Thursday, November 6, 2008

The End

How important is the "end sequence" of a game?

How vital is this to you? How important should it be to a reviewer? Well, to those that actually, you know, finish a game. (10% tops, although I have zero data to support that. )

I finished Dead Space (PC) last night after 14 hours of game time. Review runs tomorrow. Pretty fun game, rips off a LOT of games before it, but I thought it was time well spent for the most part.

The end "boss" battle was a cheap frustration filled fun killer, though. Makes you replay sequences over and over and you can't even skip the cut scene leading up to it after you reload. bad bad bad.

Should that matter?

If so, how much?


Dan said...

Uncharted Drakes Fortune was my game of the year and it also had a totally out of place end sequence. In fact it was completely not in line with how the combat worked in the rest of the game. The end sequence was memorizing when to shoot, when to duck etc.

While this didn't ruin a great game and a great story it took me out of the immersion that the rest of the game had put me in.

Pete said...

I'll second the beef with Uncharted. Also, if I had wanted to fight the surprise bad guys that you had to fight (avoiding spoilers) for the last third of that game, I would have considered not getting Uncharted. I was fine with just the modern-day pirates. Talk about ruining immersion for me.

Jeff said...

Cutscenes that you can't skip are annoying enough without it being the prelude to a big battle that you are going to reload 50 times or so to finally get past. I remember frequenly reloading in different RPGs and a few versions of GTA and having to sit through the same dialogue again and again. I hate having to resort to a cheat code and further break immersion in order to get past an annoying encounter. Software companies need to adopt a "Contract With Gamers" (no relation to the 90s GOP congressional effort) that mandates that cutscenes shall always be able to be skipped, among other glaring design flaws.

I haven't had any glaring immersion breakers with an end-game battle in a while, but I've had "meh" moments come up of late with half-baked Shyamalan-esque plot twists, or unexpectedly wiping the floor with an overhyped boss villain like Indy one-shotting the arabian swordsman.

Brandon said...

Endings totally matter, but only for games that are good up until that point. No bad game has ever been redeemed by a great ending, but plenty of good games have been ruined by crappy endings.

As for how much it matters, I don't know. On the one hand, why judge an entire game playing experience by the last hour or so, but on the other hand, it is the last thing you remember about a game, so it should be good.