I have found that most of these games labeled as survival horror are not that enjoyable to play. I do understand that the developers are trying to create cinematic experiences, but do you buy the game to play or to watch it? My philosophy is that if the character that you are controlling is endangered by dimwitted and lethargic moving enemy, then there is a problem with the control scheme and the positioning of the camera. I found in all of the Resident Evil games, and others of that type, that most of the time the enemies that you are trying to avoid are not in sight. They are not viewable by the camera, and in the gaming world that is your sight. I also found that the characters had to waste a lot of firepower when trying to stop one of the many creatures in the game. This misuse of ammunition by the character was because of the limiting aiming ability. You would think the first place a person that had any experience with a firearm would fire, would be at the head, or more precisely the eye. In Resident Evil and games like it, you are unable to do this. I also do not like the fact that the character can only move slowly backwards instead of at a faster pace. Why is it that the character is unable to deliver a solid front kick to the chest to knock the enemy away or down? I myself am not an expert in the art of fighting, but I could easily do this to a zombie before it started to gnaw on me. My thinking is the reason that most gamers accept this approach is because this approach is the only one that offers this type of theme. Lets take the latest game to come out in this theme, which is Resident Evil: Code Veronica on the Dream Cast. First I would have had the camera about three feet away and leveled with the back of the head of the character and the character would be transparent. This positioning would show the character''s back from the waist up. The reason that I would go with third person perspective is that it gives you more peripheral view then first person. First person view gives you, as the player, tunnel vision. I would have two modes that character goes into. The start button would still bring up the option screen and also the character stasis screen in both modes. The main mode would be the distant attack and exploration mode. I would use the analog stick as the aiming and looking around control. The left shoulder button would be for jumping. The right shoulder button would be used to fire the weapon the character had in their hands, the X-button would be used to strafe left, the B-button would be used to strafe right, the Y-button would be used to move forward, the A-button would be used to back step quickly, pushing down on the D-pad would lock the character on to the target for hand to hand combat like in Zelda on the N-64, pressing left would activate sniper mode if the character had the sniper rifle in their hands, pressing up would go to the next available target if the character is lockon to a target and if character is not lockon to a target this button is the action button, and pressing right on the D-pad would switch to the next weapon. The other mode is the hand to hand combat mode. This mode is activated when there is an enemy, the cross hair of the character has been place on the enemy and the down direction is pressed on the D-pad. Pressing down again will move the character back into the distant attack and exploration mode. When in hand to hand mode, the camera moves from behind the characters head to a view that is three feet above the highest or tallest characters'' head and far enough to show the player''s character and the target that character is lockon to. The control scheme for the hand to hand combat mode is as follows; the analog stick becomes your movement. Pressing forward on the stick would move the character towards the target, pressing backward moves the character away from they target, pressing up makes the character circle sidestep to his or her left, pressing down makes the character circle sidestep to his or her right. The left shoulder button is still jump and the right is still fire but the character can not aim for different body parts, most of the shots will hit in the middle area of the target. The X-button is now the character''s right punch, Y-button is now the characters left punch, A-button is now the character''s right kick and B-button is the character''s left kick. If the character has a weapon, gun or a object of some kind, in one, or both of his or her hands, the character uses this item when he or she attacks with the right, left or both hands. I would like to know from any one, if this theme of survival horror was offered in a third or first person view, with controls similar to golden eye on N-64, or as I have described above, if it would be accepted, and more enjoyable to play, then the way it is now.
Good points DarkOne, but I must disagree with you on some parts of your post. Regarding Resident Evil, I love that game pretty much the way it is. I understand how you would like to have more viewing options in the game, but you must understand what the developers were thinking. I believe they were trying to make it seem as it would be in real life, you can''t see everything around you, only infront of you and to your sides unless you turn around. The reason why you can move backwards really fast is probably because in real life you don''t haul arse backwards without looking, and if you''re running from a raging zombie you''ll definatly want to know where you''re going so you don''t trip over something and get you head gnawed off. As to the fighting, if you''re being approached or chased by a bloody zombie that you''ve never seen the likes of before one usually doesn''t have the time to get a prescise shot at one of his eyes or aim directly for the chest when you kick him. The characters in these games aren''t meant to be James Bond super hero types, they''re supposed to be normal citizens or cops no trained to handle the supernatural. Just a couple thoughts........
Actually, though I am not a big fan of ResEvil myself, I think you guys are overlooking something very important about the camerawork and play control. Those camera angles where you can''t see the opponant are HORROR MOVIE camer angels, straight out of a cinematography course. If you can see the evil, it becomes far less frightening, because you know what you are up against. And to this day I maintain that the play control is SO horrendous that it MUST have been intentional. Capcom is infamous for smooth control (SF?), but the crappy controls in ResEvil took control from the player intentionally, scaring you by not allowing you to aim properly or see your opponant. I disagree with the second technique in all but principle. You should never make a game with a crappy interface. The second point , however, is something we should all watch for. Horror camera angles exist for a reason: they''re scary. We should use them when trying to scare people.
I am not sure if you have played doom, but the first time I played it I was scared to move on from where I currently was. I spent most of my time looking behind myself as I moved about just waiting for one of the many beasts to attack me. I thought the fact that you could only see what was in front of you in the game made the whole experience more immersing then watching the character from a distance. The point I was trying to make was that horror/survival games are great to watch but do you realy buy it for the game play or to watch it.