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.
- Cons: ZERO. THERE ARE ZERO CONS TO THIS OPTION.
- 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.