Tuesday, March 31, 2009


[I have a feeling I've made a post similar to this before... never mind]

Some games walk a fine line between joy and frustration. Platformers practically live off this balance, with the hardest sections relying on perfectly timed jumps, leading to endless repetition. I have managed, however, to find the most frustrating piece of gaming I have encountered in a long time.

Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, is a first person shooter set in an alternate modern day, where Russia has been split by civil war, and there are many people taking advantage. It tries to get a feeling of realism, in that any enemy can easily kill you with a few bullets, especially on advanced, the difficulty I played on. It balances this by regenerating health, so if you get hit by a stray bullet, you can take cover and recover as if it never happened. While this is somewhat unrealistic, you feel agreeably mortal, and the effect is to force you to keep your head down at certain parts of the game. COD also includes checkpoints, points where you will reload from if you die. These can be... far apart.

So theres a mission in which you and your captain, both members of the SAS, attempt to assassinate someone, and then when it goes wrong, you have to run for it. Making it to the extraction point, with the captain injured and unable to move (but still able to fight), you then need to hold off the enemy while waiting for a helicopter to arrive.

Heres the thing. There are two of you, and dozens of them. If you fight honestly, as if you were really in that situation, you will die. The ONLY way to survive is to take advantage of the AI, so moving to a position where they will not attack you... although they still should. Even this doesn't help that much, because once the helicopter has arrived you need to get back to the captain (who thankfully is invincible), and get to the helicopter. No easy task, I can assure you.

The entire section is about 5 minutes long, with no checkpoints. I finally completed it yesterday, after having spent approximately 3 HOURS doing it.... ARGH.

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