GW: Turrets Syndrome

We love Guest Writers, you know. They give us an article and we stick it on the site. It’s not much work. However, that isn’t really why we enjoy it – the reason we like them so much is because they’re all good. It’s astonishing how much writing talent we seem to have on TSA, so here’s a slice of talent from the wonderful oMega-W.

Turrets. Large, powerful, but most importantly, stationary weapons, scattered about the gaming world in a seemingly random fashion. Why do game developers feel the need to implement a turret section? Oh, sure, we know why: ‘Look everyone! Our game isn’t just running, jumping and shooting. It has a turret section…’ They’re not fun though, are they? When was the last time you took charge of a turret and thought: Hey, I’m really enjoying this!

And with that in mind, here are a few examples of unnecessary disruptions to an otherwise  mobile gaming experience.

Uncharted 1/2

So, you’ve spent most of the game so far ducking and diving, crouching and hiding, generally just being careful about when and what to shoot. Oh, but look! A turret! Is it okay if I don’t use it? Nope, because just at that moment your surroundings are suddenly invaded by a small army of mercenaries just asking to be gunned down. There’ll be no hanging on a ledge, shooting from safety this time. Pew pew pew. How do I take cover in this turret? You can’t. So I just shoot? Yup, holding R1 should do the trick. But I don’t know where the baddies are going to come from. Yes you do. They’re well behaved this lot, they’ll arrive in the same order, in the same place, every time. What do you mean every time? Well, to be honest, you’re gonna die the first couple of attempts, but don’t worry: infinite lives and all that…

Ratchet & Clank: A Crack In Time

Playing on Hard mode, R&C is all about jumping and strafing, choosing the right weapon for the right situation. So, what better way to emphasise this by placing an immovable turret in one of the busiest rooms in the game, and suggesting that you use said turret to clear it. Thing is, Insomniac, I don’t want to. I want to use all of my more useful, more powerful, more enjoyable weapons that I’ve spent the last 10 hours collecting. Fortunately, I’m allowed to choose. And so, after a brief dalliance with the turret (5 enemies killed, half health, 35 enemies left), I change tactics. Clank? We’re going in.

Dead Space

I liked Dead Space. It was thrilling, slowly walking through the space station, buttocks clenched in fear, wondering what monstrosity was going to appear next. And there it was: a turret, all ready and waiting to devour my patience. Mummy, I’m scared. I didn’t buy an asteroid shooter. Therefore I don’t want to play an asteroid shooter. And yet, I have to. Can’t I just skip it? No, ‘fraid not, my pedigree chum. Bugger. Let’s be fair though, the biggest scare I received in Dead Space was, in fact, turret related: Hmmm. I wonder what’s through here? Aaaargh shit! Another one…

Call of Juarez: Bound In Blood

You know you’re lacking faith in your game when you’ve got a turret (2 turrets!) in your first level. Look, honestly, you’re not going to get bored. We break up the shooting with bouts of shooting standing still. Oooh, standing still, wide in the open. My favourite. Ah, a cannon. Makes a change, I suppose. So yeah, this shoots cannonballs, but erm, you see where you’ve aiming? Yeah. Well, aim higher. What? I need to hit that boat! Right, aim higher. Nah, it’s all good. Pew. Hmmm. Missed. Too short…Hey, you were right. Shooting boats with bombs is fun. Let’s do it again later, with a bigger boat. Oh, wow, definitely! How much later? Er, how ‘bout Level 2? Perfect!

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare

Don’t get me wrong, I like shooting things. As long as I don’t have to think much, I’ll shoot anything that shoots me first. So, when I was placed in charge of a turret mounted on a helicopter, and told to shoot, that’s fine. But, what’s this? No one shooting back? It’s quiet, don’t you think? Short bursts of gunfire, occasional radio, not much else. No screams of agony, no death cries? Just killing. Oh, now I get it. I’m supposed to think about it, right? All those people, dead because of me. Is this some sort of statement on the detachment of emotions from war games? I hope not. It’s a good thing it’s not in black and white…oh, wait. Yes it is. But, don’t you feel bad? *shrug* Not really, it’s just another turret section to me. But, don’t you feel anything? Er…boredom?

There we have it. Turrets: a highly effective, and highly versatile gameplay mechanic that we all take for granted. Let me know all about your ‘favourite’ turret experience.