THQ communications head, Huw Beynon has discussed the problem of trying to make a game too realistic and talked about how the “magic bullet pocket” in FPS titles drives him crazy.
Speaking to RPS about post-apocalyptic survival FPS Metro: Last Light, THQ’s head of communications, Huw Beynon, had a bone to pick with the notion of realism in games:
“I mean, realism in games is such an interesting topic, because there is no such thing. The whole thing is inherently unrealistic. Not just the world and the setting, just the fact that you’re going to lug three weapons around with you, or that when you pick up the ammunition, it goes into your magic pocket of bullets. And you can reload with half a clip and somehow all of it [transfers over].
“Everyone knows all of this stuff. You ignore some of these things because it’s better for gameplay. You can get too hung up on, you have to make all of this stuff super-realistic. Because if you did that you’d probably end up with a thoroughly unenjoyable game.
“The interesting thing for us is to see how close we can get. But I’d love to see a game that changed the whole [dynamic]. That, for me, is one of the things that really bugs me about that, the magic bullet pocket. It’s crazy.”
Much has been made of the bullet trading mechanic in Last Light’s predecessor, Metro 2033, and while it will feature in some form in THQ and 4A’s 2013 shooter sequel, the finishing touches are yet to be put on exactly how it will function.
For now, it seems that magic bullet pockets will remain but it seems that while some game conventions drive Beynon to distraction, others, such a silent protagonists, can only help immerse the player deeper in the experience.
“You as the player, you’ve been asked to assume the role of this character. And you can tell a lot more in the way that others react to you than you can by hearing your character respond,” said Beynon.
“Obviously, in Metro we give you the choice to make very real, impactful decisions that will fundamentally change the path of the game and the end of the game throughout. So having him come out and say something that maybe doesn’t sit quite right, it doesn’t really add anything to his character development.
“You look back to something like a Half-Life 2. You understand, the minute when Gordon steps into a room and someone [simply reacts]. The reaction of the other people around him, the character is built up that way as they respond to him. You begin to piece it all together. I find that’s a far more interesting way of telling a character’s story than having him [talk a bunch].”
Metro: Last Light will follow the continuing story story of Artyom, as he explores Russia’s underground subway system after an apocalyptic event drove humankind underground. VG247’s most recent preview of the title is here, while the live-action trailer giving clues as to how the cataclysm came about can be spied through here.