alaric: Myself as Wolverine, complete with blades (Default)

August 2010

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Friday, April 16th, 2010 05:05 pm

Stupid inconsistencies in video games annoy me.

Take Halo, for example.  It's, god knows, the 35th Century or something, we have faster-than-light starships that can jump across significant parts of the galaxy in weeks, we have fully self-aware AIs on a chip, we have cyborgs in powered battle armor with built-in energy shields, ... but that powered battle armor doesn't have night vision?  Come ON.

This is a common thread in almost every shooter.  (The only exception I'm personally aware of is Ghost Recon.)  Either there is no night vision gear, or there's night vision gear but its batteries last 30 to 45 seconds and then it has to recharge for 2-4 minutes.  As game detail, it's pathetically lame, and as a gameplay device, it's a cop-out at best.  Fer crissakes, we had working, usable night vision gear forty years ago in Vietnam.  It's still chic in many circles to look down our noses at Russian military hardware, but if any Russian equipment designer had dared to offer the Russian military night vision gear that crappy, they would have stood him up against a wall and shot him.

(Naturally, the darkness never impedes the attacking enemies in the least.)

Come on, game designers.  We're talking present-day-to-futuristic here, not THAG BASH THINGS WITH ROCK.  Give it a rest and join the 1990s at least.  If the only way you can achieve the game balance you want is to leave the player stumbling around in the dark, squinting into the monitor trying to see anything more than six feet in front of him, you have failed at game design.