Raised in the harsh landscape of Halo’s legendary mode as a child, I tend to default to the hardest difficulty setting a game offers regardless of the genre. Because of this, I had no idea that the Halo: Combat Evolved ending with the hilariously non-canonical hug between Johnson and an elite isn’t shown on any other difficulty level until I played the game on Heroic with my less ambitious friend years later.
Games with multiple endings are steadily growing to be more common. Nier: Automata has a huge number of outcomes, all of which are based on actions in the game rather than the difficulty setting. Meanwhile, titles like Max Payne 2 and Kingdom Hearts award certain endings based on which difficulty level players chose.
How do you feel about games that reserve special content for the hardest difficulties? Do any endings stand out to you as being dramatically different by difficulty level? And do you think it’s a fair reward after a challenging experience to get these endings, or does it exclude players who are unable to play or who are uninterested in harder settings? Let us know what you think in the comments below.