Handicaps for Fun

  • Many games these days allow the player to suit the gameplay to their liking, whether through the variety of tools (weapons, powers, etc) available in game or through extra quality of life/accessibility features, and many of them can make the game easier. Obviously making things too easy is boring, but it can be hard to resist using the most powerful option at times, even if you don't enjoy using it, or it's not your preference. My question is, do you guys have any moments of ignoring these kind of options/features and it resulting in a more fun experience?

    Shooting guns will always be my favorite kind of combat in games, and I have a big soft spot for using pistols. Most games portrays pistols as the weaker options, so it can be unrealistic at times to only use the pistols, but I've been trying harder to satisfy my preference lately in and it's been quite fun. A good example of this is Watch Dogs 1, since it made the game way more fun than it usually is. I've been looking forward to replay Uncharted Lost Legacy with this in mind, I think the recent Uncharted games would be perfect for this mindset. Also, I'm looking forward try a pistol only build in Cyberpunk 2077 one day.

    I've been ignoring fast travel in open world games recently and it can be really awesome. The best example for this is Ghost of Tsushima, where I finished the main story without fast traveling (except for the 2 times when I'm stuck/glitched), and I did all the side quests before finishing the main mission so I pretty much tackled like 90% of the content without it. It really made me appreciate the open world's design and visual beauty even more. I also played Watch Dogs 1 with this handicap, and oh boy it makes me realize how boring and lifeless Chicago can be, so this is definitely dependent on the game's quality.

    Shoutout to games that have minimal/customizable HUD options. I always love this option, even if I don't use it all the time.

  • I love using bows when I can. I really tried to do it in Farcry 5 but running out of arrows and not being able to fully stealth areas made it a slog so I eventually switched to an LMG with a silencer that I could basically use as a sniper (aka, the complete opposite of this topic).

    Dishonored had the pacifist and no power-up trophies that I went for and that was really fun. Only problem was, even though I did it AND on hard, I didn't get any of the trophies because I had switched hard drives in my ps3 half way through and some cloud save voodoo screwed me over. But playing like that made it way more like a stealth game since you couldn't shoot your way out of it when shit hit the fan.

    I sometimes don't bring the lockpick in Hitman so I actually have to find keys. It forces you to explore the levels more but it can be frustrating trying to find one particular key sometimes when it's in a shed at the back corner of the stage or with one inconspicuous guard.

  • I am usually making my own challenges as I play through games. In Minecraft, I'll be a "vegetarian" and never kill any animals. In Final Fantasy V, I'll only choose a single job for all four characters, or never use magic, etc. In FF Tactics, I'll only play with named story characters, and they can only have a "canon job." Even games where like you'll have a skill tree, I'll min/max to an absurd degree to make a challenging build (my defense-crazy Valdis Story playthrough was extremely tedious).

    It's how I find fun in games, and it works to varying degrees. I played Dark Souls with a parry-oriented playstyle, and it frustrated me so much I stopped playing. But I also can't imagine playing FFT while caring about these random, faceless losers instead of Ramza or Delita.

  • First thing that came to my mind is using shock gloves rarely in my replays of Batman: Arkham Origins because they make fights so easy and just button spammers.