Friday, October 23, 2009

HP Gone A.W.O.L.

After a day long gaming session for finishing “S.O.F 3” and “Kane and Lynch”, I came to the conclusion that the, obviously faceless and evil, Game Development Industry is trying remove the “old school” HP (Health Points) system and replacing it with the, in their opinion more realistic, “Red Color Overlay System” which for the following article I will refer to, as RCOS (for those people with special needs, that have the anoying need to read out loud, it’s pronounced Árkos)

At this point, I would like to point out that in all really old school games the term HP was unknown, at the moment the gamers avatar, either it was a PC (Player Character), a space ship or even a funny looking yellow circle with a mouth, collided with the few pixels representing enemies, rockets or plasma shots you were dead.

Since the above mentioned system sometimes proved too hard for your average casual gamer, and there were no iPhones to provide for their average casual gamer needs, developers started adding power up objects like shields that would protect you from one hit, shields that would protect you from 2 hits and generous shields that could last 3 hits (no luck with the imagination department there).

All these were temporary solutions and the problem was finally solved with the addition of the famous HP counter and/or bar, a simple system that would degrade your number of starting HPs resulting to death when they reached zero. This also gave Developers the chance to award Gamers with health packs after boss battles or even place secret areas filled with all kinds of goodies.

As it seems, even that system proved too difficult for some players, so game developers, obviously while trying to market their products to monkeys, introduced the RCOS in modern FPS Games. The RCOS witch can be best described as an accumulative damage system that has the following characteristics.

  • As the PC gets shot the screen gradually turns red.
  • The greater the damage the redder it gets, up to the point that you can’t see a bloody thing (except from all the blood red which now fills your screen).
  • The moment you get out of bullets way the red overlay fades and then you are ready to be shot at again.

The only way this thing is vaguely realistic, is if your PC is an Elf (Famous for their regenerative ability) or some other type of super creature.

You can forget about those little hidden 2m x 2m x2m rooms that the old day game developer could show you his appreciation, affection and love in the form of a Full Health Super Med kit, instead be prepared for levels full of conveniently placed crates, rocks and waist height destroyed walls so you can duck and cover behind while those nasty bullets are pushed out of your system and your wounds close because the game you bought was made fucking realistic.

ninja loco ~ Gaming Ph.D.

--originally posted at 14.12.07

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