Monday, 14 June 2010

Difficulty: HARD

Thought I’d have to start posting some time or another and with the current difficulty articles from my fellow bloggers I thought I should point out why I always play my games on ‘Hard’ difficulty, just to show I'm not some kind of sadistic gamer who enjoy raging at games on a regular basis.

I’m almost bored of modern games basically handing me the story with very little challenge rather than making me work for it, somehow it doesn’t feel so rewarding. Although in the same breath I don’t appreciate being denied the story because I have to grind almost endlessly, or be superhuman to detect enemies before they appear. Is it possible in the current world of games for developers to do it well without just ramping up the enemies or damage etc?

I’m the kind of guy who plays Call of Duty of Veteran, basically because I’m not too fond of being a sort of ordinary marine in FPS’s who is actually the Terminator in disguise who can almost wipe out a platoon of enemy troops without breaking a sweat and still have time for a cup of tea. Although if it's done wrong it's infuriating, so don’t get me started on the invisible enemies and grenade spammalicoius tendencies of Call of Duty:World at War, that’s another matter yet an good example of difficulty done wrong.

Don’t get me wrong I love my narrative and story, hell that’s what makes half a game but if the other half (whether it be shooting Nazis/aliens, slaying mighty gods, saving the world from ultimate doom etc ) can’t hold it up without at least a bit of a challenge I find myself thinking ‘somethings not right here’.

But I also find there is the satisfaction of learning a section to a degree that makes you try something differently than before but it working out is such a pay off, take Dead Space for example. This is a game that I started on Hard right from the beginning because I knew I wanted to have the crap scared out of me throughout, especially from the variety of disgusting creatures who have the ability to turn you into mince meat if you stumble into them unawares or sod’s law reload your gun at the wrong time.

If only this worked *sigh*

Now I hit one boss a year ago that had me gouging my eyes out, I saw no way of completing this bugger so much so that after a considerable amount of time invested in restraining lobbing my controller through my T.V it was put on the shelf for nearly two years or so! Until now that is. I thought ‘lets have a bash at this bastard once more’, loaded up the section, and bugger me next thing I know I’m trying something different and finishing the sod in no time. So I got that great sense of achievement, aswell as the realisation that the game has been opened up for me once again.

Which brings me to Demon Souls, I’ve been playing this hardcore gamer gem since it’s American release, after reading about it over the internet it sounded like my kind of thing. The main feedback of the game is it being rewarding, but notoriously infuriating. It makes you get better at it or get your ass handed to you in a variety of ways that will make the most masculine of men cry like babies.

Now honestly I have no idea why that premise appealed to me, but be warned if you think this game is your kind of bag, think about it strongly, never has a game had me torn between sitting on the edge of my seat to raging and hurling my controller in frustration in a matter of seconds. If you’re like me you’ll be so literally scared of every movement in the shadows in the common case that something is nearly always waiting to kill you and makes you repeat everything you just did in the last 30 minutes, again.In no way should this put you off, just be prepared for it as it’s going to happen often if you don’t dedicate a lot of time to playing and learning it and most importantly, get better at it.

Get used to this sight In Demon Souls soon followed by you
crying yourself quietly into a corner after you die.

You’d think you’d have to have an almost sadistic nature to enjoy this game, but at the same time never has a game been so compelling for me to have that ‘one last try’ at a gigantic boss or area that I couldn’t overcome because I was too hasty, ignoring the fact my previous death 2 minutes ago nearly brought me to tears. If you buy it you won’t be sorry, it’s an amazing tome to what gaming can be, just be prepared to be retracing your steps a lot and perfecting the art of playing this game without going all Wolverine on your TV.

I enjoy being tested at skill and my ass being handed to me in equal measures if it makes me try something new or really push me as a player to risk something or think outside the box, just not having the game make me give it up and place it in its sadistic claws sprinkled with sugar and a cherry.

And don’t get me started on the world of Trophy/Achievement whoring, that’s another article.

So to quote my fellow blogger BrapScallion:

‘So, in the days of 100+hour games, Fully immersive stories with actual plots and twists worthy of Hollywood, who wants to break the illusion by dying a thousand times just to get through that awkward choke point with the bad guys with grenades?’

I will if it makes the gaming experience feel that little bit more epic and worthwhile when it’s over.

Khronos out.

No comments:

Post a Comment