We’ve all been there. Imagine this: You find yourself in a dark, foreboding corridor of some creepy facility with a torch that’s not as powerful as your average mobile phone’s ‘torch’ mode, casting a dim light into the distance. Your head… hurts. Must have been that [insert name of relevant: zombie/beast/abomination] you encountered previously who had a killer right-hook and fancied nibbling on your leg like it was a chicken drumstick. You rustle through your medic pack and apply your last bandage. That’ll keep you going for a while. You hope.
The facility’s main alarm goes off, alerting any nearby creature with even a passing interest in human flesh to your presence. Your heart beats a little bit faster, unsure of what’s to come. In the distance you make out the silhouette of some 7ft tall creature who’s making good progress towards you probably due to a good-fitting pair of trainers it took off the last victim. Shotgun out: let’s go for a head shot shall we? Nice and easy. *click*. Oh dear.
Rather than act with any kind of haste within this situation, your character finds it best to slow things down a bit. You leisurely reload your gun, give it a good spit and polish, before realising the creature’s just a matter of metres away from you now. You raise up your shotgun once more at the point where the creature’s forehead rests on the end of the barrel just as you pull the trigger and blow it’s head off. Phew- that was a close one!
Chances are, if you’ve played a RTS at any point, then you may very well have encountered a similar scenario to the one I’ve painted above. Some games handle this reasonably well: you’re either provided with an ample amount of health packs and ammunition, or at least a good, reasonable stock. Other games leave you broke, quite literally. I’ve mainly found this to be the problem with Fallout 3 and BioShock. What sort of problems you ask? It can range from lack of ammo, lack of money to buy ammo, or failing that… the weapon breaks. Unreal!
To make matters worse, I usually find myself in these situations when an enemy I’ve encountered simply refuses to die (like emptying a few rounds of shotgun ammo onto them, the machine gun, the crowbar, and in-between all that, setting the b******* on fire about five or six times). That particular example was BioShock, if you’re wondering. And no, it wasn’t a Big Daddy.
I give up
Well, not quite. If I’m going through a bit of a gaming slump, it doesn’t help matters that I’ve got a couple of perfectly good games just lying there, un-played for the most part. Every time I fire them up again just to see if I can get a bit further, I’m presented with failure. But there’s one trick left up my sleeve- the guidebook! I plumped for the Fallout 3 official guidebook and was shocked at the sheer size of it. Heck- it was giving some of my law books a run for their money! Now, reading a big, chunky guidebook for trying to understand/play a game doesn’t really appeal to me, but I won’t be defeated by these games. I’ll see how my reading goes, and I’ll report back on anything particularly amusing.
Does anyone else share my pain, or at least understand the problems I’m having? Are you having similar problems? Or am I just a lost cause? This situation has been driving me mad for months, so it’s felt good to get this off my chest. There, I’ve said it! :p