I'm tired of survival games...

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DeadPoolX
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I'm tired of survival games...

Post by DeadPoolX » Tue Feb 09, 2021 8:26 pm

I don't mean survival as in "try to survive by fighting oncoming waves of enemies" or anything like that. No, I mean survival games as in "you need to live by surviving wild animals and hostile weather."

The survival game is really, really popular and I can see why. It's interesting and different (assuming you're not dealing with zombies).

The problem with survival games is that they all fall into the same trap: you have to constantly eat and drink.

What I mean is the game has an accelerated time frame, so let's say a single day lasts 15 real world minutes, but in the game world that's still 24 hours. Your character during that time gets hungry and thirsty, which makes sense, but due to the accelerated day/night cycle, you spend nearly all of your time eating and drinking or looking for food to eat and drink. Why? To survive another day to — you guessed it! — continue constantly stuffing your face.

This also ignores the massive amount of food your character usually needs to eat. Seriously, no one needs to eat five whole turkeys, half a moose, and several rabbits while drinking a swimming pool's worth of water in a 24 hour period.

In the real world, you can actually go weeks without food and days without water. It'd be extremely uncomfortable to do so, but you could survive it and you certainly wouldn't need to eat an entire buffet's worth of food every single day.

Again, this is all tied to the game's accelerate time frame, so you're not only eating and drinking this massive amount, but you're doing it ALL THE TIME because 24 hours game time equals 15 minutes real world time.

Some survival games decide to step it up a notch by making food eventually spoil. So not only do you need to forage/scavenge or hunt every waking moment, but anything you find will eventually become inedible. The time it takes for this to happen? Well, remember that accelerated day/night cycle? Yeah, so food can go bad extremely quickly.

Worse yet, some survival games even extend this to non-food items, such as clothing. Yeah, your clothing will wear down even if you're not wearing that particular item. I could understand the clothing you're wearing eventually falling apart at the seams, but pants or shirts that're folded up or tossed in a backpack? Maybe if years went by, but days or weeks?

I have clothing I originally bought over 20 years ago that's still in good condition. Granted, I haven't been in a survival situation with those articles of clothing, but the point is that unused clothing doesn't deteriorate by itself (or if it does, it takes decades).

Newer survival games have even added exhaustion meters, so you can get tired and need to sleep. Is that realistic? Yeah, but it's not particularly fun to be in the middle of eating my third elk and suddenly have my character become a narcoleptic as he crashes wherever he is and goes to sleep. In survival games that including freezing to death, this can be a problem if your character decided, "Hey, that snowbank looks cozy."

Oh yeah... I forgot something else. Almost ALL survival games are Rogue-Likes, where you have one life and if you die, your saved game is deleted and you have to start over. These games also rely on autosaves (often needing you to do something like go in or out of a house to trigger it) so you can't even decide to quit the game when you want.

So what's the point of this long rant? Not sure, really. I just felt like yelling about how sick and tired I am of survival games, mostly because they rely on cheesy and frustrating game mechanics. The basic ideas behind them are sound, but the design is awful. I don't know if they all follow the same pattern because it sells or because it's what's become expected of the genre. Probably both.
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Tawmis
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Re: I'm tired of survival games...

Post by Tawmis » Wed Feb 10, 2021 2:42 am

Yeesh. The only real survival game I ever got into was Left 4 Dead 2. And that was mostly for the co-op fun with co-workers, not so much the single player story (if such a thing exists).

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Re: I'm tired of survival games...

Post by Rath Darkblade » Wed Feb 10, 2021 4:02 am

I tried playing a similar survival game called Banished, where you're in charge of little tiny humans who have to survive and build a base in prehistoric times. Unfortunately, DPX is right: these tiny humans eat all the time. If you run out of food (because you're trying to gather wood or stone to build shelter), your tiny humans starve. If you run out of wood (because you're trying not to let them starve), you can't build shelter for them, so they freeze to death. :P

After about 10 minutes of this, I quit the game and thought "WTF?!" :shock: :P

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Re: I'm tired of survival games...

Post by DeadPoolX » Wed Feb 10, 2021 6:35 am

Well, actually I was thinking more along the lines of games like... Tawmis is talking more about action-oriented "try to survive waves of enemies" games whereas Rath's talking about game mechanics in a city builder. Neither of those are anything remotely close to a modern survival game.

A modern survival game (going back to roughly 2015 or so) has you trying to survive against the environment and animals. It's not about fighting off waves of enemies or building a town.

That said... many survival games do have some combat in them, but the combat is secondary to the actual "live another day in extreme conditions" aspect. Also, many survival games also include building to some degree, but this is for you and in some cases maybe a co-op partner. You're not creating a town and managing it.
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Re: I'm tired of survival games...

Post by Tawmis » Wed Feb 10, 2021 11:08 am

I do have Ark - it popped up free once - I've yet to play it. So yeah, the other games - I've never even heard of.

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Re: I'm tired of survival games...

Post by DeadPoolX » Thu Feb 11, 2021 9:16 pm

Tawmis wrote:
Wed Feb 10, 2021 11:08 am
I do have Ark - it popped up free once - I've yet to play it. So yeah, the other games - I've never even heard of.
Despite my complaints about the genre overall, I would recommend The Long Dark. It's an incredibly well-made game, has both a story* and sandbox mode, and lets you choose between several difficulty options, including a custom option.

* In the story mode you can choose between playing a male or a female character. The male character is voiced by Mark Meer and the female character is voiced by Jennifer Hale. Meer and Hale played male and female Commander Shepard.
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Re: I'm tired of survival games...

Post by MusicallyInspired » Fri Feb 12, 2021 7:43 pm

The only survival game I've ever liked is Minecraft.
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Re: I'm tired of survival games...

Post by Rath Darkblade » Fri Feb 12, 2021 11:36 pm

DeadPoolX wrote:
Thu Feb 11, 2021 9:16 pm
Despite my complaints about the genre overall, I would recommend The Long Dark. It's an incredibly well-made game, has both a story* and sandbox mode, and lets you choose between several difficulty options, including a custom option.

* In the story mode you can choose between playing a male or a female character. The male character is voiced by Mark Meer and the female character is voiced by Jennifer Hale. Meer and Hale played male and female Commander Shepard.
Not to mention Jennifer Hale's turn as this lovely lady ... ;)
Katrina4.jpg
Katrina4.jpg (21.33 KiB) Viewed 4971 times
... and speaking of which ... the ladies of Quest for Glory. Quite a gorgeous little picture. ;)

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