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#1 Posted by Psykhophear (939 posts) -
#2 Posted by FlamingHobo (4482 posts) -

Hard, most of the time. It depends on the genre of game really.

#3 Posted by KaosAngel (13765 posts) -

Easy, cause I'm a pussy and not ashamed to admit it. 
 
Also, it gives me an incentive to go back.

#4 Posted by MrKlorox (11209 posts) -

On first playthrough, it depends on my experience with the franchise and genre. If I have little to no experience in a genre, I'll choose easy at first and restart on a harder difficulty if it's too easy. But if I'm familiar with the genre or especially franchise, I'll often choose hard and up. Unless it's notoriously hard, in which case normal is what I end up choosing.

#5 Posted by StarvingGamer (8158 posts) -

Depends on the game, typically Hard.

#6 Posted by fwylo (3556 posts) -

Hard. That way it's not a cake walk and actually requires some skill to get through.  Then if I want to play it again I'll go harder.

#7 Posted by CitizenKane (10506 posts) -

Normal, or whatever the default might be.

#8 Posted by the_OFFICIAL_jAPanese_teaBAG (4308 posts) -

it really depends on my mood the day i get the game.  ill usually pick hard cause i really dont want to go on normal or something and play the game again on a higher difficulty...

#9 Posted by ZeForgotten (10397 posts) -

Hard or above for most games. 
Except for games like Rock Band when I just wanna have fun with a bunch of friends.   
Of course when we wanna get all "serious" we put it on Pro Expert and have fun

#10 Posted by tourgen (4478 posts) -

I go with whatever the default setting is.  My theory is that is how the game is meant to be played.  I'm not so sure how much that theory holds up though.  Sometimes it really feels like the default setting is cruise control mode on newer games.  Other games don't even feel right on the default setting.  Parts of combat don't even matter or any depth the combat might have had was stripped out for normal mode.  That really sucks and it makes me at least look at the harder difficulties out-of-the-box to see if I'm getting cheated on gameplay in normal mode.

#11 Posted by buzz_clik (6973 posts) -

It usually depends on the game. If there's a nutsoid option that's greyed out, then I'll usually pick the hardest below that, because I know there's a level to step up to that's going to be more punishing than my first playthrough.
 
If I'm already aware that there's a hidden hardest mode in a game, like Dead Space, I'll always pick what is the hardest setting on initial play to make sure the really difficult shit pops up.
 
Halo I'll always play on Heroic first time through, then Legendary the next. For whatever reason (and I've stated this before) Legendary is always a cinch that way.
 
So, yeah. I like things to be pretty rough, but I still like to know what I'm getting into before getting my arse truly kicked.

Moderator
#12 Posted by Landon (4140 posts) -

Normal, because that is what the game was meant to be played on.

#13 Posted by TaliciaDragonsong (8698 posts) -

Hard usually.

#14 Posted by AjayRaz (12426 posts) -

normal because i like fun 

#15 Posted by FancySoapsMan (5821 posts) -

Normal. 
 
I like a challenge, but not the point that I would prefer it over having fun.

#16 Posted by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -
@AjayRaz said:
" normal because i like fun  "
Same here. However, if a game doesn't have Normal, I go for Easy, since fuck that game for not including Normal difficulty.
#17 Posted by Aetheldod (3558 posts) -

Almost always the hardest .... but because not all games go beyond hard I choose very hard , as an average

#18 Posted by raidingkvatch (1152 posts) -
@CitizenKane said:
" Normal, or whatever the default might be. "
This. Unless it's a God of War/Devil May Cry type of game, in which case I play on whatever the easiest setting is, because I suck at that type of game, but occasionally subject myself to it anyway.
#19 Posted by Tonylope (187 posts) -

I'll usually start with normal and change it if it's too hard or easy (It's usually the former).

#20 Posted by Tru3_Blu3 (3203 posts) -

I play on hard, because most games these days are easy as fuck on normal.

#21 Posted by 2HeadedNinja (1602 posts) -

usually hard or up ... unless the game gets just unfair on that setting. 

#22 Posted by Bloodgraiv3 (2712 posts) -

Hard, always. 
#23 Posted by jkz (4012 posts) -

I usually go with the hardest difficulty unlocked at first-launch. I really don't replay games, and the highest difficulty is usually the most engaging and entertaining.

#24 Posted by BaneFireLord (2928 posts) -

It depends on the game.
Heroic in Halo.
Normal in most games.
Normal (Casual on annoying boss fights) in BioWare games.
When I used to play RTSs, Hard.

#25 Posted by xyzygy (9953 posts) -

Usually the second hardest for my first playthrough, then the hardest (if it's possible) for my 2nd

#26 Edited by JTB123 (1046 posts) -

Normal, because odds are that is what has been play-tested. Harder modes usually just alter metrics and nothing else.  It does depend on the game though.
 
If the game is good enough, I'll try the harder modes to see if it improves anything or if I plan on reviewing it. The depths of the mechanics really reveal themselves on the harder modes.

#27 Posted by ShiftyMagician (2129 posts) -

The lowest I will go is normal for games of which it's contents and mechanics are unfamiliar to me, or if I feel that I would need to have a feel for how the controls handle first.  Otherwise I would move on to as hard a difficulty as possible, going down if the difficulty level ruins the fun in the game.
 
Sometimes I scale the difficulty back if the elements that are scaled up become more tedious to overcome.  An example is Oblivion, where increased difficulty led to stronger enemies with so much health that it was tedious to me.  The fact that even rats took more than a few hits to kill at the beginning of the game was absurd.

#28 Posted by vasylkoB317 (57 posts) -

It depends on the how much fun I am having. If its too hard and mind numbingly so  I will go lower, but if I am essentially taping a button down and still winning then I bump it up. As long as the game is being fair and not cheap with its difficulty. 

#29 Posted by csl316 (8488 posts) -

I used to go on hard difficulties occasionally, but Call of Duty 2's achievements kind of made me do every game that way.

#30 Posted by JoeyRavn (4970 posts) -
@CaLe said:
" I check the achievements/trophies, and if there is a lot awarded for playing on hard then I'll choose it. Otherwise I go normal. "
This. I usually play on Normal, unless there are Achievements for beating the game on Hard. Lately, I've been starting directly on Hard, though. I beat Battlefield: Bad Company on PC on Hard yesterday, and, to be honest, there was really no incentive behind it at all. It really depends on the game. 
#31 Posted by Harbinger_Of_Hippos (224 posts) -

 I usually play on Easy or Normal settings. I never really understood the attraction to a high difficulty level. Sometimes I do play stuff on hard (or whatever the highest setting is for the game), just to see if I can not get destroyed. But I never really was able to have fun while getting my ass kicked by AI, maybe I'm just weird like that though. On some games (like God of War) I have to play on Easy or it's just impossible to get anywhere- for me, of course.    

#32 Posted by HarlequinRiot (1098 posts) -

Normal. No point in artificially making the game harder when it won't benefit from it. Only certain games benefit from difficulty, imo.  
 
I will put strategy games on easy though, as I'm awful at them.

#33 Posted by Little_Socrates (5675 posts) -

I choose normal. It's for the player who likes to enjoy combat.  
 
But yeah, I usually pick normal. It's still fun in most games, and until you've been through a game at least once, you don't know how hard a game is going to be. Imagine if you started Devil May Cry with its difficulty or Mass Effect 1 with its autosave issues and didn't know what you were in for. Not what I want in my experience, anyways.

#34 Posted by MOAB (374 posts) -

i always choose the hardest setting. i hate how some games unlock a harder setting once you beat it. i don't play games not named mass effect more than once.

#35 Posted by Apocralyptic (164 posts) -
@CaLe: I agree. I usually let the achievements dictate what level I play the game at.  Although sometimes I'll check out what other people have said about the difficulty; even if there's no achievement, if normal is too easy then the game's no fun. 
 
It also depends on WHY the game is hard... there's all kinds of poor game design choices that can make a game difficult in a totally un-fun way.
#36 Posted by Pkshields (810 posts) -

 Normal unless the game sets it for me (ala inFamous - Hard) or the game is ridiculously too easy/hard.    

#37 Posted by Example1013 (4834 posts) -

Generally I pick normal, unless it's CoD, and then I pick Veteran. Mostly because there are so many CoD Veteran achievements. BFBC2 I picked Normal, because the only Hard achievement is for one level (I'm assuming the last). SW:TFU I don't play on hard because that requires a warm-up round first, and I don't play it that often anymore.
 
Pretty much all RPGs I play on Normal, because I really don't play them just to prove I can play on Hard. Although I did play through the DA:O DLC on Hard for achievements.

#38 Posted by Extreme_Popcorn (842 posts) -

Hard on FPS's and normal on everything else. I'm not amazing at FPS's but increasing the difficulty makes the game last a bit longer.

#39 Posted by Surkov (992 posts) -

Normal most of the time unless I feel like I know the series enough to try and up the difficulty. 

#40 Posted by Somadude (549 posts) -

Normal, but only in the last 3 years or so. Before then, I'd go on easy.

#41 Posted by JJOR64 (18956 posts) -

Most of the time, Normal.  Some games I like to choose the hardest like the Kingdom Hearts games.

#42 Posted by NekuCTR (1663 posts) -

Used to start on the hardest difficulties but more recently I'm dropping down to normal, and easy.

#43 Posted by NickL (2246 posts) -
@CitizenKane said:
" Normal, or whatever the default might be. "
#44 Posted by core1065 (543 posts) -

I always choose the hardest. I beat games too quickly on normal or hard.

#45 Posted by animateria (3252 posts) -

Normally, Normal.

#46 Posted by Skald (4367 posts) -

Heroic/Medium-Hard

#47 Posted by Trebz (487 posts) -

Normal. It's the norm. 
After that, if I come back I'll go onto the next harder setting.

#48 Posted by mylifeforAiur (3483 posts) -

Always normal ^^

#49 Posted by Captain_Felafel (1568 posts) -

It kind of depends. If the game has 3 difficulty settings, I always go with Normal. But if it has 4, I go with the second hardest. I rarely go back and play through a game a second time on a harder difficulty, and when I do it's only just for achievements. (I.e. Halo: Reach and Mass Effect 2)

#50 Posted by Snipzor (3317 posts) -

Depends on the game. If it's a horror game, then clearly you play on hard for the full experience. If it's an FPS, and has more than 3 difficulty settings, second hardest. If it's a game like Dragon Age, always easy or normal. It's all about context.