Monday, March 28, 2016

An outbreak of tastefulness

I stopped playing another game that I started. How about that.

On Friday evening I girded my loins with an alcoholic beverage, knowing full well what awaited me in Alekhine's Gun. I had sampled the bad reviews, drank deep from their vitriol, and was ready to dispense some of my own. Everything I read about the game was true: there is not an option to invert the vertical axis on the right stick, the game never saves on its own, the stealth is bad, the shooting is bad, the voice acting is bad, enemies blend into the background which makes them quite difficult to avoid...

The game is without a single redeeming feature. It took a second alcoholic beverage to make it through level one. Alekhine's Gun was so bad that I could not play it sober.

Refer to this week's podcast for the gory details, but Chance diagnosed me with the following problem: I do not play games to enjoy them, I play them to get them out of the way so I can play the next one. Any enjoyment is a pleasant side effect of simply getting through enough of a game that I can call it finished and move on to the next one that will be subsequently discarded. As I sat down for night two of Alekhine's Gun, after having recorded, I began to wonder why I was returning to something that I knew I would not enjoy.

Just to finish it? For the gamerscore? Answers that are equally valid and asinine. Level two of Alekhine's Gun was too much for me as it could not tell the difference between requiring the player to be clever and making the solution to a problem needlessly obscure. One example: the first objective is to place a bug on the target's hotel room phone. The room is of course guarded so I could not walk right in so I made the logical leap to pick the lock to the room next door and climb out on the balcony, then jump across the gap and  sneak into the target room the back way.

You know, something that you have done and seen a million times.

No. The game would not allow this, only instead of giving me a reason it broke its own rules to prevent it. The guard was quite a ways away and was not looking in the direction of the room that I was trying to break in to. He should not have been able to see me. He did, walking over to shoo me away.

Because I am an insufferable dick I tried the same thing on the other side of the floor, placing a partition between me and the guard. He still 'saw' me and prevented me from breaking into a room that had nothing to do with my objective. Out of frustration I ran back to my target's room and dashed through the door while the guard who could see through walls took his sweet time to get back to his post. I managed to kill a second guard who was inside, stash his body and place the bug before the super guard made it back to his post.

When he did make it back he allowed me to walk out of the room that he didn't want to let me walk into with barely a second look.

Fuck this game. Fuck it,

Alekhine's Gun did not have to follow its rules so neither do I. I turned it off, placed it back into its envelope and bid it fond farewell. Good riddance. Some genre's are more easily enjoyable, in an ironic way, than others. Bad first person shooters can be a riot. Broken fighting games, equally so. But bad stealth games? No thanks.

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