#1 Edited by adam1808 (1499 posts) -

So I had a friend over who doesn't play a lot of games, in fact the last game I think he played from start to finish was the original Dead Space back when it was released. Because he's a horror fan, I sat him down in front of L4D2 to see what he thought of it.

Now I consider L4D2 so be one of the most streamlined Valve games to date, it's oppressively linear and needs to be in order to keep the flow of the action up. However my friend managed to get as far as the motel in Dark Carnival before he got completely and utterly lost and ended up walking all the way back to the start of the level.

I assumed this is just due to the fact that I play a lot of games and get the visual language that devs use to point the player in the right direction, but then I've watched so many QL's where Jeff has gotten lost in linear games that I'm wondering whether some players pick up how games are signposted better than others.

So do you get lost in games that are essentially linear? And do you find yourself running up against invisible walls? I never do, so I'm wondering whether the reason my friend kept running up against them was because of not being trained by games to read the signs or whether your ability to know where to go differs from player to player.

#2 Posted by HH (610 posts) -

I used to a lot more than I do now, my sense of direction isn't the best, also it depends whether im stoned or not, but I think they've gotten the hang of nav points and map markers nowadays. I remember getting so lost so often while playing Doom 3, just trying to figure out how to get back on track was the biggest challenge of the game for me, on BOTH playthroughs.

#3 Posted by Brodehouse (9950 posts) -

I do think games train you. I'm playing through Fatal Frame 2 right now, and a majority of that game just sets you loose until you stumble into something. The only way to know how to continue is to have that sense of gameplay direction, to go "well, I entered the main chamber and ghosts spawned, I must be on the right track, this door is locked, there's an upstairs and a downstairs, but upstairs is just a book and downstairs is more ghosts so that must be the right way..."

I actually don't mind 'oppressively linear' games because most games are about the fun of the combat or the narrative, not about the joy of trying to find which way to go to make the next good part of the game happen. I don't want to 'explore' the worlds of Gears of War or Call of Duty, I just want to have fun with the combat. Some games the exploration is key (Skyrim, Infamous) but otherwise...

I actually like how Mass Effect separated action missions from walk-around-find-things-talk-to-people. I like my action missions to have urgency and direct narrative, I don't want to poke around crates for extra credits.

#4 Posted by adam1808 (1499 posts) -

@Brodehouse: Your point about Mass Effect is bang on, I think it's great that they incentivise exploration for story/character purposes and keep you going in a straight line for the action missions.

#5 Posted by dropabombonit (1490 posts) -

It happened to me when playing MGS4 again for the trophies. Right at the start of the game I forgot where to go when the Gekko show up

#6 Posted by mosespippy (4185 posts) -

The last time it happened to me was my second play through of Tomb Raider Underworld. I didn't get lost on the first try but during the second one I couldn't figure out how to get to the exit. That game is mostly about figuring out how to get from A to B so I guess that was the intention though. They give you an open area and then you explore and figure out how to reach the exit so I guess it's not super linear but there is only one correct path.

#7 Posted by EleFlameMax (386 posts) -

Be ten see.