Headshots & Friendly Fire: Round 3

September 20, 2009Written by Cameron Teague


The gaming industry has gotten bigger and better with each passing year, but sometimes they just don’t do things right. Whether it’s gameplay, story, pricing, or business practice, sometimes the industry needs a little friendly fire from the gamers to keep it in line.

Other times, developers look down their sight and fire off a well placed bullet right into our unexpected head. This is Josh & Cameron, and this is Headshots & Friendly Fire.

A Bit of Friendly Fire

  • Infinite Respawning Enemies – Sometimes the infinite respawning enemies mechanic can work. Ratchet & Clank Future had pods that spat out little crabs until you destroyed the pods. The crabs by themselves weren’t much of a threat, just more of an annoyance. You only had to worry about them once there were more than 10 of them on screen. Games like R&C that rely on faced paced action can get away with it. However, games like Killzone 2 and Call of Duty: World at War that rely a slow, progessive advance, turn the infinitely respawning mechanic into a mind-numbingly frustrating experience. I’m sure they are trying to recreate to intense pressure of war, but if the enemies are smart enough to challenge your shooter skills, you don’t need respawning enemies. Besides, I’m not a historian, but I’m pretty sure the Germans didn’t have 1 billion soldiers in Berlin.
  • Single Player Length – I understand that Multiplayer is where a lot of developers are putting their time and effort and that is where most players will spend their time. But does that excuse a developer from releasing a big budget game with a 6 hour long single player campaign? A great example of this was Call of Duty 4, whose single player clocked in at an amazing 5-6 hours. Now I am not saying every game should have a 15+ hour single player experience but it could at least get somewhere close to 10 hours. Not everyone likes playing online and to pay 60 bucks for a game that only lasts you 5 hours with very little replay value is not cool.
  • Male Lead With Strong Female Sidekick – Prince of Persia 2008 actually made me ashamed to be a man. You play as an idiotic, self-obsessed “prince” who spends the entire game protecting a woman who can’t do anything on her own, and can’t control her female hormones, but don’t worry, the “prince” is there to comfort her and make her feel all better about her life. After playing through a quarter of the game, I was hoping Elika would just let the “prince” fall to his death, and I could play as her the rest of the game. After all, the only attacks that are worth a damn are hers, and she obviously gets around the environment faster. Listen developers, if you want to put both a male and female on screen at the same time, the female needs to actually be a person and not just a “react to what man says/does” machine. Uncharted 2 has upped the ante with 2 sassy female sidekicks. Whoa! Get ready for a story with a complex love triangle, seeing as how women can’t live without a man. But what can you expect from a developer whose last game franchise involved a love interest between two bandicoots.

  • Movie Tie-in Games – Yes just stop, thats all. Its getting old seeing a movie come out only to see yet another crappy game made to try and capitalize on the movies success. I have no problem with a game coming out alongside a movie, that is fine because a lot of these movies would make for a great gaming experience. My problem is that there is no thought, time or effort put into these games. They are just slapped together, stamped with a name and thrown out to the masses. Some of the recent ones that come to mind include Transformers, Watchmen, and Terminator Salvation. All of these had the potential to be great games as they have great characters to pull from, good stories to get behind and what would seem like great playability. Yet none of these really delivered, felt rushed and showed once again that most developers just want to hurry the product, slap a name on it and try to bank off the movies success.

Check out our Headshots on Page 2

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