- The unusual control scheme requires both hands most of the time, making it more difficult for me to enjoy a beer while playing (are we sure this is a German game?).
- I die a lot. I mean, a really lot. Your character starts out as a weakling, a fact that NPCs seem to point out at every opportunity - often before, during, and/or after an ass-whipping.
No, the thing that I don't like is reloading.
Reloading may be a widely accepted feature in games, but it has no place in game design. What I mean is, designers should not factor in reloading when setting a game's difficulty. Reloading is a fail-safe, meaning something has failed when it happens. It's understandable when the player has to reload because of carelessness, bad luck, or lack of skill/incorrect difficulty setting. However, when players need information they can only get by dying and reloading - such as the location of enemies, how powerful they are, or what attacks work against them - then the failure is squarely on the design.
|Death by lizard. Apparently these things are pretty territorial.|
It's not hard to reconcile the fact that the PC doesn't know about all those failures that have been crossed out. The PC is, after all, a fictional character who's blissfully unaware of the process that dictates the course of his or her life. Nothing hard to understand there.
Regardless of how it's implemented a save and load mechanism cuts into any narrative being told. It’s like flicking back a few pages in a choose-your-own adventure book and pretending nothing happened.
Games have experimented with a variety of mechanics to eliminate PC death or incorporate it into the story. The most notable RPG example is probably Planescape: Torment, where your character is immortal and simply wakes up at the mortuary after each death. However, those high-concept devices don't really solve the problem. For one thing, they're often more inconvenient, so players opt to reload anyway. For another, they're such an obvious stand-in for the deeply ingrained reload mechanic that players don't even register the difference. In other words, too many trips to the mortuary has the same negative effect on the story as too many reloads.
|One-shotted by a warehouse guard, who proceeded to loot my corpse while talking smack.|
I could say a lot more about this subject, and probably will at some point. But that's all for now.