Little features in games that should be used more frequently


#1

I recently got a PS4 Pro and played though the Infinite Warfare single player campaign

One feature I really liked was when you paused the game, it would tell you the time of the last autosave

This is only a little thing but it’s such a nice feature as the message “if you quit now you’ll lose all progress since your last save” always makes me pause as I try to remember the last time the game saved

I’m playing Wolfenstein TNO now and the lack of this feature is something I notice

Another example is in Beyond Good & Evil, where it uses this system to input text using a controller

So, are there any other examples of little features in games you think should be used more frequently?


#2

Limited saves (as in Resi) and hug buttons.


#3

A toggle to replace mashing a button with holding down a button. It made replaying Uncharted 4 so much less tedious!


#4

That text thing looks baaaaaad though


#5

I also got pretty frustrated about Autosave stuff in TNO. Really frustrating to lose more progress than I assumed given their sparse checkpoint system.

Shadow Tactics: Blades of the Shogun actually makes quicksaves/savescumming an integral feature by having a bar that goes from green to yellow to red at the top of the screen depending on how long it’s been since you autosaved. And IIRC it gets to red after a very little amount of time: a minute, maybe?

I’d be into more games that had specific actions that served no mechanical purpose, just added flavor or ambience to the game. At least, to my knowledge, the hum button in Transistor didn’t do anything mechanically, you just hum a tune, because that’s what that character would do.

Am also a huge fan of games on PS4 that use the speaker on the controller for good effect. Thinking of Resogun here, but I’m sure there are others that do this too.


#6

Button remapping should be in most games. It was super useful for me in Cuphead, where I just couldn’t get used to holding down a face button to fire the whole game. Made it infinitely more approachable to hold down a trigger to fire instead.


#7

Horizon has a really customisable hud. Really nice range of options.

From GameSpot:


#8

I wish all games allowed you to change difficulty at any time.


#9

I love the fade-out hud option in the Souls games that have it (2-3). If the context sensitivity of it is well executed, I would appreciate it in nearly every game I play.


#10

Compared to other ways of adding text with a controller it’s so much easier to use

It always annoys me when you have to use the stick over a virtual keyboard to do the same thing, and even in 2017 some games are still using the letters in alphabetical order rather than displaying a qwerty keyboard


#11

Quick save and quick load on console. I really miss it in Hitman, after getting used to it in Dishonored 2.


#12

I prefer stick over keyboard, cuz I am used to keyboard layout and it will take me infinitely less time to find letter I need on one, than trying to wiggle that weird cockscrew of an input method.


#13

I would love to see more backwards compatibility with regards to older controllers. There is no real reason why I can’t use my old 360 or PS3 controllers with their respective current gen consoles (minus, of course, the small subset of games that used the PS4 controller’s touchpad). Nintendo has been great about this over the years, and even Sony let this happen with the PS2.

EDIT: And Nintendo does it again! (https://www.gamespot.com/articles/nintendo-switch-update-40-also-adds-gamecube-contr/1100-6454307/)


#14

Infinite Warfare uses the speaker on the controller when you’re in space and running out of air, it’s actually quite an effective technique

Has there ever been a game that lets you save whenever but only limits you to 3 or 5 slots?

I can see this being a cool system because if you abuse it too much, as in saving every few steps, you could end up getting stuck and then reloading your oldest save and finding you’re too close to the part where you were stuck to go on

So that would incentivise saving less frequently while allowing you to save anytime


#15

Yeah, the text input system in Beyond Good and Evil is awesome. Still the best text input system (with a controller) I’ve used in a game. At first glance it appeared kind of clumsy and frustrating, but when you actually use it, it works like a charm. Tbh, I’m surprised more console games haven’t used it (or actually, I think there may have been one or two).


#16

That’s neat, about the speaker signaling the amount of air you have left.

Middle-earth: Shadow of War uses it a lot, too, even when you’re going through bushes. It got annoying so I turned it almost all the way down.


#17

I always appreciate Rewind and Fast-Foward functions.

Rewind was very popular last generation in the racing genre but seems to have slightly disappeared more recently - perhaps due to overuse or abuse. I think Dirt 2 is an example of it done right - limited time rewinds with a cap based on your difficulty level and desired rewards. I would love to see it implemented in new and interesting ways, perhaps see how a rewind function would apply to something like a Super Mario game.

Fast Forward on the other hand is great for strategy and RPG titles, particularly ones with a lot of grinding or long turns. Recently, the ability to speed up the enemy turns on Mario X Rabbids was a welcome one, as was the 2x and 4x speed boosts from Final Fantasy 12: The Zodiac Age. Obviously it won’t apply to games such as platformers (unless it’s a specific gimmick ala Viewtiful Joe) but it is again a very welcome addition when it is included. You can sort of get a similar effect in games like Disgaea where you can make movement speed faster, disable certain animations etc. Likewise, I always play Pokemon games with the fancy move animations turned off.


#18

If your game has a dog let me pat the dog.

On the topic of saving, the best save system I’ve seen is in the brilliant puzzle series DROD. Those games make a save whenever you enter a new room or hit a checkpoint within a room. Coming back to the game just drops you at the latest save, but you can also go back to any earlier point in the game. The load interface has a map of all the rooms you’ve visited in each level. Just pick a room, pick a checkpoint inside that room, and you can rewind to when you last hit that checkpoint. It’s great if you want to go back to try to solve a room more efficiently, track down secrets or earn achievements. (It also by default saves a replay of every room once you’ve solved it, so if you don’t remember how you did something you can just watch what you did. So much thoughtful design in those games.)


#19

I absolutely agree with BG&E’s text entry system. It’s perfect for joysticks, and I have no idea why it didn’t immediately become an industry standard. Or at least a consistent option.

I’m a huge sucker for custom soundtracks, especially in open-world/driving games. While I love curated soundtracks (especially in something like Mafia III), I usually grow sick of them by the 12-20 hr mark. This is usually the point I’ll just hit mute and put on a podcast. But when I can easily integrate a playlist, I’ll really go nuts with making something that fits the game. And no, just having console-native Spotify streaming is NOT the same. I really love how games like GTA & Forza Horizon integrate custom tracks into the world’s sound design - switching tracks when a new race starts, or having music blaring from a set location within the world. It’s a tiny detail, but it never gets old to me.


#20

Games with a “what happened last episode” moment after you load a save, showing your last actions and story beats before you saved. IIRC both NDS Pokemon did this, and more recently Ghost 1.0 does it too.

Should be mandatory in RPGs tbh.