schadenfreude wrote:Silent Hill 2 (and maybe 3 as well?) had something in this vein: You had a difficulty setting for the combat, with the usual (and rather crappy) technique of nerfing the player and buffing the enemies; and a separate difficulty setting for the puzzles, which were all based on clues found on poems and whatnot, and setting it harder would make the texts in the poems increasingly complex and obtuse (of course, as well as changing the solution to the puzzle).
You actually might be onto something with this.
The first System Shock game went even further - Combat Difficulty, Puzzle Difficulty, Mission Difficulty and Cyberspace Difficulty. Combat and Puzzles was for how hard enemies and puzzles were obviously (you could set them at 0 which I think turned enemies off? Maybe I have that wrong, I do know that at 0 for puzzles the puzzles are auto-solved). Mission Difficulty I'm unsure of except that at max difficulty (3) you had to complete the game within a time limit. Cyberspace is a separate part of the game, a game-within-the-game, so to speak. You float around with sort-of flight simulator-like controls/movement, finding upgrades and shooting monsters floating around some VR space. Completing cyberspace terminals also unlocked certain areas that had hidden items and such.
For the absolute battiest example of a game handling NG, NG+, etc. difficulty I can think of, look up Amazing Princess Sarah. I won't say any more about it, because I couldn't do it justice without going into long rambling (trying to describe things in good detail succinctly - I need to work on that), but check out a playthrough of the game (I don't if anyone has done a 100% LP of the game - if they have, that would showcase it quite well) or read the hg101 article about the game for some info about it.
Anyway the idea you have in the article is a good one, though I don't know about "complexity sliders" popping up mid-game. I don't know if I'd have them for say a Souls-type game. I do think that incentive to play through Souls games all the way to NG+7 would be greater if there were more and more changes to actual enemy behavior and player mechanics. For games that don't operate on a NG+, etc. format this would be interesting to see though.
Through Dark Souls of futures past. The speed runner longs to see. One boost between a pair of binos. Parry Walk with Me.