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.
The Terrible New Thing
Fidget spinners are ruining education! We need to... oh, never mind the fad is over. This is not the first time we've had a dumb moral panic.
Game at the Bottom
Why spend millions on visuals that are just a distraction from the REAL game of hotbar-watching?
So what happens when a SOFTWARE engineer tries to review hardware? This. This happens.
PC Hardware is Toast
This is why shopping for graphics cards is so stupid and miserable.
Mass Effect Retrospective
A novel-sized analysis of the Mass Effect series that explains where it all went wrong. Spoiler: It was long before the ending.