As a gamer it’s happened to all of us, at one time or another.
You’ve battled through level after level of escalating enemies, mini-bosses, end-of-level Uber-Demons and then found yourself hunkering down and dying time after time in a seemingly vain, uphill battle against borderline-abusive games design (Hello, crap difficulty spike at the end of “Warhammer 40K: Space Marine” – SPOILERS if you haven’t reached the end of the game!).
Kotaku today has a good piece by Luke Plunkett which muses on a different strategy – should games actively reward you for getting closer to finishing the game?
And no, New Game Plus isn’t what I’m talking about.
Kotaku‘s man posits that more games could learn from “The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay” and give the player an occasional assist to foster the urge to get to the end of the game – the Riddick game gives you a cool piece of hardware in a climactic set-piece, much as the second “Gears of War” let you wreak havoc with a Brumak creature as you moved towards the end of the game.
I’m inclined to agree – if you’ve shown the gumption, skills and bloody-minded dedication to get near to the end of the game, why not throw your tired consumers a quick slice of awesome to gee them up a little?
It can’t be that difficult to implement and who doesn’t want to feel momentarily super-awesome when you get your virtual mitts on some +infinity to enemy damage spell or the use of some uber sword to hack away at waves of enemies?
I’m not one Teh Hardcorez, so the idea of suffering through a crappy experience to prove gamer cred is not one which holds much weight with me. Games peeps – hear your audience’s cries!