Why I played BioShock Infinite on Easy
BioShock Infinite is a great game, and the review scores seem to be nearly unanimous. The game’s combat is well-crafted as well; Irrational did a good job of mixing up enemy types, keeping things interesting by allowing Elizabeth to supply you with health and ammunition, and her ability to change the scope of the battle by bringing in cover using tears in reality.
You’re also able to jump onto the world’s tracks to zip around the larger battles using your Skyhook, and you’ll need to take advantage of this feature if you hope to survive the harder difficulty levels or even just the larger battles in Normal difficulty.
You can level up your guns and Vigors, and use them in interesting ways and combinations. I have no problem with the combat, and it’s much less of a slog than it is in many other games of this type. Still, after about a day of heavy play, I found myself dumping the difficulty all the way down to Easy after dying a number of times. The result was a game I found much more enjoyable.
It’s a matter of why one plays a game. It’s important to try the standard flavors of combat when reviewing a game, and maybe even jump the difficulty up a notch or two to see how things scale. But the older I get, the less interested I am in being challenged by the combat in story-driven games. It’s already weird enough that even sympathetic characters in games kill hundreds of people in the course of the game, but I’m not interested in challenging battles when I play games like BioShock Infinite.
So what do I want to do? Listen to the dialog, enjoy the world, think about the story, and enjoy the journey. This is my job, sure, but between making sure the stories get up and I take care of my family while playing games for reviews, I have very little time to actually play games, either for fun or for review. During the few hours a day I do have, playing through the same battle over and over and trying to get through it isn’t how I’d like to spend that time.
I think there is an attitude out there that playing a game on Easy is cheating, or that it makes you less of a gamer, or other such bullshit, but the truth is we’re all playing games for different reasons. Being able to sit back and enjoy the combat without being frustrated by it while enjoying the story at my own pace is very attractive. The Story Mode on Mass Effect 3 is a fine example of this way to play.
It’s fun to talk to people about this, because many gamers like to play on Easy for the same reasons, but they’re afraid to say something for fear of being mocked. There’s nothing wrong for playing games like the Uncharted series for the wonderful action sequences and well-written dialog without getting stuck on the sub-par shooting sequences.
There’s nothing wrong with playing on the harder difficulty levels as well if you like a challenge, but that’s the point. There’s no “right” way to play games.
The older I get, the more I want to spend time on the fun part, and if I have to adjust the difficulty to do so, that’s fine. If you’re with me, say it loud: Playing on Easy can be very rewarding.