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August 26th, 2009, 10:01
Originally Posted by KasperFauerby View Post
Don't worry - I wasn't being very serious No offense taken..

And in general I agree… I think…

I must admit, though, that when I recently played "Dead Space" I actually thought it added something to the suspense that I could only save at "Save stations". But those are also different from checkpoints IMO. They limits saving, but I'm still allowed to backtrack to a save station after a difficult fight if I want to avoid retrying it.
In my opinion:

It can work under certain circumstances, but it's hard to define some kind of universal rule or standard. It really has to fit the game structure.

But if you think about games like System Shock 2 or Aliens vs Predator 2 - they didn't need to limit saves to create amazing tension.

SS2 was clever in that it made you save resources and think strategically about how to approach a given type of enemy. This created tension based on having to optimise and enforcing more than one kind of caution. It extended gameplay by having the player reload if he wasted ammo, but it didn't force it upon him. It gave the player a choice of whether or not he'd want to play it safe or not. A great kind of extension that's not even noticed by most players.

I thought Dead Space was a good game (~7-8 / 10) - but nothing like SS2.

The save station approach is certainly better than traditional checkpoints, but I still think it has more problems than benefits. In a game like Dead Space, the gameplay is basically doing the EXACT same scenario over and over - after the gameplay peaks at around level 4 - you shouldn't force players to redo sections that are basically like the whole rest of the game.

But I agree, it adds tension - but it's the wrong kind of tension to me, because it's not so much dread based on atmosphere or enemies - but dread based on having to redo everything again
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