GW: Challenge Me Softly

It’s nice that GregHorrorShow agrees with me when it comes to difficulty games in this particular GW. That’s not all he discusses, however – he also thinks about how his attitude has shifted recently and his appreciation for stories in his games increased over the years.

Over the last few years I think I have completed more games than at any other time in my life. I hardly ever finished games back in the Sega Mega Drive days, I just used to play until I got stuck/bored or a newer game came out.

That changed with the move to Playstation as I became a bit more wrapped up in the gaming culture and started to invest more time into each game. I loved the challenge posed by some of those great games like Metal Gear Solid or Resident Evil, but recently, with the advent of online multiplayer, I’ve noticed that I’m not often looking for a major challenge in my single player campaigns anymore.

I don’t mean I no longer want ANY challenge, just that as games have replaced TV shows as my main form of entertainment I’m now happy to play through a game on normal rather than hard. I don’t relish the prospect of dying ten times trying to complete a mission as I feel it breaks up the experience and takes me ‘out’ of the game, so to speak. Instead, now I’m finding that I am playing games for the stories and just the fun of playing a game rather than the challenge – things like Mercenaries 2 or Kane & Lynch are flawed games, but I thoroughly enjoyed them.

I use a lot of single player campaigns as a warm up for the multiplayer now and whilst I don’t want games to be a walkthrough I couldn’t imagine playing through something on hard any more. My main challenge these days comes from online multiplayer. Back in the day with offline it was great to play with friends but you were limited in the opponents you played with. You all improved together and the increase in skill of your opponents was marginal every time you played.

These days I am constantly facing off against people a lot better (or worse) than me and it makes for much more of a challenge. Most games have a ranking system to keep things semi-fair but even within this sometimes you’ll face off against someone who takes you apart. Rather than the frustration of repeatedly dying trying to complete a set objective on my own, being killed over and over online (while not exactly fun) drives me on to try to get better and improve my skills.

Am I alone in this? I know that not everyone plays online but for those of you with access to both single player and multiplayer where do you find the most challenge? And is challenge all you are looking for in single player games?