Killzone Shadow Fall and the First Rage Quit of 2014

killzone shadow fall free fall section

I was enjoying Killzone Shadow Fall in spurts. Sometimes, I would tolerate its mundane tasks and other times, I would actually lose myself in the gameplay for a bit. I wasn’t having a bad time, per se, but I wasn’t exactly overjoyed every time I booted the game up. But with only 9 missions, I figured I could manage my way through. The graphics were really quite nice, actually, with blue as the new brown, a refreshing change from last-gen.

So I trudged my way through, having already lost the narrative, something about a Cold War and experiments and weapons and using my drone companion to hack a lot of consoles. But then the free fall sequence slammed into me, halting my progress entirely. So I tried it again, thinking that it was my unfamiliarity with the controls that were hindering me. After all, it was a free fall through a city of collapsing skyscrapers and buildings, so this was clearly a big set-piece in the game, one that the developers wanted gamers to see. So I tried again.

BAM. Face first into a building. BAM. Face first into a canyon. BAM. BAM. BAM. Over and over again. No matter what I tried to do, whether pulling back to decrease speed and gain altitude or pushing forward to increase speed and get lower, the result was the same. BAM. Instant death. The game sensed I was having issues and unhelpful tutorial messages appeared, but their advice was useless. I never died the same way twice. I could pull back and I would hit a building or I would pull back and hit a different building next time.

There was no rhyme or reason to it. My actions were futile. I was a puppet and my strings were tautly held by my masters. So I quit. And though I would have liked to have seen the end of Killzone Shadow Fall, I don’t regret it. The developers made a terrible, unplayable sequence and even though I heard they had to patch it, it was still insurmountable to me, a veteran gamer. I beat Dark Souls, people. But Killzone Shadow Fall has bested me this time. So play at your own risk and beware the free fall.

Because it sucked.

Written by

Age: 34 PSN ID: Starkiller81. I've played games since before I can remember, starting with my dad's Atari and I haven't stopped yet. Keep them coming and I will keep playing them.

5 thoughts on “Killzone Shadow Fall and the First Rage Quit of 2014”

  1. Stuff like this reminds me of the Charles Lee chase from Assassin’s Creed 3, or a few of the big dodge-a-thons during the space debris section of Dead Space 3. Like you said, these are clearly big set pieces, but why do developers make them so difficult that it makes most gamers throw down their controllers?

    Seems to me that these sections should more or less be the easiest parts of the game to a degree. Putting up unnecessary barriers in sections like these makes the shine wear off pretty quickly.

  2. “I beat Dark Souls, people”
    Dark Souls has had an effect on me recently with regards to difficulty in games. Even though I only completed it a couple of weeks ago myself (Strength/Endurance build, cuz magic is for wusses) I’ve already started to notice how different it feels dying in other games. In Dark Souls, it is always my fault: I got over-confident against Super Smough, I aggroed too many Silver Knights, I am not god-tier enough for two Silver Knight Archers, etc.
    However, in other games a lot of the failures can be chalked up to poor design. There are a couple of bits in Max Payne 3 where you must kill enemies really quickly and almost seemingly in a preset order so that they don’t swarm you in your defensive position. That doesn’t feel fun. If that happened in DS, I’d have a way out: I could back off or even fight it if I had the mechanical skill to do so. The other concern I have with tricky set pieces is this: You are meant to be a badass during these scenes. If you die, the whole scene can fall flat on its face. Take the very end of CoD4: Captain Price heroically slides the pistol over to you, you take aim, you take too long, boom: Soap’s dead. It kills the pacing and severity of the situation and completely destroys the atmosphere when that happens.
    Additionally, FreeFall sections in games tend to be my least favourite bits. There’s usually too much debris (Saints Row 3 being the best example off the top of my head) so you need to muscle memory it rather than rely solely on skill.The only ones I ever liked were in the Ratchet and Clank series which is what my mind was drawn to when reading your article, Anthony. But apart from those… I mean, how hard can it be to make a fair freefall section?

  3. The power of insta-death is one that should not be wielded lightly. If a developer is going to use it, their level better be flawlessly designed, otherwise players get pissed really quick.

  4. My secret shame is that I rage quit Prince of Persia: Sands of Time and the first Far Cry. With Sands it was the combat that did me in and with Far Cry I got onto this boat near the beginning of the game and got to the bow where several guys hid to take you and no matter what I did I always died.

    It always annoyed me as everyone always said how great Sand of Time was but I just couldn’t get on with it.

  5. I very nearly rage quit Assassin’s Creed 4 near the end of the game, even though I absolutely loved my time with it for the most part. There was a mission that required you to follow a party of people through nearly the length of the whole city, with guards stationed on rooftops and at corners. There were these huge open areas you had to cross with absolutely no cover, and the mission kept breaking for me. I hated everything.

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