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Difficult ChoicesVote Now!

Ben Judd, Tuesday 22-04-2008, 14:58:17

We've already announced new modes, the rating, pricing, and some of the music in the game.

So what could be left?

For those of you not familiar with the original game, there were actually no difficulty settings. Granted, the arm's unique control scheme made the game harder than most, but certainly an "Easy" option would have helped.

Or would it?

For those how do know the original, you probably remember that the enemies and bosses themselves were not that hard. It was literally all about the swinging (area 11, anyone?).

When updating the game for Rearmed we didn't want to go with the standard, "lazy" approach to difficulty tweaking -- i.e., we didn't want to make the game artificially more difficult by just giving the enemies a longer life bar and the ability to do more damage.

Additionally, rather than making the game harder, we needed to find a way to make it easier without totally redesigning the classic level design that fans would demand.

Fortunately, the BCR team has got some really creative people on board and they developed the concept of "Assist Blocks" for Easy mode. For example, look at the screenshot to the right. Fans of the original might recognize this location as being underneath the first "big swing" of the game from building to building. In the original, if you missed when trying to hook on to the spotlight, it usually meant you fell to your death.

However, as you can see in this screenshot, the player will land on the assist blocks and not die from a missed swing.

Assist blocks have been placed in the most logical places in the game where most players may fall or die.

This will be the perfect way for players to get used to the controls, take some chances, and perhaps see the shockingly wild climax of the game without smashing their controllers into pieces on the ground.

Of course, enemies and bosses take less damage and the hacking mini-game is easier on this difficulty level.

Normal is your standard difficult level. Those of you who have played the original owe it to yourself to skip past Easy and jump straight into this mode. I guarantee that with the new hidden collectibles, bosses, and harder hacking mini-game, you will still find beating the game a rewarding experience.

Finally, we have Hard. And they aren't kidding! I pride myself on being one of the few Producers that can play his own game quite well, but even with my swinging skills, I am no match for Hard. For starters, not only are the bosses harder, but even the standard enemies now have the ability to drop grenades on you, as well as shoot up at you from platforms below. This gives them a set of abilities that not even you possess since they can shoot up but you can't. The hacking mini-game includes a time limit, and the chance that enemies will drop health pickups decreases.

Trust me... it's rough.

Of course, our Top Secret intelligence states that when it comes to difficulty, all of our cards are not "on the table". I guess we'll have to see what that means, after the game is released.


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