What difficulty setting for first play-through?

  • 67 results
  • 1
  • 2
#1 Posted by Pixeldemon (243 posts) -

I understand there are Easy/Normal/Hard settings, and a fourth difficulty called "Survivor" that needs to be unlocked.

For me it's between Normal and Hard. Leaning towards Hard, because apparently this makes the supplies more scarce, and I see scarcity as the essence of survival horror. However, I want to be challenged, not frustrated.

Then there is the option of doing a Normal run and then replaying on Hard to extend the life of the game. Hmm.

#2 Posted by Pie (7110 posts) -

Hard definitely

#3 Edited by Fredchuckdave (6093 posts) -

It's a Naughty Dog game so chances are it won't be that difficult; might be harder than Uncharted but that's not saying much; hence I'll probably follow the standard Naughty Dog approach of Normal - Hard - "Crushing." This game isn't Vanquish. Reviewers are saying its "challenging" but there isn't really any reviews that go on incessantly about the difficulty; hence it isn't actually challenging; if it was then it wouldn't receive universal praise.

#4 Posted by laserguy (455 posts) -

Why do we need to unlock survivor? Why dont developers let us play the highest difficulty from the start?

#5 Edited by Fredchuckdave (6093 posts) -

@laserguy: Not every hardest difficulty is as easy as Legendary/Veteran sadly.

#6 Posted by laserguy (455 posts) -

@fredchuckdave: Since when is legendary/Veteran easy though? I don't play on Legendary. I'd throw my controller thru the T.V.

#7 Edited by Fredchuckdave (6093 posts) -

@laserguy: The First 2 Halos are sort of moderately difficult but also pretty easy to "game" so they're not especially tough. Truth and Reconciliation is extremely time consuming for instance but not all that difficult. World at War is the only hard Call of Duty on Veteran and it's basically just throw smoke grenades at the right spot and run to the next checkpoint (with like a 5% chance of success if done perfectly) on the hard missions since the enemies spawn faster than you can kill them; the AI is atrocious so it's just throw as many of these stand up and shoot rail shooter enemies at you as possible (also like 40 grenades at all times). This is hard and this is the hardest thing in any action game period; neither of which have infinitely respawning enemies.

#8 Edited by SunBroZak (1338 posts) -

Assuming Naughty Dog uses a similar system to Uncharted, in that you must play the hardest available difficulty to unlock the true hardest difficulty, then I can see myself playing on Hard. No doubt it'll add to the atmosphere too.

#9 Posted by gkhan (488 posts) -

If there's an option to change difficulty at any time (which I assume there is, that seems to be standard these days), I'll go hard and change if it's too frustrating. The reviews seem to say that the game-play mechanics are a big part of the appeal of the game, so lets crank that shit up.

#10 Edited by 49th (2837 posts) -

Hard, I pretty much play everything on hard now and don't come into too many problems.

#11 Edited by Zella (818 posts) -

Was able to pick it up a few days early and I would say Hard for sure. It can be a little annoying in difficulty on certain sections with the infected but overall it isn't that bad and raises the tension to ,in my opinion, suit the tone of the game more.

#12 Posted by Demoskinos (15129 posts) -

Go big or go home I say. Hard all the way. Im not buying it but hard seems the way to go.

#13 Posted by Hunter5024 (5956 posts) -

You guys are crazy. I always choose normal.

#14 Edited by Yummylee (22498 posts) -

Probably Hard mode, even if that was most definitely the wrong way to go with Uncharted 3... I fucking loathed my first playthrough of that because of my stubbornness to stick to Hard mode for the whole game. Didn't get much better during my second playthrough on Normal mode mind you (for many other reasons besides the difficulty), but I at least wasn't left with the urge to garrote someone with my controller cord.

But yeah, with The Last of Us I think Patrick even suggested that you up the difficulty, so that sounds like it might be the way to go.

#15 Edited by Ghostiet (5304 posts) -

Hard. I have a tendency to hoard shit in video games and since apparently TLoU does a decent enough job on Normal at limiting your resources, upping the difficulty from the beginning might guarantee that I won't be the richest motherfucker in the entire post-apocalyptic USA during the last third. The fact that the enemies are, from what I've read, kind of bullet-spongy (which didn't bother me that much in Uncharted - it only made me better at doing headshots and dissuade me from turtling every encounter) makes me more or less bent on picking Hard.

#16 Edited by Oscar__Explosion (2402 posts) -

I would say normal, but everyone else seems to say Hard. So go with that.

#17 Edited by Mezmero (2057 posts) -

I'll probably start on hard myself. If it gets too intense I might switch back. The most recent game that burned me on hard was Bioshock Infinite but hopefully that was just a fluke.

#18 Edited by GunstarRed (5448 posts) -

Normal. I'm mostly playing it for the story and if I decide I want more challenge down the line I will play it again on a harder difficulty.

#19 Posted by Pixeldemon (243 posts) -

@mezmero: I too regretted playing Bioshock Infinite on Hard, but I was stubborn and stuck with it. I think I will start on Hard mode for TLOU and dial it down if it isn't fun.

#20 Posted by TurboMan (7724 posts) -

I'll start on hard to see if the game has a true survival horror vibe, but will bump it down if I get frustrated cause I'm a whiney little baby like that.

#21 Posted by Darji (5294 posts) -

People be careful. They say it is really difficult and there are a lot of one hit kills. But luckily you also can readjust the difficulty level during your playthrough.

#22 Edited by Zeik (2751 posts) -

I'll be starting on hard. This seems like one of those games where the difficulty could make or break the experience.

Of course, it depends on how they choose to make the game harder. If everything just takes a stupid amount of bullets to kill and any mistake is a gameover then that's not fun.

#23 Posted by RonGalaxy (3275 posts) -

I always go normal-hardest difficulty

Naughty dog games (and most games) require a playthrough on any difficulty to unlock the hardest mode. Once I play the game the way it was meant to be (most difficulty increases are arbitrary and take away from the intended experience), Ill play on the unlocked difficulty for trophies.

Also, naughty dogs higher difficulty levels tend to be unfairly difficult/frustrating rather than rewarding.

Most game devs really dont put a lot of effort in making the different difficulties meaningfully different. Just look at 1999 mode now vs what was supposed to be in it.

#24 Posted by pompouspizza (292 posts) -

I made the mistake of playing through bioshock infinite my first time on hard and there were more than a few parts where it was extremely frustrating and it really took me out of the experience. I'm sure I will play through the last of us multiple times so I will stick with normal my first time through.

#25 Edited by StarvingGamer (8544 posts) -

If the only difference between normal/hard is item scarcity and AI behavior, then definitely hard. If they turn the enemies into bullet-sponges like they did in Uncharted, then it's normal for me.

#26 Edited by DarthOrange (3890 posts) -

I'm thinking normal. In the demo I burned through all my ammo on the first two dudes and was left running away from the remaining enemies and that was on normal.

#27 Posted by EVO (3940 posts) -


I've learnt my lesson with other games - nothing breaks the immersion more than dying over and over again.

#28 Edited by Castiel (2729 posts) -

I always play my games on normal. At least the first time through, especially in really story-driven games like this where I want to be immersed in the story and characters. The gameplay should be challenging but not punishingly hard, so that's why I play on normal.

#29 Posted by Pixeldemon (243 posts) -

Multiple playthroughs are great, but you get only one chance to play the game for the first time (i.e. with no idea what you're going to face next).

My only fear about Normal is that half-way through the game I'll be walking around with 300 bullets, 15 molotov cocktails, 10 grenades, 10 medical kits, 20 shivs, etc. This happened to me in every Dead Space game, and it was kind of disappointing.

I've read that Hard reduces resources but doesn't buff the enemies' HP or anything. Would love to have more clarity on this though.

#30 Edited by Gravier251 (217 posts) -

I'm going with hard then. I usually always go with the hardest option available. Hopefully it will make getting by a bit tougher to add to the whole survival feel.

#31 Edited by mrcraggle (1979 posts) -

I had the opportunity to play a bit of the game on Monday at ETOO in London but I don't know what the settings were. It seemed pretty hard though. Enemies will flank you and take you out if you're not on your shit. I was watching a guy play and while he was aiming at someone, an enemy came flying in from a blind spot to his left and knocked him on the ground. Although I had a pretty funny/dumb moment when I grabbed a guy and held out my pistol but didn't realise I had no bullets at that point the guy i'm holding knew realised and then proceeding to break out and beat me up.

#32 Edited by Winsord (1298 posts) -

Absolutely have to play on hard, personally. There have been a few more story driven games recently where I played on normal and found it to be painfully easy; I never even died in Bioshock Infinite. Naughty Dog was really good about letting you adjust the difficulty in the Uncharted games, so I would be surprised to see that not cary over here. If for some reason hard to is too hard, then I'd prefer to switch it down to normal later, but I don't see that happening. Usually any game with four or more difficulties I tend to find that hard mode isn't so hard. I also would prefer resources to be more scarce in this style of game and to have each shot count, so if the difficulty is going to affect the atmosphere that heavily then I can't see not playing on hard.

Really hope they avoid using increased enemy health as a difficulty scaler, since turning all enemies into bullet spunges is pretty much the least interesting thing you can do in games, at the very least in terms of difficulty, if not one of the worst in general.

#33 Edited by me3639 (1849 posts) -

@pie said:

Hard definitely

Ever game, always.

#34 Posted by Red (5994 posts) -

I'll start off with Hard and tone the difficulty down if it gets ridiculous.

#35 Edited by MEATBALL (3468 posts) -

My copy turned up yesterday. I've only played a couple of hours, but I opted to play on hard. I don't normally play games on hard, but I really wanted The Last of Us to feel like a tense, desperate struggle and so far I've been loving it. I knew I'd made the right decision when, after clawing my way through my third or fourth combat scenario on minimal health - surviving by the skin of my teeth - I let out a big sigh of relief. Yup, this was the experience I'd been hoping for with The Last of Us.

I also had a moment during a stealth section where I got startled when someone spotted me and fired. I let out a yelp and an "oh shit!" without meaning to, I hadn't even noticed that I'd built up that sort of tension in that moment. It was really cool.

So I'd definitely recommend starting on Hard, and like I said, that's coming from someone who doesn't normally do so.

I don't know if it'll deliver on "survival horror", but so far combat definitely feels desperate and dangerous. I've really been feeling how rough things are in The Last of Us's world, and that's what I really wanted to see from this game.

#36 Posted by Pixeldemon (243 posts) -
#37 Edited by dropabombonit (1492 posts) -

I got my copy yesterday and having played 6 hours of it, I would say go with normal because even on that difficulty I had a couple of hairy moments. There was one bit where I had limited supplies and I had to restart that checkpoint a few times (luckily enough the checkpoints are great and are like an instant restart)

#38 Edited by ClintDriftwood (9 posts) -

My mantra is to go "normal" on games, then scale it from three depending upon my experience.

#39 Posted by Marcsman (3285 posts) -

I like it hard ( that's what she said)

#40 Posted by Pixeldemon (243 posts) -

Just wanted to follow up and say I'm about 6 hours in on Hard. I'm loving it. Combat is challenging but enjoyable, and there seems to be just the right amount of supplies that you need to really make them count. The few times I've been flush with ammo, I've needed to use most of it in the next encounter.

So far it's very well balanced. I've certainly died on a number of encounters, but it's actually kind of a fun puzzle to learn how to get through the scenarios intact.

#41 Posted by Redbullet685 (6082 posts) -

Hard. It almost feels like it was made to be played on hard.

#42 Edited by ExiledAstronaut (128 posts) -

@naru_joe93: What was supposed to be in 1999 mode? I tried searching but i can't find it.

And i'm also playing it on hard, it just seems better that way.

#43 Posted by Rolyatkcinmai (2699 posts) -

@laserguy: The First 2 Halos are sort of moderately difficult but also pretty easy to "game" so they're not especially tough. Truth and Reconciliation is extremely time consuming for instance but not all that difficult. World at War is the only hard Call of Duty on Veteran and it's basically just throw smoke grenades at the right spot and run to the next checkpoint (with like a 5% chance of success if done perfectly) on the hard missions since the enemies spawn faster than you can kill them; the AI is atrocious so it's just throw as many of these stand up and shoot rail shooter enemies at you as possible (also like 40 grenades at all times). This is hard and this is the hardest thing in any action game period; neither of which have infinitely respawning enemies.

Call of Duty 3 is far more difficult on Veteran than World at War. That said, none of them are terribly difficult.

#45 Posted by 49th (2837 posts) -

Hard - although I did not enjoy the first 4 hours or so as you do not have many options in combat yet. It wasn't very fun to shoot a dinky pistol at super fast crazy zombies, but once you start to find more weapons playing on hard became very enjoyable yet still challenging.

#46 Posted by Fredchuckdave (6093 posts) -

@rolyatkcinmai: Well, sir, clearly you are a liar as no one has ever played a Call of Duty prior to CoD 4; there is no prior to 4; 4 is now the first number in honor of CoD 4. All successful shooters must be followed by a 4 to start with.

#47 Posted by Minnesotaboy126 (1 posts) -

@Fredchuckdave I really hope you are being sarcastic. There are several Call of Duty games prior to 4. They came out for the generation of consoles prior to the ps3 and xbox 360 I guess you didn't know that there were consoles before the ps3 and the 360.

#48 Posted by CitizenCoffeeCake (643 posts) -

Ok I just finished on hard and it felt right (most of the time). The sense of tension and dread I experienced in this game is crazy. I felt so relieved just to reach a quiet dialogue scene.

#49 Posted by CaLe (4049 posts) -

I went Hard and it felt perfectly balanced.

#50 Posted by UpInLights (21 posts) -

Played it on hard beat it in 13hrs

This edit will also create new pages on Giant Bomb for:

Beware, you are proposing to add brand new pages to the wiki along with your edits. Make sure this is what you intended. This will likely increase the time it takes for your changes to go live.

Comment and Save

Until you earn 1000 points all your submissions need to be vetted by other Giant Bomb users. This process takes no more than a few hours and we'll send you an email once approved.