Insomniac: Ratchet & Clank Shed the ‘Conventional Wisdom’ That Games Need To Be Difficult | IGN

Insomniac Games shed the “conventional wisdom” that games need to be difficult in designing Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart.

In an interview with Axios, Rift Apart game director Mike Daly explained that the team’s thinking on difficulty had changed and that the studio no longer felt the need to design games that were satisfying as a result of difficulty.

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“We have to sort of shed this conventional wisdom that games kind of need to be a hardass for you to get satisfaction out of it,” Daly said. “We no longer think about, like, ‘What will make the most elite players feel good about themselves?’ And more like, ‘What will enable everybody to have the experience they want to have?’ Because that’s sort of the most important thing to us.”

Axios pointed out many of the ways Ratchet & Clank has grown more accessible to players, citing things like the game’s “ping” and hint system, its Activity Cards, and skippable puzzles.

Insomniac Games’ director of core technology, Mike Fitzgerald, said making puzzle levels in a Ratchet & Clank game completely skippable like they are in Rift Apart “would have been unthinkable three to five years ago.”

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The PlayStation Plus-exclusive Activity Cards go a long way in making the Rift Apart experience easier for players, too, be it a player finds themselves stuck on where to go next or looking for something quick to do in the game. As Axios pointed out, the Rift Apart cards are used to signpost in-game tasks as well as hidden items or trophy-related quests.

They also reveal how long certain tasks will take to complete so a player with just 20 minutes to play can easily jump into something in Rift Apart that shouldn’t take more than 20 minutes. Axios says these times are estimates on the developer’s behalf that are then compared to other players’ average times using Sony’s online PlayStation Network.

For more about Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart, check out our thoughts on the game in IGN’s Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart review and then watch this video to see IGN’s Top 5 weapons in the game. Read this story about how Insomniac Games is working on a multiplayer project after that.

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Wesley LeBlanc is a freelance news writer and guide maker for IGN. You can follow him on Twitter @LeBlancWes.

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