficulty of certain Redout 2 events to make them more manageable. But other racing games don’t always get the same treatment. And so racing game developers, we implore you: scale your targets for time trial and other challenge-style events with the difficulty setting. Otherwise, you might simply be creating an uneven experience.