Pathetic

For hours you sit in front of the screen and get lost in virtual worlds. You’re thrilled, you’re playing a wolf. But everything has to end, even the best game in the whole wide world. You’re looking forward to the end. Because the end will certainly have a worthy ending. An epic ending for the epic role-playing game. A horny render sequence for the shooter, where the base of the evil Obermotzes is destroyed in a pyrotechnic masterpiece. A funny and funny final screen for the Jump’n Run.

And then the developers run out of money! Or the ideas. Mostly both. Because with good ideas you can even balance tight budgets halfway. As a result, we’ve seen a lot of games over the years that don’t just break down towards the end, that you sometimes have the impression that they’re part of another game because they don’t fit the rest.

Divine Divinity. The better Diablo 2. And then in the last section you fight your way from top left to bottom right through a huge map, which is also called “Wasteland”, because there is almost nothing in it. Larian has run out of pretty much everything. Money, strength and stamina.

Or Red Faction 1. After the last boss was laid, the credits don’t come. No, there comes a sliding puzzle logic puzzle, which you have to complete successfully to defuse a bomb. Under time pressure! I sat in front of the screen stunned and just let the timer run out.

Or the classic par excellence. “Thank you Mario! But our princess is in another castle!” from Super Mario Bros. on the NES.

A recent example from the “How do I make an end NOT” category is Dying Light, Techland’s new zombie slaughter. Even in Dead Island, the Endboss fight wasn’t supposed to be that great, but the Endboss fight in Dying Light is the crowning glory.

A Quick Time Event. A lame Quick Time Event where the player has to give the trained monkey all at once, after having given him a big sandbox to play around in. A lame Quick Time Event at the end of a game, in which players could develop and level up their character from a variety of possible abilities. Where everything the player has done before doesn’t matter at all anymore, because he should now make the trained monkey. Press A, press X, press A. And that’s when we tell you that and ONLY then. If you don’t do that … Fuck you! No credits for you! Out!

Even though over the years I’ve acquired a family pack of serenity and a lot of what’s celebrated every day in this our hobby of brain fucking (EA: Our games are too complicated!, Nintendo: We have control paranoia and actually need psychiatric treatment!) only peripherally affected … something like that, it still drives my blood pressure up for at least a few minutes. Long enough to write this rant and long enough not to wish such developers anything bad. But also not expressly something good!

PS: Now quite apart from the fact that I actually only think QTE makes sense in dance and music games, because that’s the central core of the gameplay mechanics and otherwise consider the use of QTE outside of these genres a criminal offence … Techland, that’s just pathetic!

PSS: It hasn’t been released yet, but for The Witcher 3 CD Projekt promised not to use QTE anymore. From Warsaw to Ostrów Wielkopolski it is only 300 km and a drive of two and a half hours. Perhaps a visit would be appropriate?

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