How To Play: Hard

Today I finally signed up for a Left 4 Dead 2 syndicate that the faithful members of the Java Server have organised. I had noted my interest, but noticing that the demo is about to be released for those who have preordered, I felt it wise to agree to this. The current fiasco that is the prerelease demo I shall leave for another time, but still, I think that L4D is a great game. Perusing what to write about this week made me release how I’ve managed to completely ignore this quite simple How To Play, which I shall now proceed to outline to you, the faithful reader [1].

Left 4 Dead was a brilliant game to play. I don’t particularly enjoy playing Horror/Survival games, but the demo won me over when we played on expert. I had a feeling of complete terror when we caused our finale to begin, and slowly we started to die. It ended with 2 people dead, one incapacitated (This was me) and one walking with an assault rifle shooting manically. Granted, I was as well, but still it was terrifying. L4D managed to balance perfectly between difficult and impossible. Yes, we were near death, but we were just clinging on by our fingernails.
We never ended up with a situation like this, since we were entirely indoors, but still, that could terrify me
I wondered afterwards whether I had finally succumbed to that which I have always avoided: Hard mode. I always have my first playthrough on easy. I can’t help it, I’m naturally a coward. On some games I go straight to medium, and there’s barely a difference. I don’t usually go to hard unless I feel I have to. The number of times I have done this is probably somewhere in the single digits. I didn’t really think I’ll get to the twenties, however, after thinking over how much I enjoyed the challenge of L4D on expert, I decided to give it a try. So should you.

I’m unlikely to be the first person to suggest this, and if we’re honest, the higher difficulties exist for a reason. People must play them. There’d be no point for them if they didn’t exist. I still believe that not enough people play them. Most of my friends play on medium. You learn much more about the game if you play on hard. Even then, once it makes you a much better player of the game, I’d still never really understood why hard mode existed, until I started playing Audiosurf on hard. It was an awesome experience, and I now have to play on hard [2].

Audiosurf on Ninja Mono is a great experience, and one that I can't give up. It just makes me happy, and easy is just far <b>too</a> easy now

There is only one problem with this (What a surprise, I found a flaw in my suggestion…). L4D managed to make Hard fun. Call of Duty on the other hand, makes Hard an exercise in grabbing fiery pitchforks and ramming them up your anal cavities. I have played games on hard and thought, ‘No, this is evil’, and then switched to a different difficulty. Most of the time however, its usually a fun experience, and one that challenges you properly.

So, play games on hard. Get out of your comfort zone, and play these games like men, not mice. Unless you happen to be a woman, in which case, play like a woman.

[1] I spent much time trying to work out what I would actually suggest here, since I could easily follow on with two different ideas. I have decided that I’ll save the other one for next week. By then, I’ll have had the chance to play L4D2, and complain about that. Get back to reading
[2] As I write this, there is current argument about whether Valve should be telling people sorry that they have delayed L4D2 demo twice in 48 hours. Anger is good… Get back to reading

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