Daily Think: On Great Difficulty (In Both Senses)

With all the love that Dark Souls gets, I’m starting to get a bit bothered by hearing about it. Everyone talks about how punishingly brutal it is, about how it forces you to do this or that, and blah blah blah. I don’t care. It might be the greatest game of all time, but its fans are really starting to get my goat, just as Demon’s Souls fans did before it. The worst part is how they talk about its difficulty as though its some sort of revelation.

It’s not.

Other games have done the whole “I’m really hard but if you treat me well I will respect you,” thing. The newest example of this is probably Serious Sam 3: BFE, though previous Serious Sam titles have done this as well. It’s the best game in the series–don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. It has the best/most guns, the second-best humor (Serious Sam 2–note, this isn’t The Second Encounter, but Serious Sam 2–did do that better), the second-best art style (again, Serious Sam 2) the most enemy types, the most strategic element of combat (prioritizing which enemy gets which weapon depending on their location in relation to you and having to do so on the fly), and so forth.

…and it’s hard. I barely made it through the museum basement alive. My approach to the Great Pyramid killed me so many times until I finally found a sound approach to the situation. Learning from that mistake helped me in a later fight, which proved quite difficult at first, but once I got the rhythm of it all, I became a better player and ultimately prevailed.

Sam’s mechanical premise is simple: people run at you and try to murder you alive. You try to ensure that this doesn’t happen.

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