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    Best and Worst Reused Game Mechanics
    Tuesday, 23 September 2008
    It has now become common place if one game introduces some new kind of mechanic a rash of titles will follow suit and add the same feature to their upcoming titles. However some become so rehashed and tired that they quickly become old hat. We take a look both at the best mechanics that have stood the test of time and truly innovated as well as the ones that have been overused and used far to much.



    The Geo-Mod technology first rose to prominence when Red Faction hit Playstation 2. The technology in the game allowed for destructable environments. Whilst it was not the game that first demonstrated such ideas it was the first to use it as a central gameplay mechanic. Whilst the technology was by no means flawless as it severly restricted what you could and couldn't destory it is definitly a worthy forefather to a new generation of games that employ similar tech to their engines. Call of Duty World at War for example will include such destructive environments with huts able to knocked down and such like, their implementation looks like it will open all kinds of possibilities for both single and multi player modes.

    Cover Systems

    The recent trend for cover systems has revolutionised the shooter genre. Gears of War on the Xbox 360 showed the way with its cover mechanics which allowed for its Even games such as Uncharted and GTA IV which don't quite nail the perfection of GoW but still benefit from the cover system which allows for a newer and more innovative style of play. It helps shoot outs feel more cinematic (especially in GTA) and stops shooters from merely being run and gun.


    Bullet Time

    Ok granted it is a good feature when well used but it has been overused. Introduced by The Matrix the concept quickly caught on and when Max Payne made the feature an intricate feature of the game it showed how games could use the tech. Since then title after title has been inspired by both and it has become one of gamings most common features. Almost every shooter of a certain vine uses some kind of slowing down time mechanism. Recent examples include Resistances Sniper Rifle. So why is it one of the worst? Simply put it has crept into so many titles and even into genres it has no real place in. Whilst the mechanics may not be exactly the same there can be little doubt they were inspired by this single idea and its a bit wierd to find such things now cropping up where they should have been. It earns its place in the worst section simply for being overused.


    Or Quick Time Events to give them their full title. When used at their worst they make action scenes interesting and offer a diversity in play that would otherwise be replaced by with hours of cutscenes. They first famously featured in Sega's epic Shenmue which had QTE's as one of its major gameplay mechanics. However their over use and poor implementation has led to them becoming the buck of many a joke. At their worst they show off skills and movements that the player can't otherwise carry out and they only highlight major flaws in a game. They can be exciting at times, but for example in the recent Star Wars; Force Unleashed game there are examples of it used to finish off bosses with moves that are well beyond the games bland move set.

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    posted by flameboy @ 18:14  
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