Last week, I talked to you about the dreaded settings screen and how great it would be if the PC gaming environment was less complex and more newcomer-friendly. Keeping up with the theme, let’s take a look at a few other unnecessary complexities – brought to you in part by playing One Finger Death Punch far more than I probably should.
To get you all up to speed, One Finger Death Punch is a game you can literally play with one finger – two if you’re using a mouse. It has no movement, no text, and no plot – only an endless stream of color-coded faceless stickmen you are going to pound into a bloody pulp using nothing but “Hit Left” and “Hit Right”. The game has a bazillion levels, three difficulty levels and an “Endless” mode that means you can keep playing forever and ever, or at least until your thumb wears through the controller.
One Finger Death Punch is a small game, developed by a small studio but was disproportionately successful. To put things in perspective, the game was released more than three years ago, around the same time as Deus Ex: The Fall. Today, One Finger Death Punch currently averages 65 players a month while The Fall barely makes it to 15. So what does that tell us, apart from “The Fall” being indeed a fall and a game best left forgotten? It tells us that sometimes less is more.
Personally, my favorite genre is the Open World Game. It can be Fallout, it can be inFamous or it can be Urban Chaos (yes, the one from ‘99) – as long as I get a big, open world to roam around in and goof off, I feel like my time gaming has been well-spent. Naturally, open-world games capitalize on the player’s penchant for wandering off by sticking lots and lots of quests, collectibles and other rewards in the most forsaken corners. Some even outdo themselves by placing what’s known as a “Breadcrumb Quest” – a simple “Deliver this toothpick” job to get the player to drag himself across creation to the next hub. If you ever played an Elder Scrolls game for 200+ hours without meeting a single main-story NPC, you know what I’m talking about.
But here’s the thing: sometimes, I don’t want to spend 4 hours trekking across Skyrim. Sometimes, I just want to press a button and punch someone’s eyeball out. Worse yet, sometimes I don’t HAVE the 4 hours – I just want a quick, 10-minute session and if the opportunity for eyeball-punching presents itself I will certainly not decline. I doubt I’m so unusual here – in both regards.
Look at the recent game releases: No Man’s Sky, Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, World of Warcraft: Legion, and the upcoming Mafia 3, Gears of War, Shadow Warrior, Civilization 6 and the list goes on. Good games, for certain, but none of them satisfy that “I’m hosting a dinner party in 15 minutes so I’ll spend the next 10 doing something relaxing”. The only one that gets an honorable mention is N++ for being exactly like One Finger Death Punch in the way you can marathon it for hours or do a couple quick episodes. It’s also absolutely devious and a game I strongly recommend, but that’s besides the main point.
Thus concludes the complaining portion of the post; mostly. But what can we do? For starters we the gamers could vote with our wallets. Support the indie developers that create small-scale games that provide a few solid hours of fun because not everything needs 10 to 20 hours of a campaign. Pick up the occasional oddball game and give it a go. Try to be a bit more cautious when the scope of a game seems just a bit too big to be true (this is no part a jab at No Man’s Sky, I’m reserving that right for later). Of course, the media is just as responsible – we could (and we try) to pick up and play the small games as well as the major titles. We here at GamersPack played and reviewed a lot of indie titles just because we were intrigued by the game’s premise. Some turned out to be great, while others not so much, but all were interesting and different. Sometimes, the old saying is actually true – size does not matter.Some of our posts include links to online retail stores. We get a small cut if you buy something through one of our links. Don't worry, it doesn't cost you anything extra.