Thursday, January 5, 2012
Someone at developers Criterion implemented something very clever in the FPS game Black, but between early preview demos and final release, someone at publisher EA decided this nugget of genius had to be removed and, as a result, we were all screwed. I want my money back, and the perpetrator of these changes named & shamed.
Yes, I realise I’m several years too late, since Black was released in 2006, but that doesn’t decrease the livid indignation I feel over having paid money for this crap, only for it to be missing the very thing I bought it for.
I bought Black for no other reason than the promise of realistic gun reloading.
As shown in the PS2 demo given away with OPS2M 81, the game was supposed to feature realistic ammo management. You have a number of clips and if you press to reload you lose whatever you had in that clip when inserting the new one. So if you have a clip of 20 bullets and fire once (leaving you 19), and then reload, you will lose those 19 bullets. Contrasting against every other gun game where you click reload and your bullets are topped up from a large magical ammo bag.
That’s what I call dumb ammo management. I have read on so many forums that people don’t like the idea of realistic reloading because they like to push reload after firing every single bullet, and with realistic reloading would lose very quickly. If you’re one of these people, which developers pander to, then I hate you.
I chose to own Black for the single reason that the demo showed it not to feature “dumb reloading” and would require some degree of tactical thinking and, you know, actual intelligence. That unique quality that separates us, humans, from things like chimps and hamsters.
But no. Someone at EA, or possibly Criterion, must have got cold feet and between the demo and final release replaced intelligent reloading with dumb reloading. Why is it I have not seen this discussed anywhere else on the internet or in magazines? Note the screenshots:
I have two clips for the pistol.
DEMO AFTER FIRING ONE BULLET AND RELOADING:
I only have one clip and the rest of the ammo is wasted. This is realism. This is good. This is why I bought the game.
One big ammo supply with no individual clips.
Clearly someone in marketing was frightened that people would not buy the game if it featured any degree of actual realism, or required some degree of intellect, so they had it removed.
Bloody hell, what must I do to get away from this crap? I used to put up with it back in the 32-bit era, when I was naïve and young, but I have grown increasingly resentful of designers that treat me like an idiot. Why can’t more games feature intelligent reloading? The only ones that do are a tiny selection of PC FPS, and even then they’re from obscure Soviet developers. Even then, games like STALKER featured dumb reloading, forcing me to trawl for mods to correct this.
I don’t like PC gaming though, I like to sit on my couch and game. I had to really force my way through Uncharted 3, so annoyed was I by both the motion-blur and dumb reloading. For me it’s an absolute deal breaker. Deus Ex Human Revolution I couldn’t even finish – how can he pop open a revolver, dump the cylinder, pop a new one in, and yet not lose the wasted ammo?! It doesn’t make any sense!
Why must every game with guns pander to people who insist on tapping the reload button like some kind of rodent with orgasm electrodes wired into their brain?
Seriously, learn some self-control and appreciate the merits of tactical ammo management.
I am both disappointed and annoyed. I was saving Black for a dull day, like today, to really enjoy. And now it’s garbage. There is literally ABSOLUTELY NO POINT in either playing it or owning it. I have completely wasted my money on a product which was not as promised*.
It’s like going to your favourite steakhouse to buy steak, and discovering they converted into a vegan restaurant. I don’t care how amazing the fried tofu is, all I want is steak, and if I can’t have steak, which is the only reason I am here, then the entire establishment might as well burn to the ground for all I care. WHERE THE HELL IS MY RELOADING STEAK?!
* I realise the demo contained the warning that the games might change from the demo, but COME ON. This isn’t a minor change like menus or graphics, this is a fundamental alteration to the entire structure of the game’s mechanics. It’s an FPS designed around shooting – to make such a drastic change is like suddenly removing Mario’s ability to jump. Or Sonic’s ability to collect rings.
The demo lied to us. EA lied to us. Someone, somewhere, is responsible for this travesty. And as a result Black has gone from being possibly the best FPS ever, with realistic environments and realistic ammo management, and turned into absolute trash. There is no reason whatsoever anymore for me to play it. It might as well be a My Little Pony game for all the interest I have.
So then, can anyone recommend a different console game which features realistic reloading? I hear Alan Wake does, is this true? Does anyone else agree with me, or am I really the only gun lover who plays video games? I would think that given the high sales of Call of Duty and Modern Warfare, someone, somewhere would comment on the lack of realistic reloading and ammo management. And yet no one ever says a word.