Adaptive Difficulty in Resident Evil 4

Any thoughts on the adaptive difficulty of Resi 4?

It’s dumb that it’s more efficient in many places to simply kill yourself to despawn enemy mobs. I’d prefer consistent difficulty at that point. Adaptive difficulty that isn’t God Hand style most frequently feels patronizing to me. God hand is like, “You gotta work your way up, don’t get wrecked while it’s still easy”, where other games are more, “Oh, you died again? Let me give you an easy way out.” In God Hand, getting to the harder difficulty is an inevitability as long as you avoid getting hit, where in most others it’s not something that adjusts rapidly over the course of one life, but rather on how well you avoid death.

From a user experience perspective, it’s really annoying to want to play a game on the maximum difficulty and be told that when you die, you can’t do it anymore and if you really wanted to play on max difficulty, then you should restart the whole game and not die this time. Yes, enemy handicap in DMC4 really pissed me off and the levels are long which makes replaying the whole thing annoying. I want to grind my forehead on the wall until the wall breaks down, don’t switch the wall out on me, don’t make me repeat a ton of shit just to get back to the same wall again.

On the resi 4 devs not mentioning it in any way, it’s security through obscurity. Since almost no one picked up on it, I suppose it worked. Was it a good idea or not? It might have positively affected many casual players in an experiential way (get frustrated at hard thing, keep at it until it’s easy enough to beat it outright, don’t realize the game is rigging it, feel accomplished). Though it’s still a cheap trick in my opinion, and the experience gets wrecked for anyone with a motivation to abuse it or who gets knowingly fucked over by it.

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