By Jaqen_HGhar 5 Comments
What does your play style tell about you?
I am currently playing through a wonderful game called Deus Ex: Human Revolution. In this game you get the choice of how you want to play. You can be a human bullet dispenser, filling every moving thing with lead. Or you can stick to the shadows, acting like the ghost of a ninja. I am opting for the way I usually play games that give me this choice; being the stealthiest guy ever lived. In this game I am allowed to go to the utmost extreme of that style of playing, as I have gone through entire sections of the game without even harming an enemy. It was like I was never there.
Why do I always play like that? I was pretty sure I knew the answer, but when I really thought about it I realized it was deeper than I though. The obvious answer is of course "because it is badass to play that way". Come on, being a stealthy ghost of a character means I essentially play the part of Batman. Hiding in the shadows, striking fear in the heart of my enemy. Or just bypassing the enemy totally, never letting them know you are there. That saves bullets and ensures you live to fight another day. Or something like that. While these are valid reasons why I would play as a stealthy ninja-assassin in most games, I have one main reason not mentioned.
I hate jump scares. Yes, that is the sole reason why I play games the stealthy way when I get the option to. Sounds weird, right? But it makes sense. I am easily startled, and I hate that. Because of this I usually try to steer clear of everything with jump scares. Movies are fine now and then, but games are bad. Probably has something to do with the fact that when I am startled by a jump scare in a game, it usually leads to me dying due to those split seconds of being paralysed with fright.
This meant I needed a weapon against the hated jump scare. And I found that when playing the first Thief. In that game you play as a super stealthy master thief called Garrett. You can attack with your short sword, but Garrett isn't much of a fighter. Which means you must sneak around mansions and other locations, staying out of sight of the guards that want nothing more than bash your skull in. While the game has plenty of dark corridors, freaky sounds and scary locations I quickly realised that being unseen removed a lot of the stupid jump scares. If anything I was the one inflicting jump scares on the guards in the game when I suddenly whacked them in the head with myblackjack.
I also quickly realised I could bring this over into other games. I started moving about crouched, peeking around corners and generally trying to stay hidden. This worked better in some games than others of course, but I wasn't startled as often as I once was.
When I played games like Morrowind, Deus Ex (the original) and even the first Fallouts I was in my element. I slowly but surely moved towards being a master of the stealthy arts, having one singular goal: Never being surprised by the enemy. Years of playing like this has now made me almost unable to play these kinds of games any other way. No matter what I do I drift towards being stealthy.
One good example is my second playthrough of Fallout 3. I ended my first run of the game as a sniping ghost, never letting the enemy get close enough to see what my shirt said (this fictional shirt said "If you can read this you are already dead"). So I decided that I would play as a martial arts master, dabbling in the occasional minigun the second time. After about 20 hours in I realised I had turned into a stealthy ghost sniping people in the head, occasionally hitting them in the back with my fist instead. Which wasn't that far away from how I played it the first time.
So for me my irrational fear of jump scares has put a large impact on how I play games. And this has essentially made it hard for me to play certain kinds of games. Now, do you have a go-to style of playing a game? What is your reason behind that style, if you have one?