Yesterday, I got off the late bus and finally picked up Call of Duty: Black Ops, joining the masses currently playing through another one of Treyarch’s well-received stabs at the CoD franchise. So far, I’m a huge fan of the campaign, and it’s managed some intense and epic moments, and the pace never lets up on you from the moment it starts with its memorable opening missions.
However, during the first Vietnam level, S.O.G., I’ve run into a bit of a problem with some bad game design. It turns out I’m not the only one, either. If you haven’t played the game (and even if you have), there’s a point in the mission where your objective is to take a hill back from the NVA. They are storming across and hopping down in trenches, and your mission marker tells you to get to the bottom of the hill.
This proved almost impossible.
The problem is, the enemies infinitely respawn in typical CoD fashion, and it seems to defy the traditional method of just getting to the next waypoint. I sat there for well over 30-45 minutes, dying time after time, unsure of what I was supposed to do. It turns out, after some Googling (and seeing that many others had this problem as well), that I’m supposed to run to separate unmarked barrels and interact with them to push them down the hill and set the enemies on fire. If that’s the case, why aren’t these barrels labeled, and why does nobody tell you what to do?
These kinds of problems with game design always drive me a little bit crazy. Typically, I will spend a long time getting more and more frustrated at the game itself until I finally have to go look it up. A similar thing happened on the “Final Climb” level of Forgotten Sands, where two small sections of the platforming seemed broken.
What do you guys do when you encounter bad game design? Plow through it until you solve it yourself? Look it up online? Rage quit? Is this just a case of me being a noob? Go!