Housemarque’s Returnal released to positive reviews yesterday, but in a world where players and critics are increasingly talking about difficulty and accessibility, there has been plenty of discourse surrounding the game’s difficulty. In response, the studio has said that it’s known for making games that are easy to learn and hard to master, making it a development philosophy.
Speaking to IGN, game director Harry Krueger argued that Housemarque wants players to have a “strong sense of accomplishment.” Marketing and business development director, Mikael Haveri, added:
We started development four years ago, and I don’t think the vision has changed that much. Housemarque games are known for their, let’s say… challenge… there’s usually a difficulty to them. Nex Machina for example, you can go through the game on Easy, but you’ll never get to the last level, and then there’s other unlockables, and so on. So there’s an ‘easy to learn, but hard to master’ mentality at work there.
That said, Housemarque is listening to feedback from players who have complained about the lack of saves, especially considering Returnal‘s lengthy, challenging runs. The studio tweeted:
— Housemarque (@Housemarque) April 30, 2021
Responses to Housemarque’s tweet have been mixed, with some arguing that adding saves will reduce the challenge while others pointed out that the ability to save and quit is essential.
Where do our readers stand on this issue?