Frustration and Difficulty Progression Thoughts

Graph 1: Difficulty over Time

A couple of weeks ago I posted a message about how Cold Fear was driving me up the wall with a sudden spike in difficulty. This post proved to be somewhat inflammatory, and a lot of you came out to tell me to stick with it a little longer. I did, and you guys were right–the game fixed itself. But the episode got me thinking about how difficulty and frustration interact as a player plays a game through for the first time. Specifically, a couple of comments about simply stepping up to the challenge and becoming a better player rather than whining about the difficulty got me thinking: I don’t mind hard games at all, and usually I’m more than happy to spend some time iterating over the same challenge until I’ve improved my skills. But occasionally, the difficulty level is high enough that I stop having fun. This is certainly what happened in to me a few hours into Cold Fear, even though that game is still easier than other games that I’ve completed without becoming frustrated.

So I thought about it for a bit and decided to visualize my complaint with Cold Fear in the form of the all-powerful line graph. I have two graphs to show, one tracking the difficulty of several games over time and the other showing the relative frustration I felt with those same games over the same amount of time. The levels here are completely subjective: I don’t expect other people to have felt exactly the same way as I did about these games, so before you get bent out of shape about how Siren is totally easy or Halo is amazingly hard and frustrating, realize that these are my impressions alone. Chill, ok?

You are probably like, “wait, did he say Halo?” Yeah, it seems a little out of place in this graph, I have to admit. But I am including it here for a good reason: it’s an extremely popular, extremely highly-rated game (also I just finished it the other day, so it’s fresh in my mind). If you get 97% on and sell over 6 million copies, you have to be doing something very, very right. So I’m using Halo as a baseline in this graph to show how other games relate in terms of difficulty progression and frustration over time.

This first graph shows the level of difficulty I perceived for several games. You can see that Cold Fear started out fairly easy but then spiked really high early on. It was during this spike that I vented my frustration about the game on this blog. After that, the difficulty drops off very quickly and stays pretty shallow after that point (note that I’m not quite done with the game). Siren also started easy and then spiked dramatically. When this happened I ranted about it here. Unlike Cold Fear, Siren doesn’t get a whole lot easier over the course of the game–it stays pretty damn difficult until the very end. Silent Hill 4, on the other hand, was a walk in the park for the first half of the game and then suddenly became quite difficult in the second half. Finally, you can see that Halo’s difficulty curve is pretty uniform: it gets harder at a predictable rate but never spikes. It also never becomes super-difficult; even at its hardest, it is easier than Siren and Silent Hill 4. Halo has a very well-defined difficulty curve, while these other examples are less regular.

The second graph shows how frustrated I was by these games at different points in my play-through. You can see that Cold Fear got super frustrating at the same point that it was super difficult, prompting my rant. Siren was also super frustrating when the difficulty spiked, which is probably why I ranted about it as well. Silent Hill 4 was not very frustrating early on, but after a while the game became difficult and frustrating and stayed that way through the end. Halo has no spikes, and though the frustration level does rise with its difficulty, it manages to stay pretty frustration-free throughout the entire experience. It seems clear that spikes in difficulty are sources of frustration for me, but what I think is interesting about this graph is what happens to Siren after the spike: even though the game remained difficult, I was less frustrated by it the more I played it.

So what’s going on here? Cold Fear gets super hard and super frustrating and then becomes super easy and less frustrating. Siren gets super hard and super frustrating but then becomes more fun without losing any of its difficulty. If my theory is that hard games are frustrating, or even that dramatic spikes in difficulty are cause for frustration, it should follow that Siren would remain frustrating

Graph 2: Frustration over Time

throughout its duration.

Here is my theory: frustration isn’t as much a function of difficulty as it is a function of communication with the player. In fact, unplanned spikes in difficulty are probably caused by poor player communication, which is also the source for frustration; the first graph is not the cause of the second, they are both side-effects of the same problem. As Halo demonstrates, when difficulty increases gradually, the player himself improves and no frustration is evident. Most designers probably intend for their games to become incrementally harder over time, so spikes in difficulty and frustration represent unplanned-for failures to communicate the rules of the game.

Let me elaborate by looking at why Cold Fear suddenly became so hard and frustrating for me:

  • I didn’t know where to go next, and there is no map to aid me.
  • While searching the ship for the next story event, I kept running into monsters that respawned, causing me to run out of health and ammo.
  • It wasn’t clear that the ship’s sick bay only had a limited number of health packs. Until the second-to-last pack is used, it appears that the supply is infinite. This mistake led me to be less frugal about health pack use than is required.
  • Many doors are difficult to see because they blend in with the background colors.
  • When I finally found the next story point and saved, I was in too weak a condition to actually address the challenge immediately following the save. Thus I was required to complete that challenge with minimal life and ammo, which was significantly harder than would have otherwise been the case.
  • Normal challenge elements (such as the rocking of the boat) were amplified by the lack of regular resources caused by the problems above.

Almost all of these problems are communication issues: the game didn’t tell me where to go, didn’t tell me when an auto-save was coming up (or how prepared for a fight I should be after the save), didn’t tell me that I was quickly using up resources on the ship, and didn’t make it easy to find my way around. None of them have much to do with the normal moment-to-moment game play; they are “meta design” problems. Also, I think that these problems occurred early in the game because it takes players a while to get a hang of all the rules. As game play progresses and the player gets the hang of the rule set, these sorts of communication errors are probably less frequent.

The problems plaguing Siren were similar. As I posted about later in my Siren experience (and expanded upon in my eventual review of the game), the spike in difficulty and frustration in Siren is caused by insufficient communication with the player about the mechanics of the game. The central mechanic, sneaking, isn’t even clear until the player gets to the point where they cannot progress without sneaking extremely carefully. What happened to me in Siren is that I didn’t understand how to play and got frustrated with it, but my frustration level dropped through the floor and I started having fun again when I eventually figured out how the developers wanted me to play. The game was still damn difficult, but once I understood the rules the difficulty seemed legitimate rather than arbitrary.

In fact, when I think about it, Silent Hill 4 is a similar story. The difficulty level spiked half way through the game because I didn’t understand how to take care of the apartment. In the first half of the game the apartment is a source of infinite health (you can return there to heal at any time), but if you fail to light candles this benefit is lost in the second half of the game. I missed the connection between the candles and the quality of the room, which meant I suddenly lost a way to regain health and the game’s previously trivial game play suddenly became extremely difficult (this mistake also meant I wasn’t able to get the best ending–damn it).

So my conclusion is that games that suddenly become frustratingly difficult are probably failing to teach the player what is expected of them and how the game is to be played. If this happens early enough in the game we can just call it a “steep learning curve” (it’s obvious within the first hour of Resident Evil that you must aggressively conserve ammo), but if it happens after the player has made significant progress, it makes the game feel like it is punishing the player arbitrarily–it’s suddenly a matter of luck rather than one of skill. Games like Halo are probably successful on such a huge scale because they teach the player the rules early on and then gradually increase the level of challenge without ever changing the rule set.

18 thoughts on “Frustration and Difficulty Progression Thoughts

  1. Hey Chris, even though I had a fair idea what the candles and medallions did in SH4 (good ol’ examine), I can see where you’re coming from when it comes to communicating their purpose in the apartment for the first time.

    For me, it was by accident (still wearing a medallion as entered the room) that I discovered that items could be used in both worlds. For the player, the idea of alternate realities is pushed so much through the use of both 3rd and 1st person (rather than changing surroundings) that feel like you should be playing 2 different games. Very rarely will Henry use items in the room and all hints come from examination of items, unlike the other worlds where it reverts to classic survival horror and you’re constantly engaged.

    It wasn’t a major issue for me (that shock moment happened only once) and a lot of vital info is played out in the cut-scenes and mis-en-scene without notice (specifically the candles), much like Siren.

    I like this from a ex-film student perspective, because a player HAS to pay attention to the story (why should you have forced dialogue that hampers immersion?); but at the same time you’re ultimately distracted between narrative and mechanical information because ultimately, you’re not watching a film, you’re playing a game.

    I have to admit, but I managed to learn more things from the Official Guidebook, which I bought purely as a sort of artwork companion, than anything in-game (most specifically the Ghosts). It kind of leads me to believe that Silent Hill 4 was even more rushed than we were lead to believe.

  2. Fantastic article!

    I wish more games would break down their scores in this fashion. I’m tired of it always focusing on the WIZZ-BANG-GRAPHIX factor and a meager paragraph on gameplay.

    Too many commitee driven games, or games designed by the inexperienced, often have these sudden spikes.

    I’d also suggest a REWARD comparison. Rewards can be new information, new characters, new weapons, new mechanics… anything that is presented in a fresh and exciting manner that lures you into the next level (and the next new reward). It should be a nice steady climb 🙂

  3. I understand your point about halo doing something right, but as an action FPS game, it doesnt really fit in with horror (or survival horror) games per say. Was there no better bench mark you could give as a horror game for a well designed learning curve?

    I only ask because the nature of horror requires a different kind of learning curve over action games. Action can get away with telling you the rules of the game from the outset and uses other elements of game mechanics to maintain a challenging game. Horror on the other hand often uses the ongoing development and changes of rules in order to create horror. I guess what I am asking really is that do you think Halo can really provide a fair benchmark in this test?

    I think this is, as usual an excellent article.

  4. >Lee

    “I guess what I am asking really is that do you think Halo can really provide a fair benchmark in this test?”

    Yes. I also considered using Super Mario Bros. for the baseline, but Halo was a better choice because its more modern and has modern analogs to the games I am discussing (saves, check points, etc). I probably could have gone with Grand Theft Auto, although that would have been harder because it’s non-linear. The Zelda games might have been a good choice, but I’m not terribly familiar with them.

    I guess my argument is that most games are designed to increase in difficulty at a steady rate. Whether the rules change or stay the same, the challenge should become predictably greater as the player plays (and the player himself should be getting better, so the level of frustration should remain constant). Very good games do this very well; Halo is one of those games, and it was a useful selection because I want to describe this problem as something that affects video games as a whole rather than just horror games.

    And no, I couldn’t come up with an example of a horror game that increases in difficulty with the finesse and ease that Halo does. Resident Evil’s learning curve is too sharp, Silent Hill’s is too shallow. Horror is interesting because often the player is willing to put up with more frustration than normal so that he can experience the content (see: Rule of Rose, Kuon, etc). But still, I don’t think that game designs should have to lean on their story and visuals for support; in an ideal world, both the mechanics and the content should be awesome.

    Of course, games that actually pull that off are few and far between. So while Halo’s not a perfect game, in regards to its difficulty progression I thought it was pretty damn good, and was useful to contrast the other titles in the graph.

    Finally, I don’t think that keeping the rules the same is a requirement for good difficulty progression (though it makes it easier, I am sure). I also don’t think that changing the rules midway through a game is a requirement for horror. Either way, I think the important thing is not whether or not the rules change, but that those rules are well communicated to the player.

  5. “And no, I couldn’t come up with an example of a horror game that increases in difficulty with the finesse and ease that Halo does”

    Dark Watch would come darn close. The HALO-ness
    of the Xbox port made me enjoy it a lot.
    That and all the Zombie blasting 🙂

  6. Hi, this is my first time here. I’m from Spain, so my English may be not so accurate. Sorry for that.
    I like these articles you write theorising about survival horror. I like also analising these games buy I couldn’t put it words as well as you do.

    Well, to the point. I mostly agree in all the games. I played again Silent Hill 4 two months ago and I noticed it was not so difficult as the first time once you know how to play it. In my opinion the game is not so difficult, you don’t need to deal with final bosses and there are strategies to keep the girl outta peril.

    In the Siren example, I totally agree with you.
    When Siren 2 was released in Europe, most reviewers rated it best than the original, for fixing some problems. I don’t think Siren had such problems, but the fact was some people wasn’t ready to play it and accept it as a survival horror different to Resident Evil, where you had no need to hide from the enemies.
    On the contrary, I think that Siren 2 lost some of the things that made the original one great. I still like Siren 2 for its storyline and for the additions it had and still its a very good game. But it lost somehow the feeling of the first one. In this case the perceptions of some people about a game that maybe was not made for them is what made them find it frustrating. But as you say, is not frustrating at all once you get into the mood of the game.

    I also have experienced frustration with some console RPG’s. In many of them you get to a point where you find a final boss that can kill you quickly if you have not acquired well the game mechanics . This is why I find some of the Final Fantasy games frustrating while some people find them quite easy.

  7. as a side-note, Illbleed would’ve been a great example for an extreme case on the graph – i just re-read your review, and you seemed to think it had a fairly consistant *very* hard difficulty level, and your score reflects that greatly. personally, i felt about Illbleed similar to how both you and i felt about Siren, in spite of all the curveballs they throw at you in Illbleed… my intuition became much better, and after a few levels in the game you get enough money to buy all sorts of items and surgery to help survive some of the more inevitable damage you sustain. oh, that and i also learned only when fighting that tree boss that the dodge button will save you, even if you dont physically miss the attack.

    anyway… as another, last thought: I think something that very much affects matters of frustration and enjoyment of the game is the *high* you get after getting past a certain slump in, especially, a game with a high learning curve. after you’ve been frustrated to death, struggling to progress through some particularly difficult areas in a game, once you get past such difficulties and figure out, as you said, how the developers want you to play. i’ve had it happen to me in a number of games i found to be really difficult… normally, it involves stepping back and putting away the game for a bit, and then going back to play again. after you get over the slump, it can virtually seem a whole new game, and you’re so delighted at the obvious signs of personal improvement… it’s really a very potent feeling – i cant imagine that i’m the only one who’s experienced this, i think surely many people would’ve stuck it out with Siren, in particular, must know what i’m talking about.

  8. Cheers for the reply Chris.

    I take your points about Halo, I figure I’m maybe a little suprised and / or dissapointed that there isnt a horror game that has as well a designed learning curve then. You are right, it probably made sense to use an industry benchmark so you could look at the argument over computer games as a whole and not just the horror genre, but part of me would have liked to have seen a horror game with a similar learning curve to halo in its place, and maybe a non-horror game comparison (with halo as the benchmark). Oh and I wasnt saying changing the rules midway is a recipe for horror, just that they can often be for changed for that means!

    It is interesting that players are often prepared to put up with more frustration in horror, but ideally as you say, there would be a combination of excellent mechanics as well as content. I figure that some of the best games use the communication of the game rules to their advantage, rather than as a necessary evil.

    Cheers for responding!

    Carlos said: In this case the perceptions of some people about a game that maybe was not made for them is what made them find it frustrating.[/i]

    This is probably the best description of modern video games I’ve ever read!

    It would seem that most people are simply looking for more of what they already know, like Halo and Resident Evil and just about every other sequel. At the same time, the essance of survival horror is NOT knowing what to expect.

    feighnt said: [i]i cant imagine that i’m the only one who’s experienced this, i think surely many people would’ve stuck it out with Siren, in particular, must know what i’m talking about.

    Again, this is exactly how I feel toward games. I NEVER play with a guide because it seems totally backward to me. The only reason I play is to challenge myself (well, and have some fun.) Games like Siren are the perfect example of equal reward for time spent in a blinding rage. (btw, Siren is my top survival horror game…yep, even over Silent Hill!)

    Thanks for the great post Chris!

  10. The following is not meant to be in any way insulting or condescending – promise!

    Sounds to me like you may not be that good at these kinds of games! I found both Cold Fear AND Silent Hill 4 (on PC) to be walks in the park. Sure, they had their frustration, but I got through each in one weekend, easily.

    You ranted previously that you have a problem running out of ammo shooting the same respawning enemies. My question is, “why do you keep shooting respawning enemies?” The goal of the game is not to kill everything, but to . . . ahem . . . survive from one level to the next. If you know a particular monster is a respawner, then either run around it, or shoot it till it goes down and keep moving. Why is that so hard?

    As for the communication issue – where a game may not communicate to you, the internet certainly does! Anything you don’t understand can be readily solved with a quick online search.

    Yes, not all game designers hold your hand through a game. Again, this is Survival Horror, stress SURVIVAL. The whole point is to put you in an impossible situation and try to make you as close to the character as possible in terms of strength and weakness. If you are armed to the teeth like Rambo, the game is no longer suspenseful.

    The point of these games, then, is to scare you, disorient you, and challenge you – when they are at their best (ie, the original Silent Hill, Resident Evil 2) you start to dread even entering the next room!

    Maybe you just don’t really like Survival Horror – is that possible?

  11. One more thing – Resident Evil 4 is probably the HARDEST game I have ever played. Even so, I stuck it out and got through a certain part that was eating my lunch (the cabin ambush). Once I got through it, I think I turned a corner, and the rest of the game, while still difficult, became much more doable, and thus, fun!

    In other words, I think there was an adjustment period I had to get through. And I think alot of games are like that. When I think back through the games I nearly gave up on – (TUROK EVOLUTION on Gamecube, RE: Code Veronica, 007: Everything or Nothing) – I realize that, once completed, they become instant favorites because I have that sense of “I accomplished something!” I didn’t just breeze through from scene to scene, but I really did in fact SURVIVE!

  12. Hi Bob,

    The “just suck less” argument came up in my previous post about Cold Fear as well. People who played the game on PC in particular found it easy. I’m willing to bet that the aiming mechanics make a lot more sense with a mouse than with an analog stick, but it wasn’t aiming alone that broke Cold Fear for me; the aiming stuff was just icing on the cake after the other failures occurred.

    It’s possible that I suck at survival horror games. According to my stats on this site, I’ve completed 38 of them from start to finish. After 38 games, if one comes along that is harder than all the rest, I’m willing to assert that the game is perhaps flawed.

    And really, what I’m talking about has nothing to do with play skill–that’s why it’s so frustrating. If it were just a matter of getting better at the game, Cold Fear and the other titles I mentioned would have been a walk in the park. After all, Resident Evil 1 is hard but incredibly fair; it very rarely miscommunicates its rules to the player.

    I think expecting the player to get better is fine for “legitimate” challenges–that is, challenges that were explicitly designed to be challenging. When the game is hard because the player doesn’t know what to do, or doesn’t understand the game mechanics, that’s an “illegitimate” challenge; the challenge becomes figuring out what the game designers want you to do, not actually solving problems within the context of a game. And I’m sorry, but any game that is so obtuse that it requires internet searching has, in my mind, totally failed.

    Case in point: I found Resident Evil 4 pretty easy. It’s probably a 6 on the graphs in this article. There were a few tough sections (the knife fight took me several tries), but I never became stuck because the rules were pretty straightforward. It wasn’t very frustrating either, because even when it got hard I could beat it by just getting better.

    In the Cold Fear spike, on the other hand, no amount of skill is going to help me beat a zombie if I have no ammo. The game mechanics simply do not allow for it. So being able to play is a function of having ammo, and if a situation arises where you’ve run out of ammo, there’s very little that you can do. That’s not a legitimate challenge, it’s a failure of the game design.

    Finally, if you read the article again you’ll notice that I found Silent Hill 4 difficult only because I missed some key piece of information about how you are supposed to play. It is the game designers job to communicate those rules to the player. If you search the blog for “challenge” you can read some related thoughts on this subject about different types of challenge formats.

  13. Nice article, as usual.

    I just thought I would let you know that if you want perhaps the greatest example of a terrible difficulty spike, play the game TriggerMan. There is a stealth section that is almost impossible to beat toward the end, and the rest of the game isn’t very interesting or fun. On second thought, maybe you don’t want to actually play the game. Just keep it in mind.

    Chris said (regarding “Cold Fear”[/b]):
    “(note that I’m not quite done with the game).”

    Oh, just wait until you get to the horrible final boss part that takes place on the helicopter pad.

    I was never able to beat it – talk about frustration!

    (Of course, if you later blog that it was a snap for you and you beat the big final boss the first try, I am going to be miffed, LOL!)

    Chris said,
    “And no, I couldn’t come up with an example of a horror game that increases in difficulty with the finesse and ease that Halo does.”

    I think [b]”Fatal Frame”[/b] (at least part one) might be one example.

    It’s pretty clear up front that you use a camera to stop ghosts, but the ghosts get more difficult to capture (e.g., they get faster, etc.) at a pretty even pace as the game goes on.

    bob said,
    “One more thing – [b]Resident Evil 4[/b] is probably the HARDEST game I have ever played. Even so, I stuck it out ”

    I found Resident Evil 4 challenging in parts, but not terribly hard. It’s strange how a game can seem hard to one person but easy to another!

    Another game I’ve had a problem with: [b]”The Suffering: Ties That Bind.”[/b]

    Most of the game is fairly steady, difficulty-wise.

    However, I got to this part where my character gets locked into a room.

    During this time, one billion monsters attack, and eventually, I run out of ammo. The game, at this stage, does not allow you to leave the room to get more ammunition.

    Then I thought perhaps the designers made this section so that you can’t waste even a single bullet – you have to have excellent aim. (Kind of like the ‘conserve ammo’ approach in RE games.)

    So I played over and over, I got better, and even though I was capping each baddie accurately with a low # of ammo, my character was still running out of ammo!

    Before hand, you get a chance to pick which weapons you use. There are like four of them, and you can only bring 3 into the room with you.

    I thought, “A-ha, the designers expect you to choose the correct combination of weapons – that’s the secret.”

    Even though I tried different combinations of weapons, I still can’t get past this part.

    In the case of no ammo…
    There was nothing left for me to do but stand there and get mauled once I ran out. It’s frustrating. The game makers give me no way of progressing.

    I had a similar problem at one point with the game [b]”The Thing.”[/b]

    Speaking of difficulty spikes, I have to mention… [b]”Land of the Dead.”

    With maybe the exception of an early level where you have to use a sniper rifle to “off” some zombies, “Land of the Dead” is easy as pie up until this part where you’re on the back of this truck that has a mounted machine gun thing.

    The truck stops, and you’re not supposed to allow a zombie – even a single zombie – to go through either gate into the city; both gates are behind you, one to the far left, the other to the far right.

    Also, the zombies become progressively faster the longer this bit goes on.

    I don’t see a way of completing this level.

    No matter how good a shot I am, no matter how vigilant I am in watching for zombies, one always sneaks in and does so quickly, ending the level.

    IMHO, they made that section a little too difficult – you can’t even see the city gates unless you turn around.

    They either should’ve made the gates in the line of sight, or not allow the zombies to get faster as time goes on.

    I don’t mind a little challenge, but stuff like this screams, “Ha ha, we’re setting you up for failure.”

  15. Dang, something is clearly broken with my comment bold and italic tags. I’ll see if I can fix that.

    About The Suffering: Ties That Bind, I think the solution is to turn into monster form and kill the enemies. There are several sections in that game where they are trying to force you into monster form by spawning unlimited baddies or by introducing bad guys that can only be defeated by your monster slice attack. I hated those sections as well, for the same reason: if you don’t get the trick, you can’t progress no matter how excellent of a player you are.

    Chris said:
    “About The Suffering: Ties That Bind, I think the solution is to turn into monster form and kill the enemies.”

    *smacking forehead* Of course! It just never occurred to me to try that!

    I don’t know why, but when a character comes with some kind of extra ability, I normally don’t use it.

    I prefer using the standard weapons the character comes with. I don’t like being forced to use special features.

    I’ll have to pop “The Suffering: Ties That Bind” into the X-box sometime in the near future and see if your suggestion solves my problem.

    Yes, I’d say there’s a problem with the tags! I was even very careful in making sure I had a closing tag for each starting one.

    Also… have you considered adding a “preview” and/or “edit” feature? They would be nifty.

  17. Bold things followed by not-bold things then followed by more bold things should be working correctly now. Sorry about that.

  18. Bob said:
    The following is not meant to be in any way insulting or condescending – promise!

    It’s funny how whenever someone says this it always ends up being insulting, no matter how positive you try to take it.

    Bob said:
    “Maybe you just don’t really like Survival Horror – is that possible?”

    Have you actually looked at this site? Why would someone spend so much time exploring a genre and praising it if they hate it? Just because someone has a few issues with a select few games from that genre doesn’t automatically mean they have a problem with the entire genre.

    Chris said:
    “And I’m sorry, but any game that is so obtuse that it requires internet searching has, in my mind, totally failed.”

    Don’t be sorry! The point of games is to play them, not to get up every five minutes to “google” and find out what the heck the programers want you to do. That’s absurd. I’m not saying it’s wrong for people to use walkthroughs (I prefer not to, as a matter of personal pride), but if the game relies on you looking things up that’s a flaw.

    Bob said:
    “Sounds to me like you may not be that good at these kinds of games! I found both Cold Fear AND Silent Hill 4 (on PC) to be walks in the park.

    One more thing – Resident Evil 4 is probably the HARDEST game I have ever played.”

    You wanna know something funny, bob? I thought Silent Hill was pretty tough part of the way through the game, and Resident Evil 4 was ridiculously easy. You shouldn’t sound so high and mighty over Chris having admitted that. People handle games differently, and that doesn’t mean the game should be “a walk in the park” for everyone else just because YOU thought it was easy.

    Bob said:
    “You ranted previously that you have a problem running out of ammo shooting the same respawning enemies. My question is, “why do you keep shooting respawning enemies?” The goal of the game is not to kill everything, but to . . . ahem . . . survive from one level to the next. If you know a particular monster is a respawner, then either run around it, or shoot it till it goes down and keep moving. Why is that so hard?”

    Umm… Maybe he was shooting them because he was having trouble dodging and didn’t want to lose more health? “Why is that so hard?”- Do you realize how full of yourself you sound?

    Anyways, sorry for ranting on your forum, Chris. I do think you’ve made an excellent observation (and the visuals were nice). And even though some question you using Halo, I think you’re right that this sort of issue applies to games in all genres.

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