Death it seems is everywhere. From the resurgence of Covid-19 Thanks to Delta variant and low vaccination rates to the effects of climate change ravaging our communities, all remind us of humanity’s own mortality, its own fleeting existence. So it’s no wonder that Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart is the perfect game right now: play well and you will never die.
Let us clarify what it means to “play correctly”. It’s not about being so good that your ticket will never be punched. Far from there. Instead, it’s about activating the option of immortality in battle, ensuring that you don’t die in battle. Yes, that sounds too easy, but listen to me: it’s not about avoiding a challenge. The challenge is good; it pushes players to do things they might not be good at. This is how people master new button combinations, improve their aiming skills, develop faster reflexes, all of which make them top players. It is incredibly satisfying.
On the other hand, the fear of death can cause a lot of anxiety. This little health bar feels like it’s attached to the tracks after 10 cups of espresso. That’s actually why I avoid Mario games – I’m not very coordinated and I die too often (thanks, koopas!). This is do not satisfactory. Be able to activate immortality like players can Rift apart just makes part of the game easier and ensures that this aspect is not a constant stressor. In a world where I’m already too aware of my own impermanence, and where everyday life brings new dangers, it’s heartwarming to be able to live forever in Ratchet & Clankinterdimensional world.
In addition, the new Ratchet & Clank is not even really about fight. It has a lot of puzzles and the gameplay is quite complex. To say that disabling death removes all of its challenges is an insult to the kindness of the writers and developers of Insomniac in this game. And you can still die, you can fall off ledges quite easily. To be “immortal” in Rift apart just removes a very specific type of anxiety to allow the rest of the game to be enjoyed. Unless dying often is an expected part of the gameplay and an integral part of the experience (in which case please let me know in advance to that I can avoid it like the plague), every game should have this option. At a minimum, any AAA title should include it, if only to make the game accessible to as many people as possible (indie games have smaller budgets, so they don’t always have the resources to fine-tune these customization options. ). It’s great to have difficulty levels, but being able to customize your gaming experience – whether it’s immortality, auto aim assist, toggle buttons for presses – is often what elevates the game. experience from mediocre to breathtaking. Video games are not a unique experience and no one should expect them to be.
For me, it’s simple: I don’t want to die all the time. Like many, I’m bad at fighting in games, so being able to switch between immortality and fight my way through those battles without worrying about my character’s health makes fighting fun. I don’t have to worry about my entertainment triggering my anxiety or making me even more panicked than before I took the controller. The world is stressful enough; video games shouldn’t be used to make things worse.
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