Trying to prevent frustration is a good thing. This week, when I’ve had a moment, I’ve been playing Remember Me, and while it’s a good game, there are several sequences featuring instant death if you screw up once. But developers are, by and large, learning that there are ways to make a game challenging without making it annoying. Then there are developers, such as Crytek, who take the idea too far.
Ryse, originally a Kinect fighting game, has been in development for years, and Crytek wants to make it the most epic, cinematic game about ancient Rome you’ve ever played. And apparently part of that is making a game where the “quick-time events” are quite literally meaningless: You can press the wrong button, or no button, and still land the kill.
Somehow, it’s worse than games where you just press a random attack button and your character goes into an elaborate, thirty-second long scripted attack scene where you rip your opponent into teeny little chunks or perform a “cinematic” kill. At least there you have to attack the enemy. There are games that use this convention well; the best use it as a moment to give a player a second to breathe and form a strategy. But, well, that’s not what’s happening here:
Notice that most of this gameplay footage isn’t gameplay, if you can’t fail these quick time events. Penny Arcade really summed up the problem with this nearly seven years ago, but it bears repeating: If you can’t play it, or it doesn’t matter how you play it, then it’s not really a game.
I want more like this!
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