In contrast to a previous post on this subject, ‘Measuring Difficulty in Games‘ I’ve come up with an interesting slant on this topic. I was having a chat with Rockers Delight and it sparked the ol’ grey matter into action. I ask: Do you actually challenge yourself enough when it comes to gaming?
If you were to go to the gym and hit the treadmill, you’d set it at a level you’re comfortable with, then every now and then you might kick it up a gear and see how you cope with it. Same with the weights room when you’re polishing those guns. Ahem. The point it, when trying to attain peak physical fitness, you don’t stay within your comfort zone, you try and raise the bar, up your game, and other clichés.
On a game like Modern Warfare 2 for example, I take the standard approach of having a play-through on regular difficulty before trying again on a harder difficulty level. Rockers Delight prefers heading straight in on veteran or else she wouldn’t enjoy it. When you’re at the top of your game, why not? I’ve never started a game right from the beginning and put it straight onto hard, yet there’s always one exception to the rule…
On my first play-through of inFamous, the game evaluated my performance on an early mission and recommended that that I play the game on difficult. I thought that if the game thought i could handle it, then i must be able to handle it! Sure enough, I didn’t really find the game that taxing, but it was fairly challenging in places. The right balance perhaps? (Funnily enough, I remember Modern Warfare 2 evaluating my performance in the Pit at the beginning of S.S.D.D. and it recommended normal. That worked out for the best, perhaps!)
This has lead me to the conclusion that if you’ve played a few games before on the difficult setting, then next time you fire up a new purchase, it’s definitely worth a try. If it doesn’t work out, then you can always dial it down a touch. Why settle for an average gaming experience when you can make it challenging. Who’s with me on this one?