It seems to be death is everywhere. From resuscitation Covid-19 thanks Delta variant and the low rate of vaccination on the effects of climate change plaguing our communities, is all a reminder of the mortality of humanity, of its transient existence. So it’s no wonder Ratchet & Clank: Rift apart is the perfect game right now: play it well and you will never die.
Let’s clarify what it means to “play well”. It’s not that you’re so good that your card is never punctured. Far from it. Instead, it’s about turning on the immortality option in combat, ensuring you don’t die in combat. Yes, this sounds too easy, but listen to me: this is not about avoiding challenges. The challenge is good; pushes players to do things they might not be great at. It’s a way for people to master new button combinations, improve their targeting skills, develop faster reflexes – all things that turn them into ace players. It’s incredibly satisfying.
Fear of death, on the other hand, can cause a lot of anxiety. That little health tile feels like you’re tied to the railroad tracks after 10 cups of espresso. I actually stay away from Mario games – I’m not too coordinated and I die too often (thanks, koopas!). It is no satisfactory. Be able to include immortality the way players can Rift Apart it simply facilitates one part of the game and ensures that the aspect is not constant stress. In a world where I am already too aware of my own instability and where everyday life brings new dangers, it is comforting to be able to live forever in Ratchet & Clankinterdimensional world.
Moreover, new Ratchet & Clank it’s not even real o fights. There are a lot of puzzles, and the gameplay is quite complex. To say that excluding death removes all its challenges is an insult to how much goodness Insomniac writers and developers invest in this game. You can still die – you can fall off the ledges pretty easily. To be “immortal” in Rift Apart it only removes one very specific type of anxiety to allow for enjoyment for the rest of the game. Unless dying is often an expected part of the game and an integral part of the experience (in which case let me know in advance so I can avoid it like a plague), every game should have this option. Any AAA title should contain it, if only to make the game available to as many people as possible (indie games have smaller budgets, so they don’t always have the resources to fine-tune these customization options). It’s great to have difficulty levels, but the ability to customize your gaming experience – whether it’s immortality, auto-targeting assistance, switching push buttons – is often what elevates the experience from mediocre to captivating. Video games are not an easy experience for everyone and no one should expect them to be.
For me, this is simple: I don’t want to die all the time. Like many, I’m bad at fighting games, so being able to switch immortality and push buttons through these battles without worrying about my character’s health makes fighting fun. I don’t have to worry about whether the party will trigger my anxiety or make me even more panicked than before I took the controller. The world is stressful enough; video games should not serve to aggravate.
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