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69 comments

  • MeanwhileGuy - January 25, 2012 12:02 p.m.

    While I do agree with adding more specific and balanced difficulty levels, there are those of us that view things like extreme difficulty as artificially padding the length of a game. For example, I just played through on Killzone 3 on hard, which took me around 10 hours, compared to normal which only took me 6 or 7. Also, I personally don't have the patience to play games through on the hardest difficulty setting, which has lead to me getting called a "bad gamer" before. I'm sorry, but how does playing through something on normal or hard make me a bad gamer, simply because I'm unwilling to suffer through hours of frustration, with the only reward often being a trophy/achievement. For me, games should have the right balance between entertainment and challenge, which not many games get right (Guitar Hero, weirdly, has perfect difficulty balancing, though I play on expert.) If a game makes you frustrated to the point where it's not worth continuing, I won't play it, or at least knock it down a difficulty level.
  • Dmancapri - January 23, 2012 7:38 p.m.

    Funny you mention this- Super Smash Bros. Brawl had a pretty good system- Very Easy, Easy, Normal, Hard, Very Hard. Developers might feel limited to the three difficulties, and therefore define them as " the easiest you could possibly go, the way it should be played, and this is going to make you scream your face off"- extremes. If developers want to fix difficulty, they should add more choices, more spaces inbetween the spots that are Brawl's Very Easy and Very Hard modes.
  • kluivertus - January 23, 2012 5:47 p.m.

    GOD OF WAR 2. I knew going into hard difficulty on that would be about up to my skill level (I'd beaten it on normal before), except for TWO hallway sections that, true to form, beat me bloody.
  • snipes101 - January 23, 2012 10:28 a.m.

    I'm probably alone in this but I think that Demon's/Dark Souls games could use difficulty levels. They wouldn't take anything away from the super hard mode, but they would make it so one can just sit down and enjoy the game for an hour or so if one desires. As it stands that is not really possible for most people.
  • chrisbarker1980 - January 23, 2012 5:57 a.m.

    Totally agree with you on Gears 2, it's hard mode was completely borked. The majority of it was a walk in the park with the odd sections being totally down to luck as to weather you would make it through.
  • jok3rxfear - January 23, 2012 5:45 a.m.

    Dues Ex: HR Boss fights are extremely hard if you have decided to play the game with all stealth augmentations. :(
  • mepbowles - January 23, 2012 4:36 a.m.

    I completely agree. demon,s souls was a great game as it started out impossible and every time you thought you got the hang of it it,d be able to throw you back down again. Iremeber playing metal gear solid 1 on the ps1 and it was a great experience. Once completed you unlock the harder difficulties and you may even have to complete the hard to get the hardest. The difference in difficulty was good as this was mainly a stealth game so more enemies made i harder to move freely and in the hardest mode you had no radar which was a really good challenge for people who knew the game and wanted a real challenge. The bosses were fairly difficult but n spikes... And the story was amazing. recently took on batman arkham city and chose hard mode as I figured as a superhero game it would be easy.the progression in difficult was good in that more enemies had guns at the end of the game but other than that the gameplay did not change and I beat it very easily. I am enjoying the challenges and campaigns right now although it is annoying you have to complete the same ones for all characters in order to get all the trophies.
  • Zeos - January 22, 2012 11:45 p.m.

    Nice article. Is hard mode on Resident Evil 5 too hard? The reveal of RE6. got me wanting to play that game so I bought it yesterday.
  • GamesRadarMatthewKeast - January 23, 2012 10:50 a.m.

    I haven't finished RE 5 yet, but I got more than halfway through it (probably real close to the end) on Hard mode, and it's pretty tough. There are the typical difficulty spikes where I died repeatedly, and there was one section where I truly thought I would never, ever beat it, but then I just got lucky. So if you're worried about difficulty spikes, I would avoid playing on Hard. Most of the game is fine, but those spikes are nasty.
  • quincytheodore - January 22, 2012 9:53 p.m.

    The worst part about Hard is it's only that way for at least for half of the game. Bioshock was hard at first time I faced Big Daddy, but it than became a joke when I had electric shotgun. Skyrim in Expert or Master was hard as hell, but then I realized smith could be stacked. It's smooth sailing after that. Dragon Age : Origins was entertaining but it just spammed hordes in the end. Those are just a few, the problem is how to maintain the balance. They need to make the player progresses with the game. That means limiting a certain cheap trick so it won't be abused. It should be like "rock-paper-scissors" but on wider range, so it gives the incentive for players to try different things, rather than just make achievement "Kill 30 people with X,Y,Z weapon."
  • EwoksTasteLikeChicken - January 22, 2012 11:35 a.m.

    I agree. I have no problem with a hard game, as long as the controls are alright and there are no difficulty spikes.
  • ObliqueZombie - January 22, 2012 9:01 a.m.

    Completely agree, Mr. Keast. At times, Hard More is a blast. Sure, games today don't have that "painful reminders" to let you know shit's about to happen and rely solely on intuition, and I've excepted that. Games today have a more story-centered approach, and now I simply want to be told an amazing story with tight and responsive controls. Now, if it's TOO easy, that's one thing, but I rest my case: if it's still fun and engaging, I don't really mind. But dammit, what you've said nails one of the biggest problems with modern gaming: the goddamned uncalled-for difficulty spike. Instead of relying on our acquired knowledge of the game throughout the experience, developers instead tend to say, "now this boss/group of enemies will have three-times more health and do four-times more damage. Have fun." Look, that's all fun and games (get it?!), but when that's not consistent, that's just frustrating. The best example I can give is in Mass Effect 2. I was trying to beat it on Insane, but there was this one fuckin' boss that I could NEVER beat, no matter how hard I tried. I forgot exactly where or what it was, but it was on the planet where you truly first encounter the Collector's, and their Hivemind "assumes control" every so often." I know it's a bit different, since Insane is more of a "you asked for it" kind of difficulty, but it was fairly challenging up to this point of unbeatable-ness. I just gave up and re-sold the game for a different one. Maybe with BioShock Infinite, this whole problem will be addressed. The "1999 mode" sounds absolutely blissful.
  • reaperman22 - January 22, 2012 7:19 a.m.

    i almost always play my first time through a game on easy or normal because i do play games to enjoy the story, experience etc. if i enjoy the game then i will go up to the hardest setting for another playthrough, the only time i dont do that is when i know i almost definitely wont play the game again and want the difficulty related trophies or if i know the game is too easy either through reviews or previous entries in a series. I can appreciate why some gamers get annoyed by how few games offer a real challenge (ive beaten both i wanna be the guy and i wanna be the fangame without wuss saves so i know that feeling of accomplishment you get) but i dont think people new to gaming should be excluded, maybe difficulty sliders or something like that so you can find that sweet spot between normal and hard
  • purple_omlet - January 21, 2012 8:49 p.m.

    I was going for the insane difficulty achievement in Mass Effect 2, and the game was pretty easy. I was a soldier with a bunch of great abilities (geth shield boost), and I was plowing through the game without a second thought. Then I got to the derelict reaper. I have never rage quit a single section of a game as many times. One of the only tough as nails parts in the entire game. I still don't have the insane achievement...
  • Darkwun - January 22, 2012 7:28 a.m.

    I was te opposite, found insane to have more difficult spikesb througout as a vanguard and infiltrator because of the medium armour, but because of the class specific powers, the derelict reaper was a godsend! I just went invisible/blasted them away when my shield went down. *phew*
  • Darkwun - January 21, 2012 5:11 p.m.

    Love this article! Can totally agree. It's not just the difficulty, it's when cheap tricks are used to exten the difficulty. Like in Freedom figters, I'd rather play on normal simply because i get annoyed that i can use a sniper rifle on the head of larger enemies and it takes two shots. WTF? They're human and they have no helmet! At the end of the day, I want a challenge, but at the same time I still want to enjoy the game. If the gameplay outdoes the difficulty I'm willing to tone it down. Prototype was a good case. That had horrendous difficulty spikes in certain places which was annoying because I really preffered it in hard mode, so i turn it down to normal. But then I don't play Zelda for it's immense difficulty... but then would still like it to be harder
  • TwinHallow - January 21, 2012 4:35 p.m.

    man you guys are getting kinda annoying with your games are to easy or oh game that let you save alot blah blah blah
  • SugaRazor - January 21, 2012 2:29 p.m.

    The problem is, developers are merely thinking about difficulty, they're barely addressing AI and the idea of a "challenge" (different from difficulty) is completely foreign. Making a game challenging shouldn't just be making your hits/shots weaker and the enemy's stronger. That's not a challenge, that's just making me outlast them longer.

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