I play with whatever the middle difficulty is. Challenging?
The hardest difficulty is called "realistic" but my chosen level would be many times easier if it was actually realistic, because, for example:
-sneaking is not viable at all. there's a point at every map where you can't sneak through, they discover you, and if you sneaked past someone before you're now in a sandwich
-enemies have permanent near 360 vision and can see you through the densest bushes and shoot through buildings. their blind spot is tiny and none at all if there are 2+ enemies on the level.
-you are dead in one shot and just the regular human opponents can take many automatic bursts to the face. i can't tell you how many times i've died by shooting a single enemy so many times in the face that I ran out of ammo and couldn't switch guns fast enough
-you can be killed easily from a huge distance by enemies with regular rifles. (you see what they have if you kill them) your rifle can only tickle them from a distance
-enemies shoot the moment they see you. and I don't mean "they have fast reactions", I mean the moment one pixel of their rifle shows around the corner that pixel is already firing at you because they know where you are with pinpoint precision
I've only managed to pass each level by knowing the map, enemy and weapon locations, timings and movement in my sleep and just playing automatically as if I am clairvoyant
If you're thinking "so all you needed was to git gud" – no.
Doing all this is not even remotely enough. It just takes the odds from about one in a million to one in a thousand and I pound each level mercilessly every day until many days later just by combination of skill and sheer incredible luck I somehow squeeze through with 0 health.
Honestly, I can't imagine a harder difficulty so I'm starting to think my copy is somehow broken.
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