When we boot up a new game there are two things we like to do before we start playing.
We like to turn on the subtitles if it’s a story-rich game, but the second thing we turn to is what difficulty do we play the game on?
There are some gamers out there who immediately jump to the highest difficulty, no matter its name because they either: love a challenge, want to get as many achievements/trophies as possible on the first run, they stream their gameplay and want viewers to see something exciting, they’re veteran gamers, etc.
For me, when I start a game for the first time, I want to take in every moment of the story and not continuously crash and burn to a point where I no longer enjoy the game. So, if that means I play on the lowest difficulty so I can focus on the story, then so be it. If I feel like I’ve got better at the gameplay then maybe I will go up in difficulty but it’s not something I need to do immediately.
I knew that The Witcher III was a massive game for example, so I wanted to take in every moment of the story and not struggle with combat, I’m not even a fan of the combat in that game to begin with!
I personally feel that there is a lot of peer pressure in the gaming world to beat a game on its hardest difficulty. You can see conversations like “Oh hey man did you best that Halo game on Legendary yet?” and what would you say if your answer is no? Would you be worried what other players would think of you if you told the truth? If someone chooses to play something easier, then don’t make fun of them, everybody starts somewhere right?
There is nothing wrong with playing on Easy or whatever name the game’s lowest difficulty has. You don’t have to be a lore nerd like me to do it, maybe you just don’t want to struggle too much and to hell with anyone who tells you you’ve got to try it on “Insanity” or whatever right away. Maybe you’re not ready and that’s okay.
Some of the games I plan to play next have some tough gameplay like Doom. It’s not like most shooter games I’ve played so maybe I’ll start on “I’m Too Young To Die” or if I’m feeling confident enough then “Hurt Me Plenty” no harder than that because I want to take in the story. I doubt it’ll have a very immense story but still. I’m still pretty solid at shooters so maybe the latter option won’t be too bad for me.
Another great reason why we may stick to easier difficulties is because we have busier lives and when we’re done working and/or put the kids to bed we want to do some gaming for a bit and want it to be fun, not frustrating!
I work full-time and my job is quite demanding, it can be stressful too so after a long day of work, I just want to chill out and play a video game and not have any trouble with it you know?
Now of course, if you’re a veteran gamer who can handle anything then I totally get you.
I have never been chastised for choosing to play on lower difficulty first, but when I see tons of gamers on YouTube or Instagram jumping to the highest difficulty, I feel alone at times. I’m sure I’m not the only one though.
That is why there is nothing wrong with starting at the bottom and if you’re not afraid to admit that, then bravo to you.