on Sep 29, 2011
In this episode we talk about how tutorials seem to be “eating” games, becoming a larger and larger part of the experience. I think this is a natural result of a few factors:
- Games being more thorough about teaching mechanics. (Very good change.)
- Action games becoming more complicated. (A neutral change, depending on who you ask.)
- Games getting shorter. (Very bad change).
To be fair, I don’t know how I’d improve Assassin’s Creed 2 with regards to tutorials. It does feel like they go on for a long time, but it’s introducing skills as you need them, as opposed to front-loading them in the opening chapter. It integrates them with the story, showing Ezio transforming from a slightly spoiled, unfocused young man into a grim killing machine. It would be terrible if this happened in a single cutscene, or if he magically began kicking ass without anyone teaching him anything.
I can’t think of how you could cut down on tutorials without sacrificing story coherency, removing gameplay, overloading new players, or leaving newcomers to learn under duress.