In Metal Gear Solid 4, what are the difficulty differences (like damage, etc) and why does it say that Solid Normal is the Normal difficulty for North American and European gamers rather than everyone?
There's a nontechnical answer on eHow. Quoting:
- Liquid Easy
"Liquid Easy" is the easiest difficulty. There are plenty of items available, enemy soldiers have a limited range of awareness, and it takes a lot of damage to kill your character.
- Naked Normal
"Naked Normal" is a harder difficulty than "Liquid Easy." There are less items available, enemies have a larger range of awareness and your character is more susceptible to attacks.
- Solid Normal
"Solid Normal" is very similar to "Naked Normal." The only difference is that the enemies have an even greater range of awareness, which encourages the player to sneak more than he would otherwise.
- Big Boss Hard
"Big Boss Hard" is the hardest difficulty level available when you play for the first time. It is like Naked Normal, except that you are weaker and less items are available.
- Big Boss Extreme
"Big Boss Extreme" is the hardest difficulty level and can only be unlocked when you beat the game on any of the other difficulty levels. If your character is caught once in the mode, he will certainly die. Additionally, enemy soldiers are at maximum awareness and there are hardly any items available.
Additional info on Big Boss Extreme difficulty can be found on Metal Gear Wiki:
The Boss Extreme is the final and hardest difficulty in Metal Gear Solid 4. To unlock The Boss Extreme, the player must first beat Metal Gear Solid 4 on any difficulty.
On this difficulty, the player can only hold two rations, so it is advised to take caution when sneaking in the game as enemies can easily kill Old Snake in a matter of seconds. Guards and bosses deal considerably more damage per bullet and it would be wise to study certain techniques in order to defeat these bosses or to pass through acts undetected. Not only that but ammo is also reduced, for example the M4 carbine can only hold a max 300 rounds so use your weapons sparingly. The player can no longer buy anesthetic rounds from Drebin in The Boss Extreme, so stock up.
Guards on this difficulty are extremely dangerous and are not to be taken lightly. Their senses are heightened therefore they can see you from a further distance and can hear more clearly. Anesthetic rounds don't last nearly as long so it is advised that you move quickly once you knock an enemy down. Bosses can be devastating without the right techniques or guns. It is advisable to fight them on easier difficulties and study their weaknesses and the environment.
Hope this helps!
Metal Gear Solid games tend to have differences between the different difficulties, the ones i know for sure are:
- Damage received by enemy weapons
- AI "senses" (meaning the range of the simulated hearing and sight of enemies is different)
- Number and sometimes location of guards
- Number and location of consumibles (ammunition, some of the special items)
- Initial ammo capacity and starting amount of ammunition for each weapon)
- Depending on the game also the duration of a ledge grip is different
Finally, Solid Normal is specified as Normal for US and Europe because the difficulty on Asia is different than the one for US, specifically in Japan, Naked Normal would be Normal and Solid Normal would be considered Hard instead of normal.