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Video Game Difficulties


How hard are you?  

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Did a search and couldn't find a thread on difficulty settings. Thought it could make for an interesting topic, and I'm curious on what everyone starts off on. The poll was made with the assumption that a multiple playthrough will result in a higher difficulty setting (esp for trophy hunters/cheevo scroungers)



Second question stems from this article.



Alex Hutchinson, the lead designer on Assassin's Creed III, has some very interesting thoughts on video game difficulty.

"A lot of games have been ruined by easy modes," he tells Edge. "If you have a cover shooter and you switch it to easy and you don't have to use cover, you kind of broke your game.

"You made a game that is essentially the worst possible version of your game."



I think there's alot to consider with difficulty settings. Personally I'm an easy guy. I want to die as little as possible, at least the first time through a game. I have the most fun at the lowest setting. Now there are exceptions for some games, like Dark Souls up there that are tailored to be hard as fuck.


Just curious to see where others stood on this.


Also I know some games have even harder difficulties above the highest, maybe they are unlockable or something. Anyway, if something needs to get changed in the poll for the purpose, shout it out.

Edited by axel_napalm
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good thread.


i tend to play on normal, as i assume (unless reading otherwise) most games are balanced for that difficulty - ill shamelessly switch down to easy if im absolutely stuck, or more likely, not enjoying some elements - i played at least half of ME3 recently on easy because i wasnt about the shooter controls, just wanted to play through like it was a visual novel or something to see that ending.


if i do a replay, ill try on hard. some series though where im particularly versed in the controls & good with them, like say Yakuza, ill play hard the first time for trophies and some challenge, but it's not super often.

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A good game is hard enough to challenge you, maybe you die a few times but you pick it up and move forward, but it's not so easy you can just breeze through. Pretty much the only games I can think of that meets this criteria perfectly are the Batman Arkham games, they weren't easy but I didn't ever have to reload something to the point of just turning the thing off and finding something fun to do.

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I usually start on Normal, but I'm always conflicted by this. My brother, Mike, will ALWAYS start a game on it's hardest difficulty level. For this reason, I feel I'm wimping out if I don't do the same. I'm not against replays, but I'll NEVER go down in difficulty once I've played on a higher one. I'm weird.

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Batman Arkham City and Asylum both had hard difficulty modes, as well as a NG+ difficulty where that sissy "there's an attack coming" counter wouldn't display.


Point is, on normal mode I didn't just sleepwalk my way through them. I died. A lot. Snipers and Titan freaks and fucking Killer Croc were the bane of my existence (Bane was not, he was actually quite easy) for a while but I learned from my deaths and pushed on before endless-repetition stopped being fun.

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I am almost done with God of War 1 on God Mode, I'm near the very end of Pandora's Temple so I just really have the super short Hades area and Ares but I've felt no compulsion to play because it's just inching along trial and error until I accidentally get it right. The appearance of a single minotaur just fucks up my whole day and harpies can go die in a fucking fire, I don't even like thinking about what the Ares fight is going to be like.

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I will almost always play on the hardest difficulty first, especially if the achievements stack.


i know this has to do with your mania (and presumably more time for gaming these days, heh) but i personally think this is a very easy way to hate a lotta games.


now, you take something like Bioshock - beat it on normal, then try again later on the hardest setting, and you start to notice how many different ways there are to handle a room - maybe you're hacking more, or trying a wider array of abilities (i used bees in 2, in never did that before!), or other titles you'll pick up stealth because you need that ammo for bosses later on - see my BBE run in MGS4, i played that game completely different as a result.


those i think work, but doing it on whatever random 3rd person shooter, no way. most games simply amp up the damage you take and make the enemies ridiculous bullet sponges, throwing off any of the game's balance and making a chore out of each level because drops/flow weren't really designed for that. if you, mal or anyone gets a sensation that chemically feels in the neighborhood of "joy" from this experience (rather than your PSN/XBL meters going up), then that's cool, it's just hard for me to picture.

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(Cept in some sports games where I usually go full on hardest)

Oh yeah, me too. In FIFA, I'm legendary right out the gate.


if you, mal or anyone gets a sensation that chemically feels in the neighborhood of "joy" from this experience (rather than your PSN/XBL meters going up), then that's cool, it's just hard for me to picture.


Yeah what the fuck is wrong with you guys?

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