Back when Resident Evil 6 came out I heard all about how terrible it was and wanted to see for myself. So I rented a copy from Redbox to plow through the story and see what all the fuss was about. I also planned to give it a fair chance, since I didn't play Resident Evil 5 but did play 4.
I really...really didn't like it, but I was able to understand why some people would. My friend who lives nearby was interested in seeing the game after hearing conflicting reports about its quality, so I brought it over and let him play through the first act of Leon's and Chris's campaigns. He plays A LOT more video games than I do and proclaims to love games with great story above all other factors, same as me.
He pops the game in and my plan is to not say anything damning the game before he has gotten a taste of it firsthand. First thing he does is complain that he can't go anywhere, while I sit there wondering if he realizes that this is a heavily scripted sequence where he can only go forwards. Then when Leon sets Helena down and gets the green herb from the jeep, he runs around trying to escape the room and eventually shoots all of the bullets he has into the jeep windows, saying its stupid that they don't break. Just before the prologue is over, after the diving out of the way of that helicopter into the glass underneath you, you walk down a narrow path obviously artificially blocked off, and then jump into the arena-like area for the cutscene and title card. As soon as you character is controllable and you are supposed to walk down that path, he immediately tries to run off the path, and tries every single nook and cranny of the geometry trying to go somewhere else, complaining that he hates when games don't let you explore when I tell him he's just supposed to walk forward and that the game hasn't even started yet.
Finally he does get going in the regular game. First thing he does when we realize the tv brightness is too low, he turns it up waaaay past normal. Everything is visible everywhere and contrast is gone. He says he plays lots of games like this because he doesn't want to miss stuff (collectibles, not story). He starts to run through areas but the camera is tilted towards the ground, this is for the same reason he says, but it leads to him literally running into enemies and taking damage. Every single little area that you know is just for looks and contains nothing of use he walks over to, checks all the walls, checks the doors, tries shooting a few things, seeing if they will break. I started to go a little crazy, with sometimes long periods of time going by between anything happening story or even combat-wise. He almost didn't make it through Chris's first act, because these habits seemed to override checking to see if it was safe to cross a room full of enemies shooting at you.
My friend is not 12, and this is not his first time touching a video game. He's 23, same as me. He could just be a weird outlier of the gaming community, who takes in the information in a different way. But this is someone who I know is very very into JRPGs, and enjoys really demanding experiences like Demon's/Dark Souls, and finishing Ninja Gaiden and Devil May Cry on the hardest difficulties.
I got to thinking about how he and I differ on how we approach a video game. I think the majority of people on this site, myself included, seem to love the way
When I start a game, I let the game show me what the developers have guided me to see. If a game is good, they will have created a good balance of introducing me to new systems and mechanics, while telling me a story, or at least have given me a satisfying challenge using those systems and mechanics. I let my curiosity take hold when it seems to make sense and the game seems to have opened up for me to explore, but I don't go looking for the seams holding this imaginary world together as soon as I can. I don't like trying to intentionally break games, unless that is the point or it's so terrible that it's the only interesting and funny activity there is. To do that in every single game would probably just lead to terrible pacing and disappointment as you find that the invisible walls are a lot closer than you expected them to be.
So I pose this question to you guys: How do you approach a video game you have just started? Do you try to find the limits of what you can do and where you can go, even its not relevant to the type of game it is, or do you let the game show you what it wants first?
Also, why do you think my friend is so weird/sometimes terrible at video games? When I let him borrow MGS4, a franchise he is a big fan of, he hid in terrible places where I knew the enemy was going to walk and kept the camera looking at the wall while waiting for the alert meter to go away, and then tried to kill Raging Raven with a handgun.