Sunday, December 10, 2006


I finally got around to checking out Gears of War last night, and it's certainly a great-looking game. I'm sure that it will make its way to PC at some point, and though it's third-person, it might still be fun to play. The effects and realism and the level of detail are just jaw-dropping. But, one of the things that impressed me most is that there's no health bar. You don't walk around knowing you're at 78% life or oh crap 31% life. When you're in combat, and take damage, a red gear appears on the screen, and it gets brighter as you become more and more hurt. If you get hurt too much, then you die. If you don't, once combat ends, the gear will fade out after a few seconds, and your magic nano-implants or whatever will fix you up, and you're good as new again. That seems like an excellent way to keep people in the game and interested in the story; people like me see their health at 29% and reload, hoping that they can end the fight with a little more health this time, but as soon as that happens, immersion is lost.

I'm sure that some really hardcore people would be disgusted at making things so "easy," so maybe in the easy and normal difficulty modes you could regenerate fully between combats, and in the hard mode, you don't. Feel free to steal that idea for your own first-person shooter game in development.

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