Wednesday, December 7, 2016
Kinetics in Play
Players love to grumble about horse handling in Red Dead Redemption, The Witcher 3, and Shadow of the Colossus, but the bitter truth of the matter is that's the way horses act in real life. They aren't motorcycles with legs. Another great example of design choices that players take issue with is sudden changes in directional input. Realistically, it isn't so quick and easy for a fully grown person to suddenly reverse course once they're going full tilt (especially true if said person is burdened by heavy equipment). Either the character needs to skid to a sudden stop (like in Mario Brothers) or pull a tight 180 degree turn. Personally, I slightly prefer the former over the latter, but I don't think either is objectively better than the other. Ultimately it comes down to gameplay design decisions. Wind-up animations might seem annoying to some folks in games like Monster Hunter or the "Soulsborne" series, but they're integral design elements. The same goes for tank controls in Resident Evil. They might be frustrating and seem bad all around, but take them out and the main antagonists of the series, shambling zombies, are no longer a threat. Granted developers could make them into the fast sprinter zombies, but that would fundamentally alter the gameplay. I happen to like Resident Evil 4 along with the remake of the original, the second entry and Nemesis, but I know people who feel that the frenetic pace of the more recent additions to the series killed the mood that they enjoy in the originals.