While playing GTA IV, I was mid-mission, and needed to travel to the next location, so I hijacked a car. Unfortunately, I did this in front of a passing patrol car, and so my wanted level went up a star. When I tried to outrun the police, I crashed the car, and was arrested, losing all my weapons and some cash. Later in the same gaming session, the police wanted a quiet word with me for exchanging paint with their car. Once again, I crashed, and the officer in question had a gun pointed at my back. Having decided that Robocop was being too cocky, I proceeded to shoot him and his partner, resulting in my wanted level going up, and the police getting more aggressive. More and more police swarmed in my direction, with me firing back, causing a street battle of epic proportions. After about five minutes, I had police approaching from both directions, and was quickly cut down. Cue slow-mo death, and loading screen, with a resurrection outside of a hospital, minus some cash, but retaining all my weapons. In a city with strict gun control, I would have thought that the guns would have been confiscated, like they are in previous GTA games. But they weren’t. Now this isn’t a problem until you realise that if you commit a crime that warrants a one star wanted level, there’s less of a punishment for having a full scale war than there is for being arrested. Which, I think, is utterly bizarre. This got me thinking about games that have moments that make no sense, whatsoever.
One game that springs to mind is Tenchu. I got thinking about this game series after the last article I wrote, and dug out my dusty old PS2 game; Tenchu: Wrath of heaven. I played this game a little bit between crime sprees on GTA IV and racing on GT5, and while this game is primarily a stealth game, there’s the usual boss battles. Which doesn’t make sense when you think about what the assassins are meant to be doing. Executing enemies silently and striking fear into the heart of the baddies. Only to reveal their presence to the primary target. Why? The whole point is to despatch the enemy with the minimal amount of fuss. The boss battle could have been an opportunity to showcase your stealth skills, only resorting to a standard battle if the assassination attempt failed. Instead, you get a clichéd cut scene, then an attack, block, repeat sequence.
The next game that I think of is Doom, although this time, it’s not a gameplay issue. This time, it’s a storyline issue. The storyline is pretty standard stuff. You’ve been punished for assaulting a superior officer who ordered you to fire upon civilians. The punishment is being posted to Mars, on one of the moons, a boring posting where nothing happens. Typically, something does happen, and the space marines are sent in. The heavy weapons team is sent into the area, with your character guarding the hanger with a pistol. The whole marine team is wiped out, leaving your dude alone to protect humanity. So it’s up to you to take the fight to the enemy. The question is, however, how? All your buddies, with all the decent gear, have just had their arses handed to them. What chance do you have, with just a pistol? None. The story would make sense if the team got wiped out, then the playable character run like hell. The dude is just your standard man, no special qualities to speak of, so why he should be able to take on a whole invasion force is anyone’s guess. To be honest though, this one shouldn’t be restricted just to Doom, but should be applied to any game with a similar storyline
The last one I can think of isn’t a single game, but a whole host of games. It’s any game where health is needed to be recovered, and instead of/as well as a first aid kit, health can be restored by food. Maybe I’m just being picky, but to me, it really seems bizarre that food could replace medical supplies, even in a fictional environment. I don’t think a chewy bar has many restorative properties, so eating one to regain health from bullet damage seems stupid. Even alternatives to this don’t make sense. Hide behind some cover, and watch as your health regenerates. What the hell is that about? While some gamers think that the healing in a game isn’t important, and a simplified recovery system is the way to go, a lot of these people want more realism in their games, and using food or hiding as way of healing yourself isn’t realistic, and doesn’t make sense.
I’m sure there’s plenty more examples of senselessness in games, so if you feel like venting about it, then leave a comment below.