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Resident Evil 4 mastered in-game difficulty (By shutting up about it)

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This video from Mark Brown explains something that a surprising amount of people didn't know: Resident Evil 4 came with a sliding difficulty level that was constantly being adjusted for the player, but was never discussed.

This allowed the player to stay in a state of "flow," that great feeling where the game is just hard enough to give you a challenge while still allowing you to play at your highest competency.

This approach won't work on all games, but by removing any indicator that shows you when the difficulty is adjusted and not discussing it in interviews the team behind the game was able to give players the best possible experience without making them feel weak for taking advantage of the system.

Resident Evil 4 is an amazing game, and this sort of invisible system is part of the reason why.


Polygon Archive: Resident Evil-Remastered