Okay game developers, it’s time you all came together and agreed upon a unified control system for all console games. Look at the great work the GSMA has done with telefony with all their standards — hell even mobile chargers are all the same now (bar greedy, greedy Apple). We urgently need to do the same with control systems in games.
Deus EX Human Revolution is the perfect example of this. This critically acclaimed game was on sale on PSN for £6.99, an unbeatable price. So off i trot, download it, load it up and die over and over attempting to get to grips with the control layout that is full-on broken.
via www.jmewhyte.comAim down sight is on the right analogue and works as a toggle. Call of Duty and Battlefield defined the left shoulder for ADS. It works well. There is no need to ever change it. Sprint on Deus Ex is top left shoulder button and not the standard L3. Why was this decision made? Muscle memory is essential to gamers, the intuitive way we pick up the pad and feel instantly at home with a game is mandatory to continued play. Think about how easy it is for you to use Ryu and Ken, you could play a round right now while reading this, just remembering the cross ups, specials and you’ll quickly notice your fingers dancing out the commands without thinking about them. I’m sure I can learn to play Deus Ex but there are now to sizeable barriers to this — firstly, I died on a checkpoint about 15 times on the way out of the lab at the start (it’s on hard, ok! :P) and secondly the problem is compounded by buttons that I’m not sure I have the willingness to overcome.
Contrast this with Dishonored [sic lol]. What appears to be a rather complex power system is made easily navigable with the ease of the controls. I unlocked the possession skill and on the first try dived into a mouse, snuck past the guards emerged on the other side, ready to assassiante a guard from behind. Everything felt natural and this is solely because the buttons are in the right place.
via www.jmewhyte.comDeus Ex might not get a replay for a long while.
Remembers the layout of Ocarina of Time, it was perfect and made traversing the 3D environments — still fairly new in 1998 — and tackling boss fights second nature.
When systems go wrong it’s borderline farcical (like Borderlands driving controls). The ultimate proponent of this has to be Metal Gear Solid — everything is just so confusing — if you aim, you can only cancel the shot by doing a mêlée attack. And then there is absolutely everything else — here’s Dara O’Briain running through its myriad of problems.
Dara O'Briain Metal Gear solid re-edit (via 0xshotgunx0)
Of course you can always master it — but why do developers put players through the ordeal in the first place. It’s like the Bloomberg banking terminal — it’s outdated and inefficient, but bankers like being able to say they can use the terminal even though its interface could be revolutionised quickly . We forgive MGS because the rest of it is brilliant and Kojima had the stones to make MGS2 utterly post-modern.
When control schemes go wrong, they become more memorable than the plot or any other part of the game. Resident Evil will be forever remembered for its atrocious control system, the impossibility of walking and shooting, swapping weapons without going into a menu, and an aiming mechanism that was like you were steering a tanker or a very large telescope with two hands. It’s so bad, it’s as if they did it on purpose.
Back in the early 2000s, FIFA was an incoherent mess compared to ISS Pro Evolution Soccer. There were early Fifa iterations where the players’ limbs had different skintones — Michael Owen black arms a personal fave. However when they finally got their shit together, one thing that undoutedly helped FIFA attract fans from its great rival was that it wholesale stole the command layout. Everything from how to execute through chipped through-balls to dummies and even sprinting. To retain a modicum of their own IP they simply swapped the shoot and long-ball buttons and labelled Pro Evo’s layout as "Alternate".
Call of Duty and Battlefield 3 have defined the FPS layout and if you swap from BF3 to CoD you’ll only bring up the scoreboard instead of spotting and knife instead of crouch. These minor tweaks mean swapping between playing both titles is workable if a little clumsy.
So let’s get this done. This is the start of a journey that will set out the standard for games.
The new normal layout for Action Adventure: FPS or 3rd person. Xbox buttons in brackets.
Square (X) — Interact / Cover / Weapon-wheel
Triangle (Y) — Reload
Circle (B) — Confirm menu selection / Crouch / Hold for prone
Cross (A) — Cancel menu / Jump
D-pad — Quick select weapon or skill
Left analogue — Move
Right analogue — Look (AND WHILE WE ARE AT IT INVERT-Y IS AUTO-ON, DEAL WITH IT)
L1 (LB) — Aim down sight / Lock on
L2 (LT) — Talent / Special / Other weapon
R1 (RT) — Fire
R2 (RB) — Grenade
(swapped Fire/Grenade buttons on Xbox/Wii U - thanks Spookyxelectric)
L3 — Sprint
R3 — Mêlée
Select — Menu
Start — Pause
Contact your favourite developers and let them know we need uniformity and if they are insistent on their own style, at least let us gamers reassign the buttons.