Wednesday, June 22, 2011

My Kingdom For a Health Pack

It occurred to me a while ago that in most games (and nearly all shooters) regenerating health has all but replaced the venerable health pack. I've been playing some older games recently and it's not just nostalgia talking when I say I miss those handy little white and red nuggets.

I just need to ask why? Is it because it's not "realistic" enough? Because magically regenerating bullet wounds are just so lifelike. Or is it because it streamlines gameplay? Nothing keeps you in the action more than ducking behind walls every 10 seconds while you wait for your health to regenerate. To me it seems like a case of laziness and pandering to the lowest common denominator. "Oh no, we might have to figure out where to put them! What if people get to a hard part without much health left? They might get frustrated and trade the game in!"

To this I say Grow a fucking pair, you nancies. Games are mindless enough as it is. Managing your health and scrounging to find more when you really need it adds another layer of depth to a game. I was playing Duke 3D recently, and had to run away from some enemies because my health was too low. I searched the whole level and found a secret area with an atomic health boost. It was like a gift from the gods. It felt extremely gratifying to be able to go back and kick the shit out of those enemies with full health.

Will we ever see the health pack make a comeback? I sure hope so. If not for video games then at least for the economy. The health pack industry has taken a huge hit because of this recent regenerating health fad. Many companies are being forced into massive layoffs. I mean, just look at these figures.

It just ain't right...

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