Random Rant: You’re doing it wrong

Don’t get me wrong, I love developers. They make shiny new toys for us to play with, without them we’d not have the gaming scene we see today.

However there’s a small problem in that they always do something not quite right. Whether it be a lack of multiplayer or a lack of depth, there’s usually something they could have changed that would turn the game from good into some sort of super game that people would still be playing consistently for many years to come.

While these flaws are by no means gaps in evil villan plans that could have been spotted by a 3 year old child, they are things that, while maybe not so obvious to the developer, are pretty obvious to people who actually play the game.

Therefore I present so problems that prevented games from being truely great.

Mirrors Edge

Mirrors Edge is one of my favorite games. It combines high movement control with interesting environments, and some really fun gameplay. Unfortunately they had the idea to not use the awesome backstory of the game to it’s full potential, where super athletes ran around rooftops and delivered messages to people trying to bring the evil government down.

Instead focus on it’s downfall. It’s like they decided to build this terrific world with a realistic ecosystem and all that good stuff, only to destroy it and show you the ashes. My favorite mission in the entire game is the second last one, where you’re going through this nearly abbandoned building a lot of the time, free in a construction site to play on the scaffolding. Somehow they can’t grasp that people can have fun WITHOUT being shot at.

What they could have done instead is taken it one step back, made it about what came before everything went to bollocks. Have a open world game that you run around in, delivering documents and getting in trouble with the police. I guess I’m describing a fusion between current mirrors edge and GTA, but dammit, it would be AWESOME. Throw in multiplayer and Co-op and instant Game of the Year status.

Farcry 2

Farcry 2 had this big open world to explore. I can respect that, and an African environment would be a very interesting place to explore. But the game doesn’t let you. The game instead breaks up the peaceful bliss of exploration with “THERE’S GUYS OVER THERE SHOOTING AT YOU” every 12 seconds. I don’t mind combat, but let us take a BREAK every now and then. Please? I mean even if you manage to avoid the clone-producing outposts you get the enemy comming to YOU. Who thought that constant combat throughout the entire game was a good idea?

What would have been better is a little less checkpoints, and the faction you keep doing missions for? Maybe you could make THEM you allies? What would be so wrong with that? You do it right and you end up having half the map where you can explore to your hearts content. Maybe even encourage people to replay the game to see the other side without constant gunfire ruining your body.

Fallout 3, Oblivion, a lot more open world games

There’s this problem with open world games, where you can choose a profession, travel around doing quests, joining guilds etc, that you have this one constant storyline that is central to everything you do. Why, after all the freedom you give us, do you randomly decide that you need to plonk in  a linear storyline? The entire point is that you make your own experience. While I’ve got nothing against linear storylines in a, I don’t know, linear story line game, the point of having one in a open world is kind of pointless.

The answer is quite simple, don’t put one in. I don’t want to find my father, close the gates to oblivion, etc.

Instead concentrate on the world you’re creating, make it more detailed, make a few more kilometres of open land, make another city, give the player more options for their character. Ultimately they’ll enjoy these additions far more than a campaign they’ll only play once.

In conclusion

Very briefly, you don’t need to be shot at all the time to have fun, and you don’t need elements in your game that don’t make sense to the grand style of your game. Always make sure that the game you are making is as much fun as humanly possible to yourselves and others.

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