The 7 Commandments All Video Games Should Obey

#4. Thou shalt make killing fun.

Resident Evil: Umbrella Chronicles, the Half Life games, almost any game where you fight with sword.

There is a reason why almost every game on the market allows us to kill many, many living things. We humans have a primal urge to kill because, thanks to natural selection, all the homo sapiens who didn't have a primal urge to kill, were themselves killed.

Thus, we find killing very satisfying and video games allow us to go through the motions of killing without actually endangering ourselves or others. Why then do you do things that rob us of this joy? Such as:

Starting us with a bullshit weapon.

Yes, we get that earning bigger, fancier weapons is a reward to keep us playing. But don't make us start with a weapon we probably have in our real-life garage (hey, thanks for the wrench, Bioshock).

"Gordon, the whole world has been taken over by a race of malevolent aliens. All of humanity is depending on you. Here's a goddamned crowbar."

And once you give us the cool weapons, don't keep forcing us to go back to the shitty handgun due to lack of bullets for the non-shitty napalm-tipped shotgun. We're talking to you, Resident Evil series.

How the hell did this trend survive past Wolfenstein? We hate using the handgun. You specifically put it in the game because we hate it. You know you did. We paid money for the game; so why are you making us do things we hate? Ever?

Things like ...

Filling the game with tiny rodent enemies.

Every first-person game seems to have these tiny little enemies that hop at your face, are hard to hit and, worse of all, are unsatisfying to kill.

How many of us were enthralled with Elder Scrolls: Oblivion during the opening prison escape, only to find ourselves in a cave with a rusty sword, trying to kill freaking rats? Seriously? Rats? In the game that was supposed to change gaming forever?

How many of us still actually enjoy shooting head crabs in the Half Life games, having slain half a million of them? How many Wii owners were thrilled to have a frenzied shooter like Resident Evil: Umbrella Chronicles only to find themselves shooting those pathetic leech things off the floor in room after room?

The only thing less satisfying is ...

Bullets that have no visible effect.

If we shoot a zombie in the arm, we want his arm to blow off. If we shoot him in the knee, we want him to limp. And if we shoot him in the head, we want his head to explode. We want our bullets to create wounds. Now let's watch a bit of Umbrella Chronicles, and watch the zombies go down undamaged, as if beaned with a baseball:

Oh, hey, there's some of those leech things, too. Yay.

Sword-fighting games like Oblivion are worse. You can slash the bad guy in the face with your blade and it does nothing. The enemy looks perfectly normal until he finally falls over dead, as if he had a heart attack from the excitement. Why give us a sword if we can't decapitate people? Don't tell us the system can't handle it, we were blowing off zombie limbs in House of the Dead a decade ago.

It's not about our blood thirst (well, not just about that), it's about making us feel like we're accomplishing something as we work our way through hordes of cookie-cutter bad guys. Oh, hey, you know what else we hate?

Filling the game with hordes of cookie-cutter bad guys.

This is another one of those problems that are exacerbated by new-gen graphics. Now that we can do photo-realistic faces, it's suddenly very weird that we're killing hundreds of identical clones.

How hard would it be to randomize facial features and skin tones? That's what we want, to feel like we're killing hundreds of different people. Not a bunch of clones or twins. We want to know, deep down, that there are hundreds of grieving mothers out there, lamenting the terror of our dreaded blade.

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