In general usage, difficulty level refers to the relative difficulty of completing a task or objective.
In computer and video games, the term specifically delineates the ease or difficulty with which an average user may complete a game or a part of a game. A video game is a Game that involves interaction with a User interface to generate visual feedback on a video device. Arcade games as well as many early console games included the difficulty level as an explicit setting. An arcade game is a coin-operated entertainment machine typically installed in businesses such as Restaurants Pubs Video arcades and Family Entertainment This article is about games played on consoles Video gaming is about this form of gaming in general For example, games such as Tempest would prompt their users to choose "easy", "medium", "hard", or similar options before beginning play. Tempest is an Arcade game by Atari Inc, originally designed and programmed by David Theurer. This practice has become less common in more modern games, which often include many tasks of varying difficulty within a single game. Some games, however, maintain the former practice to a degree--often harder versions of the game can be unlocked after the player has completed the game once or fulfilled certain criteria.
The difficulty level controls various conditions in games; these conditions include the aggressiveness of AI characters and the amount of weapons, power-ups, and other items provided to the player(s). In computer and video games, power-ups are objects that instantly benefit or add extra abilities to the game character A common puzzle game feature is to progressively increase the game speed as the user reaches higher levels. Puzzle video games are a genre of Video games that emphasize Puzzle solving
The Atari 2600 controlled difficulty levels using two switches directly on the console itself; there was one for each player, with two possible settings. The Atari 2600 is a Video game console released in October 1977  However, modern systems usually implement difficulty levels in the game's software, such as in a configuration screen where the player may also change other game settings.
The most common terms for level of difficulty are easy, normal (also seen as medium) and hard. It is common for game developers to invent their own names that extend or replace the standard difficulty nomenclature. A video game developer is a software developer (a business or an individual that creates Video games A developer may specialize in a certain video Quake, for example, uses a "nightmare" level (accessible only through the use of a hidden portal) that is more difficult than hard. Quake is a First-person shooter Computer game that was released by Id Software on June 22, 1996.  In Halo the difficulty levels are called easy, normal, heroic, and legendary. Halo is a Science fiction Video game franchise created by Bungie and owned and published by Microsoft Game Studios. The legendary difficulty level has been called "suicide" by the game's developers. Duke Nukem completely invented its own difficulty levels based upon Duke's common phrases such as: "piece of cake", "let's rock", "come get some," and "damn I'm good. Duke Nukem is a platform Video game developed and published by Apogee Software (now 3D Realms featuring the adventures " The Devil May Cry series uses a combination of the two. Devil May Cry (frequently abbreviated as DMC) is an Action game developed by Capcom Production Studio 4 and published by Capcom The three difficulty modes are Normal (whose difficulty is actually closer to most games' "hard" level), Hard, and the hardest difficulty, "Dante Must Die!". The third game in the series, Devil May Cry 3: Dante's Awakening, has an additional one called "Heaven and Hell", where each and every inhabitant of the game can be killed in a single attack - including Dante. Devil May Cry 3 Dante's Awakening, released in Japan as Devil May Cry 3, is an Action game that was developed by Capcom Production Most Metal Gear Solid games use the levels of "extreme" which is more difficult than hard and harder still is the "European extreme" difficulty level.
There are other changes that are affected by the difficulty level chosen from genre to genre.
In some first-person shooters (FPS) and general action games, the enemy characters aim more accurately and deal more damage. A first-person shooter ( FPS) is an action Video game from the Shooter game The initial development of Maze War An action game is a game that challenges a player's speed dexterity and reaction time Some FPS games, such as GoldenEye or Perfect Dark, require extra objectives to be completed on harder difficulty levels. GoldenEye 007 is a 1997 First-person shooter Video game developed by Rare for the Nintendo 64 Video game console, Perfect Dark is a 2000 First-person shooter Video game for the Nintendo 64 Game console. In older games such as Wolfenstein 3D, each difficulty level added a number of new guards. More recently, Max Payne added a "New York Minute" mode, where the player has to complete levels against a time limit, where killing enemies extends the time available, and the game ends if the timer reaches zero. Max Payne is a Third-person shooter Video game developed by the Finnish company Remedy Entertainment, produced by 3D Realms For side scrolling shooters such as Metal Slug, enemies may take more damage before dying. is a Run and gun Video game for the Neo-Geo console/arcade platform created by SNK.
In sports games, the difference is much more noticeable—computer-controlled players are stronger, faster, and more accurate in harder levels. A sports game is a computer or Video game that simulates the playing of traditional Sports Most sports have been recreated with a game including In some games the difference between beginner/easy and medium levels can be dramatic. FIFA 99, for instance, allowed players to beat the computer by unrealistically high numbers in easy, while games played in normal were much harder. FIFA Football, also known as FIFA Soccer or FIFA in some regions is a series of football (soccer Video games There is also an inherent alternative way of increasing the difficulty level, which is playing with worse teams, which was the only way to change the difficulty level in earlier EA Sports games and in MicroProse' Grand Prix Manager series. EA Sports is a brand name used by Electronic Arts since 1993 to distribute games based on Sports Formerly a gimmick inside Electronic Arts sports MicroProse, as a corporation and brand name has been owned by several entities since its original founding by Sid Meier and Bill Stealey in 1982 Grand Prix Manager (GPM is a Formula 1 management game released in December 1995 by MicroProse.
In racing games the main difference lies in the opponents' speed, but other settings can be changed, such as driving aids (usually braking and steering), player and opponent damage, or the length of the race. Many Board games can be said to be racing games such as Snakes and Ladders, Cribbage, or Formula Dé. A common device in arcade racing games is to increase the "rubber band effect," where AI players are artificially allowed to catch up regardless of how fast the player goes. Arcade games based on time limited checkpoints decrease the time allowed for a player to clear each one, and usually no other setting (such as opponent speed) is changed.
In strategy games the difference often lies on the amount of ungathered resources the computer spends and its aggression level. A strategy game is a Game (eg computer, video or Board game) in which the players' decision-making skills have a high significance On easier levels the computer players are less aggressive on researching upgrades and improvements and their attack parties are composed of few units. As difficulty goes up, however, so does researching and unit creation speed. Business-based strategy games, such as Transport Tycoon, typically change the profitability of human and computer-controlled characters, so on harder difficulty levels human players have less of an advantage compared to computer-controlled ones. Transport Tycoon ( TT) and Transport Tycoon Deluxe ( TTD) are computer games developed by
Generally, the computer at harder difficulties blocks more, reacts quicker, adapts quicker to cheap tactics, and executes more complex combos. In some cases, the computer controlled player may have advantages such as increased hit points, a faster fill rate of a super combo gauge (for Capcom and SNK based fighting games), or some other advantages. For the original NASA meaning see capsule communicator. is a leading Japanese International developer
In some games the player is rewarded for beating the game on higher levels. Some common rewards are special cut scenes, unlocked maps or higher difficulty levels. Such games include Halo and Metroid Prime, among others. Halo is a Science fiction Video game franchise created by Bungie and owned and published by Microsoft Game Studios. Metroid Prime is a Video game developed by Retro Studios and published by Nintendo for the Nintendo GameCube, released in North America Similarly, kart racing games—Mario Kart: Double Dash!! being one—often offer mirrored versions of the game's tracks to players who clear all of the regular courses. For other meanings see Kart (disambiguation Kart racing or karting is a variant of Open-wheel Motor sport with Mario Kart Double Dash!! is a Racing game developed by Nintendo Entertainment Analysis and Development and published by Nintendo for the A mirror is an object with a surface that has good Specular reflection; that is it is smooth enough to form an Image. Others, such as Streets Of Rage 3 have an ending for each difficulty level. Streets of Rage (known as Bare Knuckle in Japan is a Side-scrolling Beat 'em up released by Sega in 1991 for the Sega Mega Drive/Genesis The "good" ending is only presented in the hardest setting.
There have been games that prevent players from completing the game in the easy setting. Castlevania for the Nintendo 64 gives easy-mode players a game over message after finishing the fifth level, requiring them to restart with an increased difficulty level. Castlevania is a video game developed and published by Konami for the Nintendo 64. The, often abbreviated as N64, is Nintendo 's third home Video game console for the international market Game over is a traditional message in video games which usually signals the end of the game Twisted Metal 2 is the same, unceremoniously ending after the first boss in easy mode by showing a stop sign with the words "no losers allowed beyond this point. Twisted Metal 2 (known in Europe as Twisted Metal 2 World Tour) is the second and most successful game in the Vehicular combat A boss is a computer-controlled opponent which is found in Video games Their purpose is to test the skills that the player has accumulated over the course of a game A stop sign is a Traffic sign, usually erected at Road junctions that instructs drivers to stop and then to proceed only if the way ahead is clear " And in Alien Hominid, it's not possible play past the first few levels on very easy setting. Alien Hominid (or Alien Hominid HD on Xbox 360 is an independently developed console Video game released for Sony Double Dragon II is the same as some of the games listed above. is the second game in Technos Japan 's Double Dragon series of side-scrolling Beat-em-ups produced for the arcades in 1988. On the easiest difficulty settings, only the first two levels are playable and with each increase in difficulty level, more levels can be accessed, but in order to beat the game the difficulty level must be set to the hardest level, thus allowing the player to access all of the stages. Mario Party 2's Mini-Game Roller Coaster is set up in a similar fashion, forcing the player to end the game after World 3 on easy and World 6 on medium. One will have to play on hard to go all the way to the end, playing against the toughest AI each step of the way.