Nearly completed Alan Wake, and so far I’ve only really used the revolver. I’ve used the shotgun on a couple of occasions, the flare gun once by accident and the hunting rifle once.
It hit me that I was keeping them to one side. I always do. Simon’s just completed Dead Space and made full use of his arsenal – I remember when I played it, I only really used and upgraded the starting pistol weapon thingy. Come to think of it, BioShock too. I had a lovely catalogue of powerful weapons but only really stuck with the pistol, using the shotgun sparingly now and then.
I think I’m ill. I have an aversion to using the biggest and best weapons that game designers have spent hours lovingly crafting. I’m scared of wasting them. Does that make sense? It’s psychological – I’m worried that I’m going to be cornered, in a really sticky situation and I can’t get out of it because I’ve been arsing around, firing my massive plasma thingy into the air or something.
The worst thing is, though, that I know I do it, and that in doing so, I’m seriously decreasing my enjoyment of the game. Why shouldn’t I go mad and wipe everything on-screen out with a BFG in Doom? It’s like money; you can’t take it with you when you’re finished. All those ace weapons will disappear when the credits roll, so make the most of them while you’ve got them in your back pocket.
I’ve found, in my case, that the same isn’t true for sandbox games, though. In Grand Theft Auto IV, I’ll run around with a rocket launcher and terrorise the local Jewish populace. Er, not because I have anything against them, you understand… I just like their hats falling off when they run away.
I’m not really sure how to cure this. Do I have to loosen up [the weapons, not the Jew thing...]? Or is it a skill thing – hark at me, ploughing through Alan Wake with a pistol like Billy Big Bollocks. It increased the tension a wee bit, and there’s also an incentive to go back and play it again. Trolly through everyone with rifles and grenades.
But a game like Alan Wake, I have no intention of playing ever again. I love it, but it’s too story-focused. I don’t want the fuss of essentially reading the same book again just to satisfy an itchy trigger finger.
It’s a problem I’ll have to conquer myself. I obviously have some kind of horrible little bug feasting on the insides of my anus that I need to be rid of. I look back to a time when I was playing Resident Evil 2 when it first came out and I was a young, impressionable little shit. Ammo was really sparse and I had to make the most of everything I had. I blame the Resident Evil series for my woes. And Silent Hill, that essentially put me under the same predicament.
What a horrible thought. That one or two games from my youth have shaped the way I play forevermore. The only way to remedy this is to dip into Red Dead and shoot some cows in the face.