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Searching for triggers

While playing Killzone 2 I was once again reminded of how important feedback is in games. In most parts of the game, feedback was clear and effective; bullets had an impact, when taking damage the edge screen was splashed with blood to indicate the direction of attack and vehicle damage was visible in the form of smoke and fire. It was strange to see that at some points the feedback was suddenly flawed.

wrong feedbackAt a certain point in the game I am told to breach a beachhead held by the enemy forces. They are well fortified and have a heavy gun emplacement. Storming ahead doesn’t seem wise so I start picking off enemy soldiers at long range. Every time I take out some units, reinforcements seem to arrive from behind enemy lines so I decide to try and storm the gun emplacement. It doesn’t take long for me to be flanked and shot by the next wave of reinforcements so I respawn and try to take out more soldiers before charging ahead. After many kills and several respawns I decide to try and kill the soldier behind the turret. After taking him out the reinforcements stop and I am no longer stuck in the same situation.

Since it was not clear to me that the gun emplacement and the reinforcements where interlinked, I felt no satisfaction for solving that situation. Several such situations occur during the game and they make me feel powerless. Sometimes spawns stop after a certain amount of kills or a set amount of time has passed, sometimes I have to reach a certain point on the map or complete a given task. At such points I have to start searching for what triggers the reinforcements to stop instead of playing the game. Destroying a passage to stop forces coming from that direction makes sense and can be logically deduced. Solving such a situation can feel rewarding, while searching for triggers that are seemingly unconnected elements of the game feel random and break the flow.

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  1. DaanB
    June 15th, 2009 at 19:57 | #1

    Hmm, I always go straight for the enemy behind the biggest gun because he is the biggest threat. So I guess I will not have same problem.

    Ah well, I managed to ‘crash’ the game after half an hour, then I quit…

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