Friday, March 2, 2012

Space Nazis Must Die, or why I dislike Killzone 3.

Sometimes, when we meet up for gaming, the actual game doesn't happen. In that situation, other avenues of entertainment are called for. Today, it was co-op Killzone 3, and that meant annoyance for me.

One of the many things I dislike is the platform. The Playstation 3 is a fine console, but it suffers the same design flaw as the previous two iterations of Sony's game machines: the controllers are too small for my hands, and the control elements are awkwardly positioned. This meant I was unable to get comfortable with the controller, and the game was on a hiding to nothing from the start.

Then we get to the control scheme. Left stick moves, right stick looks around, triggers on either side Do Things involving violence and the application thereof, and the four face buttons do non-violent things. Problem: because the controllers are unfamiliar, due to the aforementioned size issues dissuading me from using the blasted things, I have to LOOK to see which face button to press. This leads to my getting killed as the enemies don't have to work with this disadvantage. Add in the annoying "feature" of the default pitch mapping being ass-backwards from how my brain expects it to be (for me, the top of the joystick is the top of the character's head; push forward, and he looks down. Pull back, and he looks up. Just like flying a plane) and the dead zone being tiny, and I'm never looking in the right direction. I'm spamming bullets about three feet to one side or the other of where I should be spamming them, moving the impact point diagonally as though I'm drunk, and generally failing to be a productive member of the squad. Then there's turning speed; I'd like some, please. The default is for the turning speed to feel like you've got your head in a bucket of molasses, and despite the stick being analogue, there's no real acceleration. Whanging the thing hard over still had me turning oh-so-slowly as the enemies converted me into a being composed of mostly lead. They could turn faster than I could. I think. I'm not sure.

You see, I kept "dying", which is to say getting knocked down, at which point, rather than abandoning me as the load I undoubtedly was, my team-mate or a bot would run over, zap me with magic space lightning, and there I'd be, back at full health.

For about a tenth of a second, before the space nazis filled me with lead again and I died because invariably, I'd stand back up facing AWAY from the incoming gunfire. Most of the time, the shots were arriving in my back, and I couldn't see the originators.

I eventually resorted to bullet spam, grenade spam, and one surprisingly effective bout of low-gravity bunny-hopping, before the gameplay changed completely as we were shoved into space fighters. Now it was missile spam for the win.

We eventually nuked the space nazis' planet. Or someone did, might have been their guy. I have no idea.

Next time, I'm holding out for something not so drastically unsuited to a controller. Worms is surprisingly good, and I can reliably win at it...

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