Now I’m not as good with wordage as my partner in crime but this is an issue we debate pretty frequently so I thought best to bring it up here and see what kind of feedback we can get.
In almost every game these days, on starting, you must choose how hard the path ahead will be. More often than not you will be left with 3 simple choices – Easy, medium or hard. Will you take the easy route, enjoying the feeling of nigh-invulnerability but being left with very few real challenges? Or perhaps you are one to start on medium – a mode which attempts to find that balance between too easy and too hard but invariably fails and ends up skewed towards one or the other (sometimes both at different stages of the game)? You may even dare to attack hard mode first go, knowing you are in for an uphill struggle, but each bit of progress you make is hard fought and truly satisfying. OK, so sometimes there is the 4th difficulty setting. This goes under the guise of many names; Nightmare, Delta, Insane, etc. No matter what it’s called it’s going to be brutal and unless you’re damned good at the game, is not going to be in any way fun, more a lesson in frustration.
I am, personally, one of those who attempts to play whatever game in the hardest available difficulty. I enjoy the challenge. I get great satisfaction from accomplishing a mission, completing a level, even killing some of the tougher enemies in this difficulty. Sometimes I struggle, repeat bits countless times trying to get through them, but to me that’s getting the most out of the game. Currently I am going through Fallout 3 on Very Hard. I’ve not cleared the game before and went straight into it at this difficulty setting, which Creed can vouch for. I’m doing the same for Tomb Raider and will repeat this for any games I get.
On the flipside of this is Creed. He plays games through on Easy first time. There is a logic to this, but I just don’t get it, which leads to the debates. I say debates, it’s usually:
IPC: “You’re playing on Easy? Pussy!”
Creed: ” I enjoy the games more this way. Shut up”
IPC “You shut up, jerk”
Creed: “Your face is a jerk”
And it just gets lost in the ether after this. To be fair, I get that some people just want to progress in story, or whatever, but I don’t understand why they don’t want to earn it. I’ve won Creed over to my side of things a couple of times. We played through Gears 2 on Hardcore (the hardest difficulty available from the off) and we started into Halo 3 on Legendary (which led to some amazing moments involving me, a hammer and about 10 brutes). I flat out refuse to drop difficulty when at all possible.
There are, of course, some instances where going easy is necessary. For instance, Guitar Hero is a game where I highly recommend starting on Easy to test your skill level and moving up until you find a mode that’s somewhat challenging yet still fun. Civilization (any of them) is another game I am currently playing where if I want to have any hope of doing anything I need to start on an easier mode.
So here I am, asking the public, what you think. Creed and I will likely never agree on this. Should you man up at the start and tackle hard mode or puss out and go easy? A weighted question I’ll admit, but hey, plead your case and we’ll see what’s what.