Daily Think: Regenerating Health

I will try to get back to doing Daily Thinks, like… Daily. Sorry. I’ve been sick and really busy. Also been working on a project I may get to talk about here soon.

Modern Warfare 3’s out.

Many of you may be aware that Call of Duty 2 popularized the idea of regenerating health (other games, like Halo, did it before). A lot of you hate regenerating health, and rightfully so. Most developers implement it wrong. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that the only times I’ve ever seen it done properly are in Infinity Ward and Epic’s games. See, regenerating health (and the cover that inevitably comes with it) isn’t inherently bad. In a game like Gears, it’s all about that feel of being in the trenches and fighting. Modern Warfare slows down the gameplay in order to establish a combat style specific to the genre. Halo does it because it puts you on a more even playing field with the AI, which Bungie learned through playtesting was more fun.

Health that regenerates simply because it simplifies gameplay is stupid. When it enhances the gameplay, as it does in the games listed above, it can be a great thing. Games like Far Cry 2 and Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth benefit from the health system they have.

Other games, like Mass Effect 2, have regenerating health “just because,” and there’s no thought put into why it ought to be that way. The game’s point is to make you feel like a space badass. Turning you into tissue paper is not the way to go about doing that.

Don’t hate regenerating health, people. Hate the implementation.

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