So I finally finished Resistance 2 this weekend. It was a really fun ride right up until the end. The end, I felt, was annoying as hell and I couldn’t wait to get through it.
Which felt really familiar to me. And thinking back, it seems that with any kind of action-based game (FPS or 3rd person action-adventure stuff) I always get annoyed at the end. (And keep in mind I don’t finish many games so maybe I’m just finishing the wrong ones.)
I can’t decide if my problem is due to me, or due to game designers. It might just be that once I “feel” the end is near I start thinking about the next game I’m going to play, so I get in a hurry to finish the one I’m currently playing and so anything that trips me up starts feeling like an annoyance rather than a challenge. I also always get into the “I just want to finish this before going to bed” trap and suddenly it’s 2 am, I’m dead tired and cranky and making stupid mistakes.
Or it might be the designers always feel like they have to add 1) a big “surprise” twist at the end of the game, which is so expected now that it isn’t the least bit of a surprise and 2) one big hoopla fight designed to challenge the players one last time.
I hate the twist…it’s become such a trope. Y’know, the whole game you’re fighting to get into the castle tower and you finally get there and “Oh no, the evil wizard left his minion behind and now he’s in the castle dungeon. Retrace your steps!” Or a favorite alternative is “Yay I killed the ultimate bad guy…game over? NO! He’s reborn in a more powerful form! Fight him again!”
And the hoopla… the reborn boss can kill that bird with the same stone. Other hooplas are a sudden absence of checkpoints or a new twist to the gameplay that changes everything around. For instance the end of Halo when it turns from a shooter into a driving game. In the case of Resistance 2 it was a series of 3 domes you had to travel through. As you entered each one you got locked inside and had to wait for the big bad to tear it apart to get at you. Said big bad is impervious to your weapons and easy to avoid (stand in the center of the dome) and he takes a LONG time to destroy the domes. I spent that time petting the dog since the game literally didn’t require my attention at all. Between the domes you have to fight and dodge insta-kill hurled debris, and if you die, you have to start before the first dome – no checkpoints. Then the very very end is Halo-like… traverse a crumbling installation before the timer counts down and blows everything up.
I don’t really play games for the challenge, which probably is why the endings are so annoying when that spike in challenge is probably appreciated by many players. Plus I always have more games that I want to play than available time to play them, so I like my games shorts and intense, so drawn out endings always dilute the experience for me.
Anyway, not really singling out Resistance 2 on this…it was a pretty good game overall, and it’s no worse in this ending respect than many other games I’ve played. And now I can play Resistance 3!