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Posted by Claude (16254 posts) 7 months, 16 days ago

Poll: How do you guys play video games on the hardest difficulties? (331 votes)

I'm the hardest of core. 21%
Play it again, Sam. 20%
Normal is fine. 34%
I play video games. 15%
I like it easy. 5%
Always other never the mother view results fucker. 6%

How do you guys do this shit? Fucking legacy, torture death or some shit. What the fuck. I can barely play video games on easy or normal. It blows my mind that people can play on such hard difficulties. Do you just memorize everything? Play it on normal first and then go full bore? Of course, I know there are completionist out there that play the game anyway they can to get every ounce out of it, but, damn, help you people, you might be crazy. Love you anyways.

Just curious what drives you to play video games on these higher difficulties.

#1 Posted by csl316 (7949 posts) -

Several reasons.

One, you really have to dig into the mechanics of the game. If I start on hard, I can kinda blast through it. But on super hard, I have to think and strategize and take advantage of things I didn't even know existed. Most apparent in character action games.

Two, the thrill of accomplishment. Everywhere in life, I look for challenges because I love to overcome them. Finishing a section in The Last of Us may be draining, but making it through felt great.

Three, longetivity. Instead of flying through some five hour campaign, it'll inevitably add some hours to your playtime. I prefer short games as I'm older but this was always helpful when I had less money.

Four, game's are really the only things that challenge me anymore after grad school (aside from guitar stuff). It makes me feel alive!!

#2 Posted by ShadowSkill11 (1783 posts) -

By having superior reflexes, tactical and strategic thinking, and increased perception. Thus raising the bar for the thigs I find challenging. In short, by naturally being a superior being.

#3 Edited by ArtisanBreads (3716 posts) -

For me it's usually just gameplay that I'm really into. Last game I really did this for was the hardest difficulty on Max Payne 3 just because I liked the shooting that much.

There has to be a lot of depth there that can be mastered. I also got super into Ninja Gaiden that way in the past. Some games are just more of a slog on the hardest difficulties, like say Call of Duty. Not that you can't be better in a lot of ways, but the computer's constant grenade throwing with Peyton Manning esque accuracy is just not fun.

#4 Posted by Sammo21 (3198 posts) -

Honestly, it all depends. Some games are still incredibly easy and other times it is because of the challenge. I went through Halo Reach by myself on Legendary just to see if I could and I was able to. Like I said before, some games are incredibly easy on their hardest difficulty like the newest Battlefield 4.

#5 Posted by Aetheldod (3494 posts) -

I play on hardest because I remember the time when in FPS games harder meant more enemies to kill :3 ... and I just kept doing that regardless if they add more enemies or not. Also in harder difficulties is where the games systems shine at , mostly (I think of Bioshock Infinite as an example)

#6 Edited by Claude (16254 posts) -

@csl316: You have more patience than I do.

#7 Edited by StingingVelvet (569 posts) -

I play on hard in two scenarios:

1) Stealth games. I love stealth games and since the goal is to stay hidden I feel like hard modes are better, because they punish you more for getting seen. I played Dishonored and Deus Ex 3 on their hardest settings, and older stuff like Splinter Cell and Thief.

2) Games with more objectives on harder modes. This is mostly an old school thing as seen in Thief, Perfect Dark and Goldeneye. Basically the harder the mode, the more things you have to do in the level. So playing on hard is kind of the only way to see the "whole game."

Otherwise I always go normal. Modern games mostly make a "hard mode" by upping enemy health and damage, which is boring and tedious.

#8 Edited by Video_Game_King (35780 posts) -
#9 Posted by RedRoach (1174 posts) -

If I really like a game, I usually play through a second time on hard mode, but only for games that make sense. Something along the lines of Dragon Age or Splinter Cell.

#10 Posted by ZolRoyce (621 posts) -

Some games are just served better on hard I find, survival games, horror games, the Fallout series. A lot of games on normal are just to easy to get really great moments in them, if I play Fallout on hard I get those moments where sometimes I don't have enough supplies to help someone I meet on a random encounter, or have to resort to stealing things from people to get by on a mission. "Sorry dude who I found with a bomb around his neck, I'd like to help you out you see but I only got this like one stimpak right now and I really need to save it for later and if the bomb goes off it might hurt me... you understand right? Riiiiight? Bye bye then." Whereas if I was playing on normal the right choice is ALWAYS the choice to help because I'm so loaded with supplies. Horror games it's the same thing. In Silent Hill on hard, I don't WANT to go in that room because that thing is going to kill me, but on normal it's like "I'm pretty sure I can run past it and spare a hit or two."

So that's where I come from, otherwise it's just for a sense of accomplishment/excitement, that moment of YES, YES, I DID IT, I FINALLY FREAKING DID IT. The hardest difficulty on Mass Effect 2, BOY, some of those boss fights were insane hard but once I beat them it was the best feeling evvveeeer.
Beating every Left 4 Dead level on the hardest difficulty? That's what puts hair on your chest and milk in your breasts!

Some older games I can only do on normal or easy though just the way some older games are with their save points or lack of explanation about how some things work can really lock me down on a spot I can't get past.

#11 Posted by Claude (16254 posts) -

I play on hard in two scenarios:

1) Stealth games. I love stealth games and since the goal is to stay hidden I feel like hard modes are better, because they punish you more for getting seen. I played Dishonored and Deus Ex 3 on their hardest settings, and older stuff like Splinter Cell and Thief.

2) Games with more objectives on harder modes. This is mostly an old school thing as seen in Thief, Perfect Dark and Goldeneye. Basically the harder the mode, the more things you have to do in the level. So playing on hard is kind of the only way to see the "whole game."

Otherwise I always go normal. Modern games mostly make a "hard mode" by upping enemy health and damage, which is boring and tedious.

Kind of oldschool, but I do agree with you here. I did like the challenges of Perfect Dark, Goldeneye and such when it comes to the whole game. Solid points with the modern games hard mode. I should say, I did like making Fallout: New Vegas harder with the survivor mode and with mods. Had to eat to live and such.

#12 Posted by weegieanawrench (1934 posts) -

I go through most games on normal, and if when I'm done I feel like it's worth my time to bump up the difficulty, I'll do it. Sometimes it's to test how well I know the mechanics, other times it's for cheevies (though this is rarely the case these days), and sometimes I start on the hardest difficulty out of principle, for games like Halo.

#13 Posted by SomeJerk (3130 posts) -

With regret.

#14 Posted by Brodehouse (9515 posts) -

Carefully.

#15 Posted by Claude (16254 posts) -

I go through most games on normal, and if when I'm done I feel like it's worth my time to bump up the difficulty, I'll do it. Sometimes it's to test how well I know the mechanics, other times it's for cheevies (though this is rarely the case these days), and sometimes I start on the hardest difficulty out of principle, for games like Halo.

Are cheevies dying?

@somejerk said:

With regret.

#16 Posted by Devil240Z (3250 posts) -

yeah i'm with you. I rarely even finish a game so playing on a hard difficulty is never an option. unless its a game where you can replay levels you have already beaten on different difficulties to unlock better stuff for the rest of the game. a game needs to be well designed for me to play on a harder difficulty.

#17 Edited by adam1808 (1355 posts) -

Never play on hard myself in normal circumstances. It's not that I don't like hard games, I've loved the recent surge in the number of roguelike/roguelites, but games that have optional difficulty settings aren't always properly balanced for higher difficulties. If I really like a game with those kinds of options, like say Dead Space 2 or Gears of War, I'll dive back in on a harder difficulty just to dig a bit deeper into the mechanics. Also some games, like Uncharted, aren't about challenge so much as they are about providing a thrill-ride. Stopping every 5 minutes due to sudden death makes for a poor rollercoaster.

#18 Posted by Demoskinos (14510 posts) -

I am hard. I am core. At my core I am hard. I am hard at my core.

#19 Posted by Immortal_Guy (107 posts) -

I always start on normal (on the assumption that that's what the game was designed for), and if I really liked the gameplay I might play through again on a harder difficulty. I think the only game I've beaten on the hardest difficulty was Devil May cry 3, which I beat once on every difficulty (from easy up to Dante Must Die). I'm nowhere near brave enough to start by playing a game on hard, though - what if I get hopelessly stuck 10 hours in, and have to play through the whole thing again on normal?

#20 Posted by SarcasticMudcrab (146 posts) -

Something like CoD on the hardest settings is about the worst gaming experience I can imagine, I don't see the appeal of repeatedly dying in any way, and there are greater things that can be achieved in life, like having a child....or reading a book, maybe.

Just trying to make myself feel better cause I suck at games and cant beat them on hard.

#21 Posted by Nodima (1054 posts) -

The only games I play on the hardest difficulties are sports games. Most everything else I play on Normal with a few Hard exceptions. This generations has also seen me dip games down to Easy mode if I'm just not interested in what's going on anymore, too (Spec Ops, Uncharted 1 & 2's final sections...funnily enough, I then beat Uncharted 3 on Hard).

#22 Edited by StingingVelvet (569 posts) -

@claude said:

Kind of oldschool, but I do agree with you here. I did like the challenges of Perfect Dark, Goldeneye and such when it comes to the whole game. Solid points with the modern games hard mode. I should say, I did like making Fallout: New Vegas harder with the survivor mode and with mods. Had to eat to live and such.

Yeah, I played with "hardcore mode" on as well. I kept combat difficulty at normal though.

#23 Edited by Claude (16254 posts) -

I always start on normal (on the assumption that that's what the game was designed for), and if I really liked the gameplay I might play through again on a harder difficulty. I think the only game I've beaten on the hardest difficulty was Devil May cry 3, which I beat once on every difficulty (from easy up to Dante Must Die). I'm nowhere near brave enough to start by playing a game on hard, though - what if I get hopelessly stuck 10 hours in, and have to play through the whole thing again on normal?

Dude, Devil May Cry 3 was fucking hard. You're core. Pretty much. It would seem, once someone sets their mind to it, they do it.

Curious, did you ever play the Demon Souls stuff? I was afraid of its difficulty. Just curious.

#24 Posted by 49th (2666 posts) -

I like it, it's more enjoyable for me in most games and I feel like I am forced to get better and use more skill. Although Arham Origins on hard was terrible, I had to restart on normal because it was not fun.

#25 Posted by Damodar (1283 posts) -

I find it more rewarding to do something cool myself in a game where I've done something that took finesse, reactions, strategy, a more indepth understanding of the systems involved or what have you than to experience a heavily scripted moment in a game that is trying to be as intense or cinematic as possible. So I suppose I naturally gravitate to the more challenging, because the pay off is better for me, personally.

#26 Posted by Humanity (8706 posts) -

I don't see the point.

If games scaled appropriately then I might try it but moe often then not playing a game on the hardest difficulty is largely unfair to the player. Enemies don't gain interesting new behaviour patterns - they just become sponges with pin-point accurate aim. There's nothing rewarding about trying to out-shoot lines of code programmed to target you from a mile away.

Fighting games are ok - the AI just doesn't drop combos.

But racing games or shooters are terrible on hard difficulty.

#27 Edited by Fredchuckdave (5153 posts) -

If a game has good gameplay it is worth playing on harder difficulties; for the most part multiple playthroughs is the way to go. However a lot of games are just really easy now so you might wind up playing hard just for some vague sense of challenge.

For Demon's Souls and Dark Souls its just a great game that doesn't follow the standard boring difficulty curve, though the curve is still easier than some really hard games (e.g. Vagrant Story) in the past and once you're over the hump you'll only die a few times a playthrough.

Vanquish is amazing on harder difficulties and Killzone 2 was quite satisifying as well. I'm about to go through Binary Domain on the hardest difficulty since its on PS+ and it was fun on basic hard (really easy) and that should be alright, bosses have too much HP but other than that.

For a game like Bayonetta or DMC once it hooks you you sort of have to go through it on harder difficulties because the gameplay gets more intuitive as you go up (though in the case of DMC3 the enemies just have like 5 or 6 times as much HP so it can be not worth it). For Arkham City or Asylum the gameplay is near perfect so its fun doing any challenges they have available.

I like messing around with hard fighting game comps that don't cheat, it's a reasonable challenge but not as frustrating as playing someone online who's played 500 times as many games as you have. By doing that for a while in several different games I was able to become one of those assholes in Injustice (like top 40 on the leaderboard) until people started playing it in as boring a fashion as possible; albeit new fighting game IPs are really damn rare. Though, despite doing that I still had more fun playing against the comp in old KoF games.

For RTS I've played them for 20 years so I'm kind of too good to play on anything other than hard unless I just want to relax or fuck around.

In terms of MMOs, or back when MMOs were relevant/good the reason I raided Sunwell and what have you is because of the tiny amount of people that were able to do it; granted the biggest challenge in those cases is finding 25 people that aren't idiots, a difficult enough task in a normal game but MMO people are slow to say the least. Now everyone can raid everything so I don't know why people keep raiding at any level other than a casual one. For PvP if its tuned right then its fun, basically if shit can get real crazy real fast; which was only the case in WoW Vanilla but was also the case for most of the time in Warhammer so that's why it was more interesting/challenging to play at the highest level.

#28 Posted by Immortal_Guy (107 posts) -

@claude: Ha, I can agree that DMC was hard - I died enough times on the second level that I swallowed my pride and started on easy. But I liked the game to work my way through the difficulties up to hard - and then a year or so later, when I didn't have much to do, I randomly felt like picking it up again and trying Dante Must Die.

I actually just started playing Dark Souls recently - I was also scared by the difficulty, and thought I'd hate just dying over and over - but once you realise that the penalty for death isn't that harsh, and that you're kind of supposed to die every now and then, it's not too bad. And of course, once you get used to it the combat gets easier.

I guess the key thing is that the game's fun, so having to replay certain sections isn't too bad. The Capra Demon tested my patience, though - if you ever try the game (and I'd recommend it), you'll know what I mean :)

#29 Posted by jkz (3998 posts) -

Really depends on the game. There are some games with mechanics with a ton of potential depth that are hindered by how unbalanced they are to suit modern tastes. In those, I always immediately bump the difficulty, so as to give myself a REASON to delve into the mechanics.

But then, I don't play all (or most) games, nowadays, in search of great mechanics. So it's really a case-by-case, game by game, whatever strikes my fancy sort of thing

#30 Posted by Enns (357 posts) -

I like to play the game on normal the first time through. It's probably not always true but I assume that's what developers want the game experience to be like. I kick it up to the hardest setting only when I love playing a game. If it's done correctly you always find yourself using new tactics and techniques making it so much more fun.

A good example for me would be Dragon's Dogma. A fresh file on hard makes it so even the weakest enemy can one shot you. I found myself trying a lot of different skills and using lots of previously ignored items.

A bad example would be the latest X-Com ( dunno about it's expansion). I loved the first x-com and did self imposed iron man play throughs. When the new one came out I played it on Classic/Impossible Iron Man my first couple of play throughs and hated it. Then I played through on normal Iron Man and enjoyed it a whole lot more. It's not that I thought it was too hard, if anything I just felt it was less of a game at higher difficulties. The nature of alien patrols teleporting and getting to scatter for cover made tactics pointless. Playing it at harder settings made it overwatch the game. That's where all strategy begins and ends. Overwatch. Not worrying about flanks or destroying cover. Overwatch, or overwatch harder. That's all it boiled down to and it sucked.

#31 Posted by csl316 (7949 posts) -

Also in harder difficulties is where the games systems shine at , mostly (I think of Bioshock Infinite as an example)

Yep, the number one reason. A lot of the time, reviews that say a combat system is too simple or repetitive just didn't have a reason to really get in there. I almost feel like they're selling the game short.

#32 Edited by CaLe (3895 posts) -

I don't play everything on Hard but The Last of Us was absolutely a better game when set to Hard. Every encounter had you feeling like you were just scraping by, adding to the sense of desperation in that world. When I arrived at one of the most combat-intense areas in the game I only had a single arrow and the feeling of getting through all of it when starting out with practically nothing was immensely gratifying. With other games, like CoD or Halo, it does just become something you either memorize or play through extremely carefully. I don't find them to be anywhere near as gratifying.

#33 Posted by Brendan (7663 posts) -

I like playing action games on harder difficulty settings such a Ninja Garden or DmC after the initial play through, although I get bored before I get to the point where I'm making legendary YouTube videos. Eventually those games just throw the same small group of end game enemies at you repeatedly and it gets dull. By then I've already played the game 2-3 times and have gotten my fill.

So many games come out that I want to play so most of the time I want to go on to the next game before I play one game through many times, or spend extra time in my first play through. The CoD campaigns are an exception, because they only feel worth my time if I'm on the harder difficulty (not the hardest).

#34 Posted by notdavid (815 posts) -

I always play normal first, and only replay on hard if I'm way into the game.

#35 Posted by DBrim (124 posts) -

I always play normal as well. I very rarely go back to a game and play it on another difficulty unless I want the achievement.

#36 Edited by Canteu (2821 posts) -

I play games for mechanics. You get the most out of mechanics on the hardest difficulty. I get a bit annoyed when you have to unlock the hardest difficulty by playing through normal or some shit first, such a waste of time.

Plus games are easy.

#37 Posted by pweidman (2282 posts) -

Not usually, unless either I really like the game and I wanna run through a campaign and see and do everything. Games with options like ME, or the rare game like Halo that gets their highest difficulty right. Gears games did too. MW2 was also really cool on veteran, unlike most of the other CoDs though. They required you to try different tactics and really master the control scheme. And for me I love co-op so playing on high diff can be the only way to preserve any challenge...depends on the game though. I guess some games are so fun you just wanna check out everything and all diffs and challenges.

Racing games on highest diff usually don't work very well..too much rubberband and crazy AI. Also for me action games stay on normal or easy, and I can barely get through them on that. RPGs it depends. Like FO:NV had a very cool survival mode that I really enjoyed on a subsequent playthrough. In general though I'd say most games have pretty weakly developed difficulty differences. Too simple, lazy, and cheap like others itt have mentioned.

#38 Edited by Kidavenger (3483 posts) -

Normal, it's the way it was intended to be played and how the game was balanced, most hard difficulties are just adding more filler, why would anyone want that?

Play some competitive multiplayer if you want difficulty that means something.

#39 Posted by Levio (1782 posts) -

I play hard mode because that's often where the mechanics are meant to be the most intricately balanced and you have to use resources to their fullest to win.

But often times the game was clearly never balanced at all and was meant to be played on an easy difficulty where balance isn't necessary, which makes hard mode really terrible and pointless.

Metroid Prime 3 is the perfect example of lazy-ass hard mode, where they just give all the enemies bajillions of health which made combat extremely monotonous.

A good example of hard mode is (probably) the new Zelda hard modes where items don't drop so you have to conserve your health and ammo. I haven't gotten a chance to play it yet, but it would make all those pieces of heart, ammo upgrades, and bottled-potions actually be relevant to the game besides in boss rooms.

#40 Posted by Slag (3897 posts) -

I always go for the hardest unlocked difficulty I think I can possibly complete. That varies a lot by genres, if it's a SHMUP it's going to be some sort of easy/normal, if it's an AA, Platformer, RPG, Sports or SRPG that's probably max. Everything else is pretty much in the middle. More and more games I seem to be playing on normal these days, my twitch reflexes are probably losing a step or two as I get older.

I do this for a variety of reasons

  1. Back in the day the best unlockables were tied to hardest difficulties so I got used to playing games this way. Sometimes parts of the game itself. I remember in an extreme case Castlevania 64 would not even let you play the entire second half of the game unless you at least played on normal.
  2. I used to not nearly have as many games per year, so this would help extend my time with them.
  3. A lot of genres are a whole heck of a lot easier these days especially Action games, if for no other reason that they are much much more forgiving with frequent save points. This makes it a whole heck of lot easier to retry difficult parts without having to slog 30 minutes to hours back for each attempt.
  4. It forces me to get better and utilize more of the game's mechanics. The difficulty helps break up the monotony some modern games have, which can have combat you can cheese too easily by spamming one ability through normal difficulties. Especially if I'm playing something that has a meaningful multiplayer component, It pays to knows the mechanics well.
  5. Realistically I know I don't replay games very often at all, so I want to get the max unlockables/cheevos that I can get in one go. Because that's likely going to be my one shot before I move onto the next game
  6. It feels baller to 100% a game or beat a game on max difficulty.

If I was starting out today I don't think I'd play on hard as often as I do. But I grew up gaming in a different era when games were designed differently and was kind of trained to in a way.

#41 Edited by big_jon (5707 posts) -

If I like a game yes, I usually do games Like Halo and Deadspace on the highest available first, but if it is something I am not great at of just want to finish I will do either normal, or if there are four options, the third one up.

I like my enemies to feel challenging and fierce!

#42 Posted by ShadowConqueror (3048 posts) -

I usually play it on normal or the level above normal if a higher one unlocks after beating it, then I try the hardest difficulty. Sometimes it works out, sometimes not.

#43 Posted by Coafi (1481 posts) -

Normal is fine, when I was kid I played most of my games on easy. Now, I've upgraded to normal, maybe in my 60's I'll play in the hardest difficulty. I'll become a hardcore-granny.

#44 Edited by hippocrit (229 posts) -

Like others, I do it in the games I truly enjoy to get the most out of them I can. All the Mass Effects, Bayonetta, and Halo Reach are some I've done it with. I tried to do an Impossible run in X-COM but it's too easy to save scum, and iron man scares the crap out of me.

#45 Posted by Demento (46 posts) -

I tend to only play single player games once, so I usually select normal or easy. The backlog is too large to struggle through games on harder difficulties for me. That being said, I did try Gears of War 1 and 2 on the higher difficulties.

#46 Posted by ajamafalous (11793 posts) -

I always play on normal the first time through. On very rare occasions (if I really enjoy a game and its mechanics, e.g. Arkham Asylum, BioShock, etc.) I'll play through it again on a harder difficulty. One thing I hate, though, is when the harder difficulty just means "enemies do like 4x the damage to you so if you get hit 2-3 times you die." That shit isn't fun, and it usually leads me to stop my hard run.

#47 Posted by ShaggE (6286 posts) -

I usually go normal, and if I really like the game, I'll try hard. I rarely go hard on the first run, though.

Games like Dead Space and Batman are exceptions. Zealot in DS2 was a perfect level of difficulty to keep me on my toes, and Batman on Hard is just plain fun. (replaying Origins on hard is kicking my ass, since the enemies are so much more aggressive... that Bane fight is going to be a bitch)

I'd do hard more often, but I'm not super great at games despite all of my experience, and I'm always worried that "hard" just means "bullet sponges".

#48 Posted by altairre (1112 posts) -

Normal usually. If the game really feels too easy then I'll switch to a higher one but for the first playthrough it's almost always normal. If it's a good character action game like Ninja Gaiden or Bayonetta I'll work my way up to the highest one because it's a big part of the enjoyment of those kinds of games but I'll still start on normal.

#49 Posted by weegieanawrench (1934 posts) -

@claude: I think they're not as popular as they used to be even 3 years ago. We'll see if the Xbone regains some enthusiasm for achievements, but for me lusting after them is over. Personally, I feel it's due to my getting a PC and being able to own a much larger library of games through Steam.

#50 Posted by Liquidus (946 posts) -

I enjoy the challenge? I typically only play a game on the hardest difficulty if I really enjoy the combat, games like DMC3, Bayonetta and Revengeance are at their best on the hardest difficulties and trying to get the best ranking for each level. However I always start the game on Normal because I view that as what the developer intended as your first time through the game.