Hard as nails

I’ve been in my current job for close to two years and I work alongside some great people. One of the factors that swung my acceptance of the role was that the corner of our open plan office houses an Xbox 360 playing on a high definition screen with 5.1 surround (the latter I personally added to the mix).

As you might expect, some of the guys I work with are gamers and we while away many lunch hours playing games as well as a few evenings after work playing together over Live. Not unusual until I explain that playing with these guys over the last two years has offered me an entirely new gaming experience.

Like most normal people, when I play a new game, I tend to go with the default settings. You know the stuff: normal difficulty, medium number of enemies, automatic gear box. The thing is, the boys at work aren’t normal – they are, in fact, a bunch of masochists.

If you would like an example of what it’s like to play online with them, go back to Rainbow Six: Vegas 2 and set up a terrorist hunt, somewhere like Train Yard. Then set the number of terrorists to maximum, put the difficulty to realistic and put the AI level up all the way.

Then try to clear the level with just one other person.

It doesn’t stop at FPSs either – Forza Motorsport 2 must be played with manual gears, no traction control, no racing lines, no ABS and no stability. In short, every game must be played hard as nails.

Forza Motorsport 2 - hard as nails

The thing is, playing like this provides one of the most rewarding feelings of achievement. Four of us recently returned to RS:V2 with the aim of completing all the terrorist hunt levels on the highest possible difficulty. Whilst we’ve still got four levels to go, the discussion of tactics, consistent in-game communication and real team work brought out surprising camaraderie.

At the age of 30, I didn’t expect to find a new level of rewarding experience in something I’ve been involved in for most of my life. If you can find like minded people in your friends list, give it a shot (only one though as you’ll need to conserve the ammo).






2 responses to “Hard as nails”

  1. Razgate avatar

    I’d like to do stuff like this but i have too many games to get through and not enough time 😀
    Plus i feel if i were to try it I’d give up on a lot of games.
    I like to enjoy playing games and not have them tell me I’m rubbish at games, that’s what online play is for :D.

  2. Laura avatar

    I like to master games on the hardest setting, as Anthony said it’s much more rewarding. I never would have tried my games on anything harder than normal before achievements came along mind you but I’m really glad I have as it adds much more to the game. It gets you thinking differently about survival and how to use weapons and items in the most useful way.

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