Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Chp 357. Gaming it to the next level - 1

With the smart-phone gaming industry still at its nascent phase, there are indeed a lot of games (and features) I would like to see in the future. I may not have the resource to produce such games, but it won’t hurt spilling out my reviews & ideas here.

First of all, before I begin, I’d like to share something I discovered recently – For all you Androiders, if you go to the Android Market, not the mobile version but the actual site market.android.com and login with your Google account, you will see a complete list of all the apps/games you have downloaded till now!

Lolz. Yeah, all those three-letter-word related apps and other apps you have downloaded and kept hidden from friends and family… they are ALL THERE! Listed. Recorded. Archived. With complete details regarding the download date, version, file size, etc etc. haha! Not so private now huh?

Anyhoo, here is my first review, one of my recent favorite games, and how I think the developers should take it to the next level.

Contract Killer

Originally an iPhone/iPad game, this is probably one of the most awesome games I’ve played on my droid. You’re a contract killer, and your job is to take out the mob. You get orders now and then, sometimes from a rival mob, an informant, or from the cops, and you can also refill your ammunition or buy better weapons using the in-game cash/credit.

Every contract requires around 5 energy, and whether you fulfill the contract or not, you end up losing that much energy. So, as addictive as this game may be, you cannot play the entire day. You need to quit the game now and then after your energy runs out and wait for it to recharge. You can also use your credit to buy energy, but trust me, it’s not worth it.

But it’s been more than a month now since I last played this game. Why? Because if you don’t intend on spending money (real money), it is close to impossible to buy the good guns, especially the Zerstorer!

As I kept advancing, the bad guys were harder to kill, and the level kept getting more difficult, and yet, the bounty did not increase at all. Eventually, if you subtract the cost of ammunition per contract, I wasn’t getting anything at all. I even stopped buying the medikit to get more cash per contract, such that I would die during an ambush rather than buy expensive medikit, but even then, I realized it was going to take me forever to reach my target money to buy the awesome guns.

Plus there is no cash-credit converter. Some guns like the Zerstorer costs 400 credits. Yet, even if I have collected a million cash during my missions, I cannot use them to buy those special guns that can be bought only through credits. Hence I need to buy the in-game cash and the in-game credit separately with real money. A Zerstorer gun, costing 400 credits, would be around $20 (INR 900!)

And yeah, couple that with the fact that the game gets boring after some time… repetitive kills and instructions. You can easily start predicting where the boss’ goons are going to come running out from.

Hence the reason why I stopped playing this game.


How I wish the game could be like this:

With such an amazing (and realistic) game as this, I wish Glu (the developer) could make it a bit more interesting. Here are some of my suggestions. I’m not talking about changing the interface of the game, like players should be able to run towards an enemy and stab him etc. I’m sticking to the original game action. My suggestions are purely about the gameplay and the kinda story that can come in etc.

1. Locations:

First of all, I want to stop using the single map selection theme.

Instead, how about making this game truly global? Give users the option to travel from one country/continent to the other.

And the user will end up losing quite a lot of energy as he travels, which is ok, as he can always recharge his energy once he lands at his new destination.

At his new destination, he will of course get new sets of orders and who to kill, and most of the targets will be region specific (example – the Yakuza in Japan, the Triad in China, Cosa Nostra in Sicily, Drug warlords in Cambodia etc etc).

2. Weapons:

The guns can also change from region to region, depending on the availability.

Hence, even if the player has managed to buy really good guns in the US, he cannot take his guns along with him when he flies to other countries (for the obvious reason). So he has to start from scratch.

He can take his cash (and credit) along from one place to the other though. And when he returns to a place he has been before, he can use his existing gun there (he probably has a safehouse where he stores his guns and ammunition).

This way, we are making everything more interesting just by introducing different characters and maps, even though the gameplay is the same as before – you get info from somebody and you take the contract.

Remember, at the end of the day, the backend logic may be the same, but if the game is coated with different characters and maps, it will definitely make the game more interesting. Take Storm8 for example. All their games like Ninjas Live, Vampires, Zombies, World War, iMobster etc are (almost) all the same. Take away the character names and tasks, and they are all quite similar, yet most of them are the top downloaded games at the Android Market and iPhone App Store. In the end, the way we package a product really counts too.

3. The Bounty:

Like I mentioned earlier, it sucks when the level gets harder and harder but the bounty remains the same. Collecting money takes too long. If the amount of bounty can increase per level, then it is worth spending more on medikits and ammunitions too. Otherwise, it is purely a waste.

4. Non-scope guns:

Seriously, there was actually no point buying non-scope guns like SMG, shotgun etc. They are not effective at all, and I usually end up wasting an entire clip of ammo before I finally manage to take down one gangster. If this can be changed a bit so that even non-scope guns have their uses (trust me, I thought they would be more useful in the Dockyard fights etc when the enemy is relatively closer to my hideout compared to the other locations, but they still take time to die there too if I use non-scope weapons).

5. Silencers:

Ah this is my dream feature for this game. There should be some guns that can be attached with a silencer/suppressor. How awesome would that be! That way, we can quietly kill off some of the boss’ men one by one, and I can be discovered only if one of the gangsters is within, say 10 meters from the dead body. Unlike currently when I fire one freaking shot (even a tranquilizer gun) and the entire mob descends upon me like a swarm of bees. The silencer should be an option during the gameplay, and I should be able to use it only 5 times. After that I need to purchase it from the store again.

Trust me, making these small changes will definitely change the game a lot, and I for one, will definitely come back to playing it.

Ending this post, here are some screenshots of the game for those of you who have not played this game yet.

Disclaimer: All images in this post are from The Droid Guy, 148 Apps and I code and code.


Sangpuiipa said...

Khelh a nawm hmel hle mai.

Pixie said...

This is just to say hi and that I have stopped by and glanced thru your post!! :P
Unlike some people who haven't come by in a really really long time!! :P

H.Vangchhia said...

Tuina lam ni lemlo mahse, i ziak thiam nge..kan thlir thla zel a ka tui rilruk phian chu le :)

Krista Roluahpuia said...

Awesome! But, i didn't read it all.

I like the way how you do the presentation..... seriously...

Mizohican said...

@ Krista: Thanx anyway :)

@ HV: hehehe thank you :)

@ Sangpuiipa: Nuam lutuk :)

@ Pixie: aweeee.... have been extremely busy with work past 2-3 months. And of course I am so coming by right now! :)

rxmex said...

I haven't played a FPS in my ipod touch. I don't know if it is worth to play it. There are some problems that I don't think that I would like it. First I have to move my ipod as it is the sight and the analog in the lower left side of the devise.

Erik said...

This can't actually work, I suppose like this.
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