Easy? Normal? Hard? Insane? Which skill level do you prefer to play your favorite first-person shooters on? Well for me, I always go for the hardest difficulty of course. It makes sense to play it on that skill level on a game if you truly enjoy it. However, I just wanna talk about difficulty in general of varied first-person shooters I’ve played. I always believed there are games that do make their hardest difficulty correctly. For example, the Halo games have always been really good with this. On Legendary difficulty, the game really encourages you to learn the use of your weapons very well and you also must be more strategic of how you play overall which definitely makes the combat a lot more interesting unlike Heroic where you generally don’t need to use much of that.
However, there are skill levels I never really enjoyed. I always thought Classic Doom had a horrible hardest difficulty which is called Nightmare! Basically, enemies would respawn from the dead and are much more aggressive in their behavior. This can create so many problems as the maps are generally filled with lots of enemies and you generally have to backtrack in classic Doom which creates a lot of unfair gameplay. Not only that, the respawn timer is completely random too. But then again, Nightmare! difficulty was never intended to be a fair difficulty selection according to the developers.
I’ve always been a fan of difficulty that changes the way you play the game and make you become smarter and better at the game. With that said, I feel like having increased damage seems to be the key to this type of scenario. I also do enjoy seeing more enemies to fight or having certain combat sections to be changed for a harder or more challenging experience. I believe another thing that is key to creating tough fights is to make them more strategic and let players figure out what is the right strategy to beat that particular fight that they’re trying to figure out.
I also feel like there should be more first-person shooters that should push the difficulty side. I haven’t played every new first-person shooter I’ve touched, but the games I’ve been playing, haven’t really pushed me as much as I feel like they should difficulty wise. I always feel like there should be a developer that can make a Ninja-Gaiden inspired first-person shooter with the stuff that makes a single player-driven first-person shooter great like good flow, satisfying gunplay, emphasis on exploration, and so on.
I thought Doom (2016) on Nightmare wasn’t that much harder than Ultra Violence which is what I played when I first bought the game. I do wish the game did have much harder and more intense fights, but then again, difficulty doesn’t always mean it will make a game better. With that said, I think its time to push the difficulty even higher for our first-person shooters we play. We’re either getting too good at the game, or the developers are just not putting more time on the hardest difficulty to satisfy skillful first-person shooter players.