Things Developers Should Be Banned From Doing
As much as I love gaming there are some things that really bug me. Mostly it’s because I’m old and I remember a time when video games were made by a small group of friends trying to do something cool, but it’s not always that. You see, I believe that some developers have started to become lazy, their creativity has been stifled by the publishers pressure for a profitable game. We need to free these people, brothers and sisters, from the tyranny and oppression of boring game mechanics. So when the revolution comes, and you have wisely made me your glorious leader, I shall ban all game developers in the land from doing these five things.
Oh and obviously I’m doing this for the good of gaming, it’s in no way a selfish attempt by me to eliminate the things I’m no good at or hate doing…
Ever play the first Assassin’s Creed? Enjoy collecting all the flags did you? No? You know why? Because it was fucking tenuous. Seriously, who enjoys running around, all over the game world, collecting stuff that has no bearing on your objective? I’m simply not interested in shooting every pigeon in Liberty City, I’m Nico Bellic for christ sake, I’m a criminal and I care about the money and the hoes, I don’t give a damn about city sanitation. In Bioshock, I just want to escape from Rapture whilst shooting people in the face with bees, I don’t want a potted history on how every thing went to shit. From now on, if your game hasn’t got Lego whatever written on the box, you are banned from putting any sort of collectable in your game.
On-rails driving and shooting bits.
I want to be specific on this, having full control of a vehicle is fine; driving a tank in Halo or Battlefield for example is perfectly OK with me, because I can control where the thing is going. I can try to avoid incoming fire, and I can get out if needs be. What I hate is the on-rails vehicle sections; the bits where I’m stuck in the back of the truck with the heavy gun with no control over where we go. It’s always the same – I, the poor mug in the open who’s woefully unprotected, have to be a crack shot with the slow moving, slow firing heavy machine gun (or whatever) while the AI behind the wheel has absolutely no idea about evasive manoeuvring. And he’s safe in there, tucked up nicely behind all that armour. No, from now on I’m behind the plexiglass and the damn AI can get shot at in the back.
Day one DLC.
Also known as “stuff that should already be in the game but is being held back for no good reason other than making more money.” Once upon a time, games were released with only one version, there were no retailer exclusive weapons or characters, no DLC codes in the box. Everyone went out and bought the same game – my copy of Killzone was exactly the same as your copy of Killzone, neither of us had a special gun because we bought it at a certain shop, and neither of us had extra missions or maps. We had the same game. I’m so sick of this segregation of gamers, and it’s got to stop. Everyone gets the same game, end of.
Using the words Elite, Special, and Forces.
If I read one more game box blurb that starts with the words “You are part of an elite special forces team…” I’m going to vomit. Can we all just agree now, that like the World War II setting previously, the modern day special forces setting has been done to death, and it’s time to move on? And while we’re at it, can we also throw in that other FPS staple, killing off the character you’re playing? It was shocking and immersive when Call of Duty 4 did it, but not any more.
Making a first person shooter? Just follow this handy guide to sure fire profits. Got evil terrorists in it? Check! Got some sort of desert/middle east level in it? Check! Kill off the character whilst the player is playing him? Check! Be honest, I could have described any one of the more recent shooters out there, couldn’t I?
Not including split screen.
Split screen seems to be going the way of the dodo sadly, so from now on, any developer contemplating not putting it in will be made to sit down with three friends and play Mario Kart until they understand why leaving it out is a crime. Ask anyone who played Goldeneye 64 for their fondest memories and invariably they’ll talk about the hours spent playing four player co op. The thing is, for gamers my age, multi-player meant going round a mate’s house and playing split screen, there was no Live to hide behind. You took your controller round to his place, you sat in the same room, and you had fun. Nobody who’s played Mario Kart, Goldeneye, or Micro Machines with a room full of friends will tell you split screen doesn’t matter, it’s that simple.
So that’s my vision – under this blueprint gaming will move forward to a glorious future! Granted I may have to build my own Rapture under the sea to become supreme overlord, and developers might not be too keen to come live down there and make games, but a boy can dream can’t he? Have I missed anything? What overused gaming mechanics would you like to see banned? Can you not get enough of playing a special forces soldier, and secretly wish that every game was Call of Duty?