Gaming Difficulty: When is it Just Right?

dead space 2 hardcore mode

As my unemployed status continues to persist, I’ve found myself undertaking gaming-related challenges that I wouldn’t typically do under normal circumstances. Recently, my sights have been set on Dead Space 2, and and the Hard Core mode achievement in particular.

What Hard Core mode consists of is a run through of the game with only three saves total and no checkpoints. If you die, it sets you back to you last save point, even if that particular save was about three hours of gameplay ago. Hard Core mode is mercilessly unforgiving, and even with my fantastic Necromorph slaying skills, there’s been more close calls than I care to admit.

As I am wont to do when subjecting my gaming muscles to a new challenge, I got to thinking about difficulty in games and what games do it right. Hard Core mode is an excellent example of this. Instead of just making every enemy kill you in one hit (or throw loads of grenades…Treyarch), the tension comes from the lack of a “safety net”, and the very real possibility of losing hours of progress. While this may sound like a pain in the ass, it’s actually quite engaging, and a great test of your skills. More games should do something like this, where the difficulty factor is not determined by cheap AI, but rather by taking away things we have come to rely on like check points or saves.

What do you guys think about this notion? Has anyone here tried Hard Core mode, and do you agree with me? What games would benefit from this kind of challenge? Hit me!