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 Bad Controls Equal Tension?

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Do Bad Controls Equal Tension?
Yes, the constraint heightens the tension.
Bad Controls Equal Tension? Vote_lcap50%Bad Controls Equal Tension? Vote_rcap
 50% [ 1 ]
No, that just simply annoyes the player.
Bad Controls Equal Tension? Vote_lcap50%Bad Controls Equal Tension? Vote_rcap
 50% [ 1 ]
Total Votes : 2


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Join date : 2009-07-13
Age : 29
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Bad Controls Equal Tension? Empty
PostSubject: Bad Controls Equal Tension?   Bad Controls Equal Tension? EmptyThu Jul 30, 2009 2:19 pm

So this is something that has been floating around in Resident Evil 4 and 5 since both of them have been released and, each time this is brought up, the argument always irks me. There's been a major complaint involving the controls for these two games which ends up with split views and stupid online arguments. I don't mind arguments to a degree, as in ones that are articulate and have mature arguments for their side, but few know that art form online.

Anyways, the issue usually involves two things relating to the controls. The first is that one cannot move while shooting; one has to come to a complete stop, aim, and then shoot. The second is that to face a direction and run in that direction, you don't just press in that direction and you then face that direction to run, you have to slowly turn right/left so that you can actually go in that direction.

Now, the main argument people have for why these controls are good is because they add tension to the gameplay. The game is in the survival horror genre, so tension is good. There's another argument, but it has less impact: it's the "I made it through the game with those controls and that means it is good" defense. I'm sure you can see the problem with the defense... which would be that it claims anything bad that you can bare through the course of the game (e.g. music, graphics, story, the game itself) is actually good and, thus, deserves a good score.

Our main focus is on the main argument which states that those controls, arguably bad in themselves, help to build tension. Now, I come from the logic that controls are a key part in a game, should be fluid, and that, in most cases, bad controls don't make me tense. No, bad controls usually annoy and frustrate me to no end just; similar to how in a book the protagonist doesn't take the weapon away from the antagonist and that causes the protagonist to be injured or die later on: there's other examples for that, but I can't list them all.

Tension, at least in the sense involving stories, is almost interchangeable with suspense: that uncertainty and anxiety of what will happen next. Being able to not move in a particular way does not cause me to feel uncertain and anxious of what lies ahead; unless this involves the character being injured and not being able to move as well, but that's not the case for that. That's more of an annoyance than anything because it is annoying to not have controls that way.

Now, what I was taught in my Comp II class, surprisingly not my Creative Writing class, is that the most tension comes from being in a place with limited space. For an example: escaping a man with a knife in the woods has less tension than being in a small room with one exit and that man with the knife is blocking the exit. Though I like to think tension truly comes from being in a large area we assume to be safe, but this area is constrained so much and the character isn't safe. An example would be the forest scene (during the day this time) again, but instead of a single man, there's several men that end up getting you in a situation where you can't run away in that area... well, I assume some would consider that a small area though.

If you look at certain scenes in RE5 you will see there are spots that truly have that tension. Such as one of the early scenes, in which you are inside of a house as the infected close into the home and there's no way your can actually get out. After defending off these infected for awhile, a giant (don't know actual name) busts throw a wall with a giant hammer, or is it an ax, and thus giving you an opening to run out of; however, if you can't infer, he's blocking the path. So this causes you to retreat to a dead end that you came (jumped down from a small cliff) from to hold off the infected and to get the giant out of the way. However, this isn't over yet, as you got to get out of this home/backyard area and into the city, which you soon will find out is about as confined as the home because all of the infected are closing in on you and making this open area much smaller.

Actually, another example, though not going by the confined space theory, is in the game Resident Evil: Code Veronica X. In that, before going into certain rooms at a certain time, the scene of opening the door will slow down with the sound of your heartbeat. This leads you to believing that something is ahead, this can fool you of course, and you may have to face some new monster. So as your character slowly begins to open the door, you are trying to figure out what's going to happen, if something will jump out, and several other things. And that doesn't involve controls in anyway besides pressing the action button.

Now that's tension. What wasn't tension was me trying to get my character to move through the area, as I had to come to a complete stop at times, but not responding as the character should. What's even more annoying is when I think of the fact that I have to come to a stop to shoot those running at me with a weapon; as I know in real life, I would be running and shooting behind into the horde in an attempt to hit something.

Indeed, this rant does have a point and a question. That's what do you think about that? Does having such a control scheme actually causes more tension? Or does that scheme just increase annoyance in playing that game?

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