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The Last of Us Part II is how every major game should handle difficulty settings…

Holy crap. I don't play a ton of PC games or smaller indie games, so forgive me if I'm touting a game that's really late to the party on this. But TLoU Part II has been getting a lot of props for it's inclusive accessibility settings and this also extends to difficulty settings. I am in love.

Pretty much, the game tells you exactly what's being affected by the difficulty setting. So the categories are Player, Enemies, Allies, Stealth, and Resources.

Player determines Ellie's health and the frequency of mid-combat checkpoints.

Enemies determines enemy accuracy, aggression, flanking, melee combos, movement speed, and has implications on specific combat encounters.

Allies determines ally aggression and frequency in which they kill enemies.

Stealth determines enemy perception, grace period before enemies will alert others, and has implications on grabbing enemies from stealth.

Resources determines quantity of ammo found, melee weapon durability, and yield of crafting recipes.

All of these different elements of gameplay are on a "Challenge" slider that goes from Very Light, Light, Moderate, Hard, to Survivor. So you can actually pick and choose what elements you want to be difficult and what elements you'd like to be easier. So if you want to be very vulnerable but don't like ammo and resource management, you can set each setting to Survivor but set Resources to Very Light.

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I find this to be incredibly awesome because I'm one of the gamers that wouldn't mind playing on harder difficulties but sometimes don't enjoy the implications of that harder difficulty. My least favorite thing is when harder difficulties just turn enemies into bullet sponges whereas I die in one hit. That's not fun at all.

Honestly, I feel like every game should have some sort of version of this. This is probably the first major AAA game I've played that's had difficulty settings this deep. From your experience, what are some other games that have these sliders? Would you like to see this in future games? What games do you know that could benefit from a difficulty slider like this??


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