Easy Mode

First off, I should say sorry. I'm "That guy". The guy who plays things on easy mode when its a single player experience.

It was December 2010 and in the campaign for CoD:Black Ops. I was on rooftops in China, playing on the second hardest difficulty. Failure after failure led to frustration and stepping away. Knowing that a friend wanted to talk details about the story, I entered into a screw it mode, cranked down the difficulty to its easiest, and ran around like a mad man...

...and I was having fun doing it.

For me, difficulty comes in hunting the most dangerous animal of all: The Zookepper, oh wait! I mean man. Battlefield 3 is my bread and butter, as well as games like Guild Wars 2. Games where I can't adjust the difficulty, but its easy enough to contribute to the overall victory with friends.

When it comes to single player though, eff it.

This started years earlier when Halo 3 came out. I was chatting with a guy about playing through with friends when I used the phrase "I beat the game". He scoffed, and asked me if I had finished it solo on legendary mode. I told him no, that if Bungie bothered to put in 4 player co op thats how I was going to play it. According to him, I still have never beaten Halo 3.

Years later the same person (A friend of a friend) would vent his bitter hatred towards the Mass Effect series. How much he hated 2, how horrible it was and how much he wasn't looking forward to playing it on the hardest difficulty. Yes, you read that right, and he was playing it for the achievement points.

I'm 29 years old, and I love games. In a few months my palm will glow red to signify 30 (Logan's Run reference kids) and yet another year will be lost to jobs, times with friends and family and of course, video games. This whole rant started because I bought Dragon's Dogma yesterday, and while at work today, before I've even fired it up, I was reading about them patching in a new Easy Mode, as well as Hard Mode. When the easy mode was added back in August, the internet cried out with "WHY?!" and the answer in short, is for people like me. I play games because they're fun, and one day years ago I got sick of breaking my controllers on the table, or going to be angry at that undefeated boss. That is simply because I do not want to, or can not handle the stress. Some people thrive on it, and to you I say godpseed. Play the hardest of the hard modes, and stand triumphant on your day of victory. For me, I simply set it aside because I game for 2 hours a night, 3 nights a week. Honestly, I don't want to spend that time on the same section over and over again, and I'm looking forward to the time I'll spend in easy land.

So once again, sorry guys, and I would love to know your thoughts on difficulty in games.

11 Comments
11 Comments
Posted by Cleric22

First off, I should say sorry. I'm "That guy". The guy who plays things on easy mode when its a single player experience.

It was December 2010 and in the campaign for CoD:Black Ops. I was on rooftops in China, playing on the second hardest difficulty. Failure after failure led to frustration and stepping away. Knowing that a friend wanted to talk details about the story, I entered into a screw it mode, cranked down the difficulty to its easiest, and ran around like a mad man...

...and I was having fun doing it.

For me, difficulty comes in hunting the most dangerous animal of all: The Zookepper, oh wait! I mean man. Battlefield 3 is my bread and butter, as well as games like Guild Wars 2. Games where I can't adjust the difficulty, but its easy enough to contribute to the overall victory with friends.

When it comes to single player though, eff it.

This started years earlier when Halo 3 came out. I was chatting with a guy about playing through with friends when I used the phrase "I beat the game". He scoffed, and asked me if I had finished it solo on legendary mode. I told him no, that if Bungie bothered to put in 4 player co op thats how I was going to play it. According to him, I still have never beaten Halo 3.

Years later the same person (A friend of a friend) would vent his bitter hatred towards the Mass Effect series. How much he hated 2, how horrible it was and how much he wasn't looking forward to playing it on the hardest difficulty. Yes, you read that right, and he was playing it for the achievement points.

I'm 29 years old, and I love games. In a few months my palm will glow red to signify 30 (Logan's Run reference kids) and yet another year will be lost to jobs, times with friends and family and of course, video games. This whole rant started because I bought Dragon's Dogma yesterday, and while at work today, before I've even fired it up, I was reading about them patching in a new Easy Mode, as well as Hard Mode. When the easy mode was added back in August, the internet cried out with "WHY?!" and the answer in short, is for people like me. I play games because they're fun, and one day years ago I got sick of breaking my controllers on the table, or going to be angry at that undefeated boss. That is simply because I do not want to, or can not handle the stress. Some people thrive on it, and to you I say godpseed. Play the hardest of the hard modes, and stand triumphant on your day of victory. For me, I simply set it aside because I game for 2 hours a night, 3 nights a week. Honestly, I don't want to spend that time on the same section over and over again, and I'm looking forward to the time I'll spend in easy land.

So once again, sorry guys, and I would love to know your thoughts on difficulty in games.

Posted by planetfunksquad

I go with normal for most games. The only time I want to be frustrated with a game is when it's designed around that frustration i.e Super Meat Boy or Dark Souls. Being challenged is great, but theres a line where I stop having fun if I keep dying over and over.

Posted by blueaniman93

I agree completely with you. I had this exact revelation while playing the first Black Ops. I just had more fun playing it on the easiest mode. I do think that difficulty is not done very well in games anyway; its usually just frustrating and tends to not be fun for me. I really like when games don't give you an option for difficulty such as Borderlands 2 because those kinds of games have their own natural difficulty progression that makes more intrinsic sense. Also, I wish more games would do the Bastion style difficulty; that was a really cool idea.

Posted by JoeyRavn

There's nothing wrong with adjusting the difficulty level to something that you feel confortable with. You set your own goals and the ways to accomplish them. If someone doesn't agree with the way you play games, it's their problem, not yours. There's nothing else to discuss, really.

Posted by ImmortalSaiyan

That's cool. Nothing wrong with playing on easy if that is how you enjoy it most. I played the first three Metal Gear Solid games on very easy and enjoyed them. For most games easy I find too easy and I get bored with most game if they are too easy. I want some resistance and have to apply some strategy to what I am doing. I usually don't go for higher modes in games but for character action games and some others I will.

Posted by punkxblaze

I usually play a game on easy first, just to get through it and know what the experience is. If I consider it a game that seems like it'd be more fun with the extra challenge, I'll crank the difficulty up.

Posted by Solh0und

I've used to play on the easy difficulty growing up but as I was getting older, I started playing more games on Normal. Lately I've been adjusting them on hard so I can finish it and never play them again(Did that recently with Uncharted: Golden Abyss and Mafia 2).

Posted by Pr1mus

Absolutely. It's all about the journey for me. I like to just take my time and enjoy the ride without any stress or anything and will almost always play on the easiest setting. If i like a game enough to replay it multiple times i will gradually increase the difficulty. This is what i did in Uncharted 1 and 2 among others. Started with easy and 4 playthroughs later i had finished them on crushing. I eventually finished Dead Space on impossible. There are others too. I just don't want to sour my initial run through a game with frustrations and repeated failures. Once i know the story and characters and all that then i can be up for a challenge.

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Edited by Canteu

I play all games on hard, and I use my dad's golf analogy:

In golf, you don't play against other people. It's personal. Just you. You play against the course the first few times you play it, but once you're used to the course, you're only competing against yourself.

I can fight against other people in whatever game, but honestly I think yourself is your best competition. You know your own limits and when you can overcome them it feels all the more better.

If I didn't play games on hard, I would have gotten bored of gaming years ago. If there's no challenge, there's literally no point to playing.

Now this is just me of course. You can play on whatever difficulty you like, since obviously you enjoy games for a different reason than I.

The thing is, I can probably finish a game in about the same time on hard as you do on easy, so the time consumption part is kind of a non issue for me.

Posted by Dimsey

I basically always play on normal no matter the game and that works out fine.

Though if a games been in my backlog for a while and I just wanna get it out the way I'm not against lowering the difficulty.

Posted by Tidel

I play games on whatever difficulty will give me the best experience. With some games, I just want to be a content tourist. Sometimes I want to test myself. As long as I'm having fun.