Last Updated on July 9, 2018 by Michael Brockbank
One of the reasons I play most games is to test myself and my abilities. What better way to test how good you are by setting the game to hardcore mode? Although it’s not everyone’s cup of tea, it can do wonders for the experience of playing the game.
That is, as long as you can get past losing your progress after making a crucial mistake. Not everyone can, and there’s nothing wrong with that. However, it does have potential to add more to the prospect of the game itself.[template id=”145″]
What is Hardcore Mode?
For most of the games I play, “Hardcore Mode” is essentially one-life play. Once your character dies, progress is lost and you have to start over from the very beginning.
For example, I often stream hardcore mode for Diablo III on my Twitch stream. If you die in the game, your character becomes locked behind a death screen and your progression is frozen in time.
In other words, you’ll have to start a whole new character and begin again.
In single-player Minecraft, hardcore mode results in locking out the world you’re in. However, you can restart the same world without it being randomly generated – at least on the Java Edition for Windows.
In a nutshell, think of hardcore mode as when you die, your dead. Game over.
What Makes Hardcore Mode Enjoyable?
Why would anyone want to play hardcore mode if you can lose your character permanently? It’s true that not everyone relishes in playing out a game with a single life. However, it can offer so much more to the progression of the game.
Makes You Strategize More
When you realize death is permanent for your character, you put more effort into building life-saving strategies. For instance, you’re less likely to blindly enter combat without preparation or analyzing enemy strengths.
In other words, you play much smarter than you would otherwise. I’ve played with many people on games like EverQuest, H1Z1 and even League of Legends when they seemed more trigger happy than anything. The end result was death for the party in many, many cases.
Bravery is one thing, but charging head-first into a situation without understanding the opponent is problematic.
Depending on the game, you figure out new ways to use items for different purposes. For example, I use the explosive arrows in Just Survive to knock down zombies so I can escape a herd. I also use them as a diversion for other players in PvP.
Puts More Emphasis on Paying Attention
Having a good strategy in a game means nothing if you’re not paying attention. This is especially true when your opponents are actual human players. They will adapt to your strategy, which means you’ll have to adapt to their adaptation.
It’s often an endless cycle of one-uping each other, which starts with paying closer attention to the game.
I’ve lost a few Diablo III characters simply because I didn’t pay attention to an explosion or the effect of an electrical storm.
For me, the focus of paying greater attention sucks me deeper into the game itself. It’s no longer something that is simply scrolling across my monitor. Hardcore mode immerses me into the game unlike any other setting.[template id=”505″]
Engages More of an Emotional Attachment
One argument I hear from a lot of people about why they don’t play hardcore mode is because they get attached to their characters. So do I, which is why it’s so sad when one dies. In fact, the emotions that are pulled out during hardcore mode is one of the reasons I play it.
Every time I get blown up by a creeper or frozen and blown up by a demon, I get a surge of adrenaline and anxiety. It’s sad, but that’s a good metaphor for life in general.
One day you’re walking around mining some coal and then something happens out of the blue – and it’s over.
On the other hand, there is far more pride and the sense of accomplishment when you pull off something major in hardcore mode. In some instances, I’ll actually cheer out loud when I achieve something huge in a hardcore game.
Essentially, it has all the hallmark makings of an epic movie or television series. Except in this case, you have control of the character.
True Expression of Your Skills in the Game
One of the biggest reasons I play hardcore mode when it’s available is to test my skills at the game. Saying you’re good is one thing, but demonstrating your abilities with a single life is a whole other ballgame.
I’m not saying that people out there don’t have skills because they don’t load up hardcore play. However, there are far more bragging rights to reaching Greater Rift 100 while playing a hardcore wizard in Diablo III.
This is also the reason why I refuse to cheat at any game. You don’t know how good you really are if you put in an infinite ammo code or make yourself invulnerable to damage.
People who use aimbots and other hacks online are simply demonstrating they don’t have the ability to play the game in the first place.
Like I said earlier, achieving something grand in hardcore mode provides far more bragging rights than doing the same thing in normal play. This doesn’t mean that there is no sense of achievement, mind you.
A lot of games provide a great deal of challenge without having a hardcore mode. I just feel like there is more behind accomplishing something that requires never losing a single life.
Hardcore mode engages me, but it’s not the only aspect of a game I play. It’s just nice sometimes to delve into the more difficult aspect of a game and realize that any moment, any circumstance can lead to a game over screen.
But as I said before, it’s not for everyone. It doesn’t mean you can’t appreciate a good game while on a normal difficulty. In fact, I play on normal in most of my games. But when you want to turn the heat up and really feel the intensity, try hardcore mode.
It’ll be something you’ll remember, that is for sure.[template id=”543″]
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