I’ve heard it said more than once that someone simply loved the “feel” of a game. As if it was a new food against the surface of their tongue or a stone against their fingers, they explain the experience as if it was a visceral one. Despite Destiny’s objectively rough story and treadmill-like loot grinding, it is rare that you play an FPS that urges you to pull back on the shoulder button repeatedly, simply to, again and again, feel the satisfying recoil of the gun. It is the weight behind a melee attack in Halo that makes hitting someone with the butt of a rifle or knocking them back with an elbow so rewarding.
This is why, notwithstanding my statement on writing reviews, I had to sit down and talk about the shooting in Rainbow Six Siege. As a game with a history dating back to 1998, going into it would be beyond the scope of what I want to cover here, but within the first two minutes of purchasing the game, I knew it was a good buy. The developers did something that allowed me to, by even watching the game played on stream or in a YouTube video, experience the action of the rifle: the recoil as the bullet left the barrel and the slight kick-back as the shell is ejected and another round is pushed forward for the next shot.
Somehow small indie studios have managed to find the source of this wonderful game mechanic magic and implement it into jumping, sword swinging, and spell casting. A feeling that I once thought could only be experienced through the efforts of hundreds of people, is now being delivered by teams with less than a dozen.
So when I select a game for On My Radar or decide to dedicate time in posting continuous coverage of its development, not only do I think it innovative in its genre, that the devs poured gallons of their blood into it and deserve recognition, but somewhere in me I know that – like Rainbow Six Siege – those satisfying visuals allude to an upcoming incredible gameplay experience.
I later want to delve into what mechanics must be implemented and done just right to make a game feel good, but I know it’s going to take a lot of research so it will have to be after the features I’m already working on.