Hey Video Game Industry, Can We Agree On A Run Button, Already?

Ok Bloodborne, I get that you want to kill me. And then kill me again. Over and over. But could you at least give me the option to see what’s about to kill me as I’m running away from the beasties, you know, like every other good video game?

The way I see it, there are four obvious ways to implement the “run” function using a six-axis type of controller:

  • Options 1: L3 (my personal favorite). Need to take off in a mad dash? Mash your thumb down on the same button that you are already pressing to get the hell out of danger. Many games use this option (Borderlands and Destiny comes to mind). It works. It’s always worked. It’s never stopped working.
    • Pros: It works, you don’t have to think about it.
  • Option 2: L or R Trigger. There have a been a few games that will use this (I believe Madden did). That said, I don’t think I’ve seen this option in third-person or first person, I’d probably still prefer it over the next options, just because I can still look around as I run; an action, by the way, that I can do in real life. You know, when J starts chasing me after I steal his gold, I can glance over my shoulder and continue to run.
    • Pros: Can still look around.
    • Cons: Trigger should be saved for a more important action.
  • Option 3: No run ability. There seem to be some game developers out there who believe running should simply occur from the maximum push of the L joystick. This is not my favorite. Anytime I play a game like this I find myself wishing I could run, even though, I sort of am. It’s kinda like Nigel’s amp going up to eleven, if you get my drift.
    • Pros: It’s easy, I guess.
    • Cons: There’s no way to freak out and take off sprinting when you’re about to die.
  • Option 4: Use one of the right-thumb buttons. And this brings us back to Bloodborne, which uses the O button to run around. This is so, so, stunningly stupid that it makes me wonder if the game devs did this just to piss us off. If I recall correctly, the Batman series uses this same convention, as does inFamous (and, I admit, those are great games). This bugged the shit out of me in Batman, for the same reasons as Bloodborne. In inFamous, however, I was OK with it because the action was more of a sprint than a run, and sprinting is blazingly fast in that game–you don’t need to look behind you once you take off, in fact, you’re moving so fast you almost have to look in front of yourself. Anyhow, my point here is that it’s a dumb design decision. And just because J makes questionable decisions, like rating my new book at four stars instead of five, that doesn’t mean we all have to make questionable decisions. Instead, I can decide to implement run using L3, like every other smart game developer person ever.
    • Pros: None. There are absolutely no pros to using a right-thumb button to implement run.
    • Cons: Impossible to look around while running. Takes away an important right thumb button that could be used for something else, like auto-rating Josh’s book at five stars.

So there you have it. Screw you, Bloodborne.

3 thoughts on “Hey Video Game Industry, Can We Agree On A Run Button, Already?”

  1. So this is what you need to do. You have to train your right index finger to do run duty. Keep your thumb on the right stick, so you can direct the camera, and press circle with the side of your index finger. It only hurts at first. Well, and then probably later due to the inevitable arthritis that it will cause.

    With the new PS update, you can try to remap that shit. It might not work out all that well though, because of what I consider to be an even worse design decision: assigning multiple actions to the same button. Why is run, jump and dodge all the same button? It’s not like you don’t have a fuckpotload of buttons you’re not using. I mean, why no love for X? And I really, really want a dedicated jump button. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve fallen to my death because there is no way to force your character to jump in DS. You have to be running at a certain speed, then get off and get on the O button. That’s fucked up.

    Oh – And you’ve got to earn stars from me. If you didn’t want an honest review, and instead wanted the review equivalent of fellatio, ask Dave.

  2. Hmm, I hadn’t heard about that new mapping functionality. The mapping might work if I can assign the “Run/Action/Hop/Jump” function to BOTH buttons (O and L3). I’m going to give that a shot. I’ll need to figure out where to map L3 though, whatever L3 does right now (I’m not really sure).

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