Sunday, February 3, 2008

Turning Point: Fall of Liberty -- Demo

What a fun little demo. I got stuck at a couple of points but still it was an enjoyable 10 minutes or so. I'm not sure it would have been accessible for a non-FPS gamer (there were no basic commands tutorial prompts) but the default difficulty was perfect for me. It's a great example of how throwing the player right into the action can work so well -- it was a white-knuckled ride to the finish line.

I also really like where games are going in terms of health status. No more health bars or health kits, just on screen visual cues when it's time for you to back off and take cover. In this game the world desaturates and starts to gray out as you take more damage. You know when you're full health because the world is full of vibrant color again.

Definitely adding it to my Gamefly Q. I've played too many WWII shooters to buy a new one.

A couple of quibbles:

  • I was allowed to fall and die about 10 seconds into the demo. No, I'm not opposed to player death. But it's probably a good idea to let the player learn the controls in relative safety without having to fear the reload for at least a few minutes.
  • There was a cool hand-to-hand minigame. However, the controls were hard to see (small d-pad labels in the bottom left of the screen). When you're in a life or death struggle with a Nazi soldier -- and he's staring you in the face -- you probably won't be able to pry your eyes away from the main action to see the d-pad indicators.
  • There were a couple of level design issues where I wasn't quite sure where to go next. I almost gave up once as I needed to search and mash buttons for over 2 minutes to figure out where to go next. While a tutorial catch prompt would have also prevented failure, this most likely could have been solved with lighting and in-game signage.

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