There’s something about games and the way we play them. No, I’m not talking about trying to break the game in a quest for bugs and glitches, also not in the way we roleplay our protagonist when choices are to be made in order to find the right romance partner, level up one’s stats the right way or how a specific type of armor makes us look either good or weird.
It’s difficulty! The one that separates the casuals from the hardcore gamers (not really) from experiencing a game as it is to how it really should be played.
Normally I always play games on the hardest difficulty, as it is through that setting most games are meant to be played. Now, many will look at me with eyes saying what a fool I am for masochistically throw myself into the dangers of what the hardest difficulty has lying in wait.
However, there are many games that even I will never play higher than the easiest or just normal difficulty at best. These are the following top 5 games that I will never play on the hardest difficulty:
1. Uncharted (The Whole Series) a crushing and brutal experience in this beautiful adventure
We all know the fantastic story of Nathan Drake and his quest for boo… uhm, I mean ancient treasures that always seem to lay with ancient curses and elaborate traps enough for the most sane person to stop up, look at what is happening in the mayhem, decide to book a plane back as this is not worth their time and risk of their lives.
Not Nathan though, he will climb mountains, swing amongst the trees of the jungle, swim to depths unknown in search for that treasure and the thrill of excitement that comes with the dangers involved.
So, imagine then when you also have to in every single entry of this game series, fight waves after waves of enemies hired by the bad guy to be an obstacle in your path to victory. Shouldn’t be that hard at all I thought, when booting up The Nathan Drake Collection to reminisce about the adventure of what I played back on the PS3.
Since it’s a different time and I usually play all my games on the hardest difficulty, it didn’t occur to me the biggest mistake I had made when choosing the ‘Crushing Difficulty’, that not only gave me a fit of rage as I came across wave after wave after wave of enemies, always dying as they did double amount of damage to me and I only about half to them with only half as much health to go by. Just thinking about it already gets my blood pumping, but in reality it might just be because of the constant amounts of enemies that made me more irritated than the difficulty itself, as I had no problems beating the games on hard.
Still, my curiosity got the better of me and after beating the first game on crushing, I then noticed a ‘Brutal Difficulty’ had been unlocked, which after trying the first two missions with gave up on quickly and turned back to just play the games on easiest difficulty, just to enjoy the story and have a fun time in a good adventure… Those two difficulties almost ruined my experience of the series revisiting them.
2. Civilization V Not even a Deity can make me go through this torture
There’s really not much that can be said about Civilization other than I love this game, from the multitude of strategies you can come up with in order to beat your opponents (take that Montezuma).
What brings Civilization on this list of mine, is simply the ‘Deity Difficulty’ in which you as the player get put on such a disadvantage against the AI that you will it is like torture. You start out with lesser start points, while the opponents gain more advantages that seems like you have to climb a mountain during the coldest winter, no form of equipment to help you and the wind is almost being like a storm.
The AI gets 5 free techs in the beginning of the game, 100 % work rate bonus, less percent happiness than you, 50% train rate of units (this means it takes half the amount of time it would take you to make something). You can follow the link and read more about it.
Suffice to say I’ve only tried it a few times and if I don’t follow a guide point for point, then I can wave a victory goodbye within a few turns…. Which reminds, I saw that Gandhi had just finished the Manhatten Project… oh no.
3. Serious Sam 3 wants to go Mental
Croteam’s iconic game series Serious Sam have always been a weird game. Like a love letter to good ol’ Doom and Wolfenstein, the game takes the same route of you being a bad ass that kills tons of enemies in a mostly linear first-person shooter.
Now imagine that this game has had a mode normally called ‘Serious Mode’ where the enemies move faster, have more health and can do much more damage to you the player. Not to mention that they have multiplied a ton, rushing towards you like an angry mob on sales day.
That is all well and good until you discover that Serious Sam 3 has something called ‘Mental Mode’, which is a monster in on its own. You can be safe in knowing that the enemies are normal from ‘Serious Mode’… instead though that they are even more stronger than before and invisible to boot. Isn’t that great?
As soon as you see an enemy, they will quickly fade away from your vision. However, they can still see you and make no mistake, that will put you at a big disadvantage. For only sound here is your best friend and by listening for them you might have a chance of finding them and let a round of bullets enter their bodies.
Yet, I must also warn you that you will not have the double ammo, so you can’t go firing into the environment as it will waste your resources, making you an even easier target to take down.
Clearly this was truly mental for me as I played it with a couple of friends to have some fun but also see what the highest difficulty would be like. It didn’t take more than a couple of tries before we turned to easy mode in order to have some fun, since that is what the game is all about in the end…. Beware for the ‘Mental Mode’… Beware!
4. Starcraft 2 is just a flashback of a legion that kept coming
One thing is to make sure that you have enough units, that they are well upgraded and you are in an area with a good amount of recourses. Starcraft 2 is a game that I fairly enjoy, the characters of Jim Raynor, Sarah Kerrigan, the memorable Tychus Findlay and so many more.
While I haven’t beaten Heart of the Swarm yet, the first game Wings of Liberty still gave me a hell of a time on normal with the vast amount of enemies that kept coming, not ever seeing to stop for me to catch a breath.
Personally, I’m not very good at RTS (Real Time Strategy) games, this I will be honest about. Growing up on games that were more turn based, allowing you to take the time and think things through before making a decision always made it so the games could be enjoyed more. RTSs on the other hand always had me sweating, almost as if I was about to fill my apartment with the amount since on the hardest difficulty, the AI was stronger, was quicker to get recourses and just left me behind a dust trail after the mission had started. When suddenly the legions of Protoss as well as Zerg came rushing through my barricades before I even had a small army ready to defend myself.
That is why I kept looking up guides on Youtube, forums and the like to find a way that I could beat levels on the hardest difficulty. Alas it was all in vain and I took the decision to put it on easy mode in order to progress through the story, but also to just finally get some enjoyment out of the game.
So, when the time comes to play the Legacy of the Void, I will still go with easy to see where this epic storyline ends up in conclusion.
5. The Witcher was a nightmare to control on hardest difficulty
I love The Witcher series from CD Projekt Red and have beaten almost all three games in the series (disregarding the DLCs for Witcher III Wild Hunt), yet it may or may not come as a surprise that I cannot for the world of me play the first Witcher game on the hardest difficulty. This might be because of the time it came out or because the control scheme weren’t really the best optimized that it is today in The Witcher III.
So, while you easily can read on the internet that a multitude of people have completed the game on ‘Hard’ without breaking a sweat, me on the other hand couldn’t even figure out what I had to do in order to succeed in my battles against evil as Geralt of Rivia. No matter what potion I chugged down in order to aid me when the time was needed, in the end a game over screen always looked back at me after a few hits.
Most of the time it felt like there was this rhythm you had to get into in order to fully maximize the damage output that your stances allowed with the weapon equipped for the mission at hand. This is where on ‘Hard’ I chose to take a step back and just once again enjoy the story on the easiest difficulty.
That is not to say that in The Witcher II and The Witcher III aren’t difficult too, but it felt there that CD Projekt Red had more figured out what worked in terms of combat. So if you want to ask there, yes, I have only played those two on the hardest difficulty and beaten both while enjoying the story of Geralt.
So, that was the top 5 games that I will never play on the hardest difficulty, there could have been a ton more and a possibility for a sequel to this in the future. The reason I’ve chosen these games is to point out what made them hard for me and why I then never played them on the hardest difficulty that they offered in the game settings but also since I came across this interesting piece of reading on OpiumPulses that sparked a thought, which let me to making this article.
Nevertheless, I want to also hear your stories. What are some of the games that you never wanted to play on the hardest difficulty, or do you even play games on the hardest difficulty at all?
Let me know down in the comments, and let me know as well if this is something I should continue to do from time to time (given this is my first top x list).
Stay Cozy and have a nice day!