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  • feenwager 1:18 pm on October 29, 2010 Permalink
    Tags: , hand holding   

    Regarding the glow-y bits in Enslaved: I agree that the real answer is to have an art style that clearly shows what’s grab-able and what’s not. Barring that, the only choice that Ninja Theory had was whether or not to highlight important spots.

    If they hadn’t, the pacing of the game would have been completely thrown off by the player randomly jumping at stuff hoping Monkey would grab hold, and then the game loses the thing it’s best at: brisk pacing.

    In the end, I think they made the right choice.

  • RedSwirl 12:35 am on October 29, 2010 Permalink
    Tags: , hand holding   

    @unmanneddrone Prince of Persia and Uncharted both managed to make ledges stick out purely through the art direction: by making them an appealing color or making them physically stick out. If a game actually needs to make the important stuff glitter for you to see it, it’s doing something wrong visually. That also goes for flashing what button I need to press everywhere all the time in a big banner that crosses the whole screen.

    Maybe you could call Enslaved a platform/puzzle adventure game on rails, but whatever it was it missed a really good chance to land among my top games of the year.

    As for other hand-holding games, for starters pretty much every game Ubisoft has published this generation (except maybe Assassin’s Creed II and Forgotten Sands). I also dislike it when games flash hints during loading screens. One other special example is BioShock. Even after I turned off the quest arrow, flashing items, and like 20 other assistances, I still felt like the flashy help menus and “GOAL” signs on the maps broke the sense of disbelief.

    A game should not tell you what you need to do to progress, it should make it easy for you to figure that out. When I start a new game these days, the one thing I dread the most is the inevitable hour-long mandatory tutorial. I understand some people are slower than others, but you need to give us the option to skip or turn off those tutorials and put in more subtle, elegant instructions.

    Before playing Enslaved I finished Kirby’s Epic Yarn and thought that game was a great example of how to do this right. The game is easy as hell, but it was still fun because nothing ever got in the way of me playing it. Its instructions were simple and elegantly embedded in the world, and there was always ample extra content for more skilled players.

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