I still can’t imagine the rationale for this. This wasn’t an accidental oversight, this was a design decision. A decision to give an option that makes no sense and is useless to both invert and standard style gamers. Why would anyone want to invert the controls sometimes?
This is exactly the sort of thing that ought to come out in testing. I know I make fun of Valve and their obsessive-compulsive testing loop, where they will take an already awesome game and work on it for months and months just to make it slightly more awesome. But Double Helix seems to have gone to the opposite extreme. The camera inversion, the difficulty spikes, the unclear and frustrating dodge mechanic, the game-killing three-nurse fight, the game-killing mechanic of a foe that can only be killed by bullets: All of these are things that would have been easily smoothed over with some very straightforward tweaks to gameplay. Just a couple more weeks in the oven would have translated into vast improvements to gameplay.
Double Helix is an odd developer, and I’m still not sure what to make of them. One of their current projects is the tie-in game for the upcoming G. I. Joe movie. The movie itself looks to be an awful bastardization, and movie games usually drop the quality meter a few points beyond that. This does not inspire confidence. (The movie looks less like an adaptation done with caution and love – Spider-Man and X-Men spring to mind – and more an adaptation done with greed and contempt for the source material – like LXG or Transformers.)
I’m not sure what to make of these guys. During their interview with The Escapist, I got the impression that they weren’t really Silent Hill fans. They didn’t hate it, but they weren’t passionate about the series either. Like the G. I. Joe game, they were given some IP and sent off to see what they could do with it. That’s not a crime, but it’s not exactly the kind of daring artistic endeavor that will excite the fan base. Or anyone else.
The thing is, I want these guys to succeed. Unlike Yahtzee, I don’t think the franchise needs to die. Silent Hill is traditionally not hampered by the need for canon-clogging continuity. Each game can take the premise (twisted other-reality ghost town) and do something fresh with it. There’s no reason you can’t just keep making them. This is in contrast to something like Resident Evil, where each new game adds to the rancid heap of nonsense and stretches the limits of disbelief as the Umbrella Corporation engages in ever-more destructive and unprofitable enterprises for no other reason than they need to make monsters for you to shoot. Double Helix doesn’t have this problem with Silent Hill. They have everything they need to make the thing work. Aside from enthusiasm.
The Loot Lottery
What makes the gameplay of Borderlands so addictive for some, and what does that have to do with slot machines?
TitleWhat’s Inside Skinner’s Box?
What is a skinner box, how does it interact with neurotransmitters, and what does it have to do with shooting people in the face for rare loot?
Trashing the Heap
What does it mean when a program crashes, and why does it happen?
In Defense of Crunch
Crunch-mode game development isn't good, but sometimes it happens for good reasons.
Are Lootboxes Gambling?
Obviously they are. Right? Actually, is this another one of those sneaky hard-to-define things?