Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Close that closet

Monster closet.

Noun. Used in shooters to spawn enemies that did not previously exist in the map. Usually a sign of lazy level design. See also: Nazi closet, Doom, cheap jump scares.

I made it a point to kill every enemy I came across in Sniper Elite III. They had a bad habit of sneaking up behind me later if I didn't, plus my sniper was none to found of carrying around so many rounds of ammunition. He thought that the Nazis should carry them instead. In their brains. This was especially important in the second to last level: a large air strip, complete with hangers, bunkers and large open areas. I made sure to kill every last person before triggering the final part of the mission in which some allies bust through the gate and I was supposed to cover them.

The plan was for them to drive down the runway wondering where the enemies were with my sniper taking a nap on the far end, wondering what all the hubbub was about. That is not what happened. Instead driving through the gate triggered a flood of soldiers emerging from areas that I know I had cleaned out. Were they hiding under their beds? Under the floor? Literally in closets? It doesn't matter, it was annoying and pulled me out of the game more than sniping tank drivers from half a mile away.

A game being consistent to its own rules is something that I complain about in good games or recognize in bad games. It doesn't matter if the game's rules are dumb hell as long as it sticks to them or if it make sense when it breaks them. For six levels enemies in Sniper Elite III either were populated in specific logical areas or I was shown when they arrived. It made sense and I planed according. Then they reich perfected their teleportation experiments and the game because just like most other shooters.

Sniper Elite III ended one level later. It did not repeat the same mistake and it pulled in some oddball military history, the giant Ratte tank, so I might forgive it. Or I will forget about it in a few days.

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