Author Topic: Gaming cowardice  (Read 828 times)

Gaming cowardice
« on: May 13, 2020, 01:38:59 PM »
Curious to know the extent to which others here have this, but I find myself frequently being a massive coward while playing games. I'm mainly talking stealth games and horror games but FPS and some RPGs apply too)

Now video games should be an area where you can feel free to try daring things and go gung-ho into situations knowing that the worst that will happen is that you have to restart, but instead I often find myself frozen to the spot, waiting and waiting for the right opportunity to make my move. I remember playing the Metal Gear Solid demo on PSX and being stuck in a prone position for an age as the guards walked back and forth and back and forth with seconds turning into minutes as I worked up the bravery to move on, the idea of just taking a chance not even entering my head.

This carries through to being extra cautious in games as well, hitting an enemy once and retreating to safety over and over rather than moving in for a decisive strike, with my anxiety high the whole time. Then I watch play-throughs on youtube and see people strolling through areas without a care in the world, dispatching enemies and continuing on their way without breaking a sweat and wonder why I can't bring myself to be brave within the safe confines of an artificial world.

Do others have this affliction?

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Re: Gaming cowardice
« Reply #1 on: May 13, 2020, 01:46:53 PM »
Couldn't get into Alien Isolation for a long time because of this - I'd stay hidden and never make progress. It's a game where you have to take risks and push your luck or you'll never get anywhere. Good game.

Re: Gaming cowardice
« Reply #2 on: May 13, 2020, 02:02:52 PM »
Whenever I've played Half Life, I get really protective of my armour points. On my first playthrough, I ended up savescumming for pretty much the last half of the game, reloading each time the armour dropped below about 70%. I have absolutely no idea why I did this.

I bought the Resident Evil HD remake a couple of years ago. Played Resi 1 for a few hours, stopped and haven't gone back to it since. It wasn't too scary for me (I'm a real tough boy - grrr) but I had a feeling that I was probably heading for a game over and couldn't bring myself to repeat the early stages of the game again.

I've had a bunch of RPG/immersive sim games for a number of years and haven't even started. Their sheer hugeness is too daunting.

Re: Gaming cowardice
« Reply #3 on: May 13, 2020, 02:16:36 PM »
I love horror films but with games I just can't cope. I've tried a few first person games and if you're playing on mouse and keyboard, your face is pretty close to the screen and if you've got headphones on, it all adds up and you feel like you're plugged directly into the world and it's all happening to you, it's not long before I'm hammering the escape key and getting the eff out of there.

I'd probably have a coronary if I tried a horror game in VR, I can only imagine that it's 100 times worse!
Action stuff like dead space and resident evil and that I'm fine with, it's the minimalist, quiet games that I can't deal with.



You know, I thought this thread would be about something completely different.

Reading the title, it made me think of how long it took me playing spelunky, pushing myself a little bit further each time until I beat hell, or how long it took before I was pushing myself for bigger scores.

That game is a great example because there's little plateaus you get to where you know what you can do and are comfortable with at your current skill level, and it's so easy to relax into that safety net and be content with just pushing your score just a tiny little bit further, whereas if you're brave enough and push yourself to take more and bigger risks, you can reap huge rewards.

Like some shmups will have great risk reward mechanics like proximity scoring but there'll also be a huge bonus for each life you have left at the end of the game.
Of course you can be a coward and just get through the game, but getting to that level where you're confident enough to play it "all or nothing", going balls out and getting up in all the baddies grills, coming one pixel close to death and pushing everything as hard as you can, feels amazing!

Re: Gaming cowardice
« Reply #4 on: May 13, 2020, 02:24:54 PM »
Not cowardice, but I'm always way too conservative with resources. Pointlessly hoarding virtual grenades and health packs so my character finishes the game with a lifetime stash. Realised it's way more fun to actually use the exciting stuff you get and have made a conscious effort to be less stingy - second half of RE2 remake was a riot of flame grenades and magnums.

Re: Gaming cowardice
« Reply #5 on: May 13, 2020, 02:27:52 PM »
In games like dead island or the first person fallout games, I used to waste so much time having to open every toilet door, check every room, go through every bag and drawer. Exhausting. I couldn't stop myself from doing it.

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Re: Gaming cowardice
« Reply #6 on: May 13, 2020, 02:38:19 PM »
I love gaming for the escapism it grants, and I like to push for scarier scenarios much in the way people like rollercoasters for example, which I hate myself as I'm a coward in real life. I've always loved horror games, all the Resident Evils and Silent Hills, Alien Isolation, Outlast... VR has been a godsend for me, the immersion pushing the fear factor further - I fucking loved RE7 and Until Dawn Rush of Blood in VR plus the shark thing on Playstation VR Worlds, most recently Half-Life Alyx - it's all great to me. I'll even enjoy a VR rollercoaster.

On the other hand...
In games like dead island or the first person fallout games, I used to waste so much time having to open every toilet door, check every room, go through every bag and drawer. Exhausting. I couldn't stop myself from doing it.
I do have a fear of missing out in games. I hate the though that I might've left some ammo in an undiscovered crevice, I'm wary of walking through a door in case it triggers a closure of the level behind me. It makes content packed games like Red Dead Redemption 2 just impossible for me to properly enjoy.

Sin Agog

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Re: Gaming cowardice
« Reply #7 on: May 13, 2020, 02:43:11 PM »
I've discovered that playing the Soulsborne games with the sound off makes me infinitely better.  It's the smegging sound of my character tiptoeing through a world of monstrous whimpering that makes me lose my cool.  Nix the sound and you mostly see the game as a matter of stepping back, working out the right mechanics for the job, and executing them with swift precision.

Re: Gaming cowardice
« Reply #8 on: May 13, 2020, 03:03:39 PM »
Not cowardice, but I'm always way too conservative with resources. Pointlessly hoarding virtual grenades and health packs so my character finishes the game with a lifetime stash. Realised it's way more fun to actually use the exciting stuff you get and have made a conscious effort to be less stingy - second half of RE2 remake was a riot of flame grenades and magnums.
I think everyone does that. I'm particularly bad for it with the magic powers in the Dishonored series. I probably spend an extra half-hour on each level, just waiting for the magic meter to refill itself every time I teleport - despite the fact I've always got a plentiful supply of blue elixirs.

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Re: Gaming cowardice
« Reply #9 on: May 13, 2020, 03:04:36 PM »
Absolutely. I got to a point in Bloodborne where I had to go down into a dark crypt and I just turned it off and I've not played it since. Going down into caves/crypts/dungeons will shit me up every time.

Re: Gaming cowardice
« Reply #10 on: May 13, 2020, 03:09:24 PM »
I'm a coward with shooting. Always reloading after a shoot. Its rare i'll deplete the ammo so it reloads automatically.

And yeah second the being stingy with resources, JRPGs taught to basically never use items except for on boss battles.


Re: Gaming cowardice
« Reply #11 on: May 13, 2020, 03:13:05 PM »
Absolutely. I got to a point in Bloodborne where I had to go down into a dark crypt and I just turned it off and I've not played it since. Going down into caves/crypts/dungeons will shit me up every time.

Same, and it made me want to start another thread about the overuse of dungeons/caves in video games, I imagine it used to be because of system limitations (enclosed spaces without much colour) but they're still really popular now.

My heart always sinks when a game that is full of fresh ideas and visuals suddenly turns into a dungeon-fest or throws monsters in at the end, Far Cry is a good example, the first Uncharted too. I'm playing Horizon Zero Dawn at the moment and it's one of the most beautiful games I've ever experienced, full of amazing scenery, sunsets, lush vegetation, snow etc. but it's getting to a stage where they keep talking about going underground and I know it's going to be yet another wave of narrow, dark areas full of demons which both triggers my gaming cowardice and bores me to tears.

Re: Gaming cowardice
« Reply #12 on: May 13, 2020, 03:20:46 PM »
I replayed the original Doom recently and it seemed bizarre to me that the BFG9000 uses normal, plentifully available, plasma gun ammo. I was running around going wild with it, whereas in any other game - including the new Dooms - it'd only have a few shots and seem too precious to use willy nilly.

Re: Gaming cowardice
« Reply #13 on: May 13, 2020, 03:26:09 PM »
Never scared of enemies, but I get put off sometimes with choice of which route to take, there are countless games where you wind up at two doors, and if you choose the wrong one it's a point of no return (unless you load a save or restart) cut scene of whatever kicks in and you've missed the best weapon in the game behind the other door. Most big open RPGs throw paths to take and you can see lots of places to explore, 9/10 times you can go to all of them but on occasion if you decided to avoid that tunnel or clearing when you had the chance, then you've been punked.

Re: Gaming cowardice
« Reply #14 on: May 13, 2020, 03:39:58 PM »
Can’t relate to this at all. For example, if there is a stealth section of a game where you have to wait until some guards are facing the other way before you can get through a corridor they are guarding, I will almost always try brute forcing my way through multiple times rather than wait. Even though I know this ends up taking more time than actually waiting, and ends up with me making more and more mistakes as I get frustrated.

Re: Gaming cowardice
« Reply #15 on: May 13, 2020, 03:49:32 PM »
I've discovered that playing the Soulsborne games with the sound off makes me infinitely better.

Yes! I'm like that with some games.
The dramatic, adrenalin pumping music and the scary sounds of gunfire and bombs going off, you take all that out of the equation and you find yourself relaxing and playing a lot better.

Re: Gaming cowardice
« Reply #16 on: May 13, 2020, 06:52:19 PM »
Pain in the arse dying and having to goto the loading screen, especially if its a cunter like Witcher 3.

Inspector Norse

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Re: Gaming cowardice
« Reply #17 on: May 13, 2020, 07:32:46 PM »
Yes to pointlessly hoarding resources (on Witcher 3 I wound up with a gazillion oils and potions and mutagens and never used a single one, likewise spell scrolls on Skyrim), yes to looking in every single box or drawer in any RPG I've ever played even when I'm level 800 and own the whole realm and can defeat most enemies with a Chuck Rock bellybounce, yes to spending most of Dishonored loitering without intent while I tried to figure out a route to take that wouldn't involve anything actually happening, yes to not going back to Dark Souls for about a week whenever I get miles from a bonfire with loads of souls and humanity and a fucking mushroom takes me out.

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Re: Gaming cowardice
« Reply #18 on: May 13, 2020, 07:39:57 PM »
Very happy memories of playing through Resident Evil with my parents and being scared shitless of the Tyrant.

Re: Gaming cowardice
« Reply #19 on: May 13, 2020, 08:13:33 PM »
When I first played Final Fantasy VII I was completely unable to beat the Demon's Gate. After many attempts I resorted to reading a walkthrough to point me in the right direction. The main suggestion was to use the Bahamut summon, which I didn't have. And after reading back it appeared I'd just completely missed it somehow and had no way of going back to where it was. So assuming there was nothing I else I could do I decided to start again. Since then I've been terrified of missing out on an important item that it wasn't possible to retrieve later, so I end up wasting many hours on any game involving any sort of exploration, trying to find every possible thing. And I've failed to get very far in many games since because I get fed up of the constant wandering around looking for everything.

Sin Agog

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Re: Gaming cowardice
« Reply #20 on: May 13, 2020, 08:15:21 PM »
Very happy memories of playing through Resident Evil with my parents and being scared shitless of the Tyrant.

I'm sure your da wasn't that bad.

Re: Gaming cowardice
« Reply #21 on: May 13, 2020, 10:30:39 PM »
10 minutes to take a turn on Xcom, scared the squad would get vaporised if I made a wrong move. 6 soldiers all fanned out near each other on Overwatch for about 5 turns, waiting for one of the Chosen to materialise between them.

Re: Gaming cowardice
« Reply #22 on: May 13, 2020, 11:20:11 PM »
Just finished RE2 Remake, though I had to start again on the assisted difficulty as I was panic shooting everything and had no ammo left as I was being slowly chased by Mr. X in the police station. Awful in general at survival horror. Gave up on Silent Hill 2, just couldn't cope. RE4 was the first one I ever completed. Alien: Isolation is on hiatus, end up hiding in lockers for half an hour before having to turn off, but it's so good.

I had a problem with save scumming in RPGs, trying to make it so I made exactly the right choices, and optimum outcomes. Have gone spontaneous playing through KOTOR 1 and 2 and Jade Empire during lockdown and its been so much more enjoyable. Just downloaded RDR 2 from game pass and applying the same attitude. Not allowed to reload after fucking up, which means I accidently double barrelled the guy roughing up the Reverend, though I only wanted to engage in fisticuffs.   

Re: Gaming cowardice
« Reply #23 on: May 13, 2020, 11:42:05 PM »
Whenever I've played Half Life, I get really protective of my armour points. On my first playthrough, I ended up savescumming for pretty much the last half of the game, reloading each time the armour dropped below about 70%. I have absolutely no idea why I did this.

Not cowardice, but I'm always way too conservative with resources. Pointlessly hoarding virtual grenades and health packs so my character finishes the game with a lifetime stash. Realised it's way more fun to actually use the exciting stuff you get and have made a conscious effort to be less stingy - second half of RE2 remake was a riot of flame grenades and magnums.

I had a problem with save scumming in RPGs, trying to make it so I made exactly the right choices, and optimum outcomes.

This sort of behaviour is really common, and the fact that players tend to blame themselves for it is an example of how weirdly willing we are to forgive designs that force us into bad patterns. Doing stuff like going to extreme measures to to conserve health and ammo is a natural response when you're facing an uphill battle of unknown unknowns.

In something like a Quake deathmatch you know all the rules, you know what resources are available and what aren't, there are no surprises - you and your opponents are operating within the same framework, so it's possible to strategise (eg deciding when to use your big guns, when to go for the quad damage, etc). It's a "perfect" game, a game in the traditional sense.

But in a linear game with a predefined beginning, middle and end, you're constantly betting blind against the designer, which rewards conservative play - why would you use your flame grenade now when there might be an even bigger boss 10 minutes later? Result: players never use their flame grenade.

It's also the same problem Claude identified in the Doom Eternal thread with this post:

The whole "combat chess" thing seems a bit like bollocks currently. If this were chess, you'd only be able to see a few squares on the board at a time and your opponent would keep pulling new pieces out of their pocket, which rather hampers your efforts to play strategically.

It's a difficult problem to solve, and in lots of games it can only be mitigated. Although it became a genre cliche for about a decade afterwards, and wouldn't suit every game, I think Halo's innovation of recharging health was quite smart, as it promotes risky play - there's no point in playing defensively if you only need to survive this encounter before recharging to full health.

This is also ultimately the root of my objection to narrative choice in games, something I complain about every other week or so and which no one in history has ever agreed with me about despite its massive correctness. But it's the same problem - an absence of information required to make meaningful decisions.
« Last Edit: May 14, 2020, 12:19:11 AM by popcorn »

Re: Gaming cowardice
« Reply #24 on: May 14, 2020, 12:16:35 AM »
Pain in the arse dying and having to goto the loading screen, especially if its a cunter like Witcher 3.

One of the things that made Far Cry 2 a pretty unique shooter was that you would often lose 15 minutes+ of gameplay if you died. Made for some incredibly atmospheric slogs across the savannah, weighing up whether your rusty sniper rifle with 3 bullets was enough to get the drop on an outpost and restock on healing items.

But also could be annoying as fuck if you got caught by a random grenade or run over by one of the countless roaming patrols.


Re: Gaming cowardice
« Reply #25 on: May 14, 2020, 12:33:48 AM »
Any stealth mission where getting spotted immediately brings you back to stage one of n.


I think it's more that I'm pissed off about the time involved, with most those things if you've completed it once there's fuck all skill to completing it again, but you've to wait for everything to move into place for each part again.

Re: Gaming cowardice
« Reply #26 on: May 14, 2020, 01:32:27 AM »
One of the things that made Far Cry 2 a pretty unique shooter was that you would often lose 15 minutes+ of gameplay if you died. Made for some incredibly atmospheric slogs across the savannah, weighing up whether your rusty sniper rifle with 3 bullets was enough to get the drop on an outpost and restock on healing items.

But also could be annoying as fuck if you got caught by a random grenade or run over by one of the countless roaming patrols.

On PC you could just quicksave anywhere. Some good mods out there to up the difficulty though.

I always try to push the boundaries of a stealth game first to see how reactive the enemies are. Hopefully good enough that I have to formulate some sort of strategy.

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