Regenerating Health: The Conflict Between Game Design and Narrative Consistency

Hardcore Gamer: Ever since Halo revolutionized the console shooter scene, many of its mechanics have become mainstays in the majority of first and third person shooters, and even crossed into other genres as well. The two weapon limit and regenerating health are the two most prominent mechanics from Halo, and have been used in countless games since. Regenerating health is the one I want to focus on here, as it’s a very divisive mechanic. Many consider regenerating health to be a blight on gaming and feel it shouldn’t ever be used, but I am of a different mind. There is a lot that a regenerating health system can offer in the right context, but there are also many issues that can crop up as well.

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ChaosKnight1665d ago

In many ways I think Halo ruined the FPS genre by taking all of the challenge out of fights by basically letting your character be invincible.

CrossingEden1665d ago

Did you really just say that Halo took out the challenge of fps fights? With it's innovative A.I.? High damage weapons, and lack of regenerating health? -_-

PixelNinja1665d ago

The first time you touch down on Halo and are swarmed by these AIs trying to outwit you was one of my most remembered moments in video games.

The AI felt like actual enemies trying to outplay you, in many ways Halo helped the FPS genre evolve into something more than fighting against cannon fodder.

LogicStomper1665d ago (Edited 1665d ago )

Errmmm, don't think so. Allow me to explain.

"Halo ruined the FPS genre by taking all of the challenge out of fights"

So what you're saying is that it is as easy to kill someone in CoD than it is in Halo?

Here is how quick it is to take someone down in CoD.

(Notice how the enemies don't even have time to react before they die.)

Now watch this one from Halo:

So tell me, which one requires more skill to play? How was the guy in the Halo clip 'invincible' when he had a complete advantage in terms of health? How did Halo take the challenge out of killing when the person with the over-shield just got owned?

You see, the difference between CoD and Halo is that Halo is not the first person to shoot gets the kill. That is the challenge in Halo that other games don't have. You may land the first two shots but boy, if that person turns out to be a pro player, you're gone.

mhunterjr1665d ago (Edited 1665d ago )

The fights are still challenging, they just enhanced the focus on gun play, and removed the focus on scavenging for health packs.

Not to mention halo2 actually removed the health bar altogether. Once your shield is down your a one hit kill

Ducky1665d ago (Edited 1665d ago )

... but Halo didn't even have regenerating health.
... but maybe I should read articles first. (doh)

BlackTar1871665d ago

People relate Regenerating Shields to regen health. Not that far of a leap.

PixelNinja1665d ago

The thing is, the Shield mechanic in Halo is totally acceptable since it is a sci-fi game and explained throughout the games lore how a Spartans armour works.

In Halo there is no regenerating Health, once your shields are down it is a one hit kill; shields aren't health. The shield mechanic adds a more tactical approach to combat as the players must lower each others shields before they can deal damage.

Regenerating health is however unacceptable out of context e.g. COD. A normal human can't magically regenerate health.

ziggurcat1665d ago

and the problem with regenerating health is... ?

eXclurel1665d ago

The problem is the characters regenerating without an explanation.

Spartan's have regenerating "shields". It is a power of their armor. The health does not regenerate. You have to pick up health packs.

In CoD and games alike you regenerate health. No explanation. Not even a ridicilous one. Not even a line like "I regenerate really quick.". It doesn't need to make sense realisticly. Just an in-game explanation.

ziggurcat1665d ago

it's a video game... it doesn't really need an explanation beyond that.

Hartsy1665d ago (Edited 1665d ago )

I won't Speke for battlefield 4 ATM for obvious reasons, but I did like hardcore mode in battlefield 3 where if you got shot your health wouldn't come back and you had to find a medic to treat you, gave the medic class reason

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