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Are 'Game Over' Screens A Thing Of The Past?

Tracey John of MTV Multiplayer writes:

"Dying in video games, like in real life, seems to be a natural part of the process. You play, therefore you die - and you usually have to start over.

But does it have to be that way?

Not necessarily..."

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AstroZombie13372d ago

No they've just been re-branded as mission failed.

Jdoki3372d ago (Edited 3372d ago )

It's an interesting point.

Take something like BioShock - the lack of a meaningful death severley diluted the experience for me. The menace of a Big Daddy meant nothing when I knew that even using a wrench I could eventually take one down with nothing more than time wasted on my part.

There was no in-game consequence, but I can't really see how a checkpoint or Game Over death system would have improved (or detracted) from the game - so I guess the respawn was the best (if totally flawed) answer.

A lot of gaming is about consequence and also risk vs reward.

Would we care so much if Mario just respawned next to the point of death rather than at a check point. Would the experience be further eroded if Mario had infinite lives instead of at least the consequence of having to go back to the start of a level after a number of fails?

Would we be so immersed in Resident Evil if we knew that death held no consequence at all? But isn't it kinda of trivial when trying to immerse a player in a game that we get a 'Game Over' screen and have to return to some arbitrary save point.

As games try to deliver more emotional and immersive experiences developers need to be far smarter in how they handle death in game. I can't see a simple solution and there certainly isn't a 'one size fits all' answer to this.

Perhaps one partial answer is to change the dynamics of some games. For example, in an FPS instead of being killed a player is wounded and captured or rescued.

It will be interesting to see what Heavy Rain delivers, if characters can die and not return.

In some ways games seem to be getting a lot easier. The old 3 lives and a few continues (if you were lucky) really helped focus the mind!

Dmack793372d ago

I hope not. We don't have much stuff left classic PS1 age...

Sharpshell3372d ago

Remember the psone era when there was a game over screen, then it went back to the main menu and you loaded from there, its the use of checkpoints that has really made game over screens obsolete... or at the very least you automatically load your last save nowadays, but I'd love if some modern games would readopt the older stragety, it really added something to the intensity to games like RE.

sukru3372d ago

Wow, you made me remember old RE2 times.

Me and my brother were not able to afford a memory card (back then), and had to finish RE2 from begin to end in one run (every time). This meant we were not able to "continue" as the other character, but it was much more challenging. (8 hours straight gaming, and any failure means a complete restart).

Now I'm spoiled, and use plenty of "checkpoints".

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